United Airlines Threatens To Suspend Service At JFK Airport: What's Going On?

Zinger Key Points
  • United Airlines says it would pull out of New York’s JFK Airport if it’s not allowed to operate more flights
  • The airline says it needs permanent slots to compete with its rivals

United Airlines Holdings Inc UAL threatened to suspend service to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport at the end of October if it is not able to secure additional slots from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

What Happened: United CEO Scott Kirby said in a letter to the Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen on Sept. 6 that without permanent slots the airline can’t serve JFK effectively compared to the “larger and more attractive” flight times flown by its competitors.

Reuters reporter David Shepardson shared the letter through a Twitter post on Tuesday.

"If we are not able to get additional allocations for multiple seasons, we will need to suspend service at JFK, effective at the end of October,” said Kirby.

See Also: How To Buy United Airlines (UAL) Stock

Why It Matters: United said it gained access to temporary slot times at JFK held by other airlines during the pandemic but now that customer demand has surged back, the original operators of those slots are resuming their use.

The Chicago-based airline operates 69% of the flights from Newark and is the dominant carrier at that New York airport, reported Reuters.

United said in its letter that due to the various changes made by the Port Authority since 2008 there is room for expansion at JFK.

Price Action: On Tuesday, United shares closed 3.6% higher at $36.58 in the regular session and fell 0.2% in the after-hours trading, according to data from Benzinga Pro.

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Posted In: GovernmentNewsRegulationsJFK airportJohn F. Kennedy International Airportnew york