Heathrow Terminal 4 reopens with only one destination: Doha

Heathrow Terminal 4 reopens with only one destination: Doha

Heathrow Terminal 4 reopens with only one destination: Doha

When the very first Elizabeth line train to Heathrow Terminal 4 arrived at 5.25am, only five people got off. The terminal, which previously handled millions of passengers flying with dozens of airlines, closed two years ago as the coronavirus pandemic undermined international aviation.

On the departures level, Caffè Nero staff posed for a group photo as they reopened the coffee bar after 26 months.

During the worst of the Covid crisis, “T4” was shut down, with carriers relocated to Terminals 2 and 5. The only passenger action the terminal saw was in December 2021, when part of T4 was briefly used as a “red list” processing facility. . arrivals before being put into hotel quarantine.

With travel restrictions lifted and passenger numbers rising, Terminal 4 has now reopened – although initially with just one destination, Doha, served by a single airline, Qatar Airways.

At 7 a.m. on opening day, the first two inbound flights, QR9 and QR11, had arrived. Passenger processing through the UK Border Force and baggage handling went smoothly.

Later this week, airlines including Kenya Airways and Korean Air will move to the other side, with a new tranche to resume on Wednesday, June 22.

Within a month, at least two dozen airlines should be operating from the airport, including Israel’s El Al, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, Bahrain’s Gulf Air, ITA (formerly Alitalia) and Malaysia Airlines.

However, there will be some notable absences compared to pre-pandemic times: Air France and KLM will remain in Terminal 3, along with their alliance partner Delta, while Russian airline Aeroflot is banned from British airspace due to its invasion of Ukraine.

The number of passengers for the airport is still more than 20 percent lower than in 2019, and there was speculation – including in the independent – that Terminal 4 may remain closed until 2023.

But Emma Gilthorpe, Chief Commercial Officer for Heathrow, said: “At certain times of the day we have as many aircraft movements as in 2019.

“So by opening T4, we are giving our passengers more space, and our airlines more space, to provide a better service.

“But it’s a balance between thinning out resources, which we know is a challenge for all businesses in the UK, and making sure we have a good environment for passengers before they set off.”

Ms Gilthorpe said Heathrow “wanted to give our passengers reassurance that they know their flight is going” – even if this means some cancellations were made weeks in advance. “We really want people to fly this summer.”

Access to public transport is provided by the London Underground’s Piccadilly Line and two Elizabeth Line trains every hour from London Paddington. But next Tuesday, these connections are expected to be shut down as part of the national and London rail strike.

Heathrow Terminal 4 was built in the 1980s as a stopover, before the much larger and better located Terminal 5. Its structure allowed Britain’s busiest airport to expand while the most endless scheduling conflict in history unfolded.

But T4 has a tricky location, requiring arriving or departing aircraft to cross the active south runway after landing or before take-off. The original concept of Terminal 4 was for the efficient operation of short-haul point-to-point services of the kind currently operated by easyJet and Ryanair, not intended for connecting traffic or intercontinental flights.

Still, T4 was home to British Airways’ long-haul services, including Concorde, for two decades until BA consolidated most of its flights into T5.

Opening Performance: Inside Heathrow Airport Terminal 4

(Simon Calder)

Airlines return to Heathrow Terminal

Passengers should check the date their airline is moving.

  • Air Algeria
  • Air Astana
  • Air Malta
  • Air Mauritius
  • Air Serbia
  • Airlines of Azerbaijan
  • Bulgarian air
  • El Ali
  • Etihad
  • Gulf Air
  • ITA
  • Kenya Airways
  • korean air
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Oman Air
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Morocco
  • Royal Brunei
  • Saudia
  • Tarom
  • Tunis Air
  • Uzbekistan Airways
  • Vietnam Airlines