Thursday, October 23, 2008

JetBlue Opens New Terminal 5 At JFK

JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq:JBLU) today welcomes its first customers to Terminal 5, the airline's newly constructed home at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Commencing today, all JetBlue departures from JFK will operate from T5, as will all domestic arrivals and international arrivals that pre-clear U.S. customs prior to arriving in New York. The first flight scheduled to arrive at T5 was JetBlue Flight 358 from Burbank at 5:05 a.m. The first departure scheduled for T5 was JetBlue Flight 709 to San Juan, with a scheduled departure time of 6:00 a.m.

One of the first terminals in the U.S. to be completely designed and built post 9/11, T5 focuses on efficiency and customer comfort. The 635,000-square-foot terminal boasts 26 gates distributed throughout three concourses and includes a 55,000-square-foot central retail and concession Marketplace. T5 is designed to accommodate up to 20 million annual customers with up to 250 daily departures.

"From day one Terminal 5 will welcome more than 30 percent of JFK's annual customer traffic," said Dave Barger, CEO of JetBlue Airways. "The terminal is designed specifically with our customers in mind, and we have created a new standard in both comfort and service that everyone can enjoy. Its unique amenities will create a stress free on-the-ground experience for JetBlue customers that will match the innovative and award-winning experience JetBlue is known for in the air."

The design of T5 allows customers to control their own movement and experience through the terminal. There are two check-in areas with a total of 65 e-ticket kiosks and 40 traditional check-in counters, a large central security checkpoint -- the largest single checkpoint in the United States -- capable of accommodating 20 screening lanes, and an automated "in-line" baggage system that efficiently moves bags from the check-in lobby through screening and to the ramp for delivery to waiting aircraft. Customers will be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal, grandstand seating under a 40-foot-diameter digital ring of LCD monitors in the Marketplace, spacious gate areas with ample seating, expansive windows that bring in natural light and offer unparalleled runway views, a children's play space, and a lounge-like area in the East Concourse filled with whimsical and colorful furniture by Italian designer Moroso.

Twenty-two concessions, created exclusively for T5 by OTG Management, and 25 specialty retail stores present customers with unique dining and shopping options. T5 includes nine full-serve restaurants, bars and cafes; a gourmet food hall featuring eight quick-serve eateries; grab-and-go gourmet markets; three coffee bars; six bars/lounges; and an innovative gate area program called re:vive that allows customers to use touch-screen monitors to order meals for delivery to the gate areas.

T5, designed by Gensler and created in collaboration with Turner Construction Company, Arup, AECOM (as DMJM Harris) and Rockwell Group, provides operational efficiencies while offering a customer-friendly experience for today's traveler. The terminal was majority funded by and built in collaboration with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Kennedy Airport's operator. T5 is located behind the iconic Eero Saarinen-designed TWA terminal, which remains under the control of the Port Authority. The Port Authority is rehabilitating and restoring the landmark structure in order to reopen it to the public under an adaptive reuse program. The design of JetBlue's new T5 began in March 2004 with groundbreaking occurring in December 2005.

About JetBlue Airways
New York-based JetBlue Airways has created a new airline category based on value, service and style. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue is now pleased to offer customers Lots of Legroom and super-spacious Even More Legroom seats. JetBlue introduced complimentary in-flight e-mail and instant messaging services on aircraft "BetaBlue," a first among U.S. domestic airlines. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit for details. JetBlue serves 51 cities with 500 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all travel is ticketless, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583) or visit

Monday, October 6, 2008

IBC NEWS: Stocks Fall Sharply on Credit Concerns

The selling on Wall Street began at the opening bell on Monday and only intensified as the morning went on. Shares moved sharply lower as the banking crisis tightened its grip on the global economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell below 10,000 for the first time since 2004 after losing more than 500 points in the first hour. The index has lost more than 1,100 points — or about 10 percent — in slightly more than a week.

Shortly after noon, the Dow was down 450 points or 4.3 percent.

The broader American stock market was down more than 4.9 percent, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, its worst decline since last Monday’s 8.8 percent drop. At the same time, oil dropped below $90 a barrel.

The precipitous declines, which accelerated as the morning wore on, came a day after European governments were forced to scramble to save several major banks and lenders from collapse. The moves reinforced the global reach of the current crisis and alarmed depositors and regulators in the United States and abroad.

European stocks fell even further, with the major indexes in London, Paris, and Frankfurt down nearly 7 percent.

The sharp slides came despite a morning announcement from the Federal Reserve, which said it would significantly expand the amount of money it makes available to major banks. The Fed will now lend up to $900 billion in credit, an enormous sum that officials hope will reassure banks that the government will provide them with adequate capital.

The moves were aimed at resolving a problem at the center of the current credit crisis: the reluctance of banks to lend. The healthy functioning of the world’s economy is dependent on the easy flow of short-term loans among banks, businesses and consumers, a stream that has been cut off as banks become more fearful of giving out cash.

Borrowing rates remained very high on Monday despite the passage of the American bailout plan, although proponents of that package argue that its longer-term benefits will take time to carry out. Still, some gauges of anxiety in the market again reached record highs as the week began, and a benchmark overnight borrowing rate, the Libor rate, moved higher. A measure of volatility, the VIX index, jumped to its highest intraday level ever.

“It’s not just a question clearing problem assets,” said Bob McKee, chief economist for Independent Strategy, a research consultancy. “If banks don’t have enough capital they will be paralyzed.”

Oil prices tumbled nearly $4 a barrel to below $90, the first time it has fallen that low since February, before recovering slightly to $90.90 around 10 a.m. The euro continued to fall against the dollar.

Falling oil prices provoked a decline of just over 1,000 points, or nearly 9.9 percent, on the Toronto Stock Market. The drop brought the S&P/TSX index below 10,000 points for the first time since May 2004.

Energy stocks drove the decline, falling 13 percent. Financial industry shares were down 7 percent in mid-morning trading with the Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest bank, down 8.43 percent. That drop came despite the fact that the Royal Bank, like most of Canada’s major banks, has relatively little expose to troubled debt in the United States.

Strong prices for oil and gas as well as commodities like metals, have allowed most of Canada to escape the economic downturn in the United States. But the Bank of Nova Scotia report released on Monday said that weakness in the manufacturing sector, which relies heavily on exports to the United States, will push likely Canada into a recession.

In Europe, governments worked over the weekend to prevent the collapse of two lenders, Hypo Real Estate in Germany and the Belgian operations of Fortis. The German government also said it would guarantee all private bank deposits as it sought to avert the spread of the financial contagion.

The FTSE 100 index in London fell 5.6 percent; the Frankfurt DAX was down 5.2 percent and the CAC-40 in Paris lost 5.9 percent.

A similar sell-off occurred in Asia, the Nikkei 225 stock average in Tokyo fell 4.3 percent, while the Kospi index in Seoul fell 4.3 percent. The Standard and Poor’s/ASX 200 index in Sydney fell 3.3 percent, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 5 percent.

“People are really disappointed by the inability of Europe to react on a concerted basis,” said Andrew Popper, a fund manager at SG Hambros in London. “It’s still very much a country by country approach. There is also a realization that we haven’t seen any effects on economic growth so far but that now is starting and that’s having an effect on non-financial shares.”

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Two 26-year-old women struck and killed by taxis in East Village

A pair of young women were killed after a night on the town - one hit by a yellow cab and the other struck by two, police and witnesses said.

Stephanie Dees and Ann Sullivan, both 26, left Bella's Famous Brick Oven Pizza about 3:30 a.m. yesterday and were trying to cross 14th St. near First Ave.

A yellow cab - traveling west on 14th St. - hit the women, bouncing Dees into the opposite lane of traffic, police said. A second taxi then plowed into her, police said.

"I saw the two girls standing at the intersection side by side in the middle of the road," said Dexton McKenzie, 37, who was a passenger in the second cab.

"The next thing I saw was a head fly into the windshield and another girl flying toward a garbage can," McKenzie said. "I ran out of the car and saw tire tracks on the one girl's body and blood coming out of her mouth."

The two friends were seen playfully taking pictures of each other at the restaurant shortly before the East Village accident.

Dees and Sullivan died at Beth Israel Medical Center. Neither taxi driver faces criminal charges, police said.
"They were just two girls having fun," said an employee at the pizzeria.

"They saw a guy asleep on a table and they went behind him and snapped pictures of themselves," the worker said. "They appeared real good-natured. This is such a shame."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


WASHINGTON, DC -- President George W. Bush on Tuesday signed into law
a mammoth spending bill that includes a $25 billion loan package for
troubled automakers.

The bill sets aside $7.5 billion in taxpayer funds needed to guarantee
$25 billion in low-interest loans to help General Motors Corp, Ford
Motor Co and Chrysler LLC produce more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.

U.S. automakers have said the taxpayer-backed loan package would give
them access to capital at a time when credit markets are shut and they
are being driven to invest in new technologies to meet tough new
federal fuel economy standards.

The $25 billion loan package, the biggest federal subsidy for the auto
industry since the 1980 bailout of Chrysler, cleared Congress last
weekend when the focus was on the debate over the $700 billion
financial rescue package.

Both presidential candidates, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican
John McCain, backed the auto loan package, which had strong support in
battleground election states like Michigan and Ohio.

The Voice of Empathy

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