United Airlines is halting flights in and out of John F. Kennedy International Airport at the end of the month.
The Chicago-based United said it warned weeks ago that it might suspend service if the Federal Aviation Administration did not grant the airline additional flights at JFK. On Friday, it followed through, telling its employees in an internal memo that it would suspend flights from JFK on October 29 with the last inbound flights.
"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," the company said in the update emailed to CBS MoneyWatch.
United had resumed flights out of JFK last year after a five-year lapse, acquiring unused takeoff and landing authorizations known as slots that had been granted to other carriers but went unused during the pandemic. Those airlines have since reclaimed the slots as consumers' appetite for travel has returned.
United is continuing "constructive" discussions with the FAA in the hopes of obtaining additional slots that would let it operate at the airport, the carrier stated in the document.
United currently operates four flights a day from JFK, the New York area's busiest airport: two to Los Angeles and two to San Francisco.
The airline is working to make new arrangements for passengers with tickets beyond that date, it stated.
The FAA is working to bring additional flight capacity to airports in the region, the agency said.
"The FAA 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 between airlines so passengers have more options. We are encouraged United will retain and relocate its JFK staff to its other New York City airports," the agency stated in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.
The 100 people who work for United at JFK are being transferred to positions at nearby airports, the carrier stated.
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