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

Stocks in this article: UAL

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.

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