Judge gives American Airlines and JetBlue more time to end their partnership in the Northeast

(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, file)

A federal judge who ordered American Airlines and JetBlue Airways to end their Northeast partnership is giving the airlines more time to unwind the deal.

U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin in Boston said in an order Monday that the injunction he ordered last month will take effect 21 days after he issues a final judgment imposing terms on the airlines. It’s not clear when that will be.

The airlines had faced a deadline next weekend, just 30 days after the judge’s May 19 decision in favor of the U.S. Justice Department, which sued to break up the deal.

In a post-decision filing Friday, American and JetBlue asked the judge to let them keep some parts of their Northeast Alliance, which covers flights in New York and Boston. They want to continue selling tickets on each other’s flights, called code-sharing, and offering reciprocal frequent-flyer benefits.

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The Justice Department opposed the airlines’ request, although it said the airlines should be allowed to honor tickets that they have already sold on each other’s flights to avoid hurting travelers.

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said last month that his Fort Worth-based airline will appeal the May ruling. New York-based JetBlue has not indicated whether it will appeal.