United Airlines is leaving New York’s JFK International Airport again just 20 months after it returned to the New York City gateway.
“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 Chicago-based carrier told staff in a memo on Friday viewed by Skift. United will operate its last flights to and from the airport on October 29.
The move comes despite pressure by United on the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to ease capacity constraints at JFK so the airline could operate more flights. The carrier says that its four daily flights — two to Los Angeles and two to San Francisco — are not enough to offer a competitive alternative to the likes of Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and JetBlue Airways that all operate the routes.
United resumed flights to JFK in March 2020 five years after it first suspended flights to the airport. In 2017, the airline’s then-president Scott Kirby (now CEO) called the move the “wrong decision,” even as he took responsibility for it in his prior role at American.
United continues to fly between Newark Liberty airport to the west of Manhattan and both Los Angeles and San Francisco.