STAR ALLIANCE gears up for terminal moves at LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT
Star Alliance, the way the Earth connects, is preparing to start implementation of its long anticipated “Move under one Roof” project at London’s Heathrow Airport. Realisation will be in various phases, with the first commencing in April this year and completion expected in 2012.
“Of all our ‘Move under one Roof’ projects, Heathrow is admittedly the most challenging. In an ideal world, we would already like to offer our customers a new, state-of-the art facility today. But needing to make use of the existing infrastructure, we will only be able to achieve this through a phased approach together with the BAA and our member carriers. The end result will, however, be a completely new customer experience at Heathrow, which will set a new standard for the industry,” said Jaan Albrecht, CEO Star Alliance.
The first phase of the project is a major overhaul of the current Terminal 1. Work is underway to demolish the existing check-in islands and create a completely redesigned check-in hall which will allow both Air New Zealand and United to relocate from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 as of June 10th, 2008.
“With annual passenger numbers at Terminal 1 projected to fall from the present 23 million to 15 million in 2009, the overall facility will be far less crowded than in the past. In addition, we are undertaking various initiatives to improve the overall experience for our travellers,” Albrecht continued.
bmi, South African Airways and United* will in future offer an arrivals lounge in the Star Alliance design to eligible customers arriving on flights into Heathrow. The 330 square metre facility will be located outside the customs hall on the main level with convenient elevator access from the arrivals area.
For departing customers, Star Alliance will open its largest lounge in the entire network in Terminal 1 in June 2008. The 1,650 square metre facility will be for all First and Business Class passengers as well as for Star Alliance Gold Card holders travelling on any of the member carriers from
The second phase of the move is scheduled for the latter part of 2008 and will coincide with the closure of Terminal 2. All Star Alliance member carriers presently operating in Terminal 2 – Austrian, Lufthansa, SWISS, TAP Portugal and regional member carrier Croatia Airlines – are scheduled to move to during October and November. Coinciding with this, bmi will start making use of a new check-in area featuring a linear layout as compared to the islands being used at present in Terminal 1.
All other Star Alliance member airlines serving Heathrow – Air Canada, Air China, ANA, Blue1, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, THAI and Turkish Airlines# - are expected to continue to operate from Terminal 3 until 2012. In the interim, a number of improvements to Terminal 3 facilities are under way, with more planned over the next couple of years, including refurbishments to check-in, gate areas and lounge facilities as well as enhancements to baggage delivery systems that will benefit customers of Star Alliance carriers.
Overall 17 Star Alliance member carriers currently serve Heathrow, offering 184 daily flights to 83 destinations in 44 countries. As of April, a total of 20 member carriers will be operating from Heathrow with Turkish Airlines becoming a full member, Blue1 commencing service from Heathrow to Helsinki and US Airways starting to fly from Heathrow to Philadelphia. The number of daily flights will increase to 192, serving 88 destinations in 45 countries.
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