Independent private investment company Ardian and Spanish airport operator Aena have completed the acquisition of London Luton Airport Operations (LLAOL).

The new owners were attracted to the airport because of its strong growth in passenger numbers, which increased from 3.4 million in 1998 to the current ten million.

The passenger numbers are expected to further increase following the implementation of a plan submitted to the Luton Borough Council to expand and improve the airport.

London Luton Airport managing director Glyn Jones said: "Our new owners arrive at an exciting period of change that will see the airport transformed.

"They come with a detailed knowledge of investment in transport services and infrastructure plus an impressive track record in airport operations.

"Their support is greatly welcomed as we work to ensure that LLAOL improves and expands the services we provide, for the benefit of our customers, communities and the economy."

"We work to ensure that LLAOL improves and expands the services we provide."

The airport’s former owner TBI, a company 90% owned by Abertis and 10% by Aena Internacional, announced an agreement to divest London Luton Airport to a consortium earlier this year. Aena holds a 51% stake in that consortium and AXA Private Equity holds 49%.

In the process, the consortium bought out Spanish infrastructure group Abertis from the venture.

The two firms have taken over a concession, granted by Luton Borough Council, to operate the airport until 2031.

London Luton Airport, which is located around 32 miles away from London, handled 9.6 million passengers in 2012, and it directly and indirectly employs over 500 and 8,000 staff respectively.

Aena serves 200 million passengers a year, while Ardian was known as AXA Private Equity before it spun off from the AXA Group in September.