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Arriva attacks Luton Airport contract

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Arriva is considering legal action against Luton Airport following the airport’s decision to award a contract for London coach services to National Express. The NatEx service started on 1 May, on which date Arriva switched its Green Line 757 London service to operate from an off-airport car park with a shuttle bus connection provided by Airport Carparkz.

At the same time easyBus, which had previously been a partner of Arriva, introduced a new non-stop service between central London and the airport.

Arriva complains that the airport is stopping travellers from using its Green Line service which has been running for 30 years. And it says that by allowing easyBus to run a service the airport is contradicting its position of banning other operators in favour of what it says was to have been an exclusive deal with NatEx.

Heath Williams, Arriva’s regional managing director, says: “The decision to prevent Arriva - but potentially allow other operators to serve the airport - is confusing for both operators and customers. It prevents a level playing field for bus operators, something which we are challenging strongly through legal proceedings against [the airport], and is not in the best long-term interest of passengers.”

Luton Airport awarded the London service to NatEx after running a competitive tender. An airport spokesperson says: “London Luton Airport is delighted by the new service, which provides 140 services a day to central London.”

NatEx is running the service between the airport and London’s Victoria Coach Station with 22  Caetano Levantes and a £15 single fare, while easyBus is running Renault minibuses to Baker Street with fares from as little as £2, although a check on the easyBus website this week showed the fare for next day travel was in fact £11.99. Arriva has introduced a £10 single fare to compete.

www.arriva.co.uk

www.nationalexpress.com

www.easybus.co.uk

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