It will be difficult to provide the “perfect passenger experience” over the first few days at the new Heathrow Terminal 2, according to Heathrow airport’s development director, John Holland-Kaye
Holland-Kaye, who was speaking earlier today at a T2 briefing in central London, said he can’t guarantee the opening few days will run smoothly, but hopes to eventually emulate the success of Heathrow Terminal 5.
The new terminal which will also be known as the Queen’s Terminal is due to open on June 4 when United will become the first airline to move into the building.
The terminal will then see the rest of the Star Alliance carriers move in over the following months with all 22 member airlines operating at Heathrow due to be under the one roof by the end of November.
“I don’t think anyone underestimates how big a challenge this opening is,” said Holland-Kaye. “The chances of a smooth opening are low but mitigation plans are in place.”
He said it’s difficult to predict how the opening few days will go until the first flight lands in around 80 days time.
“We have more than 24,000 people working at the new terminal so trying to ensure people don’t turn right when they should be turning left is difficult.
“So I can’t guarantee the opening day will be perfect but look at Terminal 5, after a few weeks everyone was running smoothly," Holland-Kaye added.
Terminal 2, which will have the capacity for 20 million passengers a year, will have all of Star Alliance’s 23 airlines operating “under one roof”.
Airline moves will be staggered throughout the year, with the last carrier expected to move its operation in November. Heathrow said this will ensure “minimum disruption”.
The only other carriers operating out of T2 will be Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Germanwings.
The first service into the terminal will be United flight UA958 from Chicago and is scheduled to land at 05:55.