By Betsy Scheinbart
More than six months after its grand-opening, JFK Airport’s new Terminal 4 continued to celebrate new developments last month as a Peruvian airline chose Queens’ newest terminal as its New York base of operations and began service to the Dominican Republic.
Aero Continente, based in Lima, Peru, selected John F. Kennedy International Airport’s new $1.4 billion terminal after considering a number of others, and began Boeing 767-200 service to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic on Dec. 15.
On Nov. 12, American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300-600 bound for Santo Domingo, took off from JFK and crashed in Belle Harbor, killing all 260 passengers and crew members aboard, as well as five people on the ground.
Hans Messelink, general manager of Terminal 4, welcomed Aero Continente to JFK on Dec. 6.
“We’re delighted that Aero Continente has chosen Terminal 4 as its New York base of operations,” Messelink said. “After exploring a number of alternative locations, the airline clearly selected our new facility because of the quality, service and security we provide our partners.”
Terminal 4 officially opened May 24 at a cost of $1.4 billion — the first step in the $10 billion redevelopment of the airport. Last month, Aero Continente joined 38 other U.S. and foreign-flag airlines already using the terminal.
“Terminal 4 was a logical choice,” said Anthony Duran, general manager of Aero Continente. “We were impressed by the level of technology and efficiency available at this facility.”
Aero Continente primarily serves South America, but has offices in such countries as Spain, France, Israel, Italy, Japan and many others. In addition to JFK, the airline has U.S. offices in Texas, Miami and Los Angeles.
Terminal 4 is also called JFK International Air Terminal for the private consortium selected by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which developed and manages the facility. The consortium includes Schiphol USA, LCOR Inc. and Lehman Brothers.
“The Terminal 4 partnership keeps growing because airlines recognize the value of joining the first terminal in the nation managed as a private cooperative,” said Henk Guitjens, vice president for airline marketing at JFK IAT.
The Queens Chamber of Commerce awarded a first-prize bronze plaque for building design to the new terminal at a ceremony in Queens Village Dec. 4.
The plaque was awarded as part of the chamber’s building award competition, which draws attention to new structures that make contributions to the Queens landscape.
Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.