Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, joined HMThe Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, at the official opening of the new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Building at London’s Heathrow Airport – nearly 60 years after the original Terminal 2 opened.
Al Baker, who sits as a non-Executive Director on the board of Heathrow Airport Limited, was present with other airline CEOs and executives at the historic official opening. The Queen inaugurated London Airport’s first passenger terminal, the Central Terminal Area, in December 1955 but has now renamed Terminal 2 as the Queen’s Terminal, Qatar Airways said in a statement today.
The former Terminal 2 was built to handle an annual 1.2 million passengers at its peak; the new building has been built to handle 20 million. It has 24 departure gates, 24 fully-serviced aircraft stands and cost ?2.5billion to create.
The first carriers to use the terminal are United Airlines, ANA, Air Canada and Air China. They will be followed by another 22 airlines including Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Aer Lingus by October this year. When fully occupied, Terminal 2 will have 332 flights per day to 54 destinations around the world.
Al Baker commented: “It is exciting to see the further expansion of Heathrow with this state-of-the-art terminal opened by Her Majesty The Queen and I am delighted that so many airlines and passengers will benefit from the airport’s increased efficiency. Qatar Airways regards Heathrow as one of its most important hubs as London remains such a key gateway to Europe and beyond.” John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Development Director and Chief Executive Designate said: “Terminal 2 is the culmination of an ?11billion investment programme that has transformed Heathrow for passengers. Opening a new terminal is one of the most complex challenges that any airport can undertake.
Our real measure of success is whether Terminal 2 comes to be rated by passengers as one of the world’s best airport terminals for years to come.” Qatar Airways, which uses London Heathrow’s Terminal 4, has increased its presence in the UK market markedly in recent weeks, with the launch of its first all-business class service, flying daily between Doha and London Heathrow, as well as the inaugural Doha to Edinburgh service utilizing a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, one of the world’s newest aircraft. Edinburgh is the third UK destination for Qatar Airways, after London and Manchester.
Qatar Airways operates six daily flights between Doha and London Heathrow; 10 flights per week between Doha and Manchester and five flights per week between Doha and Edinburgh.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 134 aircraft to 143 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.
Source : Qatar News Agency