54 more flights cancelled at London airport’s new terminal

April 1st, 2008 - 1:30 am ICT by admin  

London, March 31 (DPA) Disruption continued at London Heathrow airport’s new multi-billion-pound terminal five (T5) Monday with 54 flights cancelled and 50 more cancellations likely Tuesday, a spokesman for British Airways (BA) said. Meanwhile, the British government has said it can take a week to deliver a backlog of 28,000 pieces of baggage, still at the airport, to their owners.

Around 250 flights have been cancelled since T5 opened last Thursday, owing to problems with the terminal’s baggage-handling system. More than 300 flights had been cancelled by Monday.

The state-of-the-art terminal cost more than 4.3 billion pounds ($8.6 billion) and was supposed to ease all those problems that Heathrow has been plagued by for a long time.

Writing on his blog, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband described how an unnamed European Union foreign minister had been among the thousands of victims to the chaos at the new terminal.

“He asked me to pass on a message to BA: ‘For goodness’ sake, get your act together,” Milliband said.

BA chief Willie Walsh again apologised to passengers and said everything would be done to return the service to the “high standards” expected by customers.

A team of engineers and IT experts were working on the baggage-handling problem, which had gone unnoticed during test runs before the terminal became operational.

A BA spokesman could not say when normal service would begin at the terminal.

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