American begins transition to new JFK terminal

Washington DC
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American Airlines has opened part of its new $1.1 billion terminal at New York JFK airport that will, in 2007, replace the two terminals currently used by the US major.

On August 27 the first phase of the new terminal, called the new American Airlines terminal at JFK, will officially open. It will house 12 gates, a 57,000sq ft (5,300sq m) lobby, 67 ticketing booths, and a new 11,300sq ft Admirals Club for frequent flyers.

The new terminal will initially serve domestic flights currently operating from Terminal 9, although international service will also operate from the facility once customs opens in September. Terminal 8 will handle international flights and arrivals until the new customs facility is operational.

On November 5 six more gates will open in the new terminal, bringing the total to 18 gates. This, in addition to the 11 gates at Terminal 8 will give American use of 29 gates.

This will be followed on February 6 with the addition of four gates in the new terminal.

In 2007, when the new terminal is scheduled for completion, American will have 36 upgraded gates - almost half originally intended in American’s 1999 plans - of which 19 will be able to support international flights. Nine of the remaining gates will be assigned to regional affiliate American Eagle Airlines.

At this date Terminal 8 will be closed; American has still to decide on this facility’s fate.

American says the new 1.5 million sq ft terminal’s 36 gates will be served by three concourses and will be able to handle up to 14 million annual passengers when competed, says the airline.

This new terminal is part of a major multimillion dollar overhaul of JFK, which includes an $875 million project to expand JetBlue Airways JFK presence and an upgrade and expansion of Delta Air Lines’ three terminals at its New York hub.