WASHINGTON D.C.: The Transportation Department has announced that it will grant permission to a single low-cost or ultra-low-cost carrier to operate afternoon and evening flights from Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, in a bid to decrease fares.
Southwest Airlines was previously allocated the coveted takeoff and landing slots, which have a capacity of eight daily round-trip flights, but it ended its operations at Newark Liberty International Airport in 2019 to consolidate its New York City-area flights at LaGuardia Airport.
The decision, which, according to Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg, will offer passengers more choices and lower prices, follows a federal court victory by Spirit Airlines over the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year.
The FAA was sued by Spirit, which plans to expand its operations to Newark, after the airport had planned to discontinue the Southwest takeoff and landing slots to reduce congestion.
New York-based JetBlue also lauded the decision and confirmed it plans to apply for the rights.
"JetBlue has long advocated for more opportunities for smaller carriers to grow and compete against legacy carriers, particularly at congested airports across greater New York City," said airline spokesperson Philip Stewart.
"One of the most common requests from our customers is more JetBlue services at the New York metro area's three major airports," he added.