JetBlue is expanding its Europe connectivity ahead of plans
to begin its own transatlantic flights in 2021.
On Thursday, JetBlue signed a letter of intent to interline with
discount carrier Norwegian Air. Connecting itineraries between the carriers for
summer 2020 and beyond are expected to be available for purchase on the JetBlue
and Norwegian websites and via the GDSs early next year, the airlines said.
Under the pending deal, connecting customers would also be
able to check baggage through to their final destinations.
The agreement would link the extensive U.S. and Caribbean
network of JetBlue with Norwegian's robust transatlantic and European networks
via JetBlue's three largest focus cities: New York, Boston and Fort Lauderdale.
Norwegian currently operates 20 nonstop routes to Europe from those three gateways.
"Norwegian shares our belief that customers benefit
when we bring competition and low fares to the transatlantic market currently
dominated by joint ventures, legacy alliances and sky-high ticket prices,"
JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement.
JetBlue already codeshares in the transatlantic market with
Aer Lingus and Icelandair. It plans to begin flying to London from Boston and
New York in 2021 and to other European destinations in 2023.