FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG CUTS RIBBON ON NEW JETBLUE MAINTENANCE FACILITY AT JFK AIRPORT
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined JetBlue Airways Chief Executive Officer David Neeleman and President Dave Barger to cut the ribbon for the airline's new $45 million maintenance hangar and technical support center at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The 140,000-square-foot complex encompasses a maintenance hangar, capable of accommodating three A320 aircraft, and a two-story office facility that will accommodate more than 300 employees of the airline's technical support operations.
"JetBlue is an extraordinary New York City success story and another great example of how our five-borough economic development strategy and our efforts to diversify New York City's economy are paying off," said Mayor Bloomberg. "In a difficult time for the airline industry, JetBlue's formula of low fares and quality service is transforming the industry and proving that airlines can be a growth sector for New York City. Jet Blue's success is a reflection of our City's own revival during extremely challenging and uncertain times, and their decision to expand is an important signal that we are going in the right direction."
New York City's airports and the airline industry make an enormous contribution to the regional economy. Over 35,000 people are employed at JFK, which contributes about $25 billion in economic activity to the New York and New Jersey metropolitan region. Another 9,000 people work at LaGuardia, which contributes almost $7 billion in economic activity to the region.
The new facility is the first major project of its size at any of the three major airports in the New York metropolitan region since September 11th. In addition to the hanger and office facility, the new maintenance center also has workshops and storage bins for 5,000 separate items. Further, a fully renovated 40,000-square-foot provisioning facility is adjacent to the hangar. All together, the facility will be home to more than 300 of JetBlue's 8,000 employees nationwide.
"Today is another milestone for JetBlue," said CEO Neeleman. "Opening our Technical Operations Campus at JFK allows us to continue to be a growing and viable airline at New York's hometown airport. This facility will allow us to service many of our JetBlue Airbus A320 and the soon-to-come Embraer E190 right in our own backyard."
JetBlue Airways is the top carrier at JFK Airport, with 23.1% of total passenger volume for the 12 months ending February 2005. The airline operates a fleet of 74 new Airbus A320 aircraft and plans to add 10 additional A320's and 7 Embraer E190's to its fleet in 2005. Based at JFK, JetBlue currently operates 288 flights a day and serves 29 destinations in 12 states, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.
JetBlue is also teaming up with the Port Authority to build a $875 million, 640,000-square-foot passenger terminal housing 26 gates on a 70-acre tract in JFK's central terminal area. The investment includes a new parking garage with more than 1,500 spaces, a new connecting bridge to the nearby AirTrain JFK station, and the preservation of an important airport icon - the TWA Flight Center, also known as Terminal 5, designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen.
Edward Skyler/Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Michael Sherman (212) 312-3523
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