London Heathrow Airport has welcomed its first passengers to the new Terminal 2.
The £2.5bn terminal will eventually accommodate 26 airlines, which consists of 23 Star Alliance members, as well as Aer Lingus, Germanwings and Virgin Atlantic Little Red.
The airlines aim to move into the new terminal over the course of six months.
As the first airline to move into Terminal 2, United Airlines will operate 17 arriving and 17 departing flights for approximately 6,000 passengers on the first day.
The new Terminal 2 has been named ‘The Queen’s Terminal’, in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and it is to be officially opened on 23 June, when Her Majesty the Queen will visit the airport.
The new terminal will have a total of 33 retailers and 17 food and drink outlets.
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Terminal 2 marks the latest phase of an £11bn private sector investment to transform Heathrow for passengers.
The major investment includes the construction of Terminal 2A and B, Terminal 5 A, B and C, a new control tower and the refurbishment of Terminals 3 and 4.
If the UK Government approves a third runway at Heathrow, the terminal would be extended to become a main passenger hub for the airport. As a result, Heathrow East (an extended Terminal 2) and Heathrow West (Terminals 5 and 6) would become the main passenger terminals for the airport.
The terminals and their satellite buildings will be connected by one underground passenger transit and baggage system, making Heathrow a single-integrated airport, which can create simpler journeys for passengers.
Image: The new terminal at Heathrow Airport will eventually accommodate 26 airlines. Photo: courtesy of LHR Airports.