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Airlines agree on O’Hare expansion


The two largest tenants at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, United Airlines and American Airlines, have now agreed to support the city’s transformational proposal to modernize the facility.  The city has committed to working with American to expedite the construction of three common use gates, breaking a logjam that arose when the airline expressed concern over the allocation of gates following the upgrades.

The plans for the updated facilities were unveiled two weeks ago and were detailed in an earlier Airports of the World news story.

Chicago Mayor Rham Emanuel said: “This agreement is a watershed moment for Chicago, and it means we will create tens of thousands of jobs for Chicagoans from every part of the city, generate billions of dollars in economic development and strengthen our city’s economy for generations.  O’Hare will compete with any airport in the world, and Chicago residents and visitors will have more options and a vastly superior traveling experience. I want to thank the airlines for realizing the transformative potential of this project and being partners not just a new day for O’Hare, but a brighter future for Chicago.”

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz added: “As Chicago’s hometown airline, we welcome this bold vision for a modern O’Hare that will vastly improve the traveling experience and provide United’s 15,000 Chicago-based team members with the resources they need to deliver the best possible service, convenience and reliability to our customers. We applaud Mayor Emanuel for providing leadership and charting a future for O’Hare that will allow Chicago to compete and win on a global scale.  This agreement not only gives O’Hare a competitive edge against other airports, but also ensures competition thrives between airlines, so that – in the end – customers win. We look forward to continue growing at O’Hare, which is already our busiest hub, and serving the City as one of the region’s largest private sector employers.”

“This landmark plan for a redeveloped O’Hare will transform the airport experience for travelers and allow American Airlines to continue to invest and grow in the city of Chicago,” said American Airlines CEO Doug Parker. “We are strongly supportive of this agreement because it is what is best for the city of Chicago, our 9,300 Chicago team members and our customers. Thank you to Mayor Emanuel for his commitment to ensuring Chicago is on the leading edge of airport innovation. The Mayor and his team worked tirelessly and creatively to structure an agreement that keeps competition thriving at O’Hare. We look forward to growing at O’Hare in the years to come.”​

Picture: Transformation of the central terminal area at Chicago O’Hare International Airport has move a step closer now that the two largest US major airlines using the facility are supporting the project.  (Chicago Department of Airports)

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