United Airlines will push back the resumption of its service to New York JFK by another month, citing low demand.
United Airlines Delays JFK Service Resumption
Last autumn, United announced it would return to New York JFK after a five year hiatus. 2x daily flights from both San Francisco and Los Angeles were to begin on February 1st. In January, United pushed back the start date to February 28th, citing tepid demand due to COVID-19 and associated restrictions.
In doing so, it also pared back the scheduled from 14x weekly to 5x weekly per station while noting, “Despite the delay of a few weeks, we’re still very much committed to our return to JFK after a five-year absence!”
But United has just delayed service by another month, pushing back its new launch date to March 28th. A spokesperson stated:
Due to the continued impact of COVID-19 on our industry, we are delaying the start of our service between New York’s JFK Airport and our hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles until March 28, 2021. Throughout the pandemic, United has been a leader in nimbly reshaping our schedule to match customer demand, and we look forward to offering this convenient service and a best-in-class product from New York City to the west coast.
United plans to use a specially-configured 767-300ER on the route featuring a high density of business class seats:
- 46 business class seats
- 22 premium economy seats
- 47 extra legroom economy seats
- 52 economy class seats
Those whose bookings are impacted will be offered a re-route through Newark or a refund.
Quite frankly, it would not surprise me if the new route was delayed further. Demand will come back later this year, but remains flat at this time. While United may be holding onto its slots precariously, running empty flights in this environment just doesn’t make sense.