New York’s LaGuardia Airport isn’t the most pleasant place in the world and has even drawn comparisons to a Third World country from US Vice President Joe Biden. Now the NYC domestic air travel hub is getting a complete renovation after Biden and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled rebuild plans with Biden’s help.
The first phase of the raze-and-rebuild redevelopment project will cost $4 billion, the Associated Press reports, and will see the existing four terminals knocked down and one building arise in a move to consolidate operations into an easier and efficient space for airlines and travelers alike. Adding to the new customer experience, the new hub will connect to the New York City subway system, add a hotel and make more space for airplanes to taxi.
“I wish everything I said that was truthful but controversial would turn out this well,” Biden joked during the press conference detailing the overhaul for the airport, consistently ranked among the worst in the US for cleanliness, design and delays. The first phase should be completed in 2021.
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Key to the plan is Delta Air Lines, a key partner in the public-private project that has committed to redevelop its two terminals. “This doesn’t happen without Delta Airlines,” Cuomo said, according to Bloomberg. As it is, Delta has already sunk $2 billion into upgrades at LaGuardia and NYC’s John F. Kennedy Airport.
“The initiatives announced today are aligned with our ongoing commitment to providing an exceptional experience for anyone traveling through New York for business or pleasure,” Delta President Ed Bastian said in a statement, no doubt recalling his displeasure at the 168 flight cancellations that occurred on Friday due to a LaGuardia power outage.
Meanwhile, Delta is also sinking big money into another venture. The Wall Street Journal reports that the airline is spending $450 million to acquire a 3.55% of China Eastern Airlines Corp. Since 2011, Delta has invested in three other foreign airlines and this marks a continuation of that investment strategy.