Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is planning to build a 4,000 square foot lounge at the international terminal of Los Angeles International Airport, according to a filing from the city's Board of Airport commissioners.
The lease was discussed at the board's July meeting. Unfortunately, I could not find any pictures, but Eithad will receive 4,000 square feet and pay $6.8 million over 10 years in rent. Etihad, which is not known for doing anything halfway, has promised LAX that will spend at least $500 per square foot to improve the space. The renovation must be completed within 18 months.
Often, airlines with only one daily flight, like Etihad, reach an agreement with another airline to "borrow" a lounge. But Etihad doesn't operate like that. Their executives want luxury and exclusvity.
I've never flown Etihad, but I hear the airline puts on quite a show. Blogger Ben Schlappig was on the inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles in June and put together an impressive report on his One Mile At A Time blog.