Delta Air Lines swapped four gates with American Airlines at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Jan. 31, the first visible element of Delta’s infrastructure upgrade at LAX. Atlanta-based Delta is moving temporarily to Terminal 6 (T6) gates 60-63; Dallas/Fort Worth-based American Airlines will acquire four gates in T5 as part of the swap.

Delta, LAX operator Los Angeles World Airports and the city of Los Angeles co-announced in July 2016 a seven-year $1.9 billion infrastructure project to modernize, upgrade and connect LAX’s T2 and T3 terminals, and build a secure connector to the north side of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).

In addition to the new four new temporary gates, Delta will continue to operate out of three additional gates at T6 and nine gates at T5.

Delta said it has placed additional check-in positions closer to T6 and will have two baggage claim positions for passengers arriving into the terminal. The underground tunnel inside the secure area will remain open for passengers with connecting flights between T 5 and T6. Flights to Denver, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle will depart from T6, the airline said.

Delta plans to move out of T5 and T6 and into T2 and T3 in May this year, prior to commencement of construction.

By relocating from T5 and T6 to the T2 and T3 complex, Delta will consolidate operations alongside partners Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia. The eventual secure connection to TBIT will connect Delta to additional partners Air France-KLM, Alitalia, China Eastern, and China Southern Airlines.

“Airport infrastructure is a major driver of economic growth, and Delta has … experience … managing major infrastructure projects around the country,” Delta VP-sales, West Ranjan Goswami said. “Prior to the proposed project, we will be executing a move involving 22 airlines at LAX to enable co-location with our partners, which is unprecedented, so we’re putting all our resources into planning, preparing, communicating and executing this move as flawlessly as possible.”

Delta’s upcoming construction project complements the $8.5 billion LAX modernization program started in 2009, which to-date has seen the renovation of TBIT, airfield and roadway improvements and motivated airlines to invest over $2 billion in renovations to the airport’s 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 terminals.

Mark Nensel mark.nensel@penton.com