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British Airways counts cost of T5 fiasco as passenger numbers fall

8 May 2008

The chaotic opening of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 last month led to British Airways’ worst April since the start of the Iraq war. Yesterday the airline said that passenger numbers had fallen by 7.9 per cent, or 221,000 people, to 2.5 million after the problematic opening of the £4.3 billion terminal.

The British flag carrier was forced to cancel more than 430 flights and lost about 20,000 pieces of luggage as it moved into its new home at T5. The negative publicity and cancelled flights are thought to have contributed substantially to the fall in passenger numbers during the month.

This particularly affected BA’s UK and European operations, which were the first to move into T5. Short-haul passenger numbers fell 8.5 per cent last month and BA’s aircraft were operating at only 70 per cent of capacity.

source: Times onLine

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