Emirates lost the ability to book redemptions on JetBlue in business class over the summer, suggesting something was up with their partnership. We learned in the past several days that the partnership is actually ending October 30th. But JetBlue isn’t going to be down a partner. Instead a new earning and redemption partnership is coming between JetBlue and Etihad. Etihad also partners with American Airlines and with Air Canada.
New York JFK, important to both American and JetBlue, is one of the key markets for Etihad post-retrenchment. They serve Washington Dulles and Chicago O’Hare as well, but no longer operate out of San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Dallas – Fort Worth.
- Etihad will be moving to terminal 1 at JFK.
- November 15 it will be bringing back a second JFK – Abu Dhabi departure, a four times weekly Boeing 787-9 in addition to the carrier’s daily A350 service
The vision of Etihad as a premium global carrier, with stakes in airlines around the world feeding traffic through Abu Dhabi and building the UAE capital as a global transit hub, has largely been dismantled after years of significant losses followed by the pandemic. They have a smaller route network, still have a good business class, but no longer compete in the top first class space. Citi, American Express, and Capital One points transfer to Etihad so it will be interesting to see what their JetBlue Mint redemption prices look like once revealed.
Like American, JetBlue also has a Qatar Airways partnership, though the latter’s is earn-only. Meanwhile Emirates is (re-)forging ties with United Airlines.