United Airlines Is Returning to JFK Airport in 2021

United Airlines plane

United Airlines is heading back to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.

Starting Feb. 1, 2021, the airline will be offering round-trip flights out of JFK to San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX), the airline announced on a media call on Tuesday. Tickets are currently available for booking.

"This has been a long time coming and we are really excited to be a part of the JFK service again" United's VP of Network Planning and Scheduling, Ankit Gupta, said on the call. "We haven't been in the airport for the past 5 years and this really reflects our strong commitment to the New York City area."

United's JFK service will operate out of Terminal 7 and flights will be aboard a Boeing 767. Two round-trip times will be available for each city.

"This is an opportunity for us to attract some new customers and give those customers who prefer JFK and fly out of JFK regularly the opportunity to try somebody different and the opportunity to try somebody new," United's Chief Communications Officer, Josh Earnest, said.

Earnest noted they do not anticipate having to recall employees who were furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the return to JFK was already incorporated into a prior staffing plan.

The announcement comes after United expanded its schedule in time for holiday travel by adding 1,400 flights. The airline will offer additional flights on peak holiday travel days to hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, and Washington Dulles. Additional flights to warm-weather destinations as well as ski destinations will be offered in the month of December.

"The more people that experience air travel amidst the pandemic, and see all of the things that we're doing to keep them safe, it gives them more confidence to travel," Earnest said. "We expect the week of Thanksgiving to be the best week that we've had at UA since before the pandemic."

The airline has previously added routes to popular destinations in Florida as well as international destinations including New Delhi and Ghana, despite the COVID-19 pandemic severely limiting travel.

Christine Burroni is Travel + Leisure’s Digital News Editor. Find her keeping up with just about everything on Twitter or see what she’s up to in NYC or on her latest trip on Instagram.

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