Airport services are not a new concept

Airport services form a major part of today’s scheduled coaching business. But it’s not a new concept, and can be traced back to the days of British European Airways (BEA)..

Air travel was booming in the prosperous post-war period, and London Transport – contracted by BEA to provide coach services to the then-three airports around the capital – persuaded the airline to invest in something a little bit bigger to replace a fleet of 18-seat Commers.

What materialised was a 65-strong batch of AEC Regals with unusual bodies. The first arrived in 1952. Park Royal split the body into two sections; one, at the front, was at the standard height and accommodated 16 passengers. Behind was a raised section for a further 21 travellers, sitting above luggage lockers which, it was claimed, could hold 100 suitcases. Air travel continued to grow in the 1960s, and the Regals became too small. They were replaced by a batch of Routemaster double-deckers from 1966 onwards.

One (MLL 740) remained with LT until 1974 as a back-up to the Routemasters, and today forms part of the London Bus Museum collection.