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United Airlines Plans to Halt JFK Service Unless It Gets More Slots

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United Airlines says it plans to halt service at Kennedy International Airport in Latest York next month unless federal regulators let it operate more flights there.

Without the flexibility to expand its operations on the airport, United can’t effectively compete with other airlines at J.F.K., it said in a note to staff on Tuesday. United currently operates two every day round-trip flights to San Francisco and one other two to Los Angeles.

“If we should not capable of get additional allocations for multiple seasons, we are going to must suspend service at J.F.K., effective at the top of October,” the airline said within the staff memo. “That will obviously be a tricky and frustrating step to take and one which we’ve got worked really hard to forestall.”

United’s chief executive, Scott Kirby, sent a letter last week to Billy Nolen, the acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, formally requesting more room on the airport. In Tuesday’s memo, United noted that the airport had made infrastructure investments since 2008, including widening runways, but had not expanded flight capability.

United resumed flying out of J.F.K. in early 2021 after a five-year hiatus, and for greater than a yr it has explored ways to expand there to raised compete with other airlines. Earlier within the pandemic, United operated more flights at J.F.K. by profiting from capability that wasn’t getting used by other carriers, but now that travel has recovered meaningfully, those airlines have reclaimed their takeoff and landing authorizations.

In an announcement, the F.A.A. said it was all the time exploring ways to soundly and more efficiently use airspace in busy areas.

“The agency must consider airspace capability and runway capability to evaluate how changes would affect flights at nearby airports,” it said. “Any additional slots at J.F.K. would follow the F.A.A.’s well-established technique of awarding them fairly and to extend competition.”

If United exited J.F.K., Latest Yorkers would still have access to the airline at La Guardia Airport and at Newark Liberty International Airport, which is a United hub. The airline is scheduled to operate greater than 12,000 round-trip flights out of Newark this month and greater than 1,000 flights out of La Guardia.

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