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United Airlines Extends Newark Agreement, Commits $150M in Further Investment at Region's Largest Hub



NEWARK, N.J., April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines and the Port Authority of New York & 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.

"As the largest airline in New Jersey and New York and one of Newark's largest employers, United is committed to Newark Liberty as a model of customer service, convenience and efficiency," said Jeff Smisek, United chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Our partnership with the Port Authority and the investments United will make will ensure Liberty's place as the region's leading domestic and international airport for decades to come."

United is the New York area's largest airline, with more flights and more seats from the region to more destinations around the world than any other airline. The airline also offers New York-area travelers more flat beds in premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy seats than any other airline.

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 Airlines is a critical partner to New Jersey and the Port Authority,'' said N.J. Gov. Chris Christie. "This long-term commitment that United is showing to Newark will help us create jobs and continue our economic comeback."

"Thanks to the Port Authority's strong partnership with United, Newark Liberty has become not only a world-class airport but also an important driver of economic growth, jobs and development for the entire region," said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. "The continued investment in Newark Liberty's facilities will ensure that the airport, and Terminal C specifically, remains a modern, premier gateway for travelers."

"United Airlines is a leading anchor not just for Newark Liberty Airport, but for the economic growth of New Jersey," said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. "Our partnership with United Airlines is a model for the entire Airport community. United is a company with great corporate values and a real commitment to the people of New Jersey and New York."

"The City of Newark is enjoying an incredible revitalization, and the support of our partners at United is critical to the growth of our great city," said Newark Mayor Cory Booker. "We have ambitious plans, as Newark is a model of urban development and renewal, and the commitment of United and its employees is an integral part of bringing that development to fruition."

"United's long-time presence and investments at Newark Liberty International Airport have had a significant and positive impact on economic growth within the City of Elizabeth and in the region," said Elizabeth, N.J., Mayor Chris Bollwage. "We are committed to enabling further growth in the decades to come."

United Investments at Newark Hub

Since 1981, United and its predecessor carriers with Newark hubs - Continental and People Express - 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, People Express joined with the Port Authority to complete the construction of Terminal C, a project which Continental acquired following its 1987 merger with People Express.

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 Dec. 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.

Co-worker Breakrooms

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.

About United

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,472 flights a day to 381 airports across six continents. In 2012, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is investing in upgrading its onboard products and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In 2013, United became the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul overseas routes. The airline also features DIRECTV® on nearly 200 aircraft, offering customers more live television access than any other airline in the world. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has made large-scale investments in its fleet. In 2013, United will continue to modernize its fleet by taking delivery of more than two dozen new Boeing aircraft. The company expanded its industry-leading global route network in 2012, launching nine new international and 18 new domestic routes. Business Traveler magazine awarded United Best Airline for North American Travel for 2012, and readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United's MileagePlus program the best frequent flyer program for nine consecutive years. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 194 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com or follow United on Twitter and Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.

SOURCE United Airlines


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