France’s ‘friendly’ and efficient airport
Famed for its beautiful volcanic scenery, the Auvergne region of France is a perennial favourite among in-the-know tourists.
The area is also home to a diverse population, with a high concentration of Portuguese and Moroccan nationals. It’s this diversity that Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport hopes to capitalise on in the coming year.
“The short-term goal is to boost our visiting friends and relatives (VFR) segment,” said an airport spokesperson. “Portugal is the number one community in the region, so it is key to improve connectivity both for VFR traffic and for tourism. Morocco, Algeria and Turkey come next.”
Already, progress has been made.
“We recently opened a brand-new route to Fez, Morocco, operated year-round, twice a week with Ryanair,” said Cindy Hugon-Duprat, Marketing Manager – Aviation and Commercial Business Development. “This route allows us to satisfy the leisure passengers, as well as VFR traffic. There is a strong community of student exchanges coming from Morocco, which represents the main foreign nationality at the University of Clermont-Ferrand.”
Describing itself as “a smart, friendly, and efficient airport”, Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne has 1.6m people living within a 90-minute drive of its terminal. It wants to help those people become better connected to the rest of France by boosting its domestic route network.
“One key objective is to resume connectivity to Paris Orly,” said the spokesperson. “Back in 2019, it represented a quarter of our commercial traffic. The connection is key for the territory and is essential for business travel.” Summer services to the Mediterranean destinations are also a priority.
Despite being relatively small, Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport is not afraid to innovate. It was the first airport in France to supply sustainable aviation fuel and recently took order of the world’s first fully electric de-icer. “We are proud to be able to offer responses to the aviation decarbonisation challenge,” said Hervé Bonin – Airport Director.