The History of Luton Airport

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History of Luton Airport

TBI plc own 71 % of Luton airport and Betchel Enterprises Luton Ltd the remainder. TBI was originally a South Wales property company and moved into buying and operating regional airports by purchasing Cardiff in 1995. The company now own and operate the following airports, London Luton airport, Cardiff airport and Belfast airport in the UK. Overseas they operate Boliva airport and Skavsta airport in Sweden and have a management contract to operate the terminal complex at Orlando Sanford one of the busiest airports in the world.

Luton airport can trace its origins back to 1938 when the Borough of Luton owned the site. Almost immediately the airport was used to house fighter squadrons in the Second World War. After the war the Percival Aircraft Company moved to Luton and manufactured both military and civilian aircraft. The airport at this time was still used as a civilian airport although the numbers were very small compared to the likes of Gatwick and Heathrow.

In 1962 however, Brittania Airways decided to establish its base at Luton airport and this was the defining moment when Luton became a fully-fledged commercial airport, a further boost came in 1972 when Monarch started flying from Luton airport and the tour operator Clarksons and its own airline Courtline. These were buoyant years for the airport with 20 % of all holidaymakers using Luton. Unfortunately, the dependency on Clarksons was also the airports undoing and when the company went into liquidation Luton airport suffered accordingly. At the time Clarksons was one of the biggest players in the holiday market and its demise shook the confidence of the public with many people losing money.

Luton airport fortunes did not really improve until 1985 when a new terminal was built which proved the carrot for Rynair to start flights to Spain and Ireland in 1986.
The following year London Luton Airport Ltd became into being with the borough council the sole shareholder. Once again Luton airport suffered a further set back when the ever-popular carrier Rynair moved its base to Stansted.

The airport was now making losses and a new management team was brought in and no less than 30 million spent on the infrastructure to bring the airport update to attract airlines. Easyjet the low cost flyer chose Luton airport to establish its concept of Internet only purchase of its tickets. By 1998 passenger numbers have climbed to 4.4m and today this has risen to over 7 million and has been one of the fastest growing airports in the country and unlike Heathrow and Gatwick whose customers largely come from the southeast, the low cost of flying has encouraged customers to travel greater distances.

Luton airport along with Stansted airport, Heathrow airport and Gatwick airport form the axis for serving the flying needs of the capital and the southeast.
Flypark is established at all these airports and is able to provide several car parking options, so whether you wish to park at Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted or any other UK airport make Flypark your first option for “ Perfection in Airport Parking Connection”


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