June 07, 2006

On June 1, the International Air Transport Association released data showing a 6.9 percent jump in passenger demand from January to April 2006 over the same period last year. Load factors for the first four months of 2006 averaged 74.8 percent. "Even with the high price of oil and rising interest rates, there is no apparent drop in demand, and carriers are responding with careful capacity management that saw the April load factors reach their highest point -- 76.5 percent -- in the past decade," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's director general and CEO.

Last week, JetBlue opened seven new gates at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, bringing the airline's total number of gates to 21. The airline now can accommodate up to 185 daily flights. When JFK's Terminal 5 reopens in 2009, the airline will offer up to 250 daily flights through 26 gates.

A new long-term parking area opened last week at San Francisco International Airport offering baggage check and boarding-pass printing. The garage has flight monitors, ATMs, bathrooms and its own police office.