Aer Lingus fliers to leave dreary T1 at Heathrow in slipstream
THE long and winding walk to Terminal 1 at London's Heathrow Airport will be a thing of the past for Irish travellers from next year as Aer Lingus shifts to the new Terminal 2.
Aer Lingus has confirmed that it will move operations to the rebuilt Terminal 2 next year once it's completed. Heathrow's owner is planning to close Terminal 1 by 2016 for some years.
The move will come as a welcome relief to hundreds of thousands of passengers flying between Britain and Ireland. For years, they've endured the long trek to and from departure gates at Terminal 1, feeling like second-class citizens as travellers enjoyed better surroundings at other terminals.
Aer Lingus first entered discussions last year about a move to Terminal 2. The old facility there was demolished in 2010 and work continues apace on its replacement – a 200,000sqm building that is costing about £2.5bn (€2.9bn) to develop. It will open in the middle of next year and is currently being fitted out. The state-of-the-art terminal will serve about 20 million passengers a year.
The airport owners are aiming to build a modern, energy-efficient terminal. The boilers that will heat it will use fuel including wood chip, while some of the energy it attracts via sunlight will also be transformed into electricity.
The closure of Terminal 1 will also mean that British Airways fliers between Dublin and London will also eventually be using an alternative facility. The airline has previously said that it's likely its Ireland passengers will ultimately use T5.