As part of their $1.2 billion effort at improving their space at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s (JFK) Terminal 4B, Delta, along with the JFK International Air Terminal LLC (JFKIAT) has completed the second phase of expansion of the terminal and held a media event to show off and officially open the new space (a soft opening occurred last week).
In attendance, and speaking on behalf of their organizations, were Gail Grimmett, Delta’s senior vice president for New York; Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ); Gert-Jan de Graff, president and CEO of JFKIAT (the operator of Terminal 4); Kyle Kimball, president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation; Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company; and Melinda Katz, the Queens borough president.
The expansion adds 75,000 additional square feet and 11 new gates to Terminal 4B, and will allow 80% of Delta Connection operations to move from Terminal 2. These new gates are enclosed and climate-controlled, and can handle mainline narrow-body jets, if needed. The new addition provides access to a renovated Sky Club, iPad stations, and world-renown eateries.
The carrier has also added a third stop to its Jitney shuttle service, which carries connecting passengers between its two terminals to the new terminus on the B side. This is to help alleviate the walking for connecting travellers (65% of Delta’s JFK passengers) between opposite ends of Terminal 4B.
Delta Air Lines is New York City’s largest and fastest growing airline. A decade ago, they recognized that travelers were choosing Delta to fly from La Guardia (LGA) but avoiding them when flying from JFK. They realized that in order to become the preferred global airline for New Yorkers, they would have to enhance the experience for their customers at both JFK and LGA airports.
According to Grimmett, from 2006 to 2009, they grew their JFK operations by 70% and they have been growing in the region since. This expansion of Terminal 4B allows them to increase efficiency at the airport, reducing delays while improving the customer experience.
Grimmett said Delta’s operations have to continue out of Terminals 2 and 4 because the number of flights warrants the co-existence. Phase three is only in the discussion stage, somewhat complicated by the involvement of different entities (PANYNJ, JFKIAT, etc).
Improvements are also being conducted to Terminal 2, including the addition of iPads, a remodeled Sky Club, and improved food selections. As long as they are utilizing that terminal, Delta has committed to improving it.
Delta’s Terminal 2 and 4 enhancements are coupled with LGA airport’s own improvements at the two Delta terminals (C & D) to provide an exceptional travel experience for Delta flyers. As Grimmett states, investments to their New York operations is ’œnever done and far from done.’
This is a story done with our friends at NYCAviation and written by Doug Wint who is a aviation enthusiast and writer, based in New York, concentrating on aspects of the airline industry and its operations. You can follow him on Twitter at @wintchocolate.