United Delays Return to JFK

By Kurt Stolz on 15 January 2021
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United’s former and soon to be new terminal at JFK, Terminal 7

United Airlines, which had planned to return to John F. Kennedy International Airport after a five-year absence, said it was delaying that move by four weeks.

In November, the Chicago-based airline said it will return to the airport on February 1, 2021. The new date is February 28.

The airline cited the coronavirus pandemic-induced decline in travel as the reason for the delay.

Starting on February 1, the Chicago-based carrier will operate four daily non-stop transcon flights out of Terminal 7 at JFK, its home there five years ago.

“Due to new travel restrictions and the continued impact of Covid-19 on customer demand, we are delaying the start of our service between New York’s JFK Airport and our hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles.”

United will operate morning and evening flights to the West Coast and morning and mid-afternoon return flights.

“I have been waiting a long time to say this – United Airlines is back at JFK,” said the airline’s CEO, Scott Kirby in November, who several years ago said that leaving JFK had been a mistaken for the carrier.

United will operate the flights using Boeing 767-300ER aircraft that have been reconfigured to offer 46 fully lie-flat seats in the airline’s Polaris business-class cabin. Each business-class seat is 24” in width and extends into a 75” bed.  The planes have 47 seats in the airline’s Economy Plus premium economy-lite section and 52 seats in coach.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates JFK, said in November that it sees the new flights as a good sign.

“United Airlines’ return to JFK Airport is a clear sign that air travel is returning in New York and across the region,” said Rick Cotton, the agency’s executive director.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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