United Airlines has said that it would cease flights to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) if US authorities do not grant the airline additional take-off and landing slots.
Reuters reports that on 7 September 2022, United Airlines reportedly informed its staff in a memo that the airline “would need to discontinue operations at JFK, effective by the end of October.” However, it now runs four daily flights to and from the airport.
According to the airline, repeated pleas to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for more runway slots went unanswered. United Airlines said that without the new slots, it would be unable to “effectively compare the bigger schedules and more attractive flight times operated by competitors” at JFK and become more competitive in the US market.
United also maintained the capacity to service some extra flights because JFK’s total flight capacity has not increased since 2008, despite the airport having completed a $376 million project to repave and extend its runways and other development works.
United Airlines stopped serving JFK Airport in October 2015 to favour Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey.
United leased part of its slots to Delta Air Lines under a long-term arrangement, but after other airlines abandoned JFK due to the pandemic, United chose to return in March 2021.