Families of staff and crew at Luton airport watched the world’s “first Christmas aircraft light show”, as part of the airport’s 80th anniversary celebrations.

About 1.5 miles of multi-coloured lights and 850,000 light sequences were used to create the Christmas display which covered an easyJet A320.

The light show featured festive projections and lights accompanied by a contemporary remix of Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

A team of 10 special effects artists and lighting designers spent four weeks on the design and creation of the display.

The airport and easyJet worked together on the project to thank hundreds of airport staff who have been involved in a three-year redevelopment of the terminal.

The £160 million regeneration project will increase the annual capacity of the airport to 18 million passengers by 2020.

Children from two local primary schools were also invited to the big unveil, and nine-year-old Maddy Simonite performed the switch-on.

The festive treat took place as easyJet and the airport prepare for one of their busiest Christmas getaway periods.

More than three and half million passengers will be flying with easyJet over the holiday period.

Neil Thompson, airport operations director, said: “As we reach the end of our redevelopment – the largest in the airport’s 80-year history – we wanted to extend a huge thank you to staff and customers and give them a special Christmas gift. Our team were given just 24 hours to dress an entire aircraft hangar and easyJet A320 Airbus plane before guests were treated to a dramatic Christmas lights switch-on.”

Tina Milton, easyJet cabin services director, added: “Most people who work in a regular office get to partake in festive decorating, so we laid down the challenge to ground crew to create the most spectacular light show featuring a plane.”

Photo credit: Joe Pepler/ PinPep