Last updated: 02:46 PM ET, Thu July 21 2016

Delta to Move Forward with $1.9 Billion Relocation, Upgrades at LAX

Airlines & Airports | Delta Air Lines | Patrick Clarke | July 21, 2016

Delta to Move Forward with $1.9 Billion Relocation, Upgrades at LAX

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.

Regardless of whether Los Angeles is successful in its bid to host to the Olympic Games in 2024, it appears the city's airport will look much different a decade from now.

Delta announced Wednesday that it will move forward with an extensive $1.9 billion plan to enhance and connect Terminals 2 and 3 at Los Angeles International Airport over the next seven years.

The Los Angeles World Airports' (LAWA) Board of Airport Commissioners approved a terminal facilities lease and license agreement Wednesday, the airline said. However the project remains subject to additional approval by the L.A. City Council and other agencies.

The relocation from Terminals 5 and 6 to Terminals 2 and 3 will allow Delta to operate alongside some of its partner airlines, including Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia.

Further down the road, plans to develop a secure connector to the airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) will allow the Atlanta-based carrier to operate alongside additional airline partners like Air France-KLM, Alitalia, China Eastern and China Southern.

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The expansion makes sense given Delta's recent growth at LAX. Since 2009, the airline has more than doubled its seats, going from 70 daily departures to more than 175 today.

When the project is completed, passengers can expect a private Delta One check-in lounge, brand new Delta Sky Clubs and fast check-in for Delta Shuttle services as well as an integrated in-line baggage system.

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"This is a significant milestone for Delta in Los Angeles, and it illustrates a strong, successful public-private partnership," said Delta CEO Ed Bastian in a statement. "Delta is working hard to become the preferred airline for Angelenos, and this project reinforces our commitment to our LAX hub and to an ever-higher level of service for our customers."

In his own statement, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti called the agreement "a monumental step forward."

Delta's initial $350 million investment will go toward renovating gate areas and other passenger amenities and upgrading the terminals' baggage handling systems as well as facilitating the relocation of the airlines currently located in Terminals 2 and 3. 

"We are grateful for our partnership with LAWA as we work together to invest at LAX, and we look forward to engaging the Los Angeles City Council and other parties on forthcoming review and approval of this important investment," added Bastian.


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