With travel restrictions on both coasts and tepid demand for premium travel, United Airlines is delaying its return to New York JFK…but only for a month.
United Airlines Delays JFK Return
In November, United Airlines announced it would return to New York John F Kennedy Airport for the first time in five years. It planned up to two daily transcontinental flights from both of its California hubs, Los Angeles and San Francisco, to JFK.
But the pandemic has not retreated. Instead it surging and air travel is depressed.
In an internal memo viewed by Live and Let’s Fly, United tells employees that it will delay its return to New York City from February 1, 2021 to February 28th. It will also reduce its schedule to five flights per week (with plans to double to 10 flights per week by the end of March).
Might this spell doom for the new JFK routes? United assures employees the new routes will commence:
Despite the delay of a few weeks, we’re still very much committed to our return to JFK after a five-year absence!
United will continue to use its premium-heavy Boeing 767-300 on the route, with 46 seats in Polaris (business class), 22 Premium Plus (premium economy) seats, 47 seats in EconomyPlus (extra legroom economy), and 52 seats in economy class.
United will operate service out of Terminal 7, the same terminal it occupied for decades at New York JFK. There is no announcement yet concerning potential lounge access for premium cabin passengers. Terminal 7 features an Alaska Airlines and several British Airways lounges.
United will launch service to JFK a month later than originally plan. When service launches, Terminal 7 at JFK will be utilized. The delay is not surprising considering the downturn in travel. In fact, I would not be surprised if the flight launch is pushed back even further. United continues to offer several daily flights to Newark Liberty International from both LAX and SFO.