Virgin Australia and its US partner Delta Air Lines will move to LAX Terminals 2 and 3 by the middle of 2017.
The terminals will be renovated and joined together in a US$2 billion development, Delta Air Lines Vice President Ranjan Goswani told Australian Business Traveller at a media event in Los Angeles to launch Virgin Australia’s new Boeing 777 business class.
Virgin currently flies into and out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, although checkin is done at T3, while Delta operates out of the dated T5 and parts of T6.
"We've been working on this for the last two years now" Goswani says of the shift, which will see T2 and T3 and developed into "a state of the art complex."
"We'll renovate T2 and completely redevelop T3, which needs to be razed and redone" Goswani explains, "and link the two with a whole new checkin facility."
Goswani expects the new terminals will "probably open in the April-May timeframe, definitely in Q2," with an airside link to TBIT also planned to allow easy connections between Delta and its SkyTeam partners Air France, Alitalia, China Eastern and China Southern.
The shift will also shorten connection times for Virgin Australia passengers transferring onto Delta flights, although it means that Virgin Australia’s business class travellers and top-tier frequent flyers will no longer enjoy access to the highly-regarded Star Alliance business class (pictured) and first class lounges at TBIT.
Instead, Virgin Australia passengers will use one of two all-new Sky Club lounges at T2 and T3 depending on the gates used by their onwards Delta flight.
But Goswani promises that Delta’s all-new Sky Club lounge will eclipse the Star Alliance lounge with "better food and complimentary alcoholic beverages from top-shelf bar menus."
There'll also be an outdoor terrace which Goswani says will be "much more than a verandah."
The new T2/T3 complex will also boast a Delta One check-in lounge as already seen over at Terminal 5...
... for the exclusive use of Delta One business class passengers, including on flights to Sydney and New York.
AusBT review: Delta One Boeing 767 business class, LA-NYC
Meanwhile, some 20 airlines currently in Terminals 2 and 3 – among them Air Canada, Virgin America, JetBlue and Qatar Airways – will move to Terminal 5, Goswani says.
"They're getting a brand new T5, which we redeveloped one and a half years ago at a cost of $230 million."
David Flynn travelled to Los Angeles as a guest of Virgin Australia.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT