BA to consolidate all Heathrow flights into two terminals

By David Flynn, November 29 2012
BA to consolidate all Heathrow flights into two terminals

British Airways plans to bring all of its London Heathrow flights together into two terminals, streamlining passenger transfers for connections to the rest of the UK and Europe.

Following a presentation to investors earlier this month, in which the move was slated for  'c.2014' – shorthand for 'circa' or 'around' 2014 – a BA spokesperson confirmed the plan to Australian Business Traveller, noting that the airline "currently operates from T1, T3 and T5. T1 came back on the BA map following the integration of bmi into the BA network."

The spokesperson was unable to advise which terminal would join BA's flagship T5 as the airline's twin home hub, saying that BA's Heathrow team was "working through the detail on the consolidation."

As we recently reported, in March 2013 British Airways will also shift the UK end of its Sydney-Singapore-London flights from London Heathrow’s Terminal 3 to the newer and streamlined Terminal 5.

BA is also looking to transfer some of bmi's UK and European traffic rights at Heathrow across to long-haul British Airways routes, with the investor presentation listing "Convert slots from short-haul to long-haul use" on a slide marked "bmi turnaround – optimise".

"BA are looking at how we best use the slots that we gained through the bmi integration" the spokesperson confirmed. "We are looking at converting the shorthaul slots to longhaul services where we see an opportunity."

Earlier this month BA's bête noire Virgin Atlantic swooped in and scooped up a dozen competition-boosting slots at Heathrow which were made available as a direct result of the BA-bmi merger, which ironically Virgin will use to launch short-haul flights within the UK as well as to Europe and the Middle East.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 125

I don't see Virgin Atlantic every becomeing the same as Virgin Australia, in terms of challenging the dominant carrier.

BA isa bit smarter than Qantas and has constrained airports to their advantage

When all BA flights consolidate to 2 terminals, will the third terminal(3/1) be an all Oneworld terminal besides BA??

Currently the whole alliance has 3 terminals at Heathrow, hopefully this does not reduce to all of them in only 2 terminals after this ( unlesss each terminal is becoming larger)

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 193

T1 is to be demolished after the new T2 opens in 2014, so I would say that oneworld will end up in T3.

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 125

so if T1 is being demolished this means that the Oneworld alliance is not going to fit itself , including a larger BA into 2 terminals from three!!


Why would someone fly a oneworld airline then if they have an alternate on the route, after all they will be huge queues if a bigger(by then) alliance moves into a smaller area

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

07 Jun 2012

Total posts 32

My two cents: I don't think that OW won't fit per se. I'm with madge on the guess that OW will most likely end up in T3.

The only OW carrier in T1 is BA - and that's simply by virtue of having purchased bmi; hence it's only natural for BA to move everything to T5 and T3 where BA already operate (pre- and post-bmi purchase). T1 at the moment is essentially a Star Alliance hub.

Hence, with respect, I would disagree with Kash in saying that the whole alliance has three terminals as T1 is, in the grand scheme of things, relatively insubstantial. BA always stated that its intention was to integrate bmi into its own operations, so from the start the cost synergies were always going to be in the realm of consolidating operations across its pre-existing terminals; the fact that it was forced to sell landing slots (ultimately to VS) simply accelerated this by requiring them to reduce the legacy bmi presence in T1 in any case. 

Hence - notwithstanding the fact that queues are horrible in any LHR terminal (barring sometimes in T5) - I don't think that there'll be any substantial impact as the alliance really won't be 'mov[ing] into a smaller area'.

That being said - it is worthy to note that T3 isn't a pure-OW terminal. It also hosts other airlines such as Virgin Atlantic and Pakistan International from memory. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1378

And plenty of posts on the web inc that Virgin Atlantic (VS) wants to become the anchor tenant for T2.

So that would open up plenty of space in T3 for the ex-BMI operations.

Then to complete the terminal they just needs to extent the T5/T5B/T5C underground train to T3/ future 5D/5E, then you have a perfect oneworld terminal.

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