I wish there were some comprehensive website with the history of JFK
's terminals but I haven not found any yet. So here's what information I have. Up until the 1990s the terminals were simply known by the name of the carriers that operated out of them. Then they got new designations like TWA's terminals became 4A and 4B (now 5 and 6).
Terminal 1- opened in May of 1998. It repaces the site of what was until 1991 Eastern Airlines terminal (originally built in 1959). The present terminal was built for Air France, JAL, Korean Air, and Lufthansa. It is also used by Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic among others. Air Afrique and Transbrasil had their flights out of this terminal.
Terminal 2 (formerly 1A)- Built in 1962 it was originally Delta/Northwest Orient. Braniff was also there until 1981. Delta and Northwest vacated it in the mid-80s and it became Pan Am's domestic terminal. In 1991 it reverted to Delta and was used by Air Jamaica, Lacsa, Saeta, Saudi Arabian Airlines and TACA at various times.
Terminal 3 (formerly Delta Flight Center)- Delta's International Terminal. Was opened in 1960 as the Pan Am Worldport. In 1971 it underwent a multi-million dollar expansion. In the 1970s Aeroflot and Iran Air both had flights out of this terminal. In 1991 Pan Am went under and Delta took over the terminal. Different codeshare parters of Delta used the terminal throughout the 1990s. Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air China, Air Ukraine, ANA, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, CSA, Finnair, Malev, Sabena, Swissair, TAP, Tarom, Varig and Virgin Atlantic all used this terminal at various points throughout the 1990s.
Terminal 4 (former site of IAB
with 4E East Wing and 4W West Wing) - Was the site of the International Arrivals building which was completed in 1957. It housed most of JFK
's international carriers and had become crowded and rundown by the 1990s. The new terminal opened in 2001. For those of who remember the old IAB
, driving by it looked like a giant mall with each airline having a storefront sign.
Terminal 5 (formerly TWA 4A)- TWA's International Terminal. It was opened in 1962 and flight wing one was added in late 1970 to handle the new jumbo jets. After terminal 6 was acquired by TWA it became an exclusively international terminal. In the early 80s it was also home to USAir's Allegheny Commuter. Royal Jordanian moved to this terminal in late 1997. Air Europa, America West and Sun Country all used this terminal in the late 1990s. It was shut down in October of 2001 after TWA's takeover by American Airlines.
Terminal 6 (formerly TWA 4B)- Jet Blue's Terminal. It was designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, it was known as the National Airlines Sundome when it was inaugurated in 1969. In 1980 Pan Am acquired National and TWA decided to take over this terminal and make it it's domestic terminal (though in the early 80s some departures to Lisbon and London were flown from here). In the early 1990s as TWA began cutting back at JFK
, Carnival, North American, Philippine Airlines and Transbrasil operated flights from here. In 1997 Pan Am II
moved in as well as United. TWA finally abandoned the terminal in 2000.
Terminal 7 (fromerly British Airways Terminal). It was originally completed in 1970 and was home to British Airways as well as Air Canada. TAP Air Portugal was there in the 1980s briefly. In 1991 it was completely refurbished and United Airlines moved in. By the mid-90s LAN Chile, Saeta, USAir and Varig were all at this terminal. Later it became a home to many OneWorld members such as Cathay Pacific. America West and Thai Airways International also use it.
Terminal 8 (formerly American Airlines 3A/B)- American Airlines International Terminal. It was inaugurated in 1960 and has the distinction of having the world's largest stained glass work. In the early 1980s it was also home to Olympic Airways. In the 1990s BWIA, Finnair, Gulf Air, LOT and SAA all moved in. It is now home to Iberia and other OneWorld members.
Terminal 9 (formerly American Airlines 3C
/D)- American Airlines Domestic Terminal. It was completed in 1959 as United Airlines terminal. They stayed there until 1991 when they moved to Terminal 7. It was also home to United Airlines after they moved out of terminal 2. Aerolineas Argentinas used it in the late 1990s.