JetBlue supports Air China’s application, warns against ‘arbitrary standards’ of Big Three airlines

    JetBlue Airways stated (21-Feb-2018) it fully supports Air China‘s application to operate fifth freedom service on Beijing-Houston-Panama City route, while noting the application highlights United Airlines‘ silence on Chinese carriers’ fifth freedom growth. JetBlue stated United will face competition in an important market if the application is approved, and “far greater competition” than on New York NewarkAthens service, operated by EmiratesJetBlue stressed Chinese state owned carriers should not be treated differently than any other state-owned carriers, referring to “unprecedented attacks on open skies agreements” by United, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. JetBlue stated it “strongly believes” all carriers should be able to exercise fifth freedom rights, consistent with US international aviation agreements. The carrier warned: “AmericanDelta and United should not be allowed to create arbitrary standards for three state owned airlines from the Middle East, which happen to be competitors, and not have those same standards applied to other state owned airlines”. [more – original PR]