London Luton Airport launches mobile optimised website

London Luton Airport, one of the UK’s largest airports, has launched a mobile optimised version of its website, m.london-luton.co.uk, responding to the needs of users wanting to view the site on their smart phones.

Designed and developed by a leading UK mobile marketing company, Incentivated, the new website deploys live XML feed of flight data from air traffic control and provides users with real time flight information while on the move. Using Incentivated’s phone detection API, users accessing the main website URL on their phones will be automatically re-directed to the mobile version of the site.

‘We are delighted with this great-looking mobile website. We are thrilled that it is now live, and will be able to help the thousands of passengers transiting through our airport this summer,’ said Oliver Jaycock, General Manager, Marketing for London Luton.

Maintaining brand consistency with the desktop site, the mobile website provides access to similar content as the desktop site, while ensuring that customer needs when using small screens are fully accounted for. Employing the latest responsive coding techniques, both on the device and server-side, the site content, imagery and navigation scales depending upon the screen size of the customer’s phone.

The ‘concertina’ functionality provides access to nested sub-menus enabling faster access to the website details. The use of tabbed browsing pages enables users to access different contents with a touch, providing a quicker and smoother customer browsing experience.

The website features site and content search functionality, where content can be re-organised by a single tap. The site also provides access to third party resources to help users find their way to and from the Airport and/or to National Rail by linking with Google. Again, using tabbed secondary navigation customers can switch between travel options. Customers can also book car parking in advance at the website.

It also provides a dynamic news alert banner giving headline access to important operational information and an ‘Indoor Mapping’ function on supported Android handsets. This new feature from Google enables passengers to display a map of the Airport terminal to help navigate their way around and see where various facilities, shops and restaurants are located.

Jonathan Bass, Managing Director at Incentivated: ‘We are pleased to be able to deliver this innovative mobile website for London Luton. Delivering interesting new ways of displaying and ordering content within a mobile environment has been a real challenge, as we have sought to create a differentiated mobile travel site that gives customers access to the critical information they need as quickly and efficiently as possible.’

Luton Airport set to expand following rights sale

Luton Airport, the fifth-largest airport in the UK, is set to expand after the rights to run it changed hands in a deal worth £433 million.

Spanish owner, Abertis, offloaded its remaining 90 percent holding in Luton to a consortium led by minority shareholder, Aena, a Spain-based airport operator, and AXA Private Equity. State-owned Aena already held 10 percent, and exercised its right of first refusal on Abertis’s stake.

The airport, owned by Luton borough council, had been part of Abertis’s portfolio since 2005, when the company and Spanish infrastructure group, Aena, purchased the British operator, TBI. The consortium has now agreed to buy the company that holds the rights to operate the airport on the council’s behalf until 2031.

In September 2012, the single-runway airport set out plans to almost double its passenger traffic by 2031 and improve road and rail access.

‘We aim to substantially build up London Luton in consultation with all its stakeholders,’ said Aena executive chairman, Jose Manuel Vargas. Axa said that its 49 percent holding in Luton, its first investment in the aviation industry ‘will provide a platform for Axa Private Equity in the air transport sector’.

Luton council said, ‘We will be working with Aena and AXA to ensure a smooth transition in the transferring of responsibility for the operation of London Luton Airport which will need to deliver an investment programme for the asset under the terms of the existing concession agreement.’

EasyJet, Luton airport’s largest airline, has also urged the new owners to improve facilities for passengers. EasyJet UK commercial manager, Hugh Aitken, said, ‘As London Luton airport’s largest airline, easyJet bases a fleet of 15 aircraft on site serving 38 destinations across Europe, Northern Africa the Middle East and Iceland, carrying almost five million passengers each year on our easy and affordable flights.’

‘We look forward to working with Aena and AXA to deliver enhancements to London Luton airport which will result in sustainable growth, long-term development and an improved customer experience, which will help the airport to reach its full potential,’ Aitken added.

Luton handled 9.6 million passengers last year, with flights offered by easyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Monarch, Thomson, El Al, Blue Air, Flybe and Sun D’or.

Easyjet offers fast track security clearance

Easyjet, a low-cost airline with its head office at Luton Airport in the UK, is to offer fast track security clearance to its flexi fare passengers.

Building on the original flexi fare concept, the new free benefit is designed to attract more business passengers to fly with easyjet, and is intended to provide them with a smooth and relaxed transition through the airport for ticket prices that start from £79.00 one way.

The new service will be available at 27 of the 50 airports that currently comprise the airline’s business network, but it is scheduled for expansion. The participating airports are: Aberdeen, Athens, Budapest, Cologne/Bonn, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Faro, Geneva and Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, Gatwick, Glasgow, Hamburg, Liverpool, Lisbon, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa, Munich, Newcastle, Paris CDG and Orly, Porto, Prague, Rome Fiumicino, Southend, Stansted, Tallinn and Venice Marco Polo.

Carolyn McCall, easyjet’s chief executive, said, ‘Above all else, business travellers want frequent, punctual flights to leading airports, with friendly service and at great fares – and that is why 10 million of them choose to fly with easyJet every year. Building on that platform we want to give them other services that they truly value and which we can deliver without changing our simple efficient operations.

‘Allocated seating is a good example of something our business passengers told us they really wanted and that we have been able to manage while maintaining our industry leading punctuality.

‘By teaming up with our airport partners we can now offer fast track security which enables time sensitive business travellers to reduce their journey time through the airport.’

London Luton Airport Announces Expansion Plans

London Luton Airport, an airport in the county of Bedfordshire in the UK, is expanding its capacity, according to Luton Borough Council, the owner of the facility.

Luton Airport is gearing up to expand its capacity by around 50 percent, as the airport’s owner has extended the airport operational contract with the current operator. The airport contract with London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLAOL) to operate the facility, has been extended by three years, to 2031.

The airport is currently drawing up detailed plans to increase its capacity from the present annual limit of 11.5 million passengers, to a proposed 18 million passengers, while staying within the present border and runway capabilities of the airport.

Robin Harris, the chairman of London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL), the parent company of the airport’s owners, said, ‘Given Luton airport’s position as the single biggest asset owned by the people of Luton, this agreement and its potential benefits for wealth in the region’s economy are momentous.

LLAL is delighted at this step forward and at the benefits it will bring to Luton airport and to the region’s residents.’

Glyn Jones, the managing director of LLAOL, said, ‘The agreement will allow LLAOL to continue the successful work which we have been carrying out at London Luton Airport since 1998.

Last year the airport was the UK’s fastest growing major airport and this agreement will enable both parties to continue to deliver sustainable growth together, developing the airport in a positive way for partners, residents and passengers.’