The writer E.B. White once wrote that New York “is to the nation what the white church spire is to the village — the visible symbol of aspiration and faith, the white plume saying that the way is up.” I agree with that sentiment and would add that New York is also a great American Airlines city. We have been serving the New York City area for 80 years, and our long history there gives us an unrivaled insight into the needs of New Yorkers. We have a network, fleet, and team that are uniquely capable of connecting New York to the rest of the world. And at John F. Kennedy International Airport, we also have a brand-new, state-of-the-art terminal.
Our beautiful $1.3 billion facility provides New Yorkers and those visiting New York the world-class comfort and convenience they desire, and it gives us the room we will need in order to grow in the years to come. At more than 1.5 million square feet, our terminal is larger than Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium. But it’s not just its size that makes our new terminal a special place for travelers. We have gone to great lengths to improve the travel experience, particularly for our premium and international customers. Enhancements include new international curbside check-in, premium-class check-in, and premium security lanes. In fact, the security process has been expedited for all our customers, as there are now 10 security-checkpoint lanes, which are capable of processing 1,800 travelers per hour — enough people to fill seven Boeing 777 aircraft. And once they’ve passed through security, our customers can enjoy two beautiful new Admirals Club lounges as well as our Flagship Lounge, which caters to premium travelers.
Our new JFK terminal represents one of the biggest investments in American Airlines’ history, and it underscores our determination to preserve JFK’s status as one of the world’s premier international gateways and the number-one point of entry into the United States. That status will be bolstered by the terminal’s new Customs and Immigrations facility, which can process 1,600 travelers per hour — close to twice the 900 passengers per hour that could be processed at our old terminal.
As we’ve upgraded our facilities, we’ve also been extending the global reach of our JFK operations. We currently fly to 38 destinations, 23 of them outside of the United States, with 92 flights each day. We are the only U.S. airline to fly direct from New York to both London Heathrow and Tokyo’s Narita Airport. This month, we are launching new service to London’s Stansted Airport, and a second flight to Stansted is planned for April 2008. Also next spring, we will add Milan and Barcelona to our roster of international destinations served from JFK. We have also been beefing up our transcontinental service. We currently operate a total of 20 transcons a day from JFK to Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. And we recently launched new nonstop service between JFK and Las Vegas.
With more service to more places than ever and a beautiful new terminal for us to call home, American Airlines is ready to meet the air-travel needs of New Yorkers like never before. I hope you will get the opportunity to experience our new JFK facility very soon. In the meantime, wherever you’re flying today, thank you for flying with us.
Gerard J. Arpey