Thursday, August 05, 2010

Delta Airlines Unveils $1.2 Billion Upgrade To JFK Airport Terminals

Delta Airlines has announced a $1.2 billion upgrade of its terminals at JFK Airport. The project, expected to get underway next month, would consolidate the airline's operations in Terminal 2 and 4 and demolish terminal 3 to make room for parking. An additional nine gates would be created in the process.
The financing includes $900 million in special project bonds, as much as $215 million in passenger facility charges and at least $75 million in equity from Delta, Susan Baer, aviation director at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said today at an agency board meeting. The port oversees the airport.

Delta plans to begin work next month and finish by mid- 2013. It uses Terminal 2 and the 1960s-era, saucer-shaped Terminal 3, which will be razed and replaced with parking, two people familiar with the plan said yesterday. Atlanta-based Delta will redo Terminal 4 and link it with Terminal 2.

“Delta’s JFK terminal upgrade is both welcomed and overdue,” said Robert W. Mann, owner of consultant R.W. Mann & Co. in Port Washington, New York. “Delta should come out of this in 2013 with the best facilities on the New York-New Jersey airport scene.”

The plan will provide nine more gates for Delta, the world’s largest airline. Kennedy is Delta’s biggest base in the region, eclipsing the carrier’s operations at LaGuardia airport in New York and Newark Liberty in New Jersey.

Delta’s main jet fleet accounted for 21 percent of JFK passengers in the 12 months that ended in April, trailing only JetBlue Airways Corp.’s 42 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

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jetBlue recently completed an upgrade of its own terminal facilities by incorporating the historic Terminal 5 designed by Eero Saarinen into its operations. Delta's project would enable the airline to better compete with jetBlue and upgrade facilities that are widely panned.

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