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Expansion at London Luton Airport expected to create 10,500 new jobs

News   •   Dec 08, 2015 13:23 GMT

New economic impact report also predicts the airport will contribute £2.3 billion annually to the economy by 2030

London Luton Airport (LLA) will bring a further £1billion annually to the economy and create 10,500 new jobs over the next 15 years. The findings come from a new report into the airport’s economic impact, published by independent consultancy Oxford Economics.

The airport, which already supports £1.3 billion of economic activity and 27,200 jobs today, has begun investing £110 million to redevelop the airport by 2020. As well as delivering major improvements for passengers, the transformation will increase capacity from 12 million to 18 million passengers per year.

The report comes as LLA experiences record passenger growth. 24% more people passed through the airport in November this year than in the same month last year, making LLA the fastest growing major airport in the UK. The airport has also added 20 new routes and welcomed four new airline partners in 2015.

The Oxford Economics study also shows that the airport creates a large proportion of highly skilled jobs for the region. The figures show that the average gross wage at LLA is £38,000, compared to the national average of £27,000. In addition, 40% of the new jobs created will be in management, professional or skilled occupations.

The key findings of the report are as follows:

Economic Impact

  • LLA’s contribution to the national economy is forecast to increase by 77% from £1.3 billion in 2013 to £2.3 billion per annum by 2030 (£4,300 per minute, every day of the year).
  • LLA currently contributes £732 million annually to the Three Counties economy. This is predicted to double to £1.4 billion per annum by 2030.
  • In 2013 the airport directly supported £356 million in gross wages for its workers and generated £237 million in tax revenues for the UK Exchequer.

Creating new jobs

  • Today the airport directly supports 9,400 jobs in the region.
  • The redevelopment plans will create 3,700 new sustainable jobs at the airport by 2030 – an increase of 39%. This does not include jobs created through the construction works.
  • Indirectly, the airport supports 27,200 jobs. This will increase by 10,500 to 37,700 by 2030.

The recent Davies Commission report highlighted that airports such as LLA have a crucial role to play in meeting capacity demand for London and the South East in the short-medium term. With the £110 million investment already underway LLA is firmly committed to deliver on this aspiration.

Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, commented: “This report vividly illustrates the economic benefits that LLA brings to the local and regional economy. As we deliver on our ambitious £110 million plans to transform the airport, we will be working hard to ensure that our region and local communities reap the maximum benefit and share in our success.

“The report is very timely as the government considers the location of a new runway in South East England. The Airports Commission made clear that it is imperative for the UK’s international competitiveness that airports such as LLA grow. Our redevelopment will ensure that we continue to punch above our weight within London’s six runway system, delivering greater choice, value and service to passengers.”

Councillor Andrew Malcolm of Luton Borough Council commented: “London Luton Airport already makes a huge contribution to the economy of Luton and the Three Counties area. This report illustrates how the airport’s expansion will ensure that it continues to deliver prosperity and jobs for local people through its investment and redevelopment programme.”

Cheryl Smart MBE, CEO of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, commented: “This report lays out the scale of the opportunity presented by LLA’s growth. LLA is a hugely valuable asset for the region’s business community. Many local firms cite the proximity of the airport is a key driver in their choice to locate or expand in Bedfordshire.”

Partha Dey, MD of Luton-based National Sameday Couriers, said: “LLA is central to the success of our business. We have enjoyed growth of almost 200% in the last three years thanks in large part to working to integrate ourselves within the airport’s supply chain. We anticipate being able to create more jobs and further grow our business in tandem with LLA’s expansion.”


The full report and an Executive Summary of the Oxford Economics report is available here together with an infographic summarising the key points.

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Notes to Editors:

About London Luton Airport

London Luton Airport (LLA) is one of the UK’s largest airports and carried 10.5 million passengers in 2014. The Airport indirectly employs over 8,600 staff and is a key economic driver for the region.

easyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Monarch, Thomson, EL AL, Atlasglobal, Blue Air, TAROM, SunExpress, Iberia (Air Nostrum), La Compagnie and VLM operate from the airport, departing to over 100 destinations including services to Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The Airport is operated and developed by a consortium of which the majority shareholder is AENA, the world’s largest airport operator, and Ardian, a major European investor.

LLA is currently investing over £110million to transform the Airport and increase capacity from 12 million to 18million passengers per year by 2020. The redevelopment plans will include a complete redesign of the terminal, bringing in new and exciting retail and dining options, and major upgrades to transport links, including better road access to the M1, new car parking facilities, a remodelled bus and coach interchange and improved rail links.

About Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a commercial venture with Oxford University’s business college to provide economic forecasting and modelling to UK companies and financial institutions expanding abroad. Since then, it has become one of the world’s foremost independent global advisory firms, providing reports, forecasts and analytical tools on 200 countries, 100 industrial sectors and over 3,000 cities.

Oxford Economics is a key adviser to corporate, financial and government decision-makers and thought leaders. Its worldwide client base now comprises over 1000 international organisations, including leading multinational companies and financial institutions; key government bodies and trade associations; and top universities, consultancies, and think tanks.