London Luton Airport (LLA) has welcomed the news that East Midlands Railway (EMR) is to introduce a new half hourly non-stop service between London St Pancras and Luton Airport Parkway.
The new service will be introduced as part of the May timetable change and is the first significant step towards a separately-branded ‘Luton Airport Express’ service.
The service will operate using electric trains and run every 30 minutes between 06:00 and 22:00 daily, with additional late night and early morning services to serve departures from the airport.
The new service means passengers will be able to reach the airport in around 30 minutes from central London, making the airport one of the most accessible from the capital.
The timetable change also sees the introduction of a half-hourly service from Corby and other stations in the East Midlands, allowing passengers to travel from these towns to the airport in under an hour.
An express rail link will also bring environmental benefits, including a reduction of up to 70,000 car journeys a year, the airport said.
The additional connectivity will be significantly enhanced by the construction of the Direct Air-Rail Transit (DART) service, which is nearing completion.
The £225 million investment sees the creation of a fixed link between the airport and the station, replacing the current bus service.
Commenting on the proposals, Alberto Martin, chief executive of LLA said: “With ongoing travel restrictions, there are far fewer passengers using the airport than there normally would be.
“However, we need to take the opportunity to prepare for a return to air travel, and these changes do just that. It will be even easier for passengers to reach the airport as soon as it is safe to do so again, and I look forward to welcoming them back.”