54 more flights cancelled at Heathrow's new terminal

31st March 2008, Comments 0 comments

The new terminal 5 has seen 300 flight cancellations and 15,000 lost bags since its opening on Thursday.

31 March 2008

LONDON - British Airways cancelled 54 more short-haul flights at Heathrow Airport's problem-plagued new Terminal 5 on Monday.

Almost 300 flights have been scrapped and some 15,000 bags have been separated from their owners since the state-of-the-art terminal opened last Thursday. Airport operators have said the problems were triggered by glitches with the terminal's high-tech baggage-handling system.

The chaos has been a major embarrassment for BA and airport operator BAA PLC. They hope the 4.3 billion pound (CHF 8.5 billion) terminal will transform Heathrow's reputation as a grubby and overcrowded transport hub.

BA, the only airline to fly from Terminal 5, said the terminal was working at 87 percent capacity Monday and service was returning to normal. But it warned there would be more cancelations Tuesday.

BA Chief Executive Willie Walsh said the airline would "not rest until our service has been restored to the high standard customers rightly expect."

"A backlog of undelivered bags has built up," he said. "This backlog is not affecting the day-to-day operation of the baggage system, and we are making every effort to reunite delayed bags with their owners."

[Copyright AP 2008]

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