Press Release Article


Date: May 30, 2012
Press Release Number: 80-2012

Airline Will Invest $1 Million to Renovate the Lounge Space

Governor Chris Christie today called on the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners to approve a new lease agreement with EL AL Airlines that will allow the Israeli carrier to build a new passenger lounge in Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal B, continuing the major modernization of the terminal that handles most of the airport’s international carriers.

The Governor asked the Board to act at its meeting tomorrow to enter into a new 10-year, six-month lease with the Israeli airline, which will allow them to build a new First Class lounge in space in Terminal B previously occupied by Virgin Atlantic.

Christie, who traveled to Israel for a trade mission last month, played a key role in closing the deal for EL AL to invest about $1 million in the New Jersey-based airport after discussions with Daniel Saadon, Vice President/General Manager for EL AL North and Central America, and Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni.

“EL AL has been a valuable partner at Newark Liberty for more than 20 years, providing daily non-stop service for more than 150,000 passengers last year traveling to Tel Aviv.” Governor Christie said. “The Port Authority’s $350 million investment is making Terminal B one of the most modern, state-of-the-art airport facilities in the world. EL AL’s investment helps to ensure that New Jersey will be a prime international gateway for many years.”

David Samson, the Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, praised Christie for his role in securing EL AL’s investment in Newark Liberty.

“Our goal is to make Newark Liberty one of the best in the world, and providing amenities that benefit international travelers is the right way to achieve that goal,” said Samson. “Governor Christie was extraordinarily helpful in bringing EL AL and the Port Authority together just weeks after returning from Israel, and I will be moving the proposal forward at tomorrow’s board meeting.”

“Support from Governor Christie and the Port Authority will help EL AL enhance the travel experience between Israel and New Jersey, which will benefit economic growth, foreign trade and job creation for all,” said Saadon. “I am pleased by Governor Christie’s personal involvement.”

More than 50 people handle EL AL arriving and departing flights at Newark Liberty International Airport on a daily basis. EL AL is the seventh largest foreign flag carrier to operate at Newark Liberty. The new passenger lounge with create 10 private sector construction jobs and will generate an estimated $3.9 million in incremental revenue for the Port Authority over the term of the lease.

Terminal B, which was built 40 years ago, has undergone a major $350 million modernization since 2004, including a new level, the addition of a mid-level domestic departures hall scheduled to be finished this summer, a separate new domestic baggage carousel area and expanded security checkpoints to allow for improved security operations.

This month, work will begin to upgrade the international arrivals greeting area. In addition, the project will include consolidating lost baggage offices, relocating the ground transportation desk to a more convenient location and improving travelers’ aid and concession spaces.

The Port Authority manages the majority of Terminal B, including 15 gates for the B-2 and B-3 satellite wings, as well as a 250,000 square foot Federal Inspection Services U.S. Customs facility. Delta Air Lines manages the B-1 satellite wing and its nine gates.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Steve Coleman, 212-435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which does not receive tax dollars from either state, operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. This includes 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.

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