September 30, 2022
United Airlines threatens to shut down JFK service without more flights

United Airlines says it will stop flights to JFK next month if the federal government does not allow the carrier to scale up its operations at New York’s busiest airport, it has been reported.

The company conveyed the message last week in a letter to United CEO Scott Kirby’s executive head of the Federal Aviation Administration, Billy Nolan.

Kirby demanded that Nolan’s agency allow United to increase the number of departures and arrivals from Kennedy, According to an email quoted by Reuters.

“If we are not able to obtain additional allocations for several seasons, we will be required to suspend service at JFK, effective at the end of October,” Kirby wrote.

The FAA said Tuesday that it should “consider airspace capacity and runway capacity to assess how the changes will affect flights at nearby airports.”

The agency said that “any additional slots at JFK will follow the FAA’s well-established process to reward them appropriately and increase competition.”

United is petitioning the FAA to grant more takeoff and landing authorization at JFK “so that we can be more competitive.”

United currently operates only two daily flights from JFK to both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
United currently operates only two daily flights from JFK to both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
AFP via Getty Images

The Chicago-based carrier, which is the third-largest domestic airline after American and Delta, said that without more permanent slots, it cannot operate out of JFK with “larger schedules and more attractive flight times than those flown by our competitors.” effectively”. JetBlue and American.

United currently operates only two daily flights from JFK to both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In 2015, the company pulled out of JFK and decided to focus on its local center in Newark instead. When he left, he leased his 24-year-round slots to rival Delta.

In 2015, the airline ceased operations out of JFK to focus its presence in Newark.
In 2015, the airline ceased operations out of JFK to focus its presence in Newark.
Getty Images

Kirby, who became the airline’s top executive in 2017, has been quoted as saying the move was a mistake. Since joining the company from rival American, Kirby has been keen to re-establish and expand United’s footprint in southeastern Queens.

Last year, United returned to JFK, citing demand from West Coast customers, who insisted on flying directly to New York City instead of New Jersey.

JFK is the 13th busiest airport in the country. It is also the largest terminus for international flights in and out of North America.

United sees room at JFK to grow, citing large-scale infrastructure projects including “runway widening, the construction of multi-entrance taxiways, and aligned high-speed turnoffs”.

Newark is one of the largest centers of United. The company operates 69% of its flights there, which translates to 425 flights per day.

In June, United cut its daily departure count by about 50 to ease congestion in Newark.

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