After having difficulty gaining a competitive footing at Kennedy International Airport in New York, United Airlines has announced that it would temporarily suspend flying in and out of the airport beginning at the end of October.
In a statement that was sent out to staff on Friday, the airline said that it has been having “productive” talks with the Federal Aviation Administration about extending United’s presence at J.F.K., which is an airport that has stringent regulations about flights. United said that the agency was dedicated to making improvements, but that such adjustments would need some amount of time.
After a break of five years, the airline finally resumed its regular departures from the airport in the previous year. Earlier on in the epidemic, United had provided service at JFK by making use of unused takeoff and landing authorizations, sometimes called as slots, that had been given to other airlines. This allowed United to operate more efficiently. However, given the recent uptick in demand for travel, those airlines have successfully recaptured their slots.
The announcement comes in the midst of a court trial in which American Airlines and JetBlue Airways are defending an alliance they formed in New York and Boston. They argue that the alliance is necessary in order to compete with the dominant airlines in those cities, which are United and Delta Air Lines. The trial began earlier this month. That collaboration is being challenged in court by the Department of Justice on the grounds that it restricts competition illegally and must be severed.
A few weeks previously, United had issued a warning that it may quit JFK, which is home to around one hundred United workers. According to the airline, all of its employees at JFK Airport are being relocated to other airports in the area. A major hub for United Airlines is located at Newark Liberty International Airport, which is located just outside of New York City.
According to Cirium, an aviation data source, United operated less than 3,000 flights into and out of JFK Airport in the year that ended in September, which accounts for less than 1 percent of the airport’s total traffic. During the same time period, United operated around 266,000 flights at Newark, which accounted for almost 70 percent of that airport’s total traffic.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a statement saying that it was trying to increase the amount of aircraft capacity that could be accommodated at airports in the New York City area.
According to what was said there, “We will follow our fair and well-established procedure to award future slots to encourage competition amongst airlines so that consumers have more alternatives.” “We are pleased that United will retain its J.F.K. workers and redeploy them to its other New York City airports,” the company said.
United Airlines has indicated that their plan to cease operations at JFK would be temporary. The airline United said that it is making efforts to accommodate customers whose travel plans are disrupted as a result of the transfer. The final flights into the airport are planned for October 29.