London Luton Airport (LTN) saw a +15.6% increase in passenger growth in September to a record 1.4m pushing the rolling 12 months total passed the 14m mark for the first time and auguring well for the duty free and travel retail offer which is being upgraded.
In July, anchor retail tenant Lagardère Travel Retail, officially unveiled its core category store – the largest in LTR’s global portfolio at 1,670sq m – while the airport has also been upgrading the individual stores in the rest of the departures area with the addition of a new premium/luxury zone which was missing in the offer.
Passenger research has shown that brands are key to the shopping experience and LTN tested this with pop-ups for brand such as MAC, Sisley, Pandora and Victoria’s Secret, all of which were very well received according to the airport’s commercial department. Among the brands signed up for the new zone so far include Pinko, Rituals, and Sunglass Hut. There will be 16 stores in this area when it opens.
LTN – whose chiefly low-cost carriers serve 130 destinations – is also in the process of a £110m/$176m redevelopment project designed to increase annual capacity by +50% to 18m passengers by 2020 with construction is well underway. The airport has opened a new security search area and executive lounge, while transport links are being upgraded with a new dual carriageway to the terminal set to open this winter. A rail link between Luton Airport Parkway station and the terminal is also planned for 2020 by the local council.
Nick Barton, CEO of LTN, says: “Demand for air travel at Luton is at an all-time high which is an indicator of the timely nature of our transformation project.” LTN is operated and developed on a long lease by a consortium led by majority shareholder Spain’s AENA (51%), and investor Ardian.