Luton Airport Wins Crew Approval

luton airport

Luton Airport has had to fight long and hard to shake off its down market public image attracted in the mid 1970s following the airing of a long running TV commercial for Campari. But their heavy investment in marketing is now paying off.

Back in the early days of colour television, an actress named Lorraine Chase began appearing in television adverts for the Italian aperitif.  The comical advertisements were filmed in exotic locations with Chase sipping the product while being wooed by an elegant, sophisticated gentleman suitor.  When he asked romantically, “Were you truly wafted here from paradise?” Chase would declare in her cockney accent “Nah, Luton Airport!”

Finally, following a £160 million redevelopment programme aimed at transforming the airport and increasing its capacity from 12 million to 18 million passengers per year by 2020 that image is finally fading.

With low cost flights to European airports serving superyacht docks the airport is becoming increasingly important to yacht crews keen to fly back to the UK for short breaks back home with the family and for longer periods of leave.

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 to Luton Airport Parkway station are all underway making the journey for crew based north of London even easier.

In addition, plans for a new £200 million light rail system linking the airport with Luton Airport Parkway station have been announced and are anticipated to be completed by 2021.

The redevelopment plans include the complete redesign of the terminal, bringing in new and exciting retail and dining options.  16 new retail stores have opened there since the start of 2018 with more to follow. Oliver Bonas’ first ever airport store, Hugo Boss, Ted Baker, Kurt Geiger, Rituals and Fiorelli have all opened in the last few months with Chanel, Next and WHSmith Books are all opening soon.  Dubl, a premium wine bar specialising in sparkling wines, opened in February. Oriel Brasserie, serving French-inspired dishes, are set to open in the coming months. Enrique Tomas the Iberian Ham specialist has also opened their very first UK airport store inside the terminal.

More pre departure seating is also planned and a new boarding pier with 8 new boarding gates will shortly begin operating.

One million pounds has been spent on refurbishing the Aspire Lounge which crew can use before flight departure. Prices are from £23.99 per person and a second executive lounge is being added this year.

Not content with that the airport is also calling on the government to introduce four new trains per hour as part of the refranchising of the East Midlands railway line. Doing so, they say, would require little to no capital expenditure, and would accelerate the economic benefits of the current transformation project which is set to increase the airport’s economic contribution by 77% from £1.3 billion in 2013 to £2.3 billion per annum by 2030.