United Airlines is leaving New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport – again.
The Chicago-based airline will temporary suspend its service to John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York starting in late October, according to a Friday memo sent to employees.
"Given our current, too-small-to-be-competitive schedule out of JFK – coupled with the
start of the Winter season where more airlines will operate their slots as they resume
JFK flying – United has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend service at JFK," the memo, which was emailed to USA TODAY by a United spokesperson, reads.
United's last inbound flights to JFK are scheduled for October 29. The airline said it was "working with customers who have tickets after that date to make new arrangements." It did not specify when its service would resume at JFK.
This isn't the first time United has suspended service at JFK. The airline previously stopped serving the New York airport in 2015, to focus on operations at the neighboring Newark Liberty International Airport.
United returned to JFK February 2021, snatching up slots other airlines had temporarily given up as travel dipped during the pandemic. But now that travel has bounced back, those airlines are taking their slots back.
The Friday decision was made weeks after the airline said it was considering the service suspension in early September – when the airline asked the Federal Aviation Administration to increase capacity at JFK, which United said hadn't changed since 2008. At the time, the airline also said that it had been trying, without success, to acquire additional, permanent slots through the FAA for more than a year.
In the Friday memo, United noted that it had "constructive" discussions with the FAA about "operational improvements" in the New York and New Jersey region – but added that, "it’s also clear that process to add additional capacity at JFK will take some time."
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A spokesperson for the FAA did not comment when contacted by USA TODAY Saturday afternoon.
But in a statement from earlier last month, the FAA said that they agency "continually looks for ways to increase the efficiency of airspace in busy metropolitan areas safely," adding that the FAA "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."
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On Friday, United said it was "eager" to return to JFK "as soon as possible."
The airline also acknowledged that "this news is especially tough for the 100 employees who work at JFK today," but added that "no one is losing their job." According to the memo, United will transition its current JFK employees to other nearby stations.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: United Airlines to 'temporarily suspend service' at JFK in October