British Airways cancels 54 more flights


British Airways said Saturday that it was cancelling flights to and from London Heathrow airport's new Terminal 5 for a third day running because of logistical problems.

"British Airways plans to operate 293 out of 347 scheduled flights to and from Heathrow Terminal 5 on Saturday," the airline said in a statement on its website.

"All long haul flights from Terminal 5 will operate as planned," it added.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled since the $8.7-billion terminal opened on Thursday, delaying passengers and leaving many others without their luggage.

BA, which has sole use of the terminal, has blamed the problems on "a combination of factors", including delays at the staff car park and computer glitches which have plagued the baggage sorting system.

The terminal is the first new addition for 20 years to Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports, situated to the west of London.

Opened by Queen Elizabeth II earlier this month amid great fanfare, it descended into chaos Thursday.

Long queues built up and some passengers flying into the terminal had to wait so long to be reunited with their luggage that they gave up and asked for their bags to be sent on.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh apologised to passengers in a statement released Friday.

Terminal Five, the size of 50 football pitches, took 15 years to plan and build and is designed to handle 30 million passengers a year.

Heathrow, used by 68 million passengers annually, has for years been plagued by overcrowding in its collection of ageing buildings owing to soaring demand for air travel. (AFP)
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