United Airlines is pulling out of New York’s Kennedy airport and consolidating its premium transcontinental flights at its Newark, New Jersey, hub in a bid to capture more passengers on the most lucrative U.S. routes.
The move includes bringing in Boeing Co. 757s now flying trans-Atlantic routes, helping boost the number of flat-bed seats in the “BusinessFirst” cabin by 44 percent from a year earlier, United said Tuesday. Other upgrades include on-demand entertainment systems with individual seatback monitors.
The cross-country market is highly competitive because it includes the most-profitable domestic routes, linking the greater New York City area with Los Angeles and San Francisco. Both American Airlines Group Inc. and JetBlue Airways Corp. have planes on those routes that feature customized cabins as they vie to win more travelers.
United also will be able to offer more flights connecting international passengers to domestic service from Newark, Chief Revenue Officer Jim Compton said in a media briefing.
Chicago-based United, a unit of United Continental Holdings Inc., will cease operations at JFK on Oct. 25, while continuing to operate out of LaGuardia for other domestic service. United plans to swap its slots at Kennedy with Delta Air Lines Inc. and take Delta’s slots at Newark.
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