United Airlines to (Once Again) End Service at JFK Airport

By Kurt Stolz on 30 September 2022
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A United  757 en route to SFO

United Airlines, which famously ended service at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in 2015, is once again discontinuing operations there after a much heralded albeit brief return in March 2021.

In a memorandum to employees on Friday that was viewed by Frequent Business Traveler, the Chicago-based carrier said that it had had “constructive” conversations with the Federal Aviation Administration concerning the expansion of its presence at JFK. The FAA’s position was that it was committed to offering additional take-off and landing slots, but indicated that such changes would take time, United said.

“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,” it said.

The move comes after the airline had said earlier in September that it will end service at JFK in October unless the Federal Aviation Administration granted it slots.

“If we are not able to get additional allocations for multiple seasons, we will need to suspend service at JFK, effective at the end of October,” the airline’s CEO, Scott Kirby, wrote an the e-mail last month.

Currently, United operates two daily premium transcon flights to San Francisco and to Los Angeles from JFK, which is once again the busiest airport in the New York metropolitan area.  Those flights will end on October 29.

The Chicago-based carrier ended service from JFK in 2015, moving its premium transcon flights to its hub at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

After a five-year absence and at least three delays in its return, United Airlines restarted operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport at the end of March 2021.

“I have been waiting a long time to say this – United Airlines is back at JFK,” Kirby said several months before that. Several years ago, after joining United as president, he had said that leaving JFK had been a mistake for the carrier.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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