United renews lease at Newark airport

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United Airlines has signed a 20-year extension to its lease for terminal facilities at its Newark Liberty International airport hub.

The Chicago-based carrier must invest a minimum of $150 million in its facilities at the New Jersey airport, under the terms of the agreement that was approved by the airport operator Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). United says that these will take place in concourse and baggage handling areas.

United will continue to be the sole occupant of terminal C and use space in both terminal A (Express flights) and terminal B (select international flights) at Newark, where it operates more than 400 flights daily.

"Our partnership with the Port Authority and the investments United will make will ensure Liberty's place as the region's leading domestic and international airport for decades to come," says Jeff Smisek, chairman, president and chief executive of United, in a statement.

The airline has also invested $35 million in a new widebody maintenance hangar and $100 million in a new in-line baggage screening system at Newark that are scheduled to be complete by the end of the year. It is in the design stage of a new $65 million catering facility at the airport.

"The continued investment in Newark Liberty's facilities will ensure that the airport, and Terminal C specifically, remains a modern, premier gateway for travellers," says David Samson, chairman of the PANYNJ, in a statement.