4 June 2014 by David Ward
After a four year redevelopment programme at a cost of £2.5bn, the brand new Terminal 2 at London's Heathrow Airport opened its doors today to little ceremony, with the first flight - a United Airlines service from Chicago - landing at 05:49 BST.
The new Terminal 2 - which is built on the site of Heathrow's first terminal, the Europa Building - will initially open at 10% capacity with just 17 flights arriving on its opening day, as airport bosses look to avoid the embarrassing technical problems that beset the opening of Terminal 5 in 2008, when staff had difficulty parking and computer and baggage systems failed to work.
During the first stage of opening, American carrier United will be the only airline to operate from the terminal, after which a further 25 airlines will move over from their existing slots at terminals 1, 3, 4 and 5, with the terminal operating fully by the end of 2014. While there was of course some excitement - the first departing passenger reportedly arrived 10 hours early for a flight departing to Los Angeles in order to claim the historic first spot - passengers can expect to see a great deal more pomp and ceremony when the Queen officially opens Terminal 2, known as the Queen's Terminal, on 23 June.
Introducing Terminal 2