British Airways has postponed the second stage of its move to Heathrow’s Terminal 5 following its troubled opening.
BA long-haul services and the remaining short-haul flights were due to move to the terminal on April 30. But the carrier has announced a delay until June.
Extensive delays and cancellations followed Terminal 5’s opening on March 27 and carried over into this week, with tens of thousands of bags mislaid, despite the initial move involving less than half BA’s total daily passengers at Heathrow.
BA chief executive Willie Walsh described the delay as in the interests of passengers. He said: “Although Terminal 5 is now working well, we need to have confidence that good service can be maintained when the terminal is handling larger numbers.”
The delay will anger more than 50 other airlines due to switch terminals to use the space vacated by BA. Some may seek compensation.
Colin Matthews, chief executive of airport operator BAA, said: “We regret this postponement and recognise the impact it has on other airlines, but believe it is a wise precaution to ensure passengers have the maximum confidence once the move does take place.”