United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) has been awarded a slot pair at México City Int'l and will use it to increase its frequency of services from San Francisco, CA from 2x to 3x daily, the carrier said in a US Department of Transportation (DOT) filing.

"United is now filing this notice, in the interest of full transparency, to inform the Department that the AICM [Mexico City Int'l] slot coordinator recently responded to United's long-pending request for a slot pair and has provided United its requested Mexico City slot for the summer season. United intends to take full advantage of this opportunity and will begin selling the flight the week of February 8, 2020, and will launch service on April 26, 2020," the carrier said.

The airline said that it did not know whether the slot pair was awarded from the pool of six that were returned by JetBlue Airways (B6, New York JFK) after it ended its own Mexico City services in January.

United previously applied to the DOT to take over a pair of jetBlue's slots and received the latter airline's support. jetBlue itself received the slots in 2017 after the DOT ordered Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) and Aeroméxico (AM, México City Int'l) to return them as a condition for their joint venture.

However, United said that it has only been granted the slots for the Summer 2020 season and had no certainty about the future allocation.

"United is at risk of not being able to operate its planned third flight on a year-round basis. Therefore, United urges the Department to recognize its eligibility for the Delta/Aeroméxico divested slots and grant it the requested divested slot pair to ensure United has a slot to continue operating year-round service," the airline said.

United argued that it should be considered eligible for the slots divested by Delta and Aeroméxico "given that commercial and competitive conditions in the market have changed and have diminished the intent of the Department's original remedy package to competitively discipline the Delta/Aeroméxico joint venture."

The DOT originally ordered Delta and Aeroméxico to transfer the divested slots to carriers with minimal or no presence at Mexico City Int'l airport.

According to the ch-aviation capacities module, United is currently the seventh-largest airline at Mexico City Int'l with a 2% market share by weekly seating capacity.