airberlin launches partnership with Jetblue – adding 31 US destinations and future frequent flyer benefits

airberlin announced a new partnership with JetBlue, offering code-shares to 31 destinations across the US from the JetBlue hubs in New York, Boston and Orlando. The News Release also promises that members of airberlin’s topbonus rewards program will also be able to earn miles on JetBlue flights in the future. This is great news for airberlin travelers!

airberlin has been restructuring from a “try everything” airline to a network carrier with a focus on connecting travelers from North America via their German hubs to destinations in North, Central and Eastern Europe. They have increased their flights across the North Atlantic and this new partnership is a welcome improvement, giving passengers an easier connection to more US destinations. 
airberlin currently has three daily non-stop flights to New York (JFK) from Berlin and Duesseldorf and now customers will be able to connect to 20 destinations on JetBlue, as far as San Francisco, Los Angeles or Bermuda. airberlin also flies to Boston (14 connections) and Orlando (6 connections), giving travelers a lot more choices.

The press release also promises topbonus members to earn miles on JetBlue flights at some point in the future, but does not provide information on the date, redeeming on JetBlue flights or elite perks. I wouldn’t mind redeeming some airberlin miles for a JetBlue Mint flight!
It’s also not clear what this means to airberlin’s OneWorld membership and partner American Airlines – Etihad has been pushing rewards cooperation along with their investment and now has partnerships with alitalia (a SkyTeam member) as well as airberlin (a OneWorld member). With similar developments from Delta/KLM/airfrance, the big alliances seem to loose their grip in favor of joint ventures and looser cooperation agreements. It remains to be seen how this shakes out for travelers!

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