Press Release Article


Date: Jun 27, 2002
Press Release Number: 74-2002

Agreement Enables Airline to Continue Record Growth at JFK

Demonstrating the aviation industry’s faith in the future of John F. Kennedy International Airport, JetBlue Airways and the Port Authority have agreed on a $46.5 million lease that will enable JetBlue to expand its operations and continue its phenomenal growth at JFK, Port Authority Chairman Jack G. Sinagra announced today.

The lease agreement, approved today by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners, provides JetBlue with access to all 13 gates at JFK’s Terminal 6 through November 2006. The agreement also allows the Port Authority and JetBlue to finish more than $10 million worth of improvements to Terminal 6 – including wider access roads, better signs, new ticket counters, refurbished restrooms and baggage systems, and enhanced shops and restaurants.

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “JetBlue Airways is adding another chapter to its amazing success story at JFK. This ambitious airline has defied the odds by providing low-fare, high-quality service to upstate New York and across the nation. JetBlue is now poised for even greater success as New York’s hometown airline.”

Chairman Sinagra said, “At a time when many airlines are struggling to survive, JetBlue’s commitment to grow at Kennedy Airport is a beacon of optimism. The Port Authority shares that optimism, and we look forward to working with JetBlue to help stimulate the recovery of the aviation industry.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “In addition to providing a valuable new service to the people of New York, JetBlue is also a major source of new employment in the local aviation industry. JetBlue has created 2,400 jobs in Queens, generating $105 million in wages and $375 million in regional economic activity.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “Under the leadership of Governor Pataki, the Port Authority’s $10 billion public-private redevelopment program at Kennedy Airport has literally paved the way for JetBlue’s success. The Port Authority has invested billions of dollars in better roads, more convenient parking and AirTrain JFK – the light-rail system that will begin carrying passengers later this year.”

JetBlue Chief Executive Officer David Neeleman said, “I am so pleased
that, yet again, the Port Authority has expressed its confidence in JetBlue and our nearly 3,000 crew members across the nation, who strive to deliver the very best in airline service to New Yorkers each and every day. Under the leadership of Governor Pataki, the JetBlue success story is also the Port Authority\'s success story, and I am grateful for their support and that of Chairman Sinagra, Executive Director Seymour and Aviation Director William DeCota.”

JetBlue Airways, which began service out of JFK in February 2000, is now the airport’s biggest domestic airline, carrying more than 400,000 passengers each month.

During the first four months of 2002, JetBlue carried 83 percent more passengers at JFK than it did during the same period in 2001. JetBlue expects to carry more than 5 million passengers at JFK this year, compared to 3.1 million passengers in 2001.

JetBlue offers more than 100 daily flights to and from Kennedy Airport. Last month, JetBlue launched service from JFK to San Juan, Puerto Rico – the 17th destination served by JetBlue from Kennedy Airport.

The improvements to Terminal 6 are scheduled for completion in 2004. The Port Authority and JetBlue also are working together on the planning and design of a new domestic passenger terminal at JFK.
Kennedy Airport’s $10 billion public-private redevelopment program features:

· $6 billion in private investment to rebuild JFK’s passenger terminals. Two new state-of-the-art international terminals are already serving passengers – Terminal 1, which opened in 1998, and Terminal 4, which opened last year.

· $1.9 billion for AirTrain JFK. Later this year, AirTrain JFK will begin carrying passengers from terminal to terminal, and from the terminal area to long-term parking and to subway service to Manhattan. AirTrain JFK will begin service next year from Kennedy Airport to Jamaica Station – with connections to numerous bus, subway and Long Island Rail Road lines.

· $1.8 billion for Port Authority infrastructure improvements throughout the airport, including new roads, new parking garages and taxiway improvements.

· $650 million to build nearly 2 million square feet of space to accommodate JFK\'s award-winning air-cargo industry.

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