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PR- 294-05
July 27, 2005


When Completed, $1.1 Billion State-of-the-Art Terminal will be Largest Facility at JFK Housing one Airline

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and American Airlines Chairman and CEO Gerard J. Arpey today dedicated Phase I of a two phase state-of-the-art $1.1 billion terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The terminal features a dramatic, 57,000 square-foot ticketing lobby with a 65-foot ceiling where 67 ticketing positions will serve the needs of 8.5 million domestic and international travelers every year.  7,000 construction professionals worked on the new terminal that will be one of the principle bases of operations for the 8,500 American Airlines employees in the Metropolitan area.  The City's Industrial Development Agency approved more than $1 billion in tax exempt bonds to finance the project. Joining the Mayor Chairman Arpey at the announcement were Port Authority Executive Director Ken Ringler, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, United States Congressman Gregory Meeks and NYC & Company President & CEO Cristyne L. Nicholas.

"I congratulate American Airlines on its new terminal at JFK International Airport," said Mayor Bloomberg. "This terminal is a tremendous and a wise investment in New York City.  We are the number one American city for both domestic and international travelers and I am pleased that American Airlines is making such a sustained commitment.  With 8,500 employees, $3.8 billion in economic activity, the employment of more than 7,000 construction workers and a generous history of community involvement, American Airlines is an excellent corporate citizen." 

"This terminal represents one of the biggest, boldest - and most expensive - projects in American Airlines' history, and it underscores our commitment to JFK and our determination to preserve its status as one of the world's premier domestic and international gateways," Chariman Arpey said. "New York is important to American Airlines for many reasons.  A huge number of our customers live here; it's one of the world's top tourist destinations; and as a gateway from the United States to the rest of the world, it plays a very important strategic role in our global network. But just as important, New York is home to 8,500 members of our team.  And our billion-dollar plus investment in this terminal affirms - not just our belief in New York and its future-- but also the faith we have in our people, and our pride in the care they provide our customers every day."

That new lobby is linked to Concourse C by a 250-foot underground tunnel served by escalators and moving walkways.  The terminal offers an automated baggage-handling system with four baggage carousels, each with up to 250 linear feet for baggage pickup.  It also includes an 11,000 square-foot Admirals Club, with seating for 185 people. The new Admiral's Club features vintage photographs depicting everything from construction workers atop skyscrapers to historic games at Yankee Stadium, Ebbetts Field and the Polo Grounds.  The floor in the shower area is embedded with replicas of New York City manhole covers.

The new terminal will begin operations on August 24th.  The terminal will operate the domestic flights now in American's current Terminal 9, which will close to accommodate Phase II construction.  In addition, international departures to Tokyo, Brussels, Aruba and Bermuda will begin after Labor Day, with service to the Dominican Republic expected by year's end.  International arrivals at the new terminal will await the establishment of a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility in the Main terminal, expected in 16-18 months.

When Phase II of construction is completed in the spring of 2007, the entire terminal will cover 1.5 million square feet and provide 36 gates - 27 for jet operations, 19 of which can support arriving international flights - and nine for regional jets.  Ten security lanes will be able to process nearly 1,800 passengers an hour and 24 Self-Service Check-In kiosks will be provided, together with eight curbside check-in positions.

 The new terminal is dedicated to American local employees and a plaque with the following inscription was unveiled at the ceremony: "American Airlines today dedicates its new Kennedy International Airport gateway terminal to the tens of thousands of American employees who have so proudly served the region's air travelers for nearly 80 years.  Through the dedication and commitment of these employees, American has blazed many trails, introducing the nation's first cross-country jet service from JFK in 1959 and establishing New York as one of the world's leading air transport centers."

American Airlines has served the New York market for more than 70 years.  The airline supports more than 128,000 jobs in the New York metro area and generates $3.8 billion annually in economic activity.  American contributes to more than 50 charitable, community and cultural organizations in the New York area, providing countless volunteer hours, contributions, sponsorships and transportation to these organizations.

"I couldn't be more pleased that American Airlines is opening this terrific, state-of-the-art terminal at JFK Airport," said Borough President Marshall.  "The travel convenience and economic activity will be great for Queens and beneficial for all of New York.  It is a wonderful addition to our borough."

"This dazzling new terminal is the result of enormous perseverance and dedication by American Airlines and its employees," said Congressman Meeks.  "It would have been easy for American to stop this project -- which began in late 1999 -- given the horrible events of 9/11, the devastating accident that occurred at this airport in November 2001 and the industry's mounting financial losses during the past four years.  However, this great airline moved forward despite many obstacles and did so using local talent from my congressional district to help construct one of the finest passenger terminals at any airport in the world!  As American set the standard for nonstop transcontinental service at JFK some 45 years ago, today we celebrate as American Airlines launches a new standard of excellence for the traveling public with Kennedy's newest crown jewel.  I am proud to stand with the many thousands of American employees and retirees in my district to salute New York's largest carrier, and the world's largest airline:  American!"

"On behalf of the City's tourism industry and NYC & Company we congratulate American Airlines on this new facility which will help to welcome many of the nearly 40 million international and domestic visitors each year."  said Cristyne Nicholas.  "American Airlines commitment to New York City and to NYC & Company demonstrates their investment in the City and the community.  We look forward to continuing this relationship and showcasing this new facility."


Edward Skyler/Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958

Ned Raynolds (American Airlines)   (212) 476 9641

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