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Transport Secretary marks completion of London Luton Airport’s £160m transformation

News   •   Dec 13, 2018 15:30 GMT

Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport and London Luton Airport CEO, Nick Barton

The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, has officially opened London Luton Airport’s newly-upgraded terminal, marking the culmination of LLA’s three-year transformation project.

The £160m redevelopment has been the biggest in the airport’s 80-year history and focused on making passengers’ journeys easier, quicker and more enjoyable, with significant improvements being made in the terminal and to the ways in which people get to and from the airport.

The transformation of the airport will increase its annual capacity by 50% to 18 million passengers by 2020. Since the work began passenger numbers have increased 35%, making LLA London’s fastest growing airport, with more than 16.5 million passengers expected to fly in 2018, an increase of 5% on 2017.

Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “Luton’s investment firmly puts passengers at the heart of development and will improve the experience of those using the airport for business or holidays.

“Supporting thriving airports like Luton will form a part of the Government’s Aviation 2050 consultation, ensuring the benefits of transformation are felt across the local area.”

Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton Airport, said: “2018 has been a milestone year for LLA. We celebrated our 80th anniversary in the summer and now we have completed our three-year transformation which brings a host of benefits to passengers. This is a new era for LLA. We are the fastest-growing major London airport and are now in a position to play an increasingly important role in the UK’s aviation network.”

What passengers can now find at LLA:

  • 30 new high street and luxury stores, including Hugo Boss, Chanel, which offers an exclusive range at LLA, and Oliver Bonas’ first airport store
  • Over 1,000 more seats and free Wi-Fi
  • A new boarding pier, with eight additional boarding gates
  • An expanded security search area
  • A new dual carriageway, bus interchange and multi-storey car park.

Additional comments from business and the local community:

Gavin Shuker, MP for Luton South, said: “Today is a very exciting day not just for the airport but also for Luton. The significant improvements not only bring benefits for the passenger but also for the local economy. I’m grateful to all those who’ve worked on this major redevelopment and look forward to the remaining pieces of the jigsaw, like the DART, helping London Luton Airport grow from strength to strength.”

Johan Lundgren, CEO, easyJet, said: “As the largest airline operating to and from London Luton Airport, we are excited that the airport’s transformation will benefit the seven million easyJet customers who use the airport every year. This transformation project was a key factor in our commitment to long term growth at the airport, so it’s great to see its completion.”

Owain Jones, Managing Director Wizz Air UK, said: “London Luton has been the home of Wizz Air in the UK since our very first flight in 2004 and we look forward to welcoming ever-more customers through the new terminal’s doors very soon. Wizz Air now offers 54 low-fare routes from London Luton Airport and, whether travelling for business or pleasure, the new facilities provide a variety of great food and shopping options as well as fast and efficient connections to London and the rest of the UK.”

Cllr Hazel Simmons MBE, Leader of Luton Council, said: “The operator’s successful transformation programme is another pivotal moment in London Luton Airport’s development. Together with our own investment in the £225m Luton DART, a world-class passenger experience is being created and setting the bar for how our own airport company wants to take the airport’s growth forward in a responsible way and ensure that everyone can benefit from the economic and social opportunities this will create.”

Hilary Chipping SEMLEP's Chief Executive said, "We recognise the importance of London Luton Airport, a key asset for the future success of the SEMLEP economy. There's significant business opportunity in the connections enabled by the airport which is important for the development of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc."

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:“Now more than ever, unlocking new aviation capacity to deliver global trade links is critical for a strong UK economy. With London’s airports fast filling up, extra capacity will drive trade and investment, create new jobs and help British businesses thrive at home and abroad. Luton’s new terminal is a vital part of this strategy, and will complement expansion schemes at other airports.”

Justin Richardson, Chief Executive of Bedfordshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “The culmination of LLA’s redevelopment marks a significant moment for the local community, which is set to benefit from the creation of 10,000 new jobs. The redevelopment will also increase the airport’s economic contribution to the local economy to £1.4 billion by 2030, allowing local residents to share in the benefits of a fast-growing and successful international airport.”

Neville Reyner CBE DL Hon D.Litt Chairman, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “I believe Hertfordshire residents use LLA more than any other London Airport, with almost two million flights taken by county residents last year. LLA already plays an important role in our local community and the redevelopment will bring further economic benefits to Hertfordshire and surrounding areas.”