Heathrow’s Terminal 4 finally reopens but you can only fly to one place right now

Jun 14, 2022

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London Heathrow’s Terminal 4 swung open its doors today to welcome travellers back after two years of closure.

The wing had been the west-London base of dozens of airlines before the pandemic, including Air France, Qatar Airways and Etihad.

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But as the pandemic gained momentum in 2020, airport chiefs were forced to close the terminal, moving airlines to other parts of the Hillingdon hub.

Qatar Airways is the first airline to return to the terminal serving flights to Doha. They will be followed by about 30 other airlines over the course of the next month. Air France and KLM, meanwhile, are among a handful of former residents staying put at T3.

The opening comes at a good time for the airport, which yesterday said May was its busiest month since the start of the pandemic ​​as it dealt with 5.3 million passengers, 79% of 2019 levels.

Related: Qatar Airways returns to Heathrow Terminal 4 this month

It is hoped that T4’s reopening will ease some of the pressure Heathrow — like most of Britain’s airports — has come under in recent months as the aviation industry struggles to cope with staff shortages and passenger numbers climbing back towards pre-pandemic levels.

Cancelled flights, long queues and staff shortages at U.K. airports disrupted the travel plans of tens of thousands of British holidaymakers during the half-term break and Jubilee weekend.

While Heathrow says its check-in process “generally worked well” in May, chief executive John Holland-Kaye urged passengers to be well-prepared for travel before heading to the airport.

“I want to thank our colleagues and Team Heathrow partners who are working tirelessly to make sure that millions of people can enjoy the benefits of travel once again,” he said. “While we are still years away from passenger numbers returning to pre-pandemic levels, reopening Terminal 4 will give airlines at Heathrow extra space across the airport, helping them manage the impact additional travel documents continue to have on check-in times.

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He added: “To help ensure a smooth journey we will ensure head office colleagues are in the terminals helping passengers.

“Passengers can also help us to help them by getting set for travel before they arrive at the airport, by checking their terminal in advance, completing all travel paperwork at home and getting hand luggage ready for security checks.”

Which airlines will return to T4?

Qatar Airways was the first to move in, with daily flights to Doha, beginning today.

From next month, the following airlines will trickle in:

  • Air Algerie
  • Air Astana
  • Air Malta
  • Air Mauritius
  • Air Serbia
  • Azerbaijan Airlines
  • Bulgarian Air
  • El Al – Israeli Airlines
  • Etihad Airways
  • Gulf Air
  • ITA Airlines
  • Kenya Airways
  • Korean Air
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Malaysian Airlines
  • Omanair
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Brunei
  • Saudi Arabia Airlines
  • Tunis Air
  • Uzbekistan Airways
  • Vietnam Airlines.

Featured image courtesy of Heathrow Airport.

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