London Southend Airport

Montpellier Airport poised for dynamic summer with growing network

Montpellier Airport

Montpellier–Méditerranée Airport (MPL), located in Southern France, halfway between Provence and Catalonia, is set for a vibrant and busy summer season featuring new routes and expanded capacity amidst a challenging and competitive environment.

The airport ended 2023 with a total of 1,747,000 travellers, reaching just over 90% of its 2019 pre-pandemic passenger levels. The solid results were achieved despite the setback of Air Traffic Control strikes which reduced figures by some 35,000 travellers.

Montpellier targets 1.8 million passengers in 2024

Anticipating growth, MPL aims for an additional 100,000 passengers in 2024, setting an ambitious target of 1,845,000 travellers. The all-important summer season promises to be dynamic, with seat capacity reaching 1.5 million, along with a network featuring 37 airports and 42 scheduled direct services.

With a good mix of legacy and LCCs, MPL will be served by 14 airlines this summer. Transavia France will have one of its jets stationed at the airport for the entire summer season, enabling it to expand its network and capacity.

MPL will diversify its offering with Transavia France to commence operations to Istanbul IST, becoming the airport’s furthermost destination. In addition, the carrier will add a new service to Constantine in Algeria and Rabat in Morocco, further strengthening the airport’s network in North Africa.

Athens International Airport

easyJet will launch operations to Palma de Mallorca, while another LCC, Norwegian, will inaugurate services to Oslo, restoring connectivity between the two cities after two years following the collapse of Flyr. On the other hand, Volotea will launch its first international service out of MPL, with flights to Menorca. Up until now it has exclusively served domestic destinations out of MPL.

The network growth will be complemented by an increase in frequencies on a select number of existing routes, including Frankfurt with Discover Airlines and London LGW with EuroFlyer as well as an extended flying season to the likes of Athens, Heraklion, and Oran.

Focus on VFR traffic

MPL is strategically positioned to cater for VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) traffic and will further strengthen its connectivity for this key group of travellers this summer. The airport will offer flights to seven airports in Morocco, three in Algeria and one in Tunisia. The focus on VFR aligns with the increasing demand in this segment, particularly within the Moroccan community residing in and around MPL. In 2023, 50% of all passengers travelled for VFR purposes from Montpellier, followed by 29% for leisure and 17% for business.

Montpellier eyes new regions beyond 2024

Looking ahead, MPL envisions consolidating its domestic French network and enhancing frequencies to regional destinations with Volotea. Southbound, there is a commitment to filling gaps in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Morocco. Northbound expansion is earmarked for Nordic countries, Germany, and Central Europe. With an eye on growth and a pledge to expand its network, MPL remains an important player in France’s ever-evolving aviation sector.

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