United Airlines suspends service at JFK airport

United Airlines suspends service at JFK airport

New York CNN —

United Airlines is temporarily suspending operations at New York’s JFK airport, saying its schedule there is too small to remain competitive.

In a note shared with CNN Business, the airline said the start of the winter season, when more airlines resume flying to and from JFK, contributed to its “difficult decision.”

“JFK’s importance to our operations hasn’t changed — we believe New York customers deserve more choice, and robust United service to JFK is good for our customers, our employees and our airline,” United said in the letter . “As a result, we will continue our pursuit of a larger and more desirable timeline for our customers and stand ready to take advantage of these opportunities if and when they arise.”

United has been negotiating with the FAA to purchase additional slots, or takeoff and landing permits, at JFK and has lobbied for the agency to update its assessment of the airport’s capacity. United said its discussions with the regulator have been “constructive” and that it’s clear the FAA is serious about operational improvements in the New York area.

But United said those improvements would take time.

“The FAA is committed to doing its part to safely expand New York City’s airports and airspace capacity,” the agency said in a statement Sunday. “We will follow our fair and established process for allocating future slots to increase competition between airlines to give passengers more options.”

Earlier this month, United threatened to suspend service from the airport if the FAA doesn’t allocate additional slots to it. The airline had resumed service at JFK in March 2021 after a 5-year hiatus and was also looking to acquire slots from other airlines.

According to United, 100 employees work at JFK and the airline has assured the team they will not lose their jobs and will instead be relocated to nearby locations.

The suspension begins on October 29. United said it was “working with customers” who booked tickets after that date.