London Heathrow opened its new Terminal 2 this morning.
Star Alliance member United Airlines operated the first flight to arrive at the terminal, where Star carriers are to dominate. UA958, a Boeing 767-300 service from Chicago, landed at 05:43 and reached gate B38 6min later.
The US carrier has moved all 17 of its daily Heathrow flights to the terminal, from Terminals 1 and 4, and for three weeks will be the sole operator at the new facility, where activity is being stepped up in phases.
All 22 of the other Star Alliance members with operations at the London hub – plus Aer Lingus, Germanwings and Little Red – will move into Terminal 2 within next six months.
Air Canada, Air China and All Nippon Airways will be the next Star members to move, on 18 June. Aegean Airlines, Eva Air, Thai Airways and Turkish Airlines will follow suit in July, and Colombian carrier Avianca is to launch a service between London and Bogota that month.
September will bring the transition of EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines and Singapore Airlines, and October the rest: Air New Zealand, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, LOT, Lufthansa, South African Airways, Swiss International Air Lines and TAP Portugal.
Together, Star Alliance carriers operate some 121 flights per day from Heathrow, to 45 destinations.
At Terminal 2, airlines are grouped in zones within the check-in area, and 81 common-use self-service kiosks can be used by any passenger to check in or print a bag tag before they proceed to a bag-drop desk.
Full-service traditional check-in desks are available to first-class, business-class and Star Alliance Gold passengers. Premium passengers can also avail of fast-track security.
Eight out of the satellite pier’s 12 gates will allow self-boarding, in which passengers simply pass through a mechanical barrier to board their flight.