Press Release Article


Date: Feb 24, 2011
Press Release Number: 10-2011

Southwest’s Arrival Will Increase Competition And Boost Passenger Growth

Port Authority officials today announced that Southwest Airlines will operate flights from three assigned gates in Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal A, the final step necessary before the carrier begins operations at the busy hub on March 27.

“The Port Authority is pleased to approve this final step to bring Southwest Airlines to the Newark Liberty market. It will provide greater choice for travelers, increased competition on airline prices and new investment at the airport,’’ said David Samson, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “The agency welcomes Southwest’s business to New Jersey’s major airport.”

The space for Southwest had been leased since the terminal opened in 1973 by United Airlines, which is providing Gates 10, 14 and 15 in Terminal A’s A-1 satellite for use by Southwest under terms of the merger deal between United and Continental Airlines. Southwest will lease slots for 18 daily flights at those three gates.

Six daily Southwest flights to Chicago-Midway and two to St. Louis will commence on March 27 and the carrier will expand service later to four other cities. There will be three daily Southwest flights to both Baltimore and Denver, two to Houston-Hobby and two to Phoenix, as of June 5. These destinations include some of Southwest’s largest operations, providing customers with numerous connecting options and more travel choices.

Southwest plans to invest more than $2 million in Terminal A to improve its gate and ticketing space, as well as for branding its name. Currently, the airline offers limited service in the metropolitan area with 10 daily flights at LaGuardia Airport.

“The increased presence of Southwest in the New York/New Jersey aviation market bodes well for increased passenger growth at our facilities,’’ said Chris Ward, the Port Authority’s executive director. “We want to give passengers as many travel opportunities at the best possible price at our three major airports. This will help achieve these goals and support economic growth in the region.

“Southwest will join the ranks of the great airlines that have served Newark Liberty’s passengers since the airport opened in 1928,’’ said Bill Baroni, the Port Authority’s deputy executive director. “Combined with the merger of United/Continental, Southwest’s arrival at Newark Liberty promises a bright future at one of our nation’s premier airports.”

Under the agreement, Southwest will take over all lease terms for the Terminal A space that applied to United. The Port Authority will receive nearly $2 million in incremental rentals over the remainder of the lease, which expires in 2018.

Adding Southwest service to Newark Liberty also helps meet goals in the Port Authority’s Competition Plan, which must be filed with the Federal Aviation Administration for approval.

Contact: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Ron Marsico, 212-435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is self-sufficient and receives no tax revenues from either state.

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