London Heathrow Terminal 2 is this morning welcoming its first passengers, with airport officials reporting that the long-awaited opening is "running smoothly".
The first flight into the £2.5 billion facility, United Airlines flight UA958 from Chicago, landed at 0543 and arrived at the gate at 0549, six minutes ahead of schedule.
United has sole operation of the terminal for two weeks until fellow Star Alliance carrier Air Canada joins it on June 18.
Touchdown: The first service into LHR T2, United Airlines flight UA958 from Chicago, lands at 0543
Bob Schumacher, United's UK and Ireland sales director, said: "We're extremely proud to be the first airline to operate from T2.
"Heathrow is one of the most important airports in United's global network, and T2 represents a huge improvement in the service and facilities we are able to provide to all our customers."
T2 will be home to the Star Alliance group as well as to Virgin Atlantic Little Red, Germanwings and Aer Lingus.
Opening in stages, the other airlines will move over gradually, with all in place by the end of October, the start of the winter season.
Exhibit: A huge sculpture called Slipstream hangs from the entrance courtyard in the new terminal
The Queen will officially open the new terminal on June 23, some 59 years after she opened the original terminal.
In March, Heathrow's development director warned passengers using T2 in its first week of operation to be prepared to experience delays (see news, March 12).
John Holland-Kaye said teething problems are to be expected when the new terminal opens in June and that his team's main challenge is to minimise any disruption.