The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey welcomed JetBlue Airways to Newark Liberty International Airport, where the airline began regular passenger service today. In a ceremony at Newark’s Terminal A, where JetBlue will operate its service, Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia and Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. were joined by Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey, JetBlue President Dave Barger, and JetBlue CEO David Neeleman to kick off JetBlue’s new service, which will carry passengers to five destinations in Florida – Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. The airline expects to add flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico before the end of the year.
“On behalf of the State of New Jersey, I’d like to officially welcome JetBlue to one of the nation’s premier facilities – Newark Liberty International Airport,” Acting Governor Codey said. “Today is a win-win for everyone. JetBlue will bring more flights, more flexibility and more choices for our travelers. And the fact that they’ve chosen to expand here is evidence that New Jersey’s economy is growing and we are a great place to do business.”
Chairman Coscia said, “The arrival of JetBlue will spur tremendous growth and competition at Newark Airport, just as we have seen at JFK and LaGuardia. Our 10-year strategic plan prepares Newark Airport for JetBlue’s arrival and all future growth, with aggressive investments in security and infrastructure to ensure a secure and efficient service for our customers.”
Executive Director Ringler said, “The $3.8 billion public-private redevelopment program at Newark Liberty International Airport has delivered a host of enhancements. These improvements were made to maintain Newark Liberty as a premier airport offering world-class customer service. JetBlue Airways’ arrival in Newark is more good news for our customers. JetBlue has enjoyed great success at JFK and LaGuardia, and we wish continued success for JetBlue Airways here at Newark Liberty International Airport.”
Mr. Neeleman said, “Since we began flying in 2000, New Jersey customers have asked us to bring our low-fare and superior service closer to their homes, in Newark. On behalf of JetBlue’s almost 9,000 crewmembers, we’re pleased to make this happen today. Renaming the Garden State ‘Blue Jersey’ is entirely up to the citizens, though.”
The Port Authority is working closely with private-sector partners such as JetBlue to ensure that Newark Airport remains a safe, efficient gateway for travelers and continues to be an economic engine for the region. The Port Authority has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve the airport and attract industry leaders such as JetBlue, including:
- The Newark Liberty International Airport Redevelopment Program. It combines $3.8 billion in Port Authority, federal and private funds and has delivered a myriad of improvements. Improvements include AirTrain Newark; renovations to Terminal B and a new concourse at Terminal C; new restrooms, ticket counters, signage and baggage belts; new parking garages with a net increase of 3,600 spaces; runway and taxiway improvements; the construction of a new air traffic control tower resulting in more efficient aircraft movements; an expanded and improved roadway network that has reduced congestion for vehicular traffic into and out of the airport; and renovations to more than 100,000 square feet of dining and shopping space.
- The Port Authority’s 10-year strategic plan. This plan builds on the progress already made at Newark Airport and calls for more robust investments, including a $280 million modernization of Terminal B and a $20 million study to develop Terminal A. The 10-year strategic plan aggressively moves forward with a comprehensive security improvement program to ensure that Port Authority airports set the standard for security technology, procedures, coordination and personnel.
By applying this level of commitment to security and infrastructure improvements, the Port Authority is ensuring that its airport system continues to grow and retain its status as the most desired location for industry leaders. Today, the Port Authority airport system is one of the world’s busiest, with 100 million annual passengers.
Newark Airport saw more than 32.2 million passengers in the last year, and with JetBlue’s arrival the airport should surpass its pre-9/11 passenger totals in 2006.
Newark Airport accounts for more than $11 billion in regional economic activity. More than 110,000 jobs are derived from the airport’s activity, generating $3.3 billion in wages.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. In addition to Newark Liberty International Airport, they include John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia 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; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container 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 financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.