United Airlines has set back its highly anticipated return to New York JFK Airport until late March due to the impact of COVID-19. The airline was scheduled to return by the end of February before the date was pushed back another month.
United will relaunch JFK flights on March 28th
Back in November, United announced it would return to JFK Airport after a five-year absence, setting a launch date of February 1st. The airline would fly to JFK out of its hubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco and earmarked its “high-J” Boeing 767-300ER jets for the job. These planes are configured with 46 Polaris seats (up from the standard 30), 22 Premium Plus reclining seats, 43 Economy Plus seats, and 56 economy seats.
Due to a lack of demand, United pushed back its initial February 1st date to February 28th. Additionally, initial schedules planned for two flights per day on both Los Angeles and San Francisco routes, but this was cut to five flights a week. United has now delayed its return again until March 28th, citing the ongoing impact of the pandemic. In a statement to TPG, United said:
“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.”
Flights will continue from Newark
United already operates premium transcontinental NY-Los Angeles and NY-San Francisco flights out of Newark Airport. These flights will continue in addition to United’s new JFK routes, although the airline is operating less than half of its usual capacity in the current climate. United hoped to increase the number of daily JFK flights from two to four, but ended up cutting the schedule to five flights a week…