New York is one of the most important markets we serve at Delta, and it has long been our goal to become the preferred airline for customers traveling to and from New York.
And we’ve made a lot of progress in the past decade. We built an international hub at JFK that connects the city to points across the globe, including Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. We broke ground last year on a $1.2 billion expansion and enhancement of Terminal 4 at JFK. And you’re seeing Delta’s name all over the city as the official airline of the Yankees and Mets, the Knicks, the Rangers and Madison Square Garden, just to name a few.
Today marks a new step in our New York expansion, and it’s Delta’s biggest move yet. We’ve unveiled our schedule for 2012 that creates a new domestic hub at LaGuardia Airport. We’ll be adding 100 new daily flights to nearly 30 new cities from LaGuardia. We’re adding new service to top business markets like Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth and Cleveland, and adding or expanding service to small- and mid-sized cities across the country, including Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester, N.Y.; Richmond, Va.; Greensboro, N.C.; and Norfolk, Va.
Many smaller communities will be getting jet service on Delta to LaGuardia, a significant upgrade from smaller, turborprop aircraft that previously served those markets.
Overall, we’ll be adding 4 million new seats every year at LaGuardia. And we can do that without increasing congestion simply by using larger aircraft than other airlines had previously. In the end, our new LGA service will enhance customer choice and increase competition in the market. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently concluded that our New York expansion has significant benefits for consumers – and we strongly agree.
It’s the largest single-carrier expansion in New York in many years, which makes this an exciting and historic day for Delta and our New York customers.
To make sure we can handle all of these new flights smoothly, we’re taking over Terminal C at LaGuardia, and building a 600-foot bridge connecting it with Delta Terminal D. We’ll operate a total of 29 gates at both terminals, and we’re also going to add a new Delta Sky Club in Terminal C, in addition to the newly-renovated one in Terminal D.
Including our six gates at the Marine Air Terminal, we’ll have a total of 35 gates at LaGuardia by summer 2012 – more than double what we operate now.
I’m looking forward to seeing you in New York in 2012!
Senior Vice President –New York