The chief executives of JetBlue Airways and Air China have announced at the 68th IATA Annual General Meeting in Beijing that the two carriers will interline and codeshare.
According to Air China, China’s national flag carrier, the agreement marks the first partnership between JetBlue Airways and a carrier based in the rapidly expanding Chinese market.
Air China and JetBlue Airways will initially offer interline connections between their networks at New York JFK (IATA code JFK) and at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The airlines expect to begin selling interline tickets this summer. Subject to government approval, Air China plans to enter into a codeshare with JetBlue this autumn and place its ‘CA’ flight designator on flights operated by JetBlue.
“We are pleased to announce this exciting new partnership here in Air China’s hometown,” said Dave Barger, president and chief executive officer of JetBlue Airways. “The Chinese market continues to be a key portion of the global economy, and so we look forward to connecting business and leisure travelers between both of these well-developed networks.”
“The partnership with JetBlue creates many connecting opportunities at Air China’s two strategically important U.S. gateways, New York and Los Angeles,” noted Jianjiang Cai, Air China’s president. “It strengthens both our networks and benefits travelers of both countries.”
Star Alliance member Air China offers one daily flight from New York and two daily flights from Los Angeles International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). In addition, separate from the JetBlue Airways interline, Air China operates daily flights from San Francisco and Vancouver to Beijing.
The Chinese carrier operates its Los Angeles flights with Boeing 777-300ERs, which it will also deploy on the Beijing-JFK route from October 1.
Each of Air China’s Boeing 777-300ER widebodies features eight Forbidden Pavilion First Class luxury suites, 41 Capital Pavilion Business Class flat-bed seats and 259 economy seats with individual monitors and an AVOD (audio-video-on-demand) in-flight entertainment system.
Air China’s transpacific first and business class passengers can now reserve, at the time of booking, a complimentary chauffeured BMW sedan transfer from the airports in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shenzhen to any destination in these cities.
In addition, a bilingual Chinese-English Air China agent is on hand to meet and greet the traveler at the gate upon arrival in Beijing and assist him or her through immigration, baggage claim and customs all the way to the main exit at the arrival level for ground transportation.
At Beijing Capital International Airport – Asia’s busiest airport and the world’s third-busiest – travellers can access a large number of other cities across China including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Xi’an, Guilin, Chongqing, Fuzhou, and Nanjing, as well as many other destinations throughout the Asia Pacific region.
These include (among many others) Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Singapore, Manila, Delhi, Bangkok, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, and Kuala Lumpur.
At JFK, U.S.-bound travelers can connect from Air China’s Beijing flights on to JetBlue flights destined for cities including Boston, Massachusetts; Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and multiple destinations in Florida including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa.