After 32.5 years, Green Line 757, operated from London Victoria to Luton Airport by Arriva the Shires with 16 Van Hool Acron tri-axle coaches, will cease serving Luton Airport after a new concession to operate the route was awarded to National Express (NX).
NX will begin running dedicated services between London Luton Airport and London Victoria Coach Station from May 1, 2013. It claimed it will deliver faster journey times, more frequent services and more seats at peak times. All coaches will be equipped with free WiFi, power sockets and business-class legroom. An enhanced timetable, specially engineered around flight times, is also expected. The operator anticipates a minimum of £6m of annual revenue over seven years.
At peak, coaches will run every 10 minutes, with 150 services to and from the airport each day.
NX CEO Dean Finch described it as a “significant new agreement with London Luton Airport which further consolidates our position as the UK’s coach market leader”.
It is thought Arriva will continue to operate between London and Luton but inevitably at a much reduced frequency.
Paul Adcock, Arriva the Shires MD, said: “This is an extremely disappointing outcome. The 757 has provided a high quality service between the Airport and London for over 30 years and over the last five years we have invested heavily in the service provision ensuring it has grown and expanded to meet demands. As a business we are now reviewing the possibilities and opportunities available to us and further announcements will be made in the next few weeks.”