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Airport History

London Luton Airport is located just outside the city and offers international flights daily. Luton is the fourth busiest airport servicing London and is one of six international airports in the London region. Formerly known as Luton International, Luton had ore than 10 and a half million passengers in 2014 making Luton the sixth busiest airport in the United Kingdom. Airlines based in Luton include Monarch, EasyJet, Ryanair, and Thomson Airways. The airport mostly serves destinations within Europe, but there are a few flights to Asia and North Africa, as well as some charters. The airport has a single runway which is equipped with an Instrument Landing System, allowing the airport to operate even during poor visibility.

The airport first opened in 1938 and was a base for Royal Air Force fighters during World War II. Following the war, the airport returned to civilian operations. Until the 1960s, Percival Aircraft had its factory at Luton Airport.

The airport also services numerous executive aircraft from all over the world. It is also an operating base for several charter airlines, including Thomson Airways, Court Line, and Monarch.

The airport was renamed London Luton Airport as an attempt to emphasise its proximity to London. In the late 90s, MyTravel Group started using Luton as the base for its Airtours charter flights. Additionally, two low-cost airlines, EasyJet, and Debonair also made Luton their base.

In 1997, the local council issued a concession contract to create a private-public consortium and funded a £80 million expansion at the airport; this included a new terminal consisting of glass and aluminium and based on the original Foster and Partners design. The new terminal opened in 1999 and was dedicated by Queen Elizabeth. It houses more than 60 check-in desks, flight information systems, and baggage carousels, as well as numerous restaurants, shops, and bars.