New JetBlue JFK terminal opening delayed

Washington DC
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JetBlue Airways postponed the opening of its new terminal at New York John F. Kennedy International airport to 22 October from 1 October.

"Although we are completely on track with all of our work, from the baggage systems to the backroom offices, moving the date from October 1 to October 22 has allowed additional time to ensure that our retail, food and beverage partners complete the work necessary to open T5 with all customer service elements in place," a carrier spokesman explains. "All operational systems have been tested and are ready for customers, but the retail and dining elements needed a little more time to complete construction and inspections."

Terminal 5 will house 26 gates and will replace JetBlue's use of the 14-gate Terminal 6 and seven temporary hold room gates.

On opening day, JetBlue will operate around 170 flights from 18 gates, JetBlue VP redevelopment Rich Smyth says. Twenty gates will be in use by the November Thanksgiving holiday, with 180 daily flights by the end of the year.

All 26 gates will be available by spring 2009, he adds.

Cost of the facility is $875 million, of which JetBlue paid $80 million and airport operator the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey covered $795 million.

The "signature terminal" is designed to handle 20 million passengers with the greatest deal of efficiency, port authority director of aviation Bill DeCota says.