London Luton Airport (LLA) welcomed 15.8 million passengers in 2017, marking an 8.6% increase compared with the previous year and making 2017 the airport’s busiest year on record.
2018 is set to be another exciting year, with the airport celebrating its 80th anniversary and marking crucial milestones in its transformation. This includes the official opening of the newly extended terminal building, which will offer passengers a greater variety of shops and restaurants, as well as a new boarding pier with eight new boarding gates.
Passengers will also benefit from an increased number of routes which are due to launch in 2018. Wizz Air is introducing eight new routes including Athens, Larnaca in Cyprus, Keflavik in Iceland and the Italian city of Bari. easyJet, LLA’s biggest airline, has announced five new routes including to Genoa, Italy, and Reus, Spain. This follows a significant expansion of LLA’s route network in 2017, which saw the addition of 22 new routes, meaning that passengers can now choose from more than 140 destinations across Europe, Asia and Africa.
Passenger demand for air travel in the South East continues to soar. To help meet this demand LLA is investing £150million to increase its annual capacity by 50% by 2020. However, improved rail links to the airport are vital in order to provide this additional capacity. This is why LLA is calling for four fast trains per hour to stop at Luton Airport Parkway station as part of the new East Midlands Rail Franchise. Doing so would help to free up much-needed capacity as well as providing an economic boost to the local area and the UK as a whole.
Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, said: “2017 has been another record breaker at LLA, and we look forward to welcoming even more passengers as we enter our 80th year.
“Throughout 2018, passengers will see the airport transformed as we officially open our new terminal and reach the first phase of construction for the Mass Passenger Transit* system which will replace the current shuttle bus and create a rapid link between the train station and the terminal. However, this is only part of the solution to better public transport links and is why we continue to call on the government for four fast trains per hour between central London and Luton Airport Parkway.”