London Luton Airport hosts The King

Company London Luton Airport
Date 08.12.2022

The people of London Luton Airport (LLA) gave His Majesty King Charles III an enthusiastic welcome on his first visit to Bedfordshire as monarch

The King travelled on the newly built Direct Air-Rail Transit (DART) between Luton Parkway station and the airport that will officially open in 2023. Alongside his visit, His Majesty met with London Luton Airport CEO Alberto Martin and frontline airport staff.

London Luton Airport was delighted to welcome His Majesty King Charles III as part of his visit to the new Luton DART, a new electrically-powered, energy-efficient, cable car that will transport airport passengers travelling from Luton Airport Parkway station to the LLA terminal in just over three minutes.

The Luton DART will further enhance the seamless journey from central London to the airport, with a total journey time from London St Pancras in as little as 32 minutes. LLA hopes that the advanced transport links will reduce car traffic within the area and decrease carbon emissions by up to 70 per cent.

Alighting the Luton DART at the new Central Terminal station at London Luton Airport, The King, a strong proponent of environmental projects, was welcomed by LLA Chief Executive Officer Alberto Martin and introduced to staff from across the airport, including LLA’s Prince’s Trust graduates.

Alberto Martin, CEO of London Luton Airport said: “It was an honour to welcome His Majesty to London Luton Airport. The visit was a wonderful opportunity to introduce the King to just some of our amazing airport staff who work so hard to deliver high levels of operational and customer service excellence and a simple, friendly passenger experience.

“It was also an opportunity to highlight the new DART service, our partnership with the local authority and our plans for long-term sustainable growth. The DART will transform the passenger experience for those arriving at the airport by rail, creating a seamless, quicker and smoother journey from Central London.

“In 2023 we celebrate 85 years of London Luton Airport, and all that we have achieved here, and we are beyond grateful to have this opportunity to highlight the DART’s wider mission to help LLA towards a more sustainable future during His Majesty’s visit.”

The DART project is being delivered by the airport’s owner Luton Rising. More than 80 per cent of contractors’ materials spend and recruitment for the DART was sourced by the from within 20 miles of Luton, while the construction supported around 500 jobs across a range of disciplines and 80 full-time posts for local apprentices, graduates, and other new entrants.

Graham Olver, Luton Rising Chief Executive Officer, said: “His Majesty talked with some of the 30 apprentices from the council, Luton Rising and our partners, who worked on the pioneering Luton DART programme. Creating opportunities for young and local people to enhance their employability and skills has been one of our priorities.”

The King’s visit was his first to London Luton Airport for 37 years when, as the Prince of Wales, he came to open a new terminal building in 1985.

Before his departure, The King unveiled a plaque at the Luton DART Central Terminal station commemorating his visit.

The visit culminated in a performance by the choir of Cardinal Newman School in Luton, who were very excited when they found out they were performing a rendition of Angels’ Carol by John Rutter for the very special Royal visitor. See their reaction here.

To find out more around the DART and the upcoming plans for the project, please click here.


London Luton Airport
Airport Way
United Kingdom
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