Infrastructure at Luton airport must improve and old perceptions swept away, EasyJet says today (Thursday May 3).
The budget carrier, which is based at Luton, is calling for increased accessibility and a wider need to build a positive consumer image of the airport.
The airport represents around half of the airline’s current passenger numbers and is a base for 16 aircraft, operating 34 routes. EasyJet also employs over 1000 people at the airport.
The airline’s strategic vision for Luton airport follows two recently published master plans from Luton Borough Council and London Luton Airport Operations Limited.
The key elements put forward by the airline are:
- Making the airport easy to get to – improved frequency of fast trains to and from London, removal of the charge for the Luton Airport Parkway shuttle bus and delivery of Junction 10a.
- Passenger friendly terminal facilities – Reduce waiting times at security and immigration. Increase the number of stands to remove the need for bussing to planes, an improved terminal experience – more seating and retail on the way, not in the way.
- Airfield infrastructure to enable efficient operations – cost effective parallel taxiways, wider taxiways to avoid airfield congestion.
- Delivering at the right cost base – efficient and cost effective development alongside matching airline growth commitments.
- Growth and infrastructure phased – Airport development should be phased alongside realistic growth targets – to deliver value for all stakeholders.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “Our mission is to make travel easy and affordable.
“It’s clear that at present London Luton Airport is not as good as it could be, and it should be positioned to play a bigger part in overall airport capacity in London and the South East.
“We therefore broadly welcome the infrastructure development plans from the Council and London Luton Airport Operations Limited.”
UK director Paul Simmons said: “Developing the airport infrastructure is only one part of what is needed at London Luton.
“We believe that the airport and the council should work proactively with airlines to find the best solution for passengers and for the local taxpayers who ultimately own the airport.
“This solution must cover airport infrastructure, improvement of road and rail access and the changing of old perceptions which are holding us back. It goes without saying that all of this has to be achieved at a sensible cost.
“If we grasp this opportunity now London Luton will grow, deliver a great passenger experience and significantly contribute more to the local and regional economy.
“With this framework we look forward to seeing the plans develop as quickly as possible.”