London Heathrow closes 2 terminals, reduced to single-runway operation

Apr 6, 2020

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London Heathrow is no stranger to the ongoing effects of the coronavirus crisis. Like other airports and airlines around the world, the airport has been forced with how to handle its operations. Now, one of the busiest airports in the world has closed two of its passenger terminals as well as one of its runways.

As of Monday, Heathrow has closed one of its runways and two of its four terminals. Both Terminals 3 and 4 have been closed as of Monday, with flights relocated to Terminals 2 and 5 alongside the airlines that already operate there.

In normal operations, Terminals 3 and 4 are home to Air France, Etihad, American Airlines, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Delta and more. Now, however, they will be moved in to operate alongside British Airways, which now operates only out of Terminal 5, and Terminal 2, which is home to Star Alliance carriers, including Lufthansa, United and more.

“Our teams are working closely with our airline and other partners to ensure this move is as smooth and efficient and possible and we will provide clear guidance to passengers on this webpage, our app and our social media channels”, Heathrow airport said on its website. “The significant reduction in passenger traffic will ensure that passengers are able to continue to adhere to the Government’s social distancing guidance even as the operation is consolidated”.

If you have a flight into or out of Heathrow, it’s best to check with your airline to see which terminal it’s operating out of for the time being. Even if you typically fly with Virgin Atlantic and know the carrier typically operates out of Terminal 3, check with the carrier before heading to LHR to see where your flight will now depart from.

In addition to consolidating its passenger operations, Heathrow is also minimising its capacity in terms of runway operations. As a result of the drop in passenger demand, Heathrow has elected to close its Southern runway (09R/27L) as of Monday.

While cargo flights continue to use Heathrow for operations, commercial flights have been severely reduced. Even though British Airways has consolidated all of its London operations to Terminal 5, the terminal still has space to take on additional operations.

Both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have taken to storing some of their aircraft around London Heathrow. Additionally, the freeing up of slots and loosening of restrictions has allowed regional Scottish carrier Loganair the opportunity to fly to Heathrow for the first time in its history.

Featured photo by Ben Stansall/Getty Images.

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