London Luton Airport 'in recovery' as passenger numbers reach 70% of pre-pandemic levels

Passenger numbers at Luton Airport reached 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels on one day last week, and were around 62 per cent for the whole of March.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 2:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 2:29 pm

Labour Lewsey councillor and council leader Hazel Simmons told the local authority's executive the airport company and our airport was ‘in recovery’.

"Passenger numbers on Thursday were at 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, with figures for the whole of March at 62 per cent, while the airlines are reporting strong bookings for this summer.

"That's very good news for people's jobs, and also for the borough council and airport company."

Luton Airport

Councillor Simmons, who chairs the executive, presented a report setting out Luton Rising's objectives for this financial year and beyond.

"Now is the time to look to the future and that's exactly what this business plan does, laying out the focus of Luton Rising over the next few months and years," she added.

"It's a hugely important document which will continue to evolve and change as a living record to react to market and economic conditions, while the projects Luton Rising is leading on reach their milestones. I believe it's a really positive step forward."

The Luton Rising Group is "a collection of business units, which show the breadth of the company’s involvement in a range of strategic assets, business opportunities and enterprises", according to a report to the executive.

"These make a significant positive impact on the community of Luton and beyond," said the report.

"This first annual business plan 2022/23 sets the framework for the Luton Rising Group to carry out its business in the coming year and pursue future opportunities.

"It's heavily focused on the delivery of the company’s development projects, such as the Luton direct air-rail transit (DART) and development consent order (DCO).

"The plan has the flexibility to respond to emerging or unidentified opportunities," added the report. "This version has been prepared for publication, which means it excludes some commercially sensitive information."

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Labour Limbury councillor Rob Roche explained he spoke to service director sustainable development Sue Frost about the environmental impact assessment form, saying: "It's very positive.

"They say it's robust. There's detail which has to be sorted out, but it doesn't appear to be an issue or a problem to our officers. That's the Luton local planning authority working independently."

Labour Challney councillor Tom Shaw said: "I congratulate Luton Rising. At various meetings of the climate change working group we've had promises about becoming the greenest airport in the UK.

"There's been talk about what action will be taken on climate change and how it'll work alongside us.

"Part of the report is all the promises made to the group, which have been included in the business plan now."

Labour Lewsey councillor Aslam Khan said: "This is the council working in partnership and being bold. It isn't just growing our economy, but ensuring we've the most environmentally friendly airport in the country.

"That was our commitment to our constituents and it's good to see the business plan reflects that."

LBC's executive approved its airport company's business plan and agreed to instruct the council chief executive to inform the Luton Rising board of directors that the shareholder consents to its adoption.

Further paperwork was due to be considered with more recommendations in private.