04 June 2014 at 08.12 GMT
Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 has welcomed its first passengers today.
The first flight, from Chicago, arrived shortly before 6am. United Airlines will initially be the only carrier to operate from the new terminal building, which cost £2.5 billion and will be known as the Queen’s Terminal.
It replaces the very first passenger building at Heathrow, opened by the Queen in 1955, and will be home to 23 Star Alliance airlines as well as Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Germanwings.
Heathrow’s owners said only 10% of the terminal’s capacity would be reached on the first day, according to the BBC.
The airport recently insisted it learnt lessons from the opening of Terminal 5, which led to the decision to move airlines to Terminal 2 in stages over the coming months, rather than in one go.
Staff struggled to cope with computer systems when Terminal 5 first opened back in March 2008.
Heathrow development director John Holland-Kaye, who will take over as chief executive this summer, said: “T2 is the culmination of an £11bn investment programme that has transformed Heathrow for passengers. Opening a new terminal is one of the most complex challenges that any airport can undertake.
“Our measure of success is not everything running perfectly on day one; there will inevitably be things we can improve. Our real measure of success is whether T2 comes to be rated by passengers as one of the world’s best airport terminals for years to come.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly