New York JFK is the USA’s 6th busiest airport; Delta top carrier; London LHR leading route


New York JFK is famous for being by far the USA’s largest international gateway, for having the most foreign airlines, and for being the number one airport serving the nation’s largest population.

Not helped by JetBlue’s ongoing woes and American’s cuts, the latest Cirium schedules data shows that JFK is the USA’s sixth-busiest airport in S24. However, if only domestic service is considered, it is 19th, the same position it occupies globally. While capacity is flat year-on-year, it has grown by 3% versus S19, entirely because of the international market. Capacity changes remain very likely.

JFK capacity development S14-S24

Frontier and HiSky begin this year

Due to being expensive to serve, heavily slot-constrained and congested, JFK has not previously had ULCCs. That will change on 6 June when Frontier inaugurates a 2-daily service from San Juan using Puerto Rico-based aircraft and crew. It will compete head-to-head with JetBlue (42-weekly) and Delta (21). San Juan last had three airlines in 2017 when American pulled out.

The day after Frontier arrives, HiSky will make its US debut by beginning Bucharest-JFK. The 4-weekly service will mark the first time that Romania has had non-stop US flights since Delta ended the route in 2009. Before this, TAROM operated the same airport pair until 2003.

Delta is JFK’s leading airline

While it is not surprising that Delta remains number one, it is perhaps surprising that it is the only North American in the top 10 to have grown JFK capacity year-on-year. Of course, further scheduling changes could occur.

Delta has 30% of all JFK seats, rising to 48% of the domestic market and almost a fifth internationally. It plans 100 routes this season based on having at least four departures. They include Naples, beginning on May 23 (daily), the same day that Shannon returns (daily). They build on the launch/relaunch of Berlin, Buenos Aires, Geneva and London LGW in 2023.

Shannon AIrport

While JetBlue gets much attention for its ongoing challenges, Americans has reduced JFK capacity by 9% versus S23. This is partly because of the end of the Northeast Alliance with JetBlue. It has 42 routes, down from 45 last year. It will resume Tokyo HND on 28 June (daily; last served in 2013).

Top 10 New York JFK airlines S24

There are 192 non-stop destinations in 79 countries in S24

Cirium shows that JFK is the USA’s leading airport by non-stop capacity to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. It is second to the Caribbean and South America. It is third to Asia, fifth to Central America, seventh to Mexico and 18th to Canada.

Not only is London LHR the leading market, but it is now the only one with one million+ departing seats. It is the world’s most-served long-haul market. There are 161-weekly departures in July by British Airways (56), Virgin Atlantic (49), American (28), Delta (14) and JetBlue (14).

Notice from the following figure that all five mainland US destinations have fewer seats than last summer, although flights have reduced less significantly. JFK has 203-weekly Los Angeles departures in July by Delta (73), JetBlue (67) and American (63). The reduction is mainly because of JetBlue.

Top 10 New York JFK destinations S24

Billund Airport