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Heathrow's Terminal 2 closes as work on its £1 billion replacement gets underway

23 November, 2009

Passengers will check in at Heathrow's Terminal 2 for the last time on Monday as, after 54 years of service, it is closing to make way for a stunning £1 billion replacement.

Passengers will check in at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 for the last time on Monday as, after 54 years of service, it is closing to make way for a stunning £1 billion replacement.

The airport’s first terminal opened in 1955 and fast became a backdrop to the gliterati as icons from the stage and screen passed through its doors. Stars and royalty including The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Gwyneth Paltrow, Princess Grace and Princess Margaret have all used Terminal 2.

Colin Matthews, BAA Chief Executive said: “The closure of Terminal 2 marks an important moment in the modernisation of Heathrow. We look forward to the new Terminal 2 providing a new home for the Star Alliance and a better experience for our passengers, with less impact on the environment.”

Lee Hock Lye, Vice President Product and Services, Star Alliance said: “The closure and subsequent demolition of Terminal 2 will make way for our new home at Heathrow. This will finally allow our member carriers to operate under one roof at one of the world's largest aviation hubs, placing us on at least an equal footing with others.”

Work will begin on the new Terminal 2 in 2010 and will open to passengers in 2014. The new Terminal 2, along with a major rebuilding programme ongoing across Heathrow, will ensure the airport remains one of the world’s most exciting aviation hubs.

Passengers travelling on Air France to and from Paris will be the last to use Terminal 2. From Tuesday 23rd November, Air France will operate from Terminal 4 which has been recently transformed with a £100 million new check-in and forecourt.

All passengers flying from Heathrow are urged to check their terminal before leaving for the airport at

Notes for editors

A short history of Terminal 2

  • 1951 – Construction of Terminal 2 started. The architect was Frederick Gibberd (who also designed the former Heathrow control tower, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and London Central Mosque). The original cost for the Central Terminal Area improvements including the road tunnel was £21 million.
  • April 17 1955 - The terminal opened and was officially inaugurated by Her Majesty the Queen on December 16 1955 along with the adjacent Queens Building (the former office block, closed in June 2009) and the former control tower. The terminal was originally named the Europa Building.
  • 1957 – The first non-stop flight from Heathrow to California set a new record for distance and time.
  • 1961 – The Oceanic Building (now Terminal 3) opened. The Europa Building became home to short haul flights.
  • 1964 – The Beatles famously travelled through the terminal.
  • 1965 – The M4 Motorway to Heathrow airport opened.
  • 1968 – A cargo tunnel opened in 1968, linking Terminal 2 and the rest of central area to the 160 acre cargo site on the south side of the airport.
  • 1969 – The building was renamed Terminal 2 when Terminal 1 was opened.
  • 1977 – The London Underground link provided the world’s first direct connection with an airport.
  • 1996 – Terminal 2 closed for a short while, renovated and reopened.
  • 1998 – The Heathrow Express direct link to Paddington was opened in 1998.

Terminal 2 at a glance

  • Terminal 2 is 49,654 square metres in size.
  • Terminal was originally designed to accommodate 1.2 million passengers annually but in its last years regularly saw around 8 million passengers a year.
  • In its history, Terminal 2 has seen 316 million passengers pass through.
  • The average number of Terminal 2 passengers per year was 5.8 million.
  • The busiest day ever at Terminal 2 was 19th July 2003 with 35,918 passengers.
  • The busiest year at Terminal 2 was 2002 with 86,824 flights.
  • In 2008, its last full year, Terminal 2 saw 7.5 million passengers.
  • Airlines operating from T2 in February 2009 (the last month when a full schedule operated) were Aeroflot, Air Algerie, Air Astana, Air France, Air Seychelles, Air Transat, Alitalia, Arik Air, Atlas Blue, Austrian Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines, Bellview Airlines, Bulgaria Air, China Eastern Airlines, Clickair, Croatia Airlines, CSA Czech Airlines, Iberia, Jat Airways, Libyan Airlines, Lufthansa, Olympic Airlines, Rossiya Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Swissair, Syrianair, TAP Portugal, TAROM, Tunisair, Uzbekistan Airways and Yemenia.
  • Heathrow Airport handles an average of 180,000 passengers and 1350 flights daily. It is the world’s busiest international airport and serves over 180 destinations on around 90 airlines.

Contact information

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