Bordeaux looks forward to summer with extensive network plans

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Situated on the west coast of France, Bordeaux Airport has unveiled a summer flight schedule that demonstrates strong growth with extensive connections to and from the regional hub.

The airport’s summer network will feature 123 direct routes, including 13 new links and 89 destinations. In addition 24 airline partners have reiterated their trust in the appeal of Bordeaux’s regional market with destinations being served in Turkey and the Mediterranean islands, and as far afield as North Africa, Canada and Norway.

Commenting on the summer 2022 season, Simon Dreschel, CEO of Bordeaux Airport said: “We are delighted to be reconnecting the region with the world, thanks to a comprehensive, diverse flight schedule. All the airlines partnering the airport still believe in the appeal of Bordeaux and indeed the entire region. Symbolising this recovery, Hall B will open on Sunday 27 March to launch the season, followed by the billi terminal once the season peaks. Airport staff will be pulling out all the stops to ensure the comfort and health safety of all passengers.”

The popular low-cost carrier, Ryanair, has announced a wide-reaching summer schedule from Bordeaux with 42 direct routes, 11 of which are new, including: Zadar in Croatia, Malta, Trapani in Sicily, Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Alghero in Sardinia, Barcelona and Madrid in Spain, Birmingham in the UK, and Brindisi (Puglia), Pisa and Rome in Italy. Meanwhile Spanish airline Volotea is adding Florence and Athens to its network from the French hub.

Alongside the 67 European destinations being served from Bordeaux, there are five direct routes between Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Morocco: Agadir, Casablanca, Fez, Marrakesh and Tangiers. Meanwhile Air Transat will resume its direct route to Montreal in Canada from May.

The summer season also heralds the return of network airlines with Turkish Airlines resuming its five weekly flights to the new international airport in Istanbul. British Airways is reopening its route to London Gatwick and Lufthansa is stepping up flights out of Bordeaux by doubling the number of seats for the season compared to 2021.

CONNECT 2022: How airports are demonstrating their resilience in a post- COVID era

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This year’s CONNECT route development forum, which is taking place in Tampere, Finland until Friday 25 February, saw airports addressing the lessons they’ve learned during the global pandemic.

Glyn Jones, CEO of London Southend Airport, explained that one of the biggest lessons learned has been the need to “better understand the consumer and their emotional motivations for travel.” He also revealed that an insight and experience of the ever-changing mix of media that are relevant to today’s mixed customer base has been key, as well as the importance of delivering on the end-to-end customer experience. “Despite the fact we’ve taken a brutal pounding we have still delivered for our customers, one example being our investment in CT x-ray scanning technology during the security screening process so customers don’t have to remove liquids or laptops from their bags.”

Revenue diversification has also been crucial during the pandemic. “We have benefitted from cargo and business jet opportunities, which have provided a much-needed income stream in a low/ no commercial passenger context. Non-passenger related incomes from property, re-purposing of facilities and training have also proved invaluable.”

Jones also remarked that there is no long-term benefit to airlines from “bleeding” or over-exposed airports. “In the end we all need each other. We need a significant network of regional as well as larger hubs.”

Speaking on behalf of Bordeaux Airport in France, Simon Dreschel the airport’s CEO said the French regional hub is in a strong position as Bordeaux has the strongest population growth in the country. “The challenge now is on achieving sustainable development in line with the local authority guidelines. COVID has shown we need to be flexible and diversify our activity and revenues, so we are exploring the possibility of becoming an energy production centre for the region. Our focus is not simply on passenger volumes, but how we can diversify.”

Meanwhile, Aarhus Airport’s Director of Route Development, David Surley, underlined that in some ways the pandemic has created an opportunity for Aarhus to invest and expand by pushing ahead with its new terminal – an all-Danish designed facility for 1.5-3 million passengers per annum.

Reiterating Jones’ message about understanding the customer base Surley said: “Style and design are important to the Danish customer base and it’s important we deliver a first-class experience to all passengers. Ryanair is our largest carrier at Aarhus and LCC traffic is our bread and butter, but passengers are treated to the same first-class experience whether they are low-fare or premium ticket holders.”

As well as featuring new departure and transit lounges, new passenger security and border control zones, a new airport hotel and car rental complex Aarhus’ new terminal also features an indoor football pitch.

When it comes to continued collaborations with airlines, both Surley and Jones agreed there is scope for airlines and airports to work together more closely to deliver a greater social benefit.

Meanwhile, Dreschel noted that with Bordeaux the first French airport to have one of its routes (Bordeaux-Paris) cancelled, following the French Government’s move to suspend flights if the trip can be completed by train within two and a half hours, its now more important than ever to collaborate with airlines on “why we are serving certain routes, rather than focusing on the passenger volume.”

As for which new route they would choose to put at the top of their wish list, Surley couldn’t limit himself to just one route suggesting there are multiple regional and international links he’d like to see being added to Aarhus’ network. Dreschel declared his wish would be to reinstate a SAF-fuelled Paris-Bordeaux link, while Jones concluded he’d chose Amsterdam which would open up greater opportunities for long-haul travel for those flying from Southend.

Bordeaux welcomes new direct flights to the Caribbean with Corsair

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Just in time for the busy Christmas holiday period, Corsair will be offering direct flights from Bordeaux Airport in France to Pointe-à-Pitre, in Guadeloupe.

The airline is on a mission to strengthen its service to overseas destinations by developing links between regional airports in metropolitan France and its overseas territories. At the same time, Corsair is renewing its fleet entirely in an effort to improve its environmental impact.

Passengers travelling from Bordeaux and the surrounding region of western France will be able to head to the Caribbean island from 19 December to 1 May 2022. The flights will depart from both destinations once a week on Sundays.
To broaden its range of destinations from France, all Corsair long-haul flights are connected with regional and inter-islands flights operated by the French carrier’s partner Air Antilles.

“The arrival of Corsair and this new scheduled route to a French overseas department opens a range of possibilities for the region,” said Simon Dreschel, Chairman of the Management Board of Bordeaux Airport. “This link between Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Guadeloupe is a fantastic opportunity to develop exchanges between the French Caribbean and our region, which boasts one of the largest Caribbean communities in France, and to strengthen numerous cultural ties.”

Corsair’s CEO, Pascal de Izaguirre, reiterated his support for the new route saying, “our aim is to offer people living in Bordeaux and Nouvelle-Aquitaine direct access to French overseas destinations. We’re going to facilitate the growth of tourist, family and business exchanges between overseas territories and the largest region in France.”

Bordeaux Airport inaugurates new pier

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As part of Bordeaux Airport’s modernisation plan, which is focused on service quality and environmental transition, its new pier, which was unveiled on 7 October, is the first High Environmental Quality (HEQ) facility at the French hub.

The fully transparent passageway links Hall A in Bordeaux Airport to its new international pier offering 3,000 m.sq. of new building, including 2,000 m.sq. of devoted passenger areas with four lounges offering panoramic views of aircraft taking off on the runway.

The new structure was designed with high-performance systems to ensure a comfortable indoor atmosphere, while boasting a distinctive and imposing façade of special glazing. Combining protection from solar over-heating and noise reduction, it provides a significant proportion of natural light, offset at nightfall or in cloudy weather by automatic variation in the LED lighting system.

The HEQ certification of the pier guarantees environmental and energy efficiency. Its annual energy use is 11% lower than that of an airport complying with the most recent thermal regulation. Regarding water use, it enables an annual saving of 1,000 m. sq. of drinking water, i.e. the equivalent of 200,000 lavatory flushes.

High-performance, environmentally friendly interior furnishings, including paint and suspended ceilings were chosen to emit as few pollutants as possible. Wood furnishings sourced from sustainably managed forests, and the linoleum flooring is composed of 90% fully natural and recyclable materials.

The new pier is one of several projects the airport is undertaking to enhance its service quality and strengthen the management of its environmental impacts. Despite the global health crisis the airport has pursed an active strategy for its environmental management with the goal of becoming a carbon neutral airport by 2030.

Header image: Bordeaux Airport’s new passenger pier ©@SA_ADBM

Bordeaux to offer direct flights to Guadeloupe this winter

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French carrier Corsair will offer direct flights to Pointe-a-Pitre in Guadeloupe from south-west France’s Bordeaux Airport as of mid-December 2021.

The new route further consolidates Corsair’s position as a go-to airline for French destinations overseas after it announced flights from Lyon, Marseille Provence and Nantes Atlantique airports.

Flights between France’s Nouvelle Aquitaine region and the West Indies island of Guadeloupe will be served weekly every Sunday from 19 December 2021 to 1 May 2022.

“We are delighted to have the long-haul airline Corsair on Bordeaux’s runway,” said Thierry Couloumies, Chairman of the Bordeaux Airport Executive Board. “This flight to Guadeloupe provides easy access to yet another French overseas destination from Bordeaux. It provides an opportunity for a fabulous getaway in the sunshine for inhabitants of Nouvelle-Aquitaine in the depths of winter, with the simplicity of a direct flight at an attractive rate. This route is also a fantastic opportunity to develop trade between the French Caribbean and our region, which boasts one of the largest Caribbean communities in France.”

Corsair’s President and CEO, Pascal de Izaguirre, meanwhile pointed out that: “After facilitating access to the French Caribbean from Lyon and Nantes, this direct flight from Bordeaux to Point-a-Pitre consolidates yet further our growing range serving large cities in mainland France. Corsair shows yet again its determination to diversify French overseas destinations in order to offer its clients an even greater choice, contribute to developing tourism and facilitating territorial continuity for mainland residents from overseas territories.”

Bordeaux Airport welcomes return of Amsterdam link

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Bordeaux Airport in France has welcomed the return of KLM’s direct service to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The popular route between the two cities was relaunched on 3 June following its temporary suspension for 10 weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resumption of the flight will be increased to correlate with summer demand, with five weekly frequencies during three weeks, followed by a daily flight at the end of June. Then from 6 July, the service will be operated with a night stop in Bordeaux and four daily flights. A mix of Embraer 190 and B737 aircraft will be operated on the route.

The Bordeaux region in south west France has been one of the least affected coronavirus regions in the country. The KLM operation is a response to the big summer demand for flights to Bordeaux from the Netherlands. It also enables passengers travelling to and from Bordeaux and elsewhere in Europe to connect with other services at Amsterdam as a major gateway.