United to withdraw from JFK in October

United Airlines confirms its threat from early September and will “temporarily suspend” its service at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on October 29, the airline confirmed to BTN. United had warned it would leave if it would not receive more slots from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The airline’s New York hub is at Newark Liberty International Airport, but United got temporary slots in February 2021 and resumed some services at JFK, with two daily round trips to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The decision to leave JFK will affect about 100 employees, but “no one is losing their jobs,” and the carrier will work to transfer those employees to nearby stations, according to a memo posted Friday on United’s intranet and is shared with BTN. It is also working with ticket holders for flights after October 29 “to make new arrangements.”

The carrier’s discussions with the FAA “have been constructive,” the memo said, but it is “clear that” [the] The process of adding additional capacity at JFK will take time,” and given the current schedule “too small to be competitive,” United made the decision to withdraw for the time being.

United’s CEO Scott Kirby has argued that capacity at JFK could be increased, citing “significant investment in infrastructure” and that there are more runways available than at Newark. JFK’s capacity has remained the same since 2008, with 81 operations per hour, United said.

“The FAA is committed to doing its part to safely expand New York City’s airports and airspace capacity,” the agency said in a statement. “We will follow our fair and established process to allocate future slots to increase competition among airlines so that passengers have more options. We are encouraged that United will retain and relocate its JFK personnel to its other airports in New York City.”

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