United Airlines on Friday followed through on its threat from last month – it is suspending service at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
United had asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to expand its routes from one of the country’s largest airports, but the government agency declined the request. Surprisingly, the airline has just two daily flights out of JFK – to San Francisco and Los Angeles – but has a hub at nearby Newark-Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
“Given our current, too-small-to-be-competitive schedule out of JFK — coupled with the start of the Winter season where more airlines will operate their slots as they resume JFK flying — United has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend service at JFK,” United said in a memo seen by Reuters. News Service.
The carrier said its negotiations with the FAA were cordial but does not know when, or if, it would return to JFK. United said that the “process to add additional capacity at JFK will take some time.”
United has long said that without adding flights out of Kennedy it cannot compete with stalwarts American Airlines and JetBlue Airways. The FAA responded on Friday, telling Reuters that the agency is “dedicated to doing its part to safely expand New York City airports and airspace capacity. We will follow our fair and well-established process to award future slots to increase competition.”
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