14.5 million passengers travelled through London Luton Airport (LLA) last year, making 2016 the busiest year ever in the airport’s history.
The record figure represents annual growth of 18.5% compared to 2015. LLA has now seen thirty three months of consecutive passenger growth, with each percentage increase reaching double digits. December saw a 24.6% rise in passenger numbers compared with the same month in 2015.
To meet the continued demand from passengers, the largest single investment in its 79 history is underway to transform the airport. This will increase annual capacity by 50% from 12 million to 18 million passengers by 2020.
2017 is set to be another exciting year for LLA as as construction of the terminal extension really gathers pace. A range of new restaurants and shops are set to open throughout the year and improvements are due to be completed in the immigration hall.
Access to the airport will be significantly improved, with the new taxi rank, drop-off zone, dual carriageway, all due to be completed early in the year.
Passengers are also benefiting from a growing choice of destinations. 23 new routes were launched in 2016 and LLA welcomed four new airline partners (Vueling, Transavia, Adria Airways and Fly KISS), taking the number of airlines operating at the airport to 14. Route expansion will continue this year, with 16 new routes already confirmed for 2017, including three routes from new airline Thomas Cook, in May.
Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, said: “In a year when airport capacity has hit the headlines more than ever before, we’ve been working hard to meet demand. This year, passengers will start to see the benefits of the redevelopment. We’re also continuing our efforts to secure four fast trains per hour to Luton Airport Parkway as part of the upcoming East Midlands rail refranchising. Alongside the light rail link, more fast trains will make it possible to reach LLA from London St Pancras in less than 30 minutes – faster than the current links to both Gatwick and Stansted.”