United Airlines was the first airline to move into the terminal and will today operate 17 arriving and 17 departing flights for nearly 6,000 passengers. Terminal 2 will eventually be home to 26 airlines – 23 members of the Star Alliance as well as Aer Lingus, Germanwings and Virgin Atlantic Little Red. Airlines will move into the new terminal in phases over the next six months. When fully occupied, Terminal 2 will have 332 daily flights to 54 global destinations.

Terminal 2 is a £2.5 billion project and marks the latest phase of an £11 billion private sector investment that includes the construction of Terminal 2A and B, Terminal 5 A, B and C, a new control tower, and the refurbishment of Terminals 3 and 4.

Terminal 2 has a number of world firsts, including an airport debut for British high-street favourite John Lewis. Terminal 2 also welcomes multi-award winning chef Heston Blumenthal with the opening of his newest restaurant, The Perfectionists’ Café.

Ed Robertson, told VoR: "I don’t think it’s history revisited so much as history regenerated. One of my colleagues has been through already. The array of shops and facilities you are getting is very much 21st century. Thinking. It’s not only a lighter and airier building, but it’s a building that’s going to work better for the airlines.

“If you think back in 2009, terminal 2 was handling eight million passengers, by the end of this year it should be handling 16 million passengers and it has been built to accommodate 20 million. Soit’s very much a statement of intent.”

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Development Director and Chief Executive Designate said: “Terminal 2 is the culmination of an £11bn investment programme that has transformed Heathrow for passengers. Opening a new terminal is one of the most complex challenges that any airport can undertake. Our measure of success is not everything running perfectly on day one – there will inevitably be things we can improve. Our real measure of success is whether Terminal 2 comes to be rated by passengers as one of the world’s best airport terminals for years to come. ”

The terminal is made up of 118,000 individual pieces of equipment - from light fittings to escalators.