Printer Friendly Format Email a Friend

PR- 368-08
September 22, 2008


New Terminal Doubles JetBlue’s Capacity at JFK

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Chris Ward and JetBlue Airways CEO Dave Barger today cut the ribbon on the airline's new $875 million passenger terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport, set to open in October. The new 26-gate terminal has the capacity to support 250 flights a day and 20 million passengers a year, doubling JetBlue's current operating capacity. Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, Congressman John Hall, Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall and Bermuda Progressive Labour Party and Minister of Tourism and Transport Premier Ewart Brown joined the Mayor and JetBlue at the event at JFK Airport.

"JetBlue's new terminal represents a major investment in New York City and is a tremendous vote of confidence in our future," said Mayor Bloomberg. "JetBlue is a classic New York success story, and we've worked hard to help it grow by marketing our city to tourists around the world. Expanding our tourism industry - last year we hit a record 46 million visitors - is an important part of our effort to diversify New York City's economy, and as Wall Street stumbles, that effort is more important than ever. We have set a goal of reaching 50 million visitors annually by 2012. Private investments in state-of-the-art terminals like this one will help us meet that goal - and create thousands of new jobs for New Yorkers in all five boroughs."

"Eero Saarinen's Terminal 5 is recognized as an icon of aviation history in New York and beyond," said JetBlue CEO Dave Barger. "As New York's hometown airline, we are proud to literally connect our new home Terminal 5 to our shared aviation architectural history in Saarinen's TWA Flight Center. Our new home will bring the best of the JetBlue Experience from the air to the ground. More passengers passing through JFK travel on JetBlue than any other airline, which is quite an achievement since the airline launched just over eight years ago. We will now be able to offer our customers amenities, comfort and an experience befitting a top-rated customer service company."

The 26 gates of the 635,000-square-foot terminal are distributed throughout concourses on three levels. The new terminal has a 55,000-square-foot retail area with 22 food concessions and 35 specialty retail stores, two ticketing areas with e-ticket kiosks flanking what will be the largest single security check-point in the United States capable of accommodating 20 screening lanes, an automated baggage system and electronic displays that direct customers to their gates where they may access a free wireless network. The terminal building team was lead by Arup (planners and design managers) and supported by Gensler (terminal architects), DMJM Harris (airside/landside civil engineers), Rockwell Group (interior architects) and Turner Construction (construction management). The Port Authority Master Plan was developed by William Bodouva & Associates.

"Today is an historic day for all of New York," said Senator Schumer. "JetBlue has brought a national landmark back to life and put it at the epicenter of air transportation here in New York and for the entire world. Terminal 5 will give New Yorkers the state-of-the-art air travel hub we need and deserve. I am grateful to JetBlue who has in word and in deed followed through on its commitment to New York and to ensuring that all New Yorkers, upstate and down, have low-cost travel options. I look forward to continuing to watch JetBlue thrive and grow here in New York and will do everything I can to make sure New York's air transportation system is as safe, affordable, and efficient as possible."

"Eight years after opening its gates in New York City, JetBlue is JFK's largest airline, accounting for nearly a third of its passenger traffic and employing 5,400 people in New York City," said Deputy Mayor Lieber. "For business travelers and pleasure seekers, both from New York City and around the nation, this new terminal will offer new service opportunities and a world-class travel experience. In addition, JetBlue's investment at JFK coincides with our efforts to leverage the AirTrain Station in Jamaica, where the City's rezoning plan, passed last year, has set the stage for the creation of new more than 5,000 units of housing, three million square feet of new office, retail and hotel space and 9,500 new jobs."

"I commend JetBlue for their continued investment in JFK Airport despite the tough economic times that all airlines are facing," said Congressman Meeks. "This new terminal will provide benefits to consumers as well as my constituents that travel and work at JFK. With this new terminal, JetBlue not only reaffirms their commitment to reinvesting in JFK Airport, it further magnifies JetBlue's commitment to customer service and providing jobs and opportunities for the residents of Queens and the City of New York."

"As the Vice Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, I know more than most the difficulties that the aviation industry has been facing lately," said Congressman Hall. "With all of the turmoil the stock market and this city in particular are experiencing, I am both pleased and excited that despite these difficulties, JetBlue remains dedicated to serving the greater New York City market and to continue to invest for the long term here in New York."

"On this day, when we begin a new season of rebirth and renewal, we also open the doors to a new JetBlue Terminal, now a centerpiece of this airport and the local economy," said Borough President Marshall. "I thank JetBlue for its multimillion investment in Queens and New York City and for providing a major boost to this airport's growth and future. I also want to thank the Bloomberg Administration and the Port Authority for working with JetBlue to create this new terminal, while preserving the old TWA Terminal, which remains today an architectural treasure and a fond memory for the thousands of airline travelers who passed through its doors over the years."

A key element of the new JetBlue terminal is its sensitive design connection with the adjacent TWA terminal, designed by the renowned architect Eero Saarinen, with JetBlue customers being able to connect between the two through the historic building's famous flight wing tubes. Built in 1962, the TWA terminal is an architectural icon and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. To celebrate the preservation of the iconic TWA terminal, JetBlue established a viewing of a 1937 Lockheed 12A Electra, the oldest flying TWA aircraft, at the announcement. The Electra traveled from California via an original route of TWA's first coast-to-coast passenger service trip.

New York City's travel and tourism industry continues to grow. Visitor arrivals to the City through the first half of 2008 grew 10 percent over the same period last year, accounting for an additional 400,000 visitors. Domestic visitors to New York City account for 80 percent of the 46 million visitors who traveled to New York City in 2007. New York City also remains the top tourist spending destination in the U.S., generating nearly $29 billion in economic activity across the five boroughs. Hotel occupancies continue to beat national records, with the month of July reaching an 88 percent occupancy rate with an average daily room rate of $284.

In addition to facilitating improvements at JFK Airport, the City is working to support and revitalize the surrounding area. The City's 368-block Jamaica rezoning was adopted in September of 2007, setting the stage for the creation of three million square feet of new office, retail and hotel space, 9,500 jobs, and 5,200 units of housing while protecting its lower scale residential blocks. Jamaica's renaissance is a key component of the transit-centered development laid out in PlaNYC, leveraging Jamaica's AirTrain Station and superior transit access.


Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958

JetBlue Corporate Communications   (718) 709-3089

More Resources