London Heathrow Airline Moves

The Challenge

The major programme of moving 58 airlines to different terminals has been ongoing at Heathrow since 2006. AiQ Consulting have been embedded in the process of the Airline Moves project for over 10 years, bringing our considerable and unrivaled experience in baggage systems and apron vehicle management and new technology to the programme.

When Terminal 5 opened at Heathrow in 2008, it was to be used exclusively by British Airways. This meant majority of BA flights being moved from remaining terminals into Terminal 5, in the same time leaving the remaining three terminals under-utilized.

Heathrow, as an airport, requires continuous redevelopment, making sure all the terminals are up to date with the latest technology, allowing and providing a better passenger experience and security standards.

Once Terminal 5 was complete, Terminal 2 was next in line for development, which meant that airlines resident in that terminal had to be moved, in order for the redevelopment to take place and then move back in again, into new Terminal 2.

Heathrow’s principle was for airlines to be aligned to their terminal by their airline alliance and so One World airlines settled in T3, Star Alliance in T1, and Skyteam in T4.

The Solution

58 airlines had to be moved over 10 years which involved various steps and sequences around Heathrow, all with the aim of minimum disruption to the airport, airlines and passengers. AiQ have been integral to every single airline move around Heathrow in that time.

Working in baggage, terminal and apron, AiQ ensured that stakeholders (ground handlers and airlines) had the right resources and allocation they needed to successfully move with minimum disruption, guaranteeing efficient operation once they have moved back in.

Our team had to analyse the processes used in each terminal (with its unique design depending on the decade it was built in) and find a new way of achieving the airport’s aims; bringing differing technology and new ways of working.

From the lessons learnt from Terminal 5 opening, the programme needed to be completed over a phased period of time thus minimizing risk for the passengers, airlines and airport.

The Benefit

As experts in our field, AiQ’s team was able to understand the operations of the terminal, and model each activity using our bespoke holistic airport modelling tool, TransvisionAiR™. We provided process development and programme management at each stage.

This major successful project is nearly at completion, and since the opening of Terminal 5 there have been no problems in moving any of the airlines flying to and from Heathrow.

  • Efficient stakeholder management
  • Prevented unnecessary investment costs
  • Increased capacity and flexibility
  • Resource utilisation increased
  • Improved passenger customer service and airport experience
  • Use of expert simulation and modelling technology
  • Expert baggage systems knowledge