Airport begins 75th anniversary celebrationsJul 18, 2013
Passengers travelling all over Europe also joined in the party by tucking into 7,500 servings of a 75ft long cake on display in the terminal building to mark the occasion.
Airport managing director Glyn Jones said: “Since the first commercial aircraft departed from here in 1938, the airport has changed beyond recognition though its ambition, along with its airline partners, to keep moving into the future remains constant.
“London Luton has increased the popularity and access to air travel by making it affordable for the ten million passengers who use us every year.
For decades we have been there to support businesses expanding abroad, reunite friends and families, explore new cultures and fly people to the sun.”
Opened by Kingsley Wood, the Secretary of State for Air, in 1938 Luton Municipal Airport was base for the RAF’s 264 Fighter Squadron during World War Two.
It became the birthplace and home of affordable air travel from the 1950s onwards, and was renamed London Luton Airport in 1990.
Today, it is the fifth largest airport in the UK.
An original 1955 Percival Provost aircraft touched down at the airport, where the planes were built by Percival Aircraft Company. It is pictured an easyJet A319 and private jets from RSS and Harrods Aviation.
easyJet’s UK commercial manager Hugh Aitken said: “The nerve centre of our operation and easyJet head office is here at Hangar 89 and as one of the region’s largest employers, we have come a long way from our origins of two aircraft in 1995, to the 15 we base here now.”
easyJet has flown more than 4.5 million passengers from London Luton in the past year, he added.
“We are looking forward to developing our easy and affordable services from the airport and celebrating many more milestones with the team here in years to come.”
In her speech, Cllr Roden praised the Airport for the role it has played in the local community and toasted the next 75 years that lie ahead.
The airport has invested £180,000 in the Luton area community via its Community Engagement Strategy and raised more than £160,000 for charity in the past five years.
It has marked its 75th anniversary celebrations with a new five-year strategy focusing on health, safety, environment and economic growth.
Mr Jones said: “Everyone involved with the Airport has worked hard to make it one of the fastest growing in the UK, creating over 8,000 jobs and opening up new frontiers for our passengers.
"We should all be truly proud of what has been achieved, and be encouraged by what we can further achieve in the future.”