Someone once said that no city is as intensely American as New York City. That sounds right to me, and I am proud to say that New York is also a great ­American ­Airlines city. We have been serving the New York area for three-quarters of a century. Our history gives us an invaluable perspective on the needs of New Yorkers, and we have a network uniquely capable of connecting the city to the world. This year alone, American and American Eagle will carry close to 15 million people to or from the Big Apple. We operate more than 230 flights each day, to 74 destinations, from New York’s five area airports. And with the new, state-of-the-art terminal we recently opened at John F. Kennedy International Airport, we are poised to play an even bigger role in New York’s growth in the years to come.

The beautiful $1.1 billion facility, which covers nearly 1.5 million square feet, strengthens JFK’s position as one of our country’s foremost airports and international gateways. We already offer nonstop service to 26 international destinations from JFK, including London, Paris, Rome, Brussels, Caracas, Tokyo, and Zurich. We’ll add a 27th destination next spring when we launch service to Newcastle, England.

The new terminal will make it easier than ever for our customers to move quickly­ through the airport. When it’s fully operational — the second, and final, phase of the project will be complete in the spring of 2007 — the terminal will have more than 100 ticketing positions; 10 security lanes, capable of processing nearly 2,000 passengers an hour; a baggage system that makes checking and claiming bags more efficient; and a new Customs and Border Patrol facility. For travelers looking to catch up on business or for a relaxing spot to rest, there will be two new Admirals Clubs, in Concourses B and C (the Concourse C club is open now).

Just as New York sets the standard for American cities, American Airlines wants to set the standard for travel to and from the city. Our new terminal is world-class in every respect, with features and amenities designed to provide New Yorkers, and those visiting New York, the travel experience they deserve. It also gives us the room we will need to expand our JFK presence in the years to come. And, of course, the investment we have made in our JFK facility is matched by the 70 aircraft and 84 daily departures we have dedicated to the airport.

New York and American Airlines have been through a lot together over the years. The area is home to 8,500 members of our team — and, ultimately, the investments we have made in and around New York are a tribute to them and to the care they provide to our customers every day. The AA/NYC partnership goes back a long way, but we are just getting started. I hope you will soon have the chance to check out our new JFK facility. In the meantime, wherever you are headed today, thanks for flying with us.

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Picture of Gerard Arpey

Chairman & CEO
American Airlines