United Airlines (Chicago) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have signed a 20-year lease extension through which United will maintain its significant presence at Newark Liberty International Airport and make further investments to ensure the airport remains one of the country’s premier global gateways.
United and the United Express carriers will continue their exclusive use of Terminal C and will continue to operate flights at Terminals A and B. Additionally, the airline will invest $150 million in ongoing improvements throughout the term of the lease. While Terminal C is already one of the nation’s most modern international terminals, United will further develop its concourse areas and improve baggage handling.
From Newark Liberty, United offers more than 400 flights daily to more than 150 destinations in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Its location and rail links make Newark Liberty the most convenient major airport for travelers originating in north and central New Jersey, parts of New York City and southern New York State. With more than 13,000 Newark-based employees, United connects the region to more of the world than any other airline.
United Investments at Newark Hub
Since 1981, United and its predecessor carriers with Newark hubs – Continental and Peoplexpress – have built on a commitment nearly three decades old to expand and modernize Newark Liberty and establish a hub operation that would attract passenger revenue and economic growth to the region. That commitment was the first of any major airline at the New York-area airports.
In 1985, Peoplexpress joined with the Port Authority to complete the construction of Terminal C, a project which Continental acquired following its 1987 merger with Peoplexpress.
In 2001, Continental’s Global Gateway initiative, a $3.8 billion public-private partnership, brought new AirTrain rail connections – the New York area’s only on-airport rail connection with direct access to New York’s Penn Station and the northeast corridor – along with new roadways, parking garages, expanded electronic ticketing facilities, new terminal designs to facilitate more efficient security screening and an automated baggage handling system.
Since 2010, United has invested in its facilities at Liberty to improve customer service and co-worker experience.
The airline broke ground in January 2013 on a new widebody maintenance hangar at Liberty, a $35 million investment that economic development officials say will create 200 jobs and generate $12 million in wages and $52 million in economic activity before its completion, scheduled for year-end.
United continues to work in conjunction with the Transportation Security Administration on a $100 million “in-line” baggage-screening system that, upon completion by year-end, will speed the movement of checked bags between the check-in counter and United aircraft.
The airline also is designing a new $65 million catering facility at Liberty.
United’s Airport Facility Improvements
United and its airport partners are investing more than $1 billion in improvements to United’s airport facilities worldwide.
In addition to the widebody maintenance hangar under construction at Liberty, United broke ground in October 2012 on a $45 million widebody maintenance facility at Washington Dulles International Airport, a major United hub and gateway to Europe and the Middle East.
At Terminal B at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, where later this month United will open the first phase of an extensive terminal renovation project, the airline is redesigning the seat layout in the gate areas, offering electric power at nearly two-thirds of the seats and space for carry-on baggage. The airline is similarly retrofitting its gate areas in Terminal 2 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport later in 2013. Approximately one-third of United and United Express flights operate to and from Houston Bush and Chicago O’Hare.
United Club Lounges
On December 21, 2012, United unveiled its new airport lounge concept with the grand reopening of the airline’s United Club lounge in Terminal 2 at Chicago O’Hare Airport. The 13,300 square foot United Club features a completely redesigned interior that reflects elements of flight and travel. United has outfitted the club with an expansive bar and lounge area, dynamic lighting, redesigned furniture and additional workstations and power outlets.
United is spending more than $50 million in 2013 to renovate several of the airline’s 51 United Club locations.
United is also investing in facilities for co-workers to offer them more comfort during breaks and enable them to deliver better service to customers. The airline anticipates completing in May an extensive renovation of breakrooms at Washington Dulles for co-workers in customer service, ramp operations and technical operations. The renovations include new furniture, appliances and durable flooring and wall coverings. United plans to begin similar renovations this year at Chicago O’Hare and later at its other U.S. hub airports.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Boeing 767-322 ER N652UA (msn 25390) prepares to depart from Geneva bound for the Newark Liberty hub.