A water cannon salute, beefeaters, guardsman and a Colombian musical band provided a spectacular welcome to Terminal 2 for new entrant and Star Alliance member, Avianca.
The first Avianca flight from Colombia (Bogota El Dorado) touched down at 14:40 on Friday 4 July. A floral flourish was provided by the handing out of yellow and red roses to passengers. Check out more action from the day by clicking on the gallery below!
Flight no. AV120 (the first Avianca flight arrival) was treated to a ceremonial water cannon salute from our fire service to mark the occasion.
Two flags waving from the cockpit of the first arrival. The arrival of Avianca will not only link Heathrow to Colombia, but the UK and a number of economic opportunities.
Avianca staff looking bright and cheery in red were on hand across the new Terminal.
Meanwhile, we had a welcoming party of roses and London traditions on hand for Avianca’s passengers.
The first crew and Avianca and Heathrow representatives also took time to commemorate the occasion.
Brian Woodhead (second left), Terminal 2 Operations Director, joined Agustin Arango (second right, Avianca’s European Director, in welcoming passengers and VIPs. Heathrow’s Airline Business Development Director Chris Butler (left) and Avianca’s Director International Operations Juan Carlos Pelaez (right) were also there.
Over in check-in, Avianca’s first passengers flying out of Heathrow were greeted as well with….
…Colombian dancers and an accompanying band (you can see a short video of the group on our Instagram account).
The dancers were performing the Cumbia Dance – a tradition belonging to the Colombian north-coast.
They were well accompanied by these Colombian musicians. Giving the passengers a unique experience.
Avianca’s Agustin Arango with the Colombian dance performers. “Since the day we started working with you things have been so smooth and easy and the spirit of the entire team is so supportive and fantastic. In all the airports I have moved in to I have never had such a warm and wonderful welcome as at Heathrow. The Terminal cannot be bettered,” Mr Arango said.
The first departing passenger was given the honour of cutting the official opening ribbon at the departure gate. This was strategically timed to coincide with half-time in the evening’s world-cup match.
When these two Avianca pilots took off from Heathrow Airport heading to Colombia they became the first to do so in 13 years.
Avianca will operate four weekly arrivals and departures on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to Colombia. The arrivals flight will be AV 120 at 14:40hrs on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday and 16:05hrs on Saturday from Colombia and the departures flights will be AV 121 at 22.35hrs.
Were you one of the first Avianca passengers to use the new Heathrow Terminal 2 this week? We’d love to see your images so share them with us via Instagram or Twitter using #heathrowairport.