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Bordeaux Airport’s multi-million-euro expansion on track amid growing traffic

BORDEAUX
Mélanie Grellety, Bordeaux’s Airline Business Development Analyst & Cyrielle Clément, Head of Route Development, look to fill network gaps as Bordeaux Airport embarks on its modernisation journey

Bordeaux Airport in southwestern France is undergoing a major modernisation programme, which aims to facilitate its environmental transition, enhance the quality of service for passengers, and improve operational efficiency.

The French airport is in the first of a five-year strategy, which will include the construction of a new central structure that will serve as a junction terminal between halls A and B. Existing infrastructure of the Billi terminal, that caters for low-cost carriers, will be overhauled, with work on the facility to begin by the autumn of 2024 and completed within a year.

In tandem with these improvements, Bordeaux Airport is making strides towards environmental sustainability through energy saving measures to reduce its carbon footprint. It has finished installing solar panels on the carpark closest to the airport site, producing 4% of its energy needs, while plans are being made to do the same at another carpark further away, where the electricity produced will be used by the local area/territory.

During 2023, a long-awaited direct tram rail link between the airport and the city centre was inaugurated. The 35-minute journey sets customers back just under five euros.

Aside from the infrastructure development, Bordeaux Airport has been delivering sound operational results this year as well. It registered its highest ever average cabin load factor on inbound and outbound flights during the summer season, peaking at 90% in July and August. This has, in turn, resulted in strong yields for both legacy and LCC airlines, on both pre-existing and newly introduced services.

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Boasting strong connectivity with most markets in western Europe and a notable number of flights to North Africa, the airport is turning its attention to Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North America which remain underserved or unserved.

Speaking to Air Service One at the 153rd IATA Slot Conference, Cyrielle Clement, Head of Route Development at Bordeaux Airport, said: “There are destinations such as Vienna, Budapest and Warsaw we are looking at in order to fill the gaps. On the other hand, we are excited by the new service to Bucharest, which will be launched by HiSky on a year-round basis from 21 December. Apart from our European market, we’re broadening our scope to include medium-haul destinations and investigating potential opportunities in the Near and Middle East. Additionally, we’re keenly interested in long-haul prospects, specifically aiming to establish a direct route to the United States, particularly to New York.”

Bordeaux Airport’s modernisation journey is not only reshaping its physical landscape but also redefining its role in the broader aviation ecosystem. The integration of sustainability, operational success, and strategic expansion plans positions Bordeaux Airport as an important player in the evolving aviation landscape of southwestern France.

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