BA is currently in discussions with JAL and BAA regarding the possibility of the Japanese carrier moving its Heathrow operations to T5 next year.
The news was posted on the carrier’s intranet site yesterday (July 29), and is also being discussed on the businesstraveller.com forum. A BA spokesperson confirmed that “discussions are at a preliminary level” and that no decisions have been made, adding that “we’re looking at the feasibility of such a terminal move, and obviously it’s got to be approved by BAA”.
Struggling Oneworld member JAL had received offers of financial support from rival alliance Skyteam earlier this year, but following discussions with Oneworld and American Airlines, the Japanese carrier announced that it would seek a “joint business venture” with AA on transpacific routes, as well as looking to “fortify its relationships with other partners in the Oneworld alliance”. The BA spokesperson said the possibility of the terminal move was something the carrier had “made a pledge on about six months ago”.
The move would not take place before spring 2011, when Terminal 5’s second satellite building – T5C – is due to open.
JAL currently flies once daily between London and Tokyo, operating out of Heathrow T3, from where the majority of Oneworld carriers (including selected BA services) depart.
Report by Mark Caswell