JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU) and American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) are attempting to keep some elements of their alliance covering flights across the northeastern U.S. after a judge agreed to block the venture on antitrust grounds last month.
The push from the airlines comes after U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin last month granted the Justice Department’s request to permanently enjoin the airlines from continuing the Northeast Alliance, effective thirty days after the date of the order, which was made on May 19.
“This case calls for a straightforward injunction allowing the orderly winding down of the aspects of the NEA this Court deemed unlawful, while minimizing consumer disruption,” the airlines said in the court filing.
Six states and the District of Columbia joined the DOJ to file the antitrust lawsuit in 2021 to block a notable 2020 agreement between the two airlines to sell seats on one another’s flights along certain routes.
JetBlue (JBLU) and American (AAL) may decide to appeal Judge Sorokin’s ruling entirely. JetBlue is still considering appealing the ruling, the airline told Bloomberg on Friday. American Airlines has said that it plans to appeal the ruling.
“We’ve got a legal system that will ask for an appeal, and we’re going to do that,” American CEO Robert Isom said at the Bernstein Strategic Decision conference late last month.
The end of the Northeast Alliance also comes as the DOJ filed an antitrust suit to block JetBlue Airways’ (JBLU) proposed merger with Spirit Airlines (SAVE) in March. The complaint alleged that the combination of the two airlines would be an adverse development for consumers, raising prices and eliminating competition.