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United Wants More Flights From JFK or It Will Exit the NYC Airport

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby has sent an email to Acting Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Billy Nolen, asking the government agency chief to allow the carrier more flights out of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport – or United will end its service there.

JFK is the most well-traveled airport in the New York City metropolitan area and one of the busiest in the country.


In the email, which was seen by Reuters News Service, Kirby asked Nolan to increase capacity at the airport.

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“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,” United’s email said.

In a response to Reuters, the FAA said it can’t just add flights without doing its homework.

“(We) must consider airspace capacity and runway capacity to assess how changes would affect flights at nearby airports. Any additional slots at JFK would follow the FAA’s well-established process of awarding them fairly and to increase competition,” the FAA said in a statement.

United is seeking more permanent takeoff and landing slots, which are coveted like gold at an airport like JFK.

The airline says it needs additional slots “so that we can grow to be more competitive” and “effectively compared to the larger schedules and more attractive flight times flown by our competitors.”

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