Tag Archives: Delta

De-icing vehicle hits plane at LaGuardia Airport


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

A de-icing vehicle struck a Delta Air Lines plane as it was about to take off at LaGuardia Airport Saturday night, according to published reports.

The flight to Orlando, Fla, with 149 passengers and crew on board, was on the runway about 6:30 p.m. when it was hit, reports said.

No one on the plane was injured in the accident, according to ABC New York and Fox 5. The flight was delayed about 90 minutes.

 

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Port Authority orders airlines to raise wages, give paid holiday to airport workers


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ File Photo

Airport workers have won a battle for justice.

Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Director Patrick Foye has ordered the CEOs of Delta, JetBlue, American and United airlines to immediately raise wages and make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a paid holiday for the 8,000 contracted workers at John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports.

Foye sent a letter to the four CEOs telling them to grant an immediate $1 an hour raise to workers making $9 or less, recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday and work towards “providing an improved wage and benefits package to the thousands of hard-working men and women at the airports.”

The announcement comes a week after close to 1,000 workers, elected officials and clergy members blocked a bridge leading to LaGuardia Airport on Martin Luther King Jr. Day during an act of civil disobedience demanding “economic justice.”

“Pat Foye’s letter is a promising step forward and marks the first real progress we have made in lifting thousands of contracted airport workers out of poverty,” said Hector Figueroa, president of SEIU 32 BJ, a union representing most of the airport workers. “We have gotten to this point due to the courage of the contracted airport workers and their willingness to take action – including being arrested for civil disobedience at LaGuardia Airport on MLK Day along with Congressmember Charles Rangel and many others.”

During the day of civil disobedience, more than 30 people were arrested, including city and state elected officials, and workers.

“It’s good that someone is finally listening to us and responding,” said Wendy Arellano, a LaGuardia Airport cabin cleaner. “This is a good plan. It’ll be better when we have good benefits, security and the peace of mind that a good contract gives you. But, for now, getting us up to 10 dollars and 10 cents is a real start.”

Figueroa said that the work will still continue to “bring contracted airport workers the dignity and respect they deserve,” and also help these workers get out of the path to poverty and succeed in gaining economic justice.

 

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JFK’s Terminal 4 adds more retail options


| editorial@queenscourier.com


More shops are landing at John F. Kennedy International (JFK) Airport’s Terminal 4.

JFKIAT, the management company which operates Terminal 4 announced Monday the opening of three new retail shops, and five additional stores that are scheduled to open in January.

The newly opened stores include Victoria’s Secret, accessories store Bijoux Terner and Bluewire electronics. Opening next month are Michael Kors, Chocolates & More, Time to Fly, which sells a wide variety of Swatch watches and accessories, Metropolitan Museum of Art, which features art-related accessories and unique gifts in conjunction with the Manhattan museum, and Hudson, an upscale, high-tech travel store.

Other recent store openings at the terminal include Solstice, Jo Malone, Kiehl’s, MAC, Coach, Thomas Pink, and an all-new, expanded Duty Free Shop in the center of the retail hall. More retail openings are planned throughout next year.

JFK’s Terminal 4 also has some choice dining options, such as Blue Smoke and the popular burger chain Shake Shack, which opened at the airport this spring.

The terminal currently serves 30 international and domestic airlines with an annual passenger volume of more than 13 million travelers, according to JFKIAT.

Home to anchor tenant Delta, Terminal 4 completed phase one of its expansion in May 2013. Phase two, which will add additional gates on the B Concourse, is expected to be completed in 2015, according to JFKIAT.

“The redevelopment of Terminal 4 to make Delta our anchor tenant has resulted in benefits for all of our airline partners and their travelers. The all-new food and beverage and concession programs have been a great success and brought name brands that help the JFKIAT team fulfill its mission, to continue to improve the customer experience. We look forward to working with all of our retail partners to see even more exciting steps for the terminal in 2014,” said Alain Maca, president of JFKIAT.

 

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Op-Ed: More airport terminal gates = More Queens jobs


| oped@queenscourier.com


BY SETH BORNSTEIN

In late May, Delta Airlines officially opened nine more gates at JFK’s Terminal 4. This is great news for the borough of Queens and our on-going efforts to create, retain and attract jobs.

Here at the Queens Economic Development Corporation, where I serve as executive director, we offer numerous business- services programs that provide counseling; train people to get proper licenses and permits; coordinate commercial revitalization programs to upgrade our commercial neighborhoods; operate the Entrepreneur Space, a business incubator for small food businesses; and run the Queens Tourism Council, which promotes our cultural and recreational venues.

However, the most overlooked economic development program in Queens is not offered by my office. Rather, that program consists of our two Queens airports: LaGuardia and JFK.

The two airports are the unsung heroes of job creation and retention in Queens — with over 50 percent of airport employees being borough residents. That’s why so many of us know someone connected to the airports — whether it’s a friend who is a gate agent, a relative who works at a hotel or a neighbor who runs a catering company that supplies an airline.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which operates LGA, JFK, Newark and two additional regional airports, generates close to 500,000 jobs, $25.6 billion in wages and $65 billion in total economic activity. In Queens, LaGuardia generates over 100,000 jobs, about $5 billion in wages and almost $14 billion in total economic activity. JFK generates more than twice the number of jobs and wages as LGA — thanks to the large cargo presence, with a total of over $30 billion in economic activity.

The simple fact is that more gates at JFK means more jobs for Queens. The Port Authority estimates that for every 1 million passengers the airports serve, 4,100 jobs are created annually in the region. These are direct airport jobs as well as jobs in the myriad of businesses in and around the airport, including restaurants, florist shops, car rentals, gas stations, uniform manufacturers and retail establishments, as well as the tourism industry. And the people of Queens have benefited from this more than any other county.

Additionally, the Port Authority awards hundreds of contracts every year to New York-based firms for work at LGA and JFK. Last year alone totaled $68.5 million. Since the implementation of the Queens Air Service Development Office, which was founded at the QEDC over 25 years ago, the borough has been awarded nearly 7,000 contracts, totaling approximately $1.1 billion to Queens-based operations. Organizations such as All Lock and Glass Service Inc. of Long Island City, Glenridge Fabrications of Ridgewood, Solar Insulation Company Inc. of Maspeth and Capital Contractors Inc. of Douglaston. In addition, many small and minority-owned businesses have taken advantage of the Air Services Office.

Unfortunately, the future of this highly successful airport jobs program is in jeopardy. This is because our region’s airports are facing severe capacity limitations that will only get worse in the coming decades.

A critical component of the effort to increase airport capacity is the implementation of technological advances needed to bring our airspace into the 21st century. This is why QEDC was a founding member of the National Coalition to Advance NextGen. NextGen is a complete overhaul of the national airspace system, from the air traffic control system to its airports, using 21st-century, satellitebased technologies, operational improvements and new procedures. The system includes never-before-attempted innovations designed to ensure future safety, capacity and environmental goals.

Portions of NextGen are already in place or being tested around the country, including in New York. Working together, New York area airports and airlines including United and jetBlue, have initiated improvements that permit some flights to fly more precise, direct paths that preserve safety, save time, save fuel and lower emissions. These changes will help ease delays and cancellations, which will in turn ensure that LGA and JFK continue to serve as engines for job growth for Queens and all of New York City.

Seth Bornstein is executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation

 

 

Delta unveils expanded Terminal 4 at JFK


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Delta

It’s liftoff for the expanded Terminal 4.

Airline officials and city leaders opened the elongated terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday. They celebrated the jobs, business and improved image the facility is expected to give the city.

The $1.2 billion expansion gives the terminal a total of 41 gates. New York-based restaurants including Shake Shack and Blue Smoke are featured in the terminal. They were already a big hit on opening day.

“It is about business, it’s about tourism,” said Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy. “It is inviting to people coming into New York, and leaving New York. It is a magnet for tourism, a magnet for business.”

Congressmember Gregory Meeks said throughout the entire development process, the community was entirely in the loop. He called Delta a community partner beyond expectations.

“What Delta has shown, and the reason why I’m very pleased to be here, is that they’re all committed to the local community,” he said. “It’s a partnership. It’s bringing people together. They have exceeded every goal to make sure the community would get jobs here, and work to help build this airline.”

Gail Grimmett, Delta’s senior vice president for New York, said Meeks showed her the communities around the airport and made sure residents were involved in the terminal’s expansion.

“He has brought me to his town halls,” she said. “He has brought me to his community boards. We have spent much time together ensuring this was not just a Delta project but a community project.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said tourism goals for the city this year were on track and credited part of that to the work of Delta. He also recognized the thousands of New Yorkers Delta employed.

“Today’s opening of Terminal Four I think says two things loud and clear,” Bloomberg said. “Delta means a lot to New York City and New York City means a lot to Delta. Delta is a real fixture in New York and it’s also one of our biggest employers.”

But expansion at Terminal 4 and JFK is not completely over, according to Delta CEO Richard Anderson.

He said the airline wants to continue being a partner with the city, and is already planning future development.

“One day we want to build a third phase of this facility,” Anderson added. The terminal is “awesome. New York is awesome. And how privileged are we to be the airline of New York City.”

 

Congressmember Gregory Meeks addressing the crowd

Sir Richard Branson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Congressmember Gregory Meeks

Gail Grimmett and Melva Miller

(THE COURIER/Photos by Terence M. Cullen & Victoria Schneps-Yunis)

 

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Plane returns to LaGuardia after engine failure


| tcullen@queenscourier.com


A Maine-bound flight had to turn around not long after takeoff Wednesday due to an engine failure, officials said.

An engine shut down in-air during Delta Connection flight 6256 not long after it left LaGuardia, according to the airline. The flight returned to LaGuardia, landed safely and taxied the runway.

There were no injuries during the incident, a Port Authority spokesperson said.

The failed engine had some Flushing residents worried about the roar in the sky.

One resident, a licensed pilot, described the sound “like a bulldozer coming down the street, only faster and overhead.” He added the engine made a repetitive clunking sound as it passed over the area.

 

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Delta to build first outdoor airport terrace at JFK


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Delta

Some Delta passengers will soon be able to see the skies before boarding their flights at JFK.

This May a stylish Sky Deck will open at the airport’s Delta Sky Club as part of its $1.2 billion Terminal 4 expansion, the airline recently announced. Delta is also building another open-air space at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Both will be the airline’s first outdoor airport terraces.

“Sky Deck represents our continuing effort to offer Delta customers exclusive experiences and amenities they value,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s senior vice president of marketing. “The new outdoor terraces will do just that – provide distinctive spaces with unprecedented outdoor runway views at two of the most globally significant airports in the world.”

As Mapes points out, the view won’t be the only thing to admire.

Partnering with Delta, Architectural Digest selected designer Thom Filicia, formerly of the reality show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” to create a chic yet relaxing feel for travelers.

“Amid the hustle and bustle of the airport experience, we seek to create a refuge, which represents Delta’s dedication to elevated design and pays homage to an elegant lifestyle of travel and the spirit of flight,” said Filicia.

Delta’s Sky Deck is one of several JFK airport renovations that bring together style and an enhanced traveling experience.

This fall, JetBlue broke ground on its eco-friendly Terminal 5 expansion, which will consolidate the airline’s domestic and international flight operations under one roof.

 

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Cancelled flights strand thousands at area airports


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@PANYNJ

Hurricane Sandy has shut down New York airports forcing stranded passengers and evacuated residents to flee to nearby hotels to seek refuge.

“Our first thought, as always, is the safety of our customers and our employees,” said Rick Sacco, the general manager at the Holiday Inn Express at Kennedy Airport.

Airports do remain open, but air carriers have ceased operation until further notice, according to the Port Authority. The organization encourages travelers to not travel to the airports at all.

Delta Airlines in particular has cancelled a couple thousand flights, and have halted operations in and out of New York airports, according to Delta spokesperson Eric Torbenson. Flights are set to resume at a to-be-determined time on Tuesday.

With flights cancelled for at least Monday, October 29 at both LaGuardia and JFK International, hundreds of passengers are stranded in Queens, hoping to ride out the storm comfortably.

“We’ve activated our hurricane action plan,” said Jimmy Mitts, director of security at the Sheraton LaGuardia East. “We are totally up and running, and we have enough staff on hand.”

Members of the staff from both of the hotels are staying in rooms so they can stay off of the roads.

“We have about one half of the staff staying at the hotel as of now,” said Sacco.

Residents from the nearby Rockaways and other areas that were mandated to evacuate also headed to hotels to get out of harms’ way.

“We’re preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best,” said Ed Staniszewski, general manager at the Sheraton. “We’re fully prepared to be without power for a number of days.”

Many area hotels, including the Sheraton, have emergency generators that will kick on to accommodate guests in times of severe weather. The Sheraton’s generator can power the hotel for up to three days.

The Holiday Inn Express at JFK still has open rooms for upcoming reservations, and will hold them for as long as possible. The Sheraton LaGuardia East, however, is completely booked with airport passengers and local community residents.

“Everything is depending on what’s going on outside and in the area,” said Mitts of what security’s next move is. Their emergency plan will go into effect on a circumstantial basis.

Shuttle service for both hotels is still underway, but as the weather intensifies, it may have to be cancelled. Currently, shuttle service to local areas such as drug stores is going on at the JFK Holiday Inn.

“They’re all stuck, and we try to do the best we can and let everyone be as happy as they can be,” said Sacco.

Delta helps in the fight against breast cancer


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF DKC PUBLIC RELATIONS

LaGuardia’s Delta terminal was pretty in pink for the arrival of the “Breast Cancer One” survivor charter flight.

On Thursday, September 20, LaGuardia welcomed the “pink plane” in from Atlanta. More than 140 Delta employee cancer survivors from 35 different locations around the world made the trip, and were greeted in Terminal D by tons of pink balloons, ceiling decorations and pink lemonade refreshments.

“This lifts your spirits. It doesn’t make you feel your pain, it just absolutely encourages you,” said Angie Trimble, a breast cancer survivor who was aboard the flight.

Delta has been involved with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) since 2005, and together they have raised over $5 million towards research funding, contributing to the $380 million raised by the foundation since its beginning.

A year ago, BCRF unfortunately lost its founder, Evelyn Lauder, to the disease. Thursday, Delta proudly unveiled a new addition to the “pink plane”: an emblem baring Evelyn’s signature, printed name and title, appropriately emblazoned in pink writing.

“This year, we dedicate our pink plane to the memory of Evelyn Lauder. We continue to be inspired by her tireless commitment and determination in the fight to find a cure for breast cancer,” said Joanne Smith, senior vice president of In-Flight service.

The distinctive pink plane has flown around the world to “highlight and help raise awareness and funds for lifesaving research efforts,” said Smith.

BCRF acting chairman and the late Evelyn’s husband, Leonard Lauder, made the trip to LaGuardia to carry his wife’s message and mission.

“Your enthusiasm for the support of this great organization . . . you can make a difference,” he said. “The people in this room will make the difference.”

To continue to raise research funds, the “pink plane” along with all Delta flights and the Delta Sky Clubs will sell pink products including pink lemonade and pink headsets, distributed by Delta employees dressed in pink uniforms, through the month of October.

In addition, during October, Delta’s administrative headquarters will be illuminated in pink lighting in support of BCRF. Delta will also donate $1 to the foundation for the first 50,000 new “likes” on the Delta Facebook page.

“Together, we are going to make sure that this disease is eradicated,” said Lauder.

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Late-night win brings relief for Yankees team struggling for clutch hits

This one, like its two immediate predecessors, carried the vibe of, “Well, we better beat the Orioles regularly. They’re terrible!” Yet this victory last night, 6-4 over Baltimore in 10 innings at Camden Yards, felt a little different, too. For a team eternally saddled with (and marketing) great expectations, you could sense some relief. Read More: New York Post

Wife bares hero’s stand

He died trying to be a hero. The wife of a man beaten to death outside his Astoria home in 2008 while trying to protect a neighbor from a crazed drifter yesterday told a Queens jury she begged him not to get involved. “I told him, ‘Please, please, don’t go,’ ” Dora Nowillo said of her husband Nicolas, 65. His alleged attacker, Eric Cherry, 47, faces manslaughter and assault charges. Read More: New York Post

Surfin’ US‘O’

Michelle Obama is flexing her muscle at the Rockaways’ legendary cabana clubs. The Obama administration made promoting the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” health-and-fitness campaign a criteria for winning the concessions contract for two Queens beach clubs in the Gateway National Recreation Area. The National Park Service insisted it wasn’t a case of government overreach. “These are presidential initiatives and we are part of the executive branch. Gee whiz,” said spokesman John Warren. “How can you disagree with . . . getting healthy?” Read More: New York Post

Delta Launches Construction Of New Domestic Hub At LaGuardia

Delta broke ground Wednesday on an expansion of its new domestic hub at LaGuardia Airport.Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand to help usher in the construction project, the largest at the airport in more than 40 years. The expanded terminal will increase service at LaGuardia by 60 percent, adding 100 new flights and 26 new destinations by this summer. flights between the airport and more than 60 cities. The airline is also investing $160 million to modernize Terminals C and D at LaGuardia and build a connector between them. Read More: NY1

 

Mayor Bloomberg is moving to regulate pay of unionized city trade workers, taking the power away from the City Controller

The Bloomberg administration is moving to seize regulatory control over close to 10,000 unionized city trade workers — yanking the power away from embattled City Controller John Liu. Officials from the city Office of Labor Relations on Wednesday contacted the unions representing city workers under some 95 job titles — including electricians, plumbers and steamfitters — to let them know about the impending switch. Since 1894, according to administration officials, the Controller’s office has set the trade workers’ pay levels based on the average earnings of their private sector counterparts. Read More: Daily News

American continues to fly, despite Chapter 11


| mchan@queenscourier.com


American Airlines — and its parent company AMR Corporation — have filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but the company said it is still operating normal flight schedules, as well as honoring tickets and refunds.

“This was a difficult decision, but it is the necessary and right path for us to take – and take now – to become a more efficient, financially stronger and competitive airline,” said AMR President Thomas Horton, who is also the company’s newly-appointed chairperson and CEO. “We have met our challenges head on, taking all possible action to secure our long-term position.”

AMR filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on November 29.

The Chapter 11 process enables the company to continue conducting normal business operations while they restructure their debt, costs and other obligations. According to the U.S. Courts, Chapter 11 debtors usually seek debt relief by proposing a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time.

According to a statement released by the company, AMR has $4.1 billion in unrestricted cash and short-term investments to ensure uninterrupted supply of goods and services during the proceedings. The money allotted will go toward fully maintaining AAdvantage frequent flyer and other customer service programs, ensuring all AAdvantage miles and elites status earned by members remain secure and intact, providing employee wages, healthcare coverage, vacation and other benefits without interruption and paying suppliers for goods and services received during the reorganization process.

AMR will be filing monthly operating reports with the Bankruptcy Court and also plans to post monthly operating reports on the Investor Relations section of their website, AA.com.

“Our very substantial cost disadvantage compared to our larger competitors, all of which restructured their costs and debt through Chapter 11, has become increasingly untenable given the accelerating impact of global economic uncertainty and resulting revenue instability, volatile and rising fuel prices and intensifying competitive challenges,” Horton said.

Competitors Delta, United, Continental and US Airways have all previously filed for Chapter 11 reorganizations.

“But as we have made clear with increasing urgency in recent weeks, we must address our cost structure, including labor costs, to enable us to capitalize on [our] foundational strengths and secure our future,” said Horton.

For more information, visit AA.com/restructuring.