United Airlines will “temporarily suspend” its services at New York’s JFK International airport from 29 October.
The airline had previously warned of its departure from the airport if it wasn’t allotted more slots by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The carrier’s New York area hub is at Newark Liberty International, however United in received temporary slots in February 2021 and resumed some flights at JFK, with two daily round-trip flights each to San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The decision to leave JFK will affect about 100 employees, but “no one is losing their job”, and the carrier will work to transition those employees to nearby stations, according to a memo posted on United’s intranet and shared with BTN.
United is also working with passengers booked on flights after 29 October “to make new arrangements”.
The carrier’s discussions with the FAA “have been constructive,” according to the memo, but it’s “clear that [the] process to add additional capacity at JFK will take some time,” and given its current “too small to be competitive” schedule, United came to the decision to pull out of the airport temporarily.
United CEO Scott Kirby has argued that capacity at JFK can be increased, citing “significant infrastructure investments” and having more runways available than at Newark. JFK’s capacity has remained the same since 2008, with 81 operations per hour, according to United.
“The FAA is dedicated to doing its part to safely expand New York City airports and airspace capacity,” the agency said in a statement.
“We will follow our fair and well-established process to award future slots to increase competition between airlines so passengers have more options. We are encouraged United will retain and relocate its JFK staff to its other New York City airports.”