They were at the airport’s third Meet The Buyer event last week, held in conjunction with Luton Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, the University of Bedfordshire, the Federation of Small Businesses, Bedford Borough Council, UK Trade & Investment and the Chambers of Comerce for Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, St Albans and Watford & West Herts.
The speed networking event allowed 44 local companies to meet managers at 16 firms that are already central to operations at the airport, including private jet operator Harrods Aviation, Monarch Airlines, Thameslink Rail operator Govia, and National Air Traffic Control .
The event comes as the airport reports record passenger growth, with 8.1% more people flying from London luton in 2014 compared to the previous year. It is also embarking on an ambitious £100 million development plan that will create an additional 5,000 jobs on site, alongside the 8,600 employed either by the airport directly or by one of the companies that operate on site in the Airport’s extensive supply chain.
The redevelopment is also expected to contribute a further £283 million to the local economy in the coming years.
London Luton chief executive Nick Barton said: “As the region’s biggest employer, we want to make sure the local community benefits from our success.
“The ‘Meet the Buyer’ event allows local businesses to network and talk business through our extensive on-site supply chains. This helps create jobs for local people and has a real impact on the local and regional economy.
The event also raised more than £2,500 for the airport’s charity partner Sue Ryder.
UKTI partnership manager Pat Smith said: “Meet the Buyer will generate income for Luton businesses, both nationally and internationally.”