Release #: JBU 21.01
February 16, 2021

JetBlue Pilots on Completing the American Airlines Partnership: “No Deal”

Pilots reject tentative agreement, seek more job security and shared success

NEW YORK—Today, the JetBlue pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), rejected a tentative agreement that would have given the company contractual relief in order to implement JetBlue’s full partnership with American Airlines. More than 92 percent of eligible voters participated and, of those, 53.7 percent voted against the agreement.

“Job security, especially during turbulent points in our industry, is a main concern of every pilot,” said Capt. Chris Kenney, chairman of the JetBlue unit of ALPA. “We train for years and spend nights far from home in order to be a pilot. For any agreement to proceed, JetBlue management must provide acceptable assurances that our jobs are safe and valued for years to come.”

The scope clauses in the 2018 collective bargaining agreement between the pilots and JetBlue restrict the types of code-share and joint venture arrangements JetBlue may undertake. The tentative agreement gave some relief from these limits with respect to the American Airlines partnership for the next 10 years in exchange for an additional pay raise and some enhancement in job security.

“JetBlue pilots fought for years to achieve the security provided in our contractual scope, and the pilots are committed to JetBlue’s long-term success,” continued Capt. Kenney. “If JetBlue wants this full partnership with American to be implemented and successful, they will need the pilots to be part of it. To do that, JetBlue management must show the same level of commitment to its pilots with contractual assurances that protect our jobs and provide meaningful career improvements. We stand ready to work toward an acceptable resolution of these issues.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 59,000 pilots at 35 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or