In April, when the FAA removed restrictions on additional flights at Newark Liberty International Airport, the hope was that other airlines would increase their share of the airport’s flights, in the process eroding United’s dominance and near-monopoly pricing in that important market.
As it turns out, those hopes were not in vain.
Last week, Alaska Airlines announced plans to significantly expand its Newark flight offerings, with new service to Portland and San Diego, from November 2016; new service to San Jose, California, from March 2017; and increased frequency to Seattle, from May 2017.
And yesterday, Virgin America revealed its plans to launch extra Newark flights to both Los Angeles and San Francisco, from November 18.
The new Alaska and Virgin America flights will be in addition to new Newark services previously announced from Southwest, JetBlue, Allegiant, and WOW Air.
Newark will remain a fortress hub for United at least until October 30, the earliest date other airlines may launch their new flights. Thereafter, it will be a lot less fortress-like.
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.