The member airlines of the
oneworld alliance and BAA Heathrow have signed an agreement which will ensure a world-class passenger
experience for customers following the opening of the London airport’s Terminal 5 in March 2008.
Currently oneworld carriers are split across all four of Heathrow’s terminals.
Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) just signed between them and BAA Heathrow, their operations will be consolidated in the GBP4.2
billion (US$7.6 billion) Terminal 5 and in an up-graded Terminal 3, which is the closest of the existing terminals to the new facility. oneworld carriers
will share adjacent check-in desks, piers and other facilities in Terminal 3.
BAA Heathrow describes the MoU as a key part of its strategy to co-locate airline alliances. It is currently investing significantly in Terminal 3 and its
agreement with oneworld will ensure that the transformation of Terminal 3 continues. To provide a better overall customer experience at Terminal 3,
the building will undergo a multi-million pound modernisation programme with GBP200 million to be spent on passenger and baggage-related
projects during the next seven years.
The check-in area will be reshaped and expanded to minimise congestion, make it easier for passengers to find their way around and provide more
natural light. Latest technology and infrastructure will be incorporated into new baggage systems and other passenger services.
Connections between all oneworld member carriers’ flights in Terminals 3 and 5 will be
as smooth and seamless as possible, assisted by a state-of-the-art underground baggage system that will link all Heathrow’s terminals, built in tunnels under the airport’s taxiways.
The MoU covers all seven of the existing oneworld member airlines serving Heathrow - British Airways, for which the airport is its home base, along
with American Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Finnair and Aer Lingus. It also makes provision for all three of the carriers currently
lining up to join the alliance - Japan Airlines, Malév and Royal Jordanian. The agreement makes provision for their growth in Terminal 3 as
Heathrow’s overall capacity expands in the future.
British Airways will be the only airline housed at the new Terminal 5. The size and shape of its Heathrow schedule in 2008 will mean a small number
of its services will be located at Terminal 3. These will include its departures to Australia and Spain, to maximise the cohesion of its joint services
with oneworld partners Qantas and Iberia.
The UK carrier’s operations at London Heathrow are currently split between three terminals - 1, 3 and 4. Of the alliance’s other carriers, four are
already based at Terminal 3 - American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and candidate members Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian. The MoU will mean Aer
Lingus and Finnair moving to join them from Terminal 1, Iberia and Malév from Terminal 2, and Qantas from Terminal 4.
British Airways will be the first to move, transferring its services into Terminal 5 when it opens in two years time. It is anticipated that the oneworld
relocation into Terminal 3 will be completed by 2009, in line with the airport’s overall airline re-location plan.
The alliance’s co-location at London Heathrow will follow the transfer of all its member airlines serving Madrid into its new EUR6 billion Terminal 4
on 5 February 2006.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch
said, “oneworld's aims to bring the operations of our member airlines together at all key airports
around the world wherever it make sense and is possible. Terminal 5’s opening at London Heathrow provides us with a golden opportunity to do
just this at the alliance’s major European hub. This landmark agreement with BAA Heathrow ensures all of our airlines will be able to offer their
customers a state-of-the-art passenger experience whether they are flying to or from London, or transferring there between oneworld airline
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