For those of you that have an interest in what is happening at EGGW there is a website at www.lutonmovements.co.uk The website contains information on maintenance visits, schedules, movements, news and photos, also there is a newsgroup at free.uk.airports-luton
Luton has failed to attract a single middle/large sized airline to start scheduled services into or out of Luton since 1995 when easyjet and Debonair first came to Luton. Despite problems with slots Air Berlin has just announced 6 new routes to Germany out of Stansted while Lutonís management look on with envy.
Quite agree STN is so out of the way...and some of the worse road and rail network in the country. LTN so much better, for onward conections. The only communites STN serves well is East Anglia, Essex and North East London.
I agree - a great shame that TBI did not manage to attract Air Berlin to Luton, particularly with the slot problems at STN.
However, given that TBI seem to be anxious to attract competitors to EZY to Luton, maybe they never got the chance to make Air Berlin an offer. "Meldrewv" and "Buster the Bear" always seem to be in the know .... and ideas guys??
I agree, why would anyone want to use the M11 which is next to STN, or the STN Express which runs straight into Liverpool Street in 30 mins. When they could get stuck on the M1 or take the smelly bus to Parkway and then get on the Thameslink for 45 mins to Kings X.
Just had a quick look at railtrackís timetable for trains from Stansted to Liverpool Street from 16.00 to 19.00. Just 2 trains an hour with a travelling time ranging from 42 minutes to 1hour 5 minutes.
Lutonís standard daytime service is 8 trains an hour 4 of which get to Kings Cross Thameslink in 35 minutes. Luton has direct access to 30 London stations via the Thameslink network. Also not forgetting Midland Mainlines services to the Midlands and their non stop service to St Pancras in under 25 minutes. Luton must be the best connected airport to the capital.
The airport is at the top of a hill and the railway is at the bottom so a station by the existing terminal is impossible. There was a detailed plan drawn up to site the main terminal by the Parkway Station and have a Gatwick style monorail up to the existing terminal which would become pure airside. In fact the tunnel under taxiway Alpha was built so a monorail could be built on the other side of the concrete pillars. It might still happen if the airport can buy enough land from Vauxhall motors.
Do you really think that getting the train from London to Luton Parkway and then having to get off and haul your bags out the station, wait for a bus and then travel through Luton's traffic to the airport, is a better option than a direct fast train to Stansted?
I donít want to get into a debate about the pros and cons of LTN v STN but while LTN is far from ideal it does have some advantages over Stansted. On my last visit to the Essex airport despite having no luggage it took what seemed like forever getting from the aircraft to the terminal. This was mainly due to having to descend into a cellar and being confronted by what looked like a queue to exit a football ground but was in fact a queue to board a train to get to the main terminal. The claustrophobic atmosphere was not helped by the fact that someone in the crowd had fa*ted.
I've got to agree with Bacon Torpedo about the bag carrying, to bus etc. I didn't have to do it in heavy rain, but can imagine it. And getting from the tube to King's Cross Thameslink as a tourist was cumbersome - funny that they don't promote the train travel from Blackfriars which was less labour-intensive and didn't involve leaving the tube station to get to the train station.
STN is a comfortable, well-laid-out airport; now if they could just pick it up and put it down in a place that mattered! That aside, I find it so strange that with the proliferation of cheap flights out of STN to so many LoCo destinations that no trans-Atlantic flights are going in there to take advantage of that market. Royal Airlines [defunct] used to do it in the old days from Canada, but the LoCo market wasn't big yet. CO went there from EWR, but why would a full-service promote connections to LoCos?
Follow the logic... (although I know that the Hapag Express Aircraft arent they're own)...
Hapag are part of TUI, which own Britannia. Britannia is based at LTN. Britannia Engineering is based at LTN. Britannia Engineering are contracted to service Hapag's 737's. Hapag are paying (Germania?) to operate the Aircraft.
Logic say's... Lets use STN, not have any engineering cover (that could have been suppiled by one of our own in-house companies!) therefore keeping Aircraft servicable if the go tech in London, and at the same time re-charging Germania some of the money for Engineering support that they are paying towards the Aircraft!!!
It's the same old story - BAA's pockets are a lot deeper than LLA's!
At least the trains at Luton Parkway run thru the night rather than stopping at about 2400 and leaving hundred's of passengers to be ripped off by the local licensed taxi bandits or to be stuffed into buses (As an article in the Times recently stated).
The response of the BAA (who have enticed all these LCC's with their extended operating hours to STN)when questioned about the rail access and the shut-down at night? Not us mate try Stansted Express!
BAA do have deep pockets. LHR and LGW can subsidise STN and undercut LTN. However, the official BAA line is they don't do discounts (yeah - even LGW do discounts!)
A lo-cost mate of mine says his company were effectively offerred a £1/pax deal by BAA at STN. I find that hard to believe but it could be the reason all the new guys are beating a path to STN.
Some of these new German carriers are going to compete head to head with the established boys and girls. I do like a good dogfight. For you Luton ze voar is over. Zehr gut meine herren und damen.... ach..nein, nein - Achtung das ist eine Orange Spitfeur. Blut und Eisen!