British Airways postpones long-haul move to Terminal 5

11-04-2008

British Airways postpones long-haul move to Terminal 5
British Airways (BA) is delaying the move of the airline's long-haul services from Terminal 4 at Heathrow to Terminal 5 until June.

Although BA insists a normal flight schedule is now operating from the terminal, the airline said it wants to "iron out" any further problems with the baggage system before more customers are sent through the doors.

Willie Walsh, BA's chief executive, said: "We are making this decision in the interests of customers.

"It is only sensible to ensure that Terminal 5 is operating consistently at a high standard before the move begins."

Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow owner BAA, said: "BAA regrets this postponement, and we recognise the impact it has on other airlines, but we believe it is a wise precaution to ensure that passengers can have the maximum confidence once the move does take place.

"BAA fully recognises that the inauguration of Terminal Five has not been as smooth as we and BA would have wished."

The problems at Heathrow's newest terminal started on day one, when a baggage system failure created a huge backlog of bags at the airport. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled, and thousands of bags remain lost.

The problems represent a huge embarrassment for British Airways, which is the only airline operating from the terminal. The building was designed to ease overcrowding at the London airport and provide a better experience for passengers.

Shares in BA dropped slightly to £2.26 on the news. The airline's share price has plunged since the terminal opened on March 27th.

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