Delta Air Lines has unveiled concept renderings for its new Delta Sky Way at LAX project, a part of the airline’s $1.86 billion plan to modernize and upgrade its presence at Los Angeles International Airport–the world’s third busiest airport.
“Nearly 10 years ago, we made a commitment to be LA’s premier, premium airline,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “Today, LAX is one of the most important hubs in our network where we operate more than 170 daily flights and connect more passengers to our partner airlines than anywhere else in the U.S.”
“The Delta Sky Way at LAX project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in and transform the airport experience in partnership with LAWA and the City of Los Angeles. Delta is excited and proud to be leading the way not just in LA but in our hubs across the country, with more than $12 billion in airport infrastructure investments in progress over the next few years.”
Thursday’s project kick-off and press conference at LAX follows a recent approval by Los Angeles World Airports’ (LAWA) Board of Airport Commissioners for the largest tenant improvement award in its history.
“Los Angeles is constantly reaching new heights, and today’s project launch creates jobs and forges global connections,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The modernization of Terminals 2 and 3 is an investment in our economy and people, and Delta’s partnership is helping to accelerate an era of growth and innovation in Los Angeles.”
The project, which will connect Terminals 2 and 3 with the Tom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal B), is expected to begin construction this fall.
When completed, the facility will offer more security screening capacity with automated security lanes, more gate-area seating and an elevated concession program in partnership with Westfield Corporation. Delta’s elite customers can also expect to see such services as the Delta ONE at LAX check-in space and a new Delta Sky Club.
“Our vision is a gold-standard airport, and one of our strategic plan goals is delivering exceptional facilities and experiences at the same time,” said LAWA CEO Deborah Flint. “And even though that is no easy feat, I am confident that with the team at Delta and the partnership we have, that we can achieve that vision.”
The Sky Way announcement comes about a year after LAX underwent one of the largest terminal relocations to ever occur at an operating airport. The swap, which affected approximately 70 carriers, shifted Delta from its previous home in Terminals 5 and 6 to its current space in the Tom Bradley-adjacent Terminals 2 and 3, placing the airline closer to its partner carriers such as Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic and WestJet.
When the Sky Way project is complete, Delta passengers will have seamless access to more partners, including Air France-KLM, Alitalia, China Eastern, Korean Air and Virgin Australia, which operate out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
The Sky Way project will also offer direct access to the new LAX automated people mover, which is expected to be fully operational in 2023
Since Delta made its move to Terminals 2 and 3, it has already implemented a number of improvements, including introducing a new retail and dining lineup in Terminal 3 in December 2017. Delta has also opened an interim Delta ONE at LAX reception area featuring a private corridor that takes customers directly to the front of the security checkpoint with easy access to TSA Pre-Check and standard lanes.
The airline has also installed new padded seats in the gate areas and is planning to introduce seat power in summer 2018. Finally, the seating area in the Terminal 3 Delta Sky Club will be expanded this summer.
Delta’s relocated operations have already resulted in improved performance at LAX. From June 2017-March 2018, the airline saw a 16-point improvement in on-time performance versus the prior year. Additionally, taxi times have been reduced by more than 8 minutes per flight.
Delta has invested more than $7 billion in airport projects since 2006, and along with its airport partners, Delta will be involved in an additional $12 billion worth of facilities infrastructure projects in coming years, including improvements at several of its key hubs in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Salt Lake City and Seattle.