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Old May 21st, 2005, 01:50 PM   #21
samsonyuen
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Will there be more mergers to come? Delta, NWA and Continental are getting closer to each other, all being in the Skyteam alliance.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 09:54 PM   #22
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Delta and Northwest would make a great airline, but Northwest is heavily unionized and Delta is not as unionized. Delta doesn't want to get too close to such a heavily unionized airline.

Delta and Continental are both less unionized, but Northwest owns a $400 million dollar stake in Continental - either stock or credit - that allows it to block any Continental merger with another airline, besides Northwest.

A three way merger would have such a difficult time passing government anti-trust oversight, even under the Bush administration.
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 11:13 AM   #23
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I think NWA and Continental would be a good fit, with Northwest big in the Midwest, and Continental in the South to Northeast and Caribbean. Delta's big enough to go it alone with AA and United...
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 12:33 PM   #24
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How US Airways/America West merger got off the ground

Talks between airlines began in 2003, but didn't get serious until this year

Sunday, May 22, 2005

By Dan Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The on-and-off, 18-month courtship between US Airways and America West Airlines finally clicked into place May 12 in Washington, D.C., high above the floor of the MCI Center, where executives from both airlines had gathered in US Airways' skybox to watch a Washington Wizards playoff game.

Just minutes before tip-off, with the din of exploding fireworks filling the arena, US Airways adviser John Luth received an e-mail on his BlackBerry from Air Canada Chief Executive Officer Robert Milton. It confirmed that Air Canada's board had approved an investment in the combined airline -- the final piece of a $1.5 billion financing package needed to make the deal work.

Luth waved his BlackBerry, smiled and gave everyone the news. He congratulated Doug Parker and Bruce Lakefield, the chief executive officers of America West and US Airways, and broad smiles broke out throughout the box.

The merger was on.

Announced a week later at the Tempe, Ariz., headquarters of America West, the agreement between the nation's seventh-and eight-largest airlines paired a twice-bankrupt, East Coast legacy carrier with a younger, smaller, low-cost airline that does much of its flying on the West Coast.

If they can win a slew of antitrust, shareholder and bankruptcy court approvals, US Airways and America West together would surpass discount king Southwest Airlines in size, becoming the No. 6 carrier in the nation. Together, they also could usher in an era of consolidation in the troubled airline industry, which has lost more than $30 billion since 2001.

But there were several twists along the way, according to people familiar with the events. America West was not the only carrier to express interest in US Airways, nor was America West the only partner US Airways pursued.

The search for a deal began in the fall of 2003, when David Siegel was still US Airways' chief executive officer. Siegel had led US Airways through its first bankruptcy and wrested more than $1 billion in concessions from the company's labor unions. But even as the carrier completed a painful round of cost cuts and emerged from bankruptcy, Siegel knew US Airways was still too small and too inefficient to compete against discounters such as Southwest, which had already announced plans to start service in Philadelphia, a US Airways' hub.

Siegel was convinced that for US Airways to avoid the fate of failed carriers such as Eastern Airlines and Pan Am, both of which liquidated in the 1980s, he would have to bring US Airways' costs down further and position the airline for consolidation with another carrier. He explored several options.

Acquire United Airlines, the nation's No. 2 carrier. That option was code-named "Project Minnow," with US Airways as the small fish gobbling the bigger one.

Combine with British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic, which was interested in US Airways' Washington-Boston-New York shuttle, along with slots and gates in the Northeast.

Split the airline in two and merge the Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C., hub-and-spoke network with one carrier and its slots and gates in Washington, Boston and New York with another.

But US Airways ultimately rejected those options. United did not have any interest in a deal and was too distracted by its own struggles in bankruptcy. Virgin Atlantic wanted lots of US Airways assets -- gates, planes, airport equipment -- to help launch a new U.S. airline, but all it would offer in retrun was the Virgin brand name. US Airways also turned down several inquiries from other carriers -- including Southwest, JetBlue Airways and AirTran Airways -- about acquiring the company's assets but not its employees.

In the end, only America West wanted both.

Siegel made the initial connection. He knew Parker and Executive Vice President Scott Kirby at America West. Their first face-to-face meeting was in October 2003, over dinner in a Washington, D.C., restaurant. They were joined by then-US Airways Chief Financial Officer Neal Cohen.

But the talks ended several months later. At the request of US Airways' board, Siegel departed from the company in April 2004. According to Parker, the first round of discussions failed because US Airways' costs were still too high. Siegel had started a campaign to lower union costs further, but labor leaders refused to deal with him, contributing to his ouster.

Retired Lehman Bros. executive Bruce Lakefield, a friend of US Airways chairman David Bronner, replaced Siegel and sought to save US Airways. He asked unions to help with another round of concessions. When that failed, Lakefield took the company into bankruptcy again and squeezed another $1 billion in concessions from the unions, using the power of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to hammer home new contracts modeled after America West's labor agreements.

In January, with fuel prices at a record high and doubts aired about US Airways' survival after its Christmas baggage meltdown in Philadelphia, Lakefield picked up the phone and called Parker, suggesting that "maybe we should begin those talks again," according to Parker.

But America West did not have enough cash to lift US Airways out of bankruptcy. It was up to Luth, the US Airways adviser, to find enough investment money to piece the deal together and give the combined company a fighting chance to thrive in the battered airline industry.

Luth and US Airways had serious discussions with more than a dozen investors. They all requested shared participation in a merged airline -- no one wanted to take on all the risk. The Retirement Systems of Alabama, which rescued US Airways from its first bankruptcy in 2003 with a $240 million investment, stands to lose it all if US Airways emerges from bankruptcy and issues new stock.

Luth went after the companies that had something to gain from an investment in US Airways and America West. Aircraft maker Airbus agreed to provide $250 million in exchange for US Airways' pledge to buy dozens of A320 jets in the future. Regional commuter carrier Air Wisconsin Airlines made a $125 million investment in exchange for a jet services partnership. The Appleton, Wis.-based airline will fly for the merged carrier on a contract basis.

Credit card companies may provide $300 million in order to reach new customers. And once-bankrupt Air Canada offered $75 million, good for a 7 percent stake in the new company, in exchange for an agreement to maintain the new carrier's fleet of 361 jets.

Air Canada was the last in line.

Once its approval came last Thursday, employees at both airlines scrambled to obtain approval from their boards of directors. US Airways' directors signed off Wednesday, over the telephone. America West's board approved it Thursday, in Tempe.

Labor leaders were briefed, and a press release was sent out. Parker and Lakefield spent much of Thursday night explaining the deal to reporters before Lakefield took a red-eye flight back to Washington. Parker, who has been tapped to lead the merged airline, met with employees and went home. Before going to bed, he explained the deal in one final live shot with local TV, from his house.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 11:41 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samsonyuen
I think NWA and Continental would be a good fit, with Northwest big in the Midwest, and Continental in the South to Northeast and Caribbean. Delta's big enough to go it alone with AA and United...
I mentioned this before: NW owns $400 million in CO, in what form I don't know, but in addition NW has the right to prevent CO from merging with any airline they don't approve of. This may be some sort of side contract that has a huge penalty if broken or something of that sort.

But, regarding your quote, samsonyuen, I think there is a reason that CO does not want to merge with NW. It may also be the relatively lack of unions at CO versus NW's almost mythically irritable unions. I can not remember the reason, but the idea of a full blown CO-NW merger was tossed around a few years ago, but it was nixed.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 11:17 AM   #26
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Good short article on whether there is any value to the US Airways name to even save it.
_____
US Airways name may be liability after merger
By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY
A combined America West (AWA) and US Airways (UAIRQ) would fly under the name US Airways, prompting the question: Why?
"Why you'd want to do that boggles my mind," says veteran airline consultant Jon Ash of Washington, D.C.

US Airways hasn't had such a great run lately. It's been under bankruptcy protection twice in recent years, employees are demoralized, and it doesn't have particularly strong customer loyalty, Ash says. And the name itself has little history, dating back only to the last decade, when it replaced US Air.

The proposed merger, announced last week, will take place later this year if it can clear a series of hurdles, including approval by US Airways' bankruptcy judge.

Business travel expert Kevin Mitchell recalls Christmas week last year, when US Airways canceled flights in Philadelphia and lost people's baggage, stranding thousands of customers. "They should have killed the US Airways brand. It's spent," Mitchell says.

US Airways spokesman David Castelveter says the US Airways name has more global recognition than America West, an important consideration for an international carrier.

America West, which is 22 years old, has been through bankruptcy, too, but its name seems to lack some of the connotations of the larger US Airways. Even America West CEO Doug Parker recently acknowledged in an employee newsletter that the US Airways brand "has seen better days."

Yet, says Parker, who would be CEO of the combined airline, "We can absolutely create a winning brand no matter what we are called."

David Gaglione, of brand consulting firm Landor Associates, said creating a new, separate identity would have been expensive.

Even with the US Airways name, Gaglione says, the merged carrier can have a fresh start.

"There is an opportunity to communicate something different, to tell a much different story," Gaglione says.

Deborah Brown of Peppercom, a strategic communications firm, says stakes are high in naming the combined airline.

"It could make or break them."

A name change helped ValuJet distance itself from the crash of one of its planes that killed 110 people in the Florida Everglades in 1996. The carrier merged with another Florida carrier, adopting a little recognized name of one of its partner's subsidiaries — AirTran.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 10:43 PM   #27
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Alaska West Airways? Alaskan Airlines to join up with US Airways and America West? That would make it a contender, being the fourth-largest airline in RPM, no?
_____________________
JUNE 13, 2005
INSIDE WALL STREET
Alaska Air: Circling Over The America West Deal

A third airline may yet join the America West Holdings-US Airways (UAIRQ ) party. On May 19, the two airlines announced final plans to merge and form a new company of which America West (AWA ) shareholders would own 45%. Analysts put the value of the deal at $6 per America West share. Now some pros close to the industry say Alaska Air Holdings (ALK ), which owns Alaska Airlines, may make a bid to buy AWA, without disturbing the proposed merger, leaving Alaska the bigger shareholder in the new merged company. Vincent Carino, president of Brookhaven Capital Management, which owns AWA and Alaska shares, says: "Alaska's top management is considering a move to buy America West to gain critical mass and to better compete in the fiercely competitive industry -- and avoid being a takeover target itself." One major West Coast airline analyst, who didn't want to be named, says it would be "a great deal." Alaska's management "is capable of doing it -- and it should," he says. Alaska's market cap is $780 million, vs. AWA's $107 million. Alaska's stock is up from 18 last Aug. 9 to 28 on June 1. Carino says Alaska could use its stock as currency to buy AWA, now 5.72 a share, possibly at 7 a share. Alaska declined comment; AWA didn't return calls.
_____________________________________
Alaska Airlines may make bid to buy AmWest
Dawn Gilbertson
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 3, 2005 12:00 AM
The bidding period for rival competitors in the America West-US Airways merger is only a couple of days old and already a potential contender has emerged.

BusinessWeek Online reported Thursday that Alaska Airlines is interested in buying America West, merger with US Airways and all.

America West and Alaska are roughly the same size, by revenue, and focused on the West Coast. Seattle-based Alaska has more cash and a higher stock market value than America West.

The magazine quoted Vincent Carino, president of Brookhaven Capital Management, a shareholder in America West and Alaska, as saying, "Alaska's top management is considering a move to buy America West to gain critical mass and to better compete in the fiercely competitive industry - and avoid being a takeover target itself."

The item said Alaska could use its stock to buy America West, suggesting a price of $7 a share. America West's stock closed Thursday at $6.15, up 7.5 percent, and was up nearly 6 percent in after-hours trading.

America West and Alaska would not comment on the report. Carino did not return a call. .

Aviation consultant Mike Boyd says more players are bound to appear.

"We have not seen all the shoes drop," he said. "By the time this is done it's going to look like Imelda Marcos' closet."

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Old June 4th, 2005, 02:41 PM   #28
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Maybe it won't be happening...
____________________________
Posted on Sat, Jun. 04, 2005
Alaska Air: No deal

Alaska Air Group on Friday denied a BusinessWeek report that it is considering buying America West and joining the planned merger with US Airways.

Alaska said that although it does not usually comment on rumors, it decided to speak out because of extensive media coverage and the uncertainty the speculation creates among workers.

"We have no current plans to become involved in a transaction with America West or US Airways and have not spoken with the investor mentioned in the original news story reporting this rumor," Alaska said in a statement.

BusinessWeek, citing fund manager Vince Carrino of California-based Brookhaven Capital Management, reported on its Web site Thursday that Alaska's top management was considering buying America West to grow and avoid becoming a potential takeover target.

Carrino did not return calls Thursday or Friday.

America West's stock rose 5 percent Friday on the buyout speculation, closing at $6.45. It was one of only two major airline stocks to gain value for the day. -- TONY MECIA
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Old June 12th, 2005, 03:14 PM   #29
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Will US Airways' fifth trip down the merger runway be successful?

Over the years, US Airways has eyed marriage with United (twice) and American (twice), only to be spurned. But observers believe its latest trip to the altar, with America West, may prove successful

Sunday, June 12, 2005

By Dan Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Year after year, crisis after crisis, each new US Airways boss arrives at the same conclusion: The airline is too small, costly and inefficient to survive on its own and needs a partner.

The latest convert is US Airways Chief Executive Officer Bruce Lakefield, who sought a union with America West Airlines this year because he did not believe the East Coast carrier could survive its second bankruptcy without help from a rival.

The same thinking drove US Airways' management to make unsuccessful runs at linking up with American Airlines (twice) and United Airlines (twice) in the 1990s, and to acquire Piedmont Aviation and Pacific Southwest Airlines in the 1980s -- expensive deals that made matters worse by saddling US Airways with higher costs, greater inefficiency, more debt and an array of culture clashes.

The last two decades show how difficult it is to pull off a merger and how challenging it can be to make the union work. In the case of US Airways and America West, which announced their intention to merge last month, the two airlines need to win a slew of regulatory and bankruptcy court approvals to join operations. Then they must bring about the smooth integration of two disparate employee groups if the new company has any chance of withstanding high oil prices, low fares and widespread industry turmoil.

They face the very same obstacles the killed off US Airways' attempts to merge with other carriers in the 1990s and the same integrational issues that made US Airways less competitive after its mergers of the 1980s.

But many experts believe it will be easier this time around.

Given the problems of the airline industry, with more than $30 billion lost since 2001, Washington, D.C., regulators are probably less likely to shoot down the merger on anti-competitive grounds, as it did with US Airways and United in 2001. If anything, regulators may view this as a much-needed consolidation of an industry that has too many seats chasing too few passengers.

The larger concern is labor.

How will the airlines address the worries of younger America West employees who fear losing jobs to older, more experienced US Airways workers? Can they merge the cultures of the East and West coasts?

"I have a lot of faith we can do it," said America West Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker, in a recent interview with the Post-Gazette.

Parker is approaching the situation with the appropriate amount of optimism. But a quick look at history of other airline executives shows it will not be easy.

Ed Colodny

The only US Airways boss of the last three decades to successfully merge with another carrier was Ed Colodny, who ran the airline from 1975 to 1991, in the years before and after Congress deregulated the airline industry and stripped out government involvement in setting of fares and routes.

Before deregulation, merging was a way for airlines to grow without asking the federal government for more routes and new cities. US Airways -- then Allegheny Airlines -- did that several times, purchasing carriers such as Mohawk Airlines.

Post-deregulation, as competition increased, merging became "a matter of competitive strategy and survival," said Colodny, who described the purchases of Piedmont and Pacific Southwest as "clearly an expansion strategy," giving US Airways toeholds in the Southwest and West and making it a national airline.

It was also a way for US Airways to protect itself against corporate raiders -- especially then-Trans World Airlines boss Carl Icahn, who launched a surprise bid for the airline just weeks after US Airways announced the Piedmont deal. In a defensive maneuver, US Airways abandoned its planned half-stock and half-cash offer for Piedmont and instead paid all cash, which added $800 million in additional debt to the company.

Fearing a strike, Colodny, known as "Uncle Ed" to his employees, did not push for labor costs to come down as a result of the new acquisition. Instead, Colodny raised wages at Piedmont and PSA in an attempt to maintain labor peace.

In hindsight, that made US Airways less competitive, and US Airways emerged from the 1980s in a mess financially -- with high costs, conflicting schedules and an array of different fleet types, making the whole operation less efficient and less profitable.

Seth Schofield

Seth Schofield, who succeeded Colodny in 1991, tried several things to pull US Airways out of its tailspin.

He first turned to an alliance with British Airways -- selling it 24 percent of US Airways for $300 million in 1993. That did not go far, however. British Airways eventually sold its stake.

Next Schofield tried to get labor costs down, but he could not get unions to approve a five-year, $2.5 billion package of concessions.

US Airways' long-term chances as an independent carrier were at risk, he told employees, and in 1995 he decided to seek a partner. Without such help, he predicted, US Airways would eventually be killed off by larger competitors and low-fare upstarts. Schofield approached both American Airlines and United.

United's unions, worried about combining their roster with more senior US Airways workers, campaigned against the deal, and United's board vetoed the idea.

Discussions with American also went nowhere.

When the talks with United ended, Schofield predicted that some sort of future partnership with another airline was still likely.

Stephen Wolf

Some believe Stephen Wolf, who arrived in 1996, was recruited for the sole purpose of selling US Airways.

Early on, he fed that perception by telling union members that the company would probably not survive as an independent carrier.

But Wolf also focused his attention elsewhere, changing the name of the company from USAir to US Airways to give the airline a name he felt embodied more global cachet. He also initiated a huge order for new Airbus jets with a goal of eliminating other plane types to try and simplify the hodge-podge fleet of roughly a dozen plane types.

Meanwhile, the health of the industry improved, and US Airways recorded several straight years of profits. Slowly, though, Wolf came to the conclusion that a merger would be necessary.

There was not one factor that led to this decision, according to a former US Airways executive who was in a high level-position during Wolf's tenure. But company costs were rising, the result of awarding pilots a lucrative contract giving them pay parity with other major carriers, plus 1 percent.

"That is when things started going wrong," the former executive said.

Wolf eventually got down to merger talks with American, which did not go anywhere -- and United.

In 2000, US Airways and United announced their intent to join operations.

Federal antitrust regulators eventually nixed the deal, but months before that, US Airways noticed that United was "starting to cool off a little bit," according to the former US Airways executive, perhaps making it easier for the deal to be turned down in Washington, D.C.

United, he said, had raised some wages to appease the unions and smooth the way for a merger with US Airways. "But United started realizing this deal is not worth it anymore," he said. "Better to walk, even if aggressively pursuing it still would have been a hurdle, but surmountable."


David Siegel

David Siegel took US Airways through its first bankruptcy. After reemerging in 2003, he soon realized that costs had not been cut enough and the carrier faced heightened competition from Southwest and other low-cost carriers on the East Coast.

He began an aggressive search for new partners. He approached United again -- part of an initiative code-named "Project Minnow," with US Airways as the small fish swallowing the bigger one. There were talks with Virgin Atlantic. Siegel also approached America West, with the first face-to-face meeting occurring in the fall of 2003, over dinner at a Four Seasons in Washington, D.C.

Siegel left in April 2004 but not before arriving at the conclusion shared by his predecessors and his successor, Lakefield: US Airways, which declared bankruptcy again last September, would not survive long-term as stand-alone carrier. It needed a partner.
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 04:26 PM   #30
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Posted on Sat, Jul. 02, 2005

No rival bids received for US Airways assets

The Carolinas

No rival bids received for US Airways assets

AIRLINES

The deadline for companies to bid on US Airways' assets came and went Friday, with no other firms submitting bids to rival the airline's proposed merger with America West Airlines, US Airways said.

The absence of competing bids removes another hurdle to the merger, which still requires approval by a bankruptcy judge, US Airways creditors, a federal loan board and America West shareholders.

"It would have been difficult for other offers to have provided comparable value to our stakeholders," US Airways CEO Bruce Lakefield said in a statement. The airlines can now begin planning their integration, he said.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 05:22 AM   #31
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American Airlines huge terminal at JFK?

I just recently became aware that American Airlines was building an enourmous terminal at JFK airport in New York. It partially opened a few days ago. When it's complete it will have 55 gates and will apparently eliminate Terminal Nine.

Besides Heathrow and soon Newcastle, where else in Europe does American fly?

Do they plan on turning JFK into a major domestic hub that also feeds its international flights, similar to Continental's hub at Newark?
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 06:40 AM   #32
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oh...now i get why they're lobbying for BOG-JFK
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 11:56 PM   #33
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It is expected to be finished next year, so I expect that AA will ramp up their international and domestic flights to/from JFK before then.
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 02:34 AM   #34
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Besides Heathrow and soon Newcastle, where else in Europe does American fly?

In Europe they fly to: Brussels, Manchester, Dublin, Shannon, Glasgow (seasonal), London Gatwick, Frankfurt, Zurich, Paris, Madrid and Rome (seasonal).
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 06:07 AM   #35
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Some of those are not AA metal, but rather AA partners like BA, etc.
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 04:57 PM   #36
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American Airlines Terminal @ JFK International Airport



Jamaica, New York

DMJM Harris is providing final design of a new $1.3-billion terminal at JFK International Airport. The new 2.2-million-square-foot American Airlines terminal will also house American Eagle and other carriers on a 42-acre site behind the existing terminals. The 55 gates include 38 for all types of large jets, (including the newest Boeing 777 operated by American and other carriers), and 18 gates with covered jet bridges for regional jets operated by American Eagle. The terminal will be constructed in 17 phases to allow continued operations at JFK. At least 1,000 construction jobs will be created by the project.

The new terminal will be American's gateway to the United States, and will be the firm's largest non-aircraft asset. The finished terminal will have three primary levels: one for arrivals and baggage handling; one for departures; and one for clubs, lounges, and offices. There will be a new two-level roadway to provide separation between arrivals and departures, each level with 1,200 linear feet of curb space. There will be 24 curbside check-in positions and 200 check-in positions at the main ticket counter – all with takeaway belts for baggage. The 200 interior positions will be arranged in four check-in islands and two L- shaped rows of counters along the sides of the ticketing lobby.


The building's four concourses-three extending from an central terminal area and one connected to the terminal by a 320-foot underground tunnel with moving walkways – will process 14 million passengers a year – an average of 40,000 a day.

The new terminal will also feature a customs and immigration facility with 22 customs positions, 48 immigration positions, and seven baggage claim carousels, each with 250 linear feet for baggage pickup. It will be large enough to serve up to 2,400 people per hour. Also included are 1,290 feet of domestic and 1,890 feet of international bag-claim systems. Full CTX baggage scan capability is scheduled to be installed by 2009.

Approximately 110,000 square feet will be devoted to concession space, creating a virtual mall for shops, restaurants and other retail outlets. In addition to the two Admirals Clubs (40,000 square feet total) there will be two Platinum Business Centers, a First Class arrivals lounge, and a 10,000-square-foot lounge for use by other carriers. Other elements include aprons and taxiways, fuel transmission and hydrant systems, and elevated and at-grade roadways (with 4,400 feet of curb lanes). Total paving area is 435,000 square yards.

[DMJM Harris]
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 05:05 PM   #37
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Here's another pic I dug up off Google:



Enjoy!
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 05:35 PM   #38
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JFK will become AA land. Hopefully, they will turn JFK into more of a domestic airport, which has a lot of international flights, much like Continental did at Newark. The greater NY area needs to expand its aviation capacity and LaGuardia and Newark are basically overcrowded.

And now that JFK has a train to Jamaica Station where you can take the commuter railroad right into Penn Station, it is very convenient for Manhattan.
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 06:18 PM   #39
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Some of those are not AA metal, but rather AA partners like BA, etc.
Nope, as far as I know these are all flown by AA themselves...


Check it out: http://www.aa.com/content/aboutUs/wh...urope_aa.jhtml










I've flown Zurich-DFW on an American Airlines plane (Swiss and AA being partners).
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Old August 4th, 2005, 01:49 AM   #40
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I guess they're trying to challenge Continental's domincance.
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