Belgian airline VLM launched its inaugural flight from London Luton Airport (LLA) today, on its new 12 weekly service to Waterford.
The flight marks the return of the popular route from LLA to South East Ireland, and has already proved hugely popular. VLM has seen significant demand in advance bookings exceeding expectations ahead of the summer tourist season.
Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city, dating back to 914 when it was founded by Viking traders. It is home to the world-famous Waterford Crystal, which has been made here since the 18th Century, and the beautiful landscape surrounding the historic city makes the area one of Ireland's most popular tourist destinations. VLM's new service will operate twice daily from Monday to Friday and a daily service will run at the weekend.
The route to Waterford is one of 14 new destinations from LLA that have already been confirmed for 2015. LLA is also seeing record passenger growth, with the latest figures from March showing an 18.6% increase in passengers compared with the same month last year.
To accommodate growing demand, LLA is investing over £100million to transform the Airport. The redevelopment will include a complete redesign of the terminal, improved transport links and further growth in the range of destinations on offer. The investment will also serve to increase capacity from 12 million to 18 million passengers per year by 2026.
Neil Thompson, Operations Director at LLA, commented: ‘We are delighted to welcome VLM to London Luton Airport and the return of this popular route to Waterford is great news for passengers. Adding new destinations and bringing in new airline partners is central to our £100m redevelopment project, which is set to transform the Airport over the coming years.’
Arthur White, CEO of VLM Airlines, said: “Our new Waterford-London Luton service provides the most convenient link between south east Ireland and the London region. With twice-daily services operating Monday to Friday, and a daily service at weekends, we are making Waterford highly accessible for London’s Irish community and leisure travellers drawn to this beautiful part of rural Ireland. Meanwhile, London Luton’s superb onward connections provide invaluable access for Irish businesses to international markets.”
Dan Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to Great Britain, said: “As a Waterfordman and a regular visitor to Ireland’s oldest city, I am delighted to learn of the resumption of flights from London Luton to Waterford Airport. I hope that this new service will encourage more and more people from Britain to sample the attractions of heritage-rich Waterford City and its hinterland – the scenic Copper Coast and Ireland’s Ancient East”
Pictured l to r : Co-pilot, Alix DeWeerdt - CCO, VLM Airlines, Neil Thompson - Operations Director, LLA, Pilot