updated 5/9/2008 12:58:46 PM ET 2008-05-09T16:58:46

British Airways PLC and airports operator BAA said Friday they will begin shifting long-haul flights to Heathrow's Terminal 5 in June, with services to and from New York's JFK Airport among the first to transfer.

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British Airways and BAA said that services to and from eight destinations will be switched from Terminal 4 to the new terminal on June 5.

The flights to New York and Phoenix in the United States; Abuja and Lagos in Nigeria; Bangalore, India; Cairo, Egypt; Cape Town, South Africa, and Beijing represent around a quarter of British Airway's Terminal 4 schedule.

Moving the flights is the first phase in a transfer program that is expected to take several months.

British Airways had originally intended to shift all flights from other terminals at the airport to Terminal 5 in just a couple of days at the end of April, but that plan was curtailed by a raft of problems at the new facility that led to hundreds of canceled flights and lost bags.

British Airways Chief Executive Willie Walsh confirmed Friday that the move would occur in phases.

"We have taken this decision in the interests of customers, who remain our priority at all times," he said. "Terminal 5 is now working well, and we are pleased we can confirm our plan to move in some additional flights on June 5."

BAA's chief executive, Colin Matthews, said the pair "continue to work together intensively to complete the migration of the remaining long-haul services as soon as is practicable."

The terminal currently is being used for domestic flights and short-haul flights, mainly from Europe.

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