The FINANCIAL — Shenzhen Airlines has become the 25th Star Alliance member carrier to fly to London Heathrow, further solidifying the Alliance’s presence at the U.K.’s global gateway. More Star Alliance member carriers operate at Heathrow than any other airport in the Alliance’s worldwide network.
Shenzhen Airlines connects London with its home town of Shenzhen three times a week with an Airbus A330-300 offering 16 seats in Business Class and up to 261 in Comfort Economy and Economy Class combined.
From there, customers can easily connect to some 200 domestic Chinese, regional and international destinations served by the airline. Being strategically located in the Pearl River Delta, Shenzhen also offers easy access across the entire Guangdong Province, which includes the city of Guangzhou. Cities such as Hong Kong and Macau are also within easy reach.
From Shenzhen the flights depart at 14.10 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, arriving Heathrow the same day at 19.40. For passengers using Shenzhen airport as a connecting point for the new London flight, the airline is offering various special services. From neighbouring cities including Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan and Zhuhai, passengers enjoy a free car pick-up service to the airport. From Hong Kong, the airline is offering a free bus service to and from Shenzhen airport, and for those transferring from a domestic Chinese destination on Shenzhen Airlines, a free hotel night in Shenzhen is on offer.
At Heathrow, Shenzhen Airlines operates from Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal, as do all other Star Alliance member carriers. The check-in layout and concept in Terminal 2 allows customers to take greater control of their journey. This has been made possible through a combination of increased automation and common check-in.
Travellers who have not checked in online can use any of the 81 multi-airline check-in kiosks available throughout Terminal 2. These also print boarding passes and bag tags. Once checked in, passengers can drop off their bags at shared counters, which are split into four different zones. Shenzhen Airlines passenger may use the bag drop counters in Zone A. Passengers requiring additional support and assistance will also find service counters in the same zone. Customers travelling in Business Class, Comfort Economy Class or holding Star Alliance Gold status can make use of dedicated premium counters in Zone B.
Business Class and Star Alliance Gold status customers have a choice of four lounges in Terminal 2 which are operated by Star Alliance member airlines Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and United.
The concept of having all Star Alliance member carriers in the same terminal at Heathrow was first raised with the airport’s operator more than a decade ago and came to fruition when Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal opened in June 2014. United Airlines was the first airline to commence operations in the newly built facility, with the then remaining 22 Star Alliance member carriers relocating to Terminal 2 in a staggered timeline during the second half of 2014. Air India, having become a Star Alliance member that same year, moved its operations from Terminal 4 to Terminal 2 in January 2017.
Operating from a single terminal at Heathrow ensures that Star Alliance member carriers can offer approximately 18 million annual customers using the airport a vastly improved travel experience, including shorter connecting times. The latest technology is used throughout the terminal to give passengers more control of their journey.