UK. London Luton Airport (LLA) welcomed over one million passengers in February, as it continues to expand its retail and dining options amid a £160 million (US$221.5 million) transformation.

Eight stores have opened at Luton since the start of 2018, including high street brands such as Kurt Geiger, Ted Baker, Rituals, Fiorelli and Oliver Bonas’ first airport store. New Chanel and Hugo Boss stores are due to be unveiled by the summer. Dufry will also open a store named Collection soon.

Hot off the high street: Kurt Geiger is among the brands that have joined the London Luton retail line-up

The terminal expansion will double the airport’s retail and dining options as it seeks to enhance the traveller experience (as evidenced by last week’s Trinity partnership with Lagardère Travel Retail and Estée Lauder brand Clinique to celebrate International Women’s Day.

UK gifts and fashion brand Oliver Bonas marks its airport debut at London Luton Airport

In food & beverage, premium wine bar and sparkling wine specialist Dubl opened in February. Iberian ham-specialist Enrique Tomas has also opened an outlet, while Frankie & Benny’s underwent a refurbishment. Oriel Brasserie, serving French-inspired dishes, will open in coming months.

LLA CEO Nick Barton said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer people a new and improved choice of shops and restaurants when they travel with us.

“The fact that so many prominent retailers have chosen to open stores at LLA is further evidence of our transformation into a world-class international airport.”

The project, which will increase capacity from 12 million to 18 million passengers per year by 2020, has also increased seating and added eight new boarding gates.

The transformation also includes improved transport links. Work has started on a Mass Passenger Transit (MPT) system, which is being delivered by Luton Borough Council.

The MPT will connect Luton Airport Parkway station with the terminal, operating 24-hours a day and replacing the current shuttle bus. Once complete, it will reduce the journey time between central London and the airport to 30 minutes.

[Video – Inside London Luton Airport’s renovated terminal]

A total 1,042,325 passengers travelled through London Luton in February, marking the third consecutive month when it has served over one million passengers.

The airport carried 15.8 million passengers in 2017, an +8.6% increase on 2016.