This fall, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) will be getting three new low-cost airline carriers as a result of federal regulators’ efforts. The airport is currently home to more than two dozen carriers, but is largely dominated by United Airlines, so in order to increase the competition, Allegiant Air, Spirit Airlines, and WOW air will soon join the list.
Because of United’s large presence at the airport, travelers who fly in and out of EWR Airport experience some of the highest flight rates in the country. And even though the new carriers won’t be able to compete with United, their presence will help ease flight restrictions as part of a motion by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Back in 2008, the FAA imposed slot restrictions to limit the number of takeoffs and landings allowed by an airline during peak times, however, these restrictions also limited competition and allowed United to control about 75% of the slots. Now that the restrictions were lifted a few days ago, things will operate a little differently at the airport.
According to an article by north jersey.com, the FAA said airlines “no longer have to be approved for slots during times of higher traffic.” Now the airlines submit the schedules they want for winter and summer travel seasons to the FAA, which works with the carriers “to voluntarily reach agreement on schedule times to limit airport congestion.”
In addition to its new carriers, EWR Airport will allow other current airlines to increase their daily flights in order to broaden their presences (right now, the only carrier with more than 30 flights per day is United, with nearly 400).
Airline Weekly managing partner Seth Kaplan says, “It’s a meaningful change. Those new entrants are ultra-low-cost carriers, and [WOW air] has connections all over Europe that will bring low connection fares into the market.”
These new carriers will offer only nine flights per day to cities like Orlando and Cincinnati, and they will all begin service out of EWR Airport by the end of November.