New York City-based JetBlue joined by New York Governor Kathy Hochul and other partners and leaders, celebrated a key milestone in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's transformation of John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) with the groundbreaking of a $4.2 billion project to develop a new international Terminal 6. The groundbreaking, held Thursday at JetBlue’s JFK maintenance hangar, only reinforces the airline’s commitment to JFK, Queens, and New York.
The new Terminal 6 will connect seamlessly with JetBlue’s current home at Terminal 5, adding gates and opportunity for the airline to add flights, destinations and partner airline connections. The project is a public-private partnership between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and JFK Millennium Partners - a consortium that includes JetBlue, Vantage Airport Group, an industry leading investor, developer, and manager of award-winning global airport projects, including LaGuardia Terminal B; American Triple I, a certified minority-owned investor, owner, developer, and manager of infrastructure assets; and New York real estate operating company RXR.
“It was 23 years ago that JetBlue launched our first flights from our home at JFK, eventually growing and taking over our modern Terminal 5 and now sending customers to more than 80 destinations, including London and soon Paris. At a time that JetBlue is set to grow significantly, we are excited to once again invest and further the governor’s vision as we build the new Terminal 6,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “As we move JFK into the future with a new, state-of-the-art, customer-focused facility, we are so pleased to have an opportunity to expand our presence with new gates in a new terminal. The team putting this project together is setting out to develop a terminal that New Yorkers, including our JetBlue crewmembers, can be proud of.”
With hiring ongoing throughout the company, more than 7,000 JetBlue crewmembers are now based at JFK.
Continued Growth with Spirit Airlines
The new terminal will mark a next chapter for New York’s Hometown Airline at the same time it prepares to expand as a result of its planned merger with Spirit Airlines. The merger will bring on additional crewmember jobs, while providing a commitment to customers to continue offering low fares and JetBlue’s award-winning customer experience.
Together, JetBlue and Spirit will create a national low-fare challenger to the Big Four airlines that dominate the industry and will bring more low fares, options and routes to more communities, including the millions of New Yorkers that rely on the airline. The merger will spark better competition with the largest carriers that control 80 percent of the market.
A Modern Terminal to Enhance the Customer Experience Starting in 2026
The start of construction of Terminal 6 follows the successful financial close of the deal in November 2022 between the Port Authority and JFK Millennium Partners to build the 1.2 million square foot, new international terminal on the airport’s north side. According to estimates, the project will create approximately 4,000 jobs, including 1,800 union construction jobs and direct wages of $1.9 billion.
The new terminal will be developed in two phases, with the first new gates opening in 2026 and construction completion in 2028. The 1.2 million-square-foot Terminal 6, will have capacity for 10 gates -- including nine wide body gates. Customers will enjoy more than 100,000 square feet of world-class shopping and dining featuring locally based restaurateurs, craft beverage options and Taste of NY stores.
“Great cities need great airports. Alongside our partners at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Vantage Airport Group, ATI, RXR, and JetBlue, we are ready to deliver a terminal that transforms the guest experience, drives significant economic activity, and creates extensive opportunities for local minority and women owned businesses to make their mark at JFK International Airport, starting now and for years to come,” said JFK Millennium Partners CEO and Vantage executive Helena Williams.
State-of-the-art technology will improve the customer experience with touchless technology from check-in to gates and digital systems that will streamline the customer journey throughout the terminal. Advanced security systems will include automated TSA security lanes, biometric-based access control systems and a flexible design to accommodate future technology or regulatory changes. A convenient taxi plaza as well as designated for-hire vehicle pick-up areas will be shared with Terminal 5, substantially reducing traffic congestion on the terminal road frontage and maximizing connectivity across the airport.
As part of the agreement with JFK Millennium Partners, the Port Authority will commit $130 million in capital funding to build enabling infrastructure for the new Terminal 6, including airside improvements that will reduce congestion and delays and roadway improvements that will optimize airport traffic flow.