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Issue 138 - Aelia Opens up at Luton

Whisky Magazine Issue 138
September 2016

 

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Aelia Opens up at Luton

New duty free store opens including a whisky tasting bar

London Luton, the UK's fifth biggest airport, has always had something of an image problem. It grew in tandem with the rise in popularity of the cheap package holiday in the 1970s and 80s, and as British readers of a certain vintage might recall, it was memorably name-checked in a famous TV advert for Campari of the time.

The advert depicted a glamorous lady on a sun-drenched holiday who is wooed by a suave Southern European gentlemen, asking her, “Were you truly wafted here from paradise?” Her immortal reply came in a Cockney accent, “Nah, Luton airport!” Even today London Luton airport suffers from a poor reputation it would seem. In a recent survey of British holidaymakers' views on 15 UK airports carried out by travel website cheapflights.co.uk, Luton came bottom in all but one of a range of criteria that included everything from check-in and security to general cleanliness and wi-fi access.

It's not all bad though. A £120 million revamp of the airport is underway and as part of that project a bright new, spacious walk-through duty free store opened in the departures terminal in April. Run by French firm Aelia, the new shop definitely takes things into the 21st Century, boasting a tasting bar, a free gift-wrapping service, a touch screen navigation point, and a new Whisky Studio concept developed by Diageo.

The Whisky Studio is located in the middle of the shop's back wall and features shelves dedicated to the myriad of Johnnie Walker expressions that are now...

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