Joe Sharkey suggests a motivation for Lufthansa’s purchase of a stake in JetBlue: slots at New York-JFK in advance of Open Skies.
It’s not clear to me how partial ownership gives Lufthansa access to these slots, though. Lufthansa may well get a board seat or two, but they still have to act in the best interests of JetBlue shareholders writ large. And it’s non-obvious how that means Lufthansa will be able to transfer or buy slots that they couldn’t otherwise have come up with an arrangement for.
But then I might just be naive in the ways of international airline finance. Me, I’d never put $300 million into an airline even if I was an airline. (The old joke rings true, “What’s the quickest way to become a millionaire? Start out with a billion dollars and invest in an airline.”)