Having initially decided not to go for a phased move into Terminal 5 (T5), British Airways and Heathrow operator BAA have now opted for a phased completion of the move of British Airways (BA) into the new terminal. Three phases in June, September and October will see BA exit Terminal 4 by the end of the year.

Two new move phases were announced today. On Wednesday 17 September 30 daily departures and 30 arrivals will move into T5 from Terminal 4. Adding flights to Accra, Mauritius, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, Kuwait, Sao Paulo, Rio, Washington, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Toronto and Mexico to the T5 roster.

In October 15 daily departures and 15 arrivals will complete the long haul switch to T5. “This phased move has been planned in the interests of our passengers and the smooth operation of Heathrow over the busy summer period,” BA and BAA said in a jointly released statement.

On June 15, BA will move 15 daily arrivals and departures, including New York JFK, Bangalore, Beijing, Cairo, Cape Town, Lagos and Phoenix to the routes from the new terminal.

Currently BA has 60 daily long haul arrivals and departures leaving Terminal 4. T5 is now operating 14 long haul daily arrivals and departures. By the end of October the airline said it will be handling 510 flights a day from T5.

Terminal 5 opened on Thursday March 27, 2008 and was immediately beset with problems to its baggage handling systems. The baggage handling system, developed by Vanderlande Industries and IBM was part of the pre-opening publicity for Terminal 5. According to BA, staff we unable to log on to the system. There were also problems with the staff car park meaning staff were unable to get to their jobs in time.

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