LaGuardia airport in New York City celebrated its $8 billion reconstruction last Wednesday.
The airport now includes a 1.3 million-square foot Delta Air Lines terminal—the largest carrier at LaGuardia. The terminal features high-tech art work, power outlets at all seats, fancy restaurants, as well as Delta’s largest airport lounge—a Sky Club with panoramic views that when finished can accommodate nearly 600 guests.
Delta started operating flights from the brand new Terminal C on Saturday, June 4, at nine of the 37 new gates. This summer, the air carrier is operating 255 flights daily to 70 cities.
According to Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, LaGuardia airport had transformed from the “most reviled airport in the nation” into a world-class facility.
The 6-year reconstruction cost New York and the airlines about $8 billion. Back in 2014, the city’s long-derided airport was dubbed “some third-world country” by then-Vice President Joe Biden.
“Come see this, President Biden, because your jaw is going to drop,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul—who did not forget Biden’s assessment—during the grand opening event.
Come see this, President Biden, because your jaw is going to drop.Kathy Hochul, New York Governor
Most of the reconstruction costs were covered by the airlines, with Delta covering about $3.4 billion of the total.
In 2017, New York and Delta decided to merge Terminals C and D into a single bigger terminal across four concourses. Delta CEO Ed Bastian said that back then, this was the single biggest investment decision in Delta’s history.
American Airlines contributed with a $4 billion terminal redevelopment project, which was completed in January.
Last year, LaGuardia was the 25th busiest airport in the United States, and served about 7.8 million passengers. This summer, airlines are expecting record travel demand as Americans finally return to the skies after the Covid-19 era.