American Airlines celebrated the opening of five new gates at Chicago O’Hare International Airport Friday.
The new gates are the first to be constructed at the airport in 25 years, and the ribbon-cutting ceremony featured Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, American CEO Doug Parker, Chicago Department of Aviation vice president Franco Tedeschi and ORD team members.
Completed over the span of 20 months, the $78 million construction project added gate capacity and allows the airline to fly more seats out of Chicago this summer than at any point in the last 10 years, including new service to Venice, Italy; and Vancouver, Canada.
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“With these new gates, we’re renewing our commitment to serving our customers in Chicago and growing our service at O’Hare,” American CEO Doug Parker said in a statement. “We’ve served O’Hare for more than 60 years, and we look forward to a bright future together here with our partners at the City of Chicago.”
“Today marks a historic moment for O’Hare as we open the airport’s first new gates in 25 years,” Mayor Emanuel said. “I want to thank American Airlines for recognizing the value of this investment and look forward to working with all of our airline partners as we begin moving forward on our transformational plan that represents a watershed moment for O’Hare and Chicago’s economic future.”
The new gates are the latest part of American’s continued investment in O’Hare airport, which includes a new Flagship Lounge and renovated Admirals Club lounges. The airline will also add a new hangar and ground equipment maintenance facility later this year.
The celebration came after a dispute between American, United Airlines and the city of Chicago over the number of gates to be assigned to each carrier, which had been the base of the issues for the companies in recent months.
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