United Airlines Will Run 32 New York-DC Flights A Day To Squat Their Slots

Slot control is in effect at New York LaGuardia and New York JFK airports. This means that there are restrictions on takeoffs and landings at each airport. The right to use them has been granted (free!) As a property right, incumbent airlines. This is a substantial subsidy for incumbent carriers.
Slots come with rules. Slots can be assigned to another airline if they aren't being used 80% of the times. You will see more ghost flights from airlines, which are designed to keep the slot and not meet any economic needs. American Airlines used to fly 50-seat regional jets from New York JFK to Baltimore, which was one of the most cost-effective ways to hold slots.

The normal slot use requirements were waived by the FAA and other agencies worldwide during the pandemic. There were minor differences in details. The FAA allowed airlines to keep their slots, but not fly. The government should lease slots for 10 years and then bid them out again.

According to the FAA, starting November 1, they will only extend the use waiver for slots (through March 26, 20202) for slots and approved operating hours used by international carriers. In other words, they must use domestic slots again or they will lose them.

Delta also announced last week that 100 additional New York JFK or New York LaGuadia Deparures will be in effect by November.

United Airlines now reveals its openly slot-squatting. This is quite shocking: United Airlines has announced their blatant slot-squatting. They now fly 32 flights per day between NYC and D.C.

On Oct. 31, there was a [N]ew] hourly shuttle service between New York/Newark Liberty International Airport (NYC) and Reagan National Airport. Five new flights are being added between LaGuardia Airport in Washington Dulles Airport.

United will be operating many of these flights using regional jets with 50-seat premium configurations.

United Airlines CRJ-550

United and Delta are flying planes to avoid losing their government-subsidized slots. DOT has agreed to allow American Airlines and JetBlue Northeast Alliance to fly more planes out of New York JFK or LaGuardia as part of the settlement. They don't get more slots so they fly larger planes.

After last Thursday's earnings call, American Airlines Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja stated that the American-JetBlue alliance had 300,000 customers in the third quarter. This is more than any of the American international partnerships.

The Department of Justice is challenging the Federal Government's approval of the JetBlue deal this year. They claim that American may co-opt JetBlue to provide low fare service, even though they increase supply and offer New Yorkers a real third choice to United and Delta.

The federal government seems to think it is better for consumers to preserve the United-Delta large carriers duopoly on the market. American Airlines stated in two of its most recent employee meetings, that it intends to win the lawsuit and not settle it.


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