Air Transport World

The 'other' New York airport: Newark nudged in among top U.S. gateways with a 25.2% gain in international passengers in 1989, a boost for the entire area market. (Newark International Airport)

Newark nudged in among top U.S. gateways with a 25.2% gain in international passengers in 1989, a boost for the entire area market. New York-it's a safe bet that Newark International never will overtake Kennedy as the leading U.S. international gateway. But Newark is the fastest-growing of New York's three major airports and while this is not necessarily good for JFK, it is good news for New York.

During the 1978-88 period, New York's share of all international traffic to and f rom the U.S. was cut gradually from 60% to 51%. Also during this period, for all practical purposes, New York meant JFK, especially for transatlantic travelers. Since 1989, however, it has increasingly meant Newark international as well. Together, the two handled about 20.6 million arriving or departing international passengers in 1989. This was a slight gain of about 1.6% over the previous year. But the gain was almost entirely due to Newark's performance, 2.16 million passengers in 1989 vs. 1.725 million in 1988, a whopping 25.2% rise. JFK, meanwhile, was essentially flat, at 18.4 million passengers.

For the first four months of this year, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reports that Newark's international-passenger total rose 34.3% more a 60.5% gain in April vs. April-while JFK showed a 3.2% gain for the period. Zeroing in on departing passengers, JFK handled 8.95 million and Newark 1.08 million in 1989. For the 1980-89 decade, this represented gains of 39% and 374%, respectively. La. Guardia, the third of the Port Authority's three major New York-area airports, basically is a domestic operation,

Losing share but growing

It should be noted here that the popular saying, "a rising tide raises all boats," applies particularly well to JFK. Although the airport has been losing market share, the overall international market has been growing year by year and JFK's passenger count is growing with it, albeit not as rapidly as in the past.

The reasons for JFK's relative decline are not hard to find. …

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