Schiphol buys JFK Terminal 4
Amsterdam's airport Schiphol has become the sole owner of Terminal 4 at New York's JFK airport. This is the first time that a foreign company has taken control of an airport terminal in the United States. Schiphol already owned 40 percent of the terminal's shares. Now, for a further 13 million dollars, it has purchased the remaining 60 percent.
Schiphol will be able to charge fees to all airline companies wishing to make use of the terminal. In the coming years, the terminal is to be expanded from 16 to 25 gates. The biggest customer will be Delta Air Lines, which is a partner of the Air France-KLM company.
Airline companies try to transport as many passengers from a single airport on one continent to a single airport on another continent. This enables them to carry travellers via their own network, or that of a partner, to the final destination. This is known as the 'hub system'. Jos Nijhuis, Schiphol's CEO, says the purchase will, "Considerably strengthen the position of Amsterdam as European hub for the US. That will lead to extra flight traffic to Amsterdam."
Camiel Eurlings, the Dutch caretaker transport minister, commented that, "This is not only financially lucrative, but also strategically important. There are only a few European airports left with global importance. The rest are fading away to the regional level, handling only European flights."
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