Bordeaux Airport 2016 Results: Another record year, boosted by international traffic


2016 was another remarkable year for Bordeaux Airport.  Traffic reached nearly 5.8 million passengers. The hub registered growth in traffic of +8.9%, for 469,600 more passengers than in 2015 and a rise of +70% in 7 years – one of the best growth rates for regional French airports. A result which is down to a particularly rich offering in terms of appealing destinations, the majority of which are international. At the height of the summer season, 101 direct flight destinations were on offer. 2016 saw the opening of 15 new regular routes and the arrival of 2 new airlines. The internationalisation of the Bordeaux Airport network of routes continued at a steady rate, representing the main driver of this strong growth with an increase in international traffic of 11.3% (2,745,000 passengers). Besides the development of these direct routes, all the components of international traffic are performing well. Links to intercontinental hubs also contributed notably to this success with 1,720,000 passengers, or 30% of total traffic.

Almost 5,760,000 passengers passed through Bordeaux Airport, carried by 28 airline companies.

Passenger traffic in 2016

tableau bilan

The Quality of the Network

A record-breaking summer: 101 direct routes serviced by 28 regular airlines, equivalent to about 700 flights per week. 15 new routes opened including 10 new destinations. This offer was reinforced by chartered flights to 22 destinations.

These 15 new offers represent 45% of the annual growth for 2016.

The success of certain new destinations justified their continuation. Therefore, seasonal routes to Berlin, Bristol, Edinburgh and Oran continued into the winter season.

A significant international offer
International traffic recorded a rise of +11.3%, for 2,744,500 passengers for the year.

In Europe, passenger traffic increased by +12.7%.  Several factors can explain this rise: new destinations (Alicante, Berlin, Faro, Fes, Gran Canaria, Split), the reinforcement of routes (Berlin, Bristol, Edinburgh, Oran), or the arrival of new carriers on existing routes (Madrid, Barcelona, Marseilles, Venice).

The British Isles (646,000 passengers, up +11.3%) and the Iberian Peninsula (498,000 passengers, up +22.7%) share first place in attracting the most travellers, bringing an extra 157,000 passengers.

In terms of traffic, London is the most serviced international city thanks to multiple daily flights to its three airports (LGW, LTN, STD). Brexit has had little or no effect on results to these routes, with global traffic of 449,000 passengers, an increase of +9.7%.

Venice ranks first for the best growth rate in 2016 with +71%, followed by Vienna, Barcelona, Cork and Athens.

Barcelona was the international destination with the highest increase in passenger volume with 42,000 more passengers in a year, followed by London Gatwick (+20,000) and Amsterdam (+17,000).

With 9 major intercontinental hubs available, Bordeaux Airport is a gateway to the world.  Nearly 1,720,000 passengers travelled via these hubs in 2016, comprising 30% of total traffic. A clear sign of the internationalisation of passengers in Bordeaux, the growth rates of these platforms are rising sharply.
•    Charles-de-Gaulle: +1.5% for 641,500 passengers.
•    London Gatwick: 7% for 311,500 passengers.
•    Amsterdam: 5.6% for 311,000 passengers.
•    Lisbon: 10.5% for 136,000 passengers.
•    Madrid: 30% for 68,000 passengers.

These five hubs break the growth rate record.

The Istanbul hub alone showed a sharp drop, as a result of events in Turkey in 2016:  -18.8% for 51,600 passengers.

Substantial growth in domestic flights

The domestic market performed well, up +6.7 % for nearly 2,750,000 passengers, with accelerated growth at the end of the year.

Orly showed an annual rise of +3.4% for 991,200 passengers in 2016, while the Hop! Air France airline confirmed its stability with 14 flights daily for 2017.

For the first time in its history, Lyon, the 3rd domestic route after Paris Orly and Paris Charles-de-Gaulle and the 1st French transversal route, exceeded the half-million passenger mark (507,300) and showed a solid growth rate of +7.2%.
Marseilles and Corsica, with three airports serviced (Ajaccio, Bastia and Figari), also rank highly with a growth of +22.2% and +18% respectively.

The low cost market, a growth driver

Low cost traffic generated 45% of total traffic and rose by +15.9% in 2016 with 350,000 extra passengers. Low cost activity generated 75% of 2016 growth. The portion of low cost flights has been multiplied by 5 since 2009. Three companies are particularly present in this development with numerous routes opened this year. Volotea, with a +13.5% rise in traffic for 358,000 passengers, opened 4 new routes in 2016: Alicante, Fuerteventura, Las Palmas and Split. The airline easyJet recorded a rise of +14.5% in traffic for 1,569,000 passengers and inaugurated 4 new routes: Barcelona, Berlin, Marseilles and Venice. Ryanair soared by +7.5% for 344,800 passengers.

Other low cost companies are developing well in Bordeaux:
–    Vueling: +13% for 125,000 passengers.
–    Aer Lingus: +10% for 57,750 passengers.
–    Flybe: +50.4% for 26,300 passengers.

A last mention goes to the arrival of 2 low cost companies in 2016, Iberia Express, the budget subsidiary of the national Spanish airline, which bolstered the route to Madrid already operated by the parent company; and Air Arabia Maroc, a subsidiary of its emirate group namesake, which launched a service to Fes at the end of the year.

A few words on charters and the impact of the EURO football tournament.

Bordeaux and its airport hosted Euro 2016 with a direct impact on passenger traffic:  225 extra flights were scheduled, notably from Dublin, Vienna, Cardiff, Madrid, Budapest, Brussels and Bratislava  for a total of 21,600 passengers, a 4% increase in traffic and a +10% rise in results for airport shops in the month of June.

Charter traffic recorded positive scores with 80,000 passengers in 2016, thanks in particular to strong performances on destinations to Heraklion, Fuerteventura, Olbia, Palermo, Rhodes and the newly opened Minorca and Corfu.  These flights are operated mainly by the tour operators Heliades, Thalasso n°1, Look Voyages, TUI and Aeroviaggi.
Guadeloupe and Cuba are also serviced directly by the tour operators Costa Croisieres and MSC respectively.

Freight: a complementary activity

With 24,300 tonnes handled, global freight traffic increased by 1.1% compared to 2015. Both traditional air freight (+11.4 %) and express freight (+15.5%) rose. Truck freight dropped (-9.7 %). Bordeaux Airport remains an indispensable entry for import and export companies in the region.

Aircraft movement

The growth in traffic led to an increase in aircraft movement of 5.3% compared to 2015, non-proportional to traffic, thanks in particular to larger capacity aircraft being used by low cost companies.

Record-breakers for 2016

Day: 24,747 passengers on the 17th of June, 2,404 more passengers than the last record day of 10th July 2015. Week: Week 13th to19th of June was the busiest with 144,736 passengers.

Month: July was the busiest month with 605,979 passengers, 54,000 more than July 2015.


A new lounge in the Hall A departure terminal

To satisfy customers wishing to benefit from high-end comfort and services, Bordeaux Airport opened a new lounge in Hall A in May 2016.  This waiting area covers 230m² and provides 117 seats in a modern work and relaxation setting.

The new Hall A Lounge is bookable online on the airport’s new e-business space

Car parks: an expanded offer

In order to facilitate passenger movement on arrival at Bordeaux Airport, a new 375-space car park, located opposite the terminal buildings, opened in November 2016. Suitable for short journeys, the P1 Proxi is aimed in particular at business travellers: as close as possible to the terminals for ultra-rapid access.

A new parking rate system was launched in 2016, marked by an emphasis on online reservations for car parks, offering differential and modular rates according to the period of the year. With an aim to optimise the occupancy rate and attract new customers, Bordeaux Airport has implemented long-term promotional offers (weekend rates, reduced rates for P4), or occasional offers, bookable only at

Retail and service activities continue to grow

At the beginning of 2016, SSP, the main operator for catering services, inaugurated its new restaurant concept, Le Grand Comptoir, in Hall A.

In May, this company added a covered terrace to its Starbucks outlet, located at the foot of the vines at the billi terminal. This outdoor concept is a first in an airport for this international brand.

This terrace completes the remodelling of the billi terminal stores, which now offer a pleasant shopping area in line with passengers’ expectations.

Commercial activity for boutiques and services performed well in 2016, is linked with traffic performance.

11.8 million pages viewed on registered 11.8 million pages viewed and 3 million visits in 2016, an increase of +13% compared to 2015.  The site gained 200,000 single visitors for a total of 1,800,000 users looking for information on the airport services, destinations, flights and schedules in real time. The mobile site continues to grow with an extra 43%, or 600,000 users per year. The new 2016 mobile version has been optimised to enable the purchase of airline tickets or the booking of airport car parks.   


The most competitive major French airport

Bordeaux Airport is committed to a proactive policy for controlling the overall airport costs: mainly related to the airport tax and airport charge. The hub has the lowest operating costs compared to 4 other regional airports, with costs of €15.10 per passenger: a true competitive edge in developing the route network and a true advantage for airport passengers.

Bordeaux Airport and the entire region experience a wave of success

In 2016, the city was recognised through several references made in the international media. More recently, Bordeaux was named the most attractive destination for 2017 by Lonely Planet, the world’s leading tourist guide.

Bordeaux Airport received the “2016 Award for the Best Airport” in the under 10 million passengers category. The award, presented by the professional journal Air Transport News, is a major recognition in the world of air transport.

The airport zone’s continued expansion

As the leading industrial centre in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the airport zone developed its attractiveness and its centre of excellence in aeronautics in 2016 through structural development projects. The “Bordeaux Airport” Opération d’Intérêt Métropolitain is an ambitious development project for one of the primary centres of attractiveness for the metropolitan area, which today represents 35,000 jobs, with a growth potential of +10,000 jobs by 2030.

At the end of 2016, the Thales Group officially opened a new industrial and research campus. The site brings together over 2,000 employees right next to the airport platform.

On 10 November 2016, Dassault Falcon Service (DFS), a subsidiary of Dassault Aviation, which chose to transfer its maintenance activities to Bordeaux, officially opened its new facilities. With a surface area of over 7200 m2, the DFS facilities benefit from direct access to the airport runways. 


8 new routes planned for 2017

2 new airline companies have also arrived in Bordeaux: Blue Air and Air Corsica, and Lufthansa has returned for services to Frankfurt.

Land development

In 2017, Nexity took over the service cluster located at the entrance to the airport zone, referred to as 45ième Parallèle.  As a reminder, this project is aimed at developing a hotel area, which would host a luxury hotel and conference centre, a group of office buildings, and associated services (an inter-company restaurant and car park). In 2016, the building and development permits were acquired for the first phase of the project.

The phases of the construction project for a junction building

2016 marked the launch of a major project for Bordeaux Airport: the construction of a building connecting Halls A and B.

This project has 2 objectives:
• improve passenger comfort and access to the boarding areas
• offer new retail areas for a new airside shopping experience and support Bordeaux Airport’s non-aviation services.

While 2016 was the year the project was drafted, 2017 will represent a new and decisive phase in designing the buildings and choosing the prime contracting team for the project.

The project’s central goal is to concentrate the flow of passengers into a Single Screening Station (Poste Unique d’Inspection filtrage—PIF) which will then lead to a comfortable waiting area featuring a new range of shops and restaurants.

The launch of construction work is scheduled for mid-2018 and should be completed in 2020.

Reorganisation of access and parking

The redevelopment of airport access roads, outdoor entrance area and car parks will be launched beginning in July 2017.

This project is part of the overall reflection on how to redesign access to the airport, including the strategic vision of the future arrival of the tram and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line at the airport.

The rapid increase in traffic has also led to the increase use of car parks and occasional congestion in the departure and arrival access roads. The reorganisation and renovation of the parking areas will create a more balanced distribution of traffic flows and will improve the quality of the reception services for vehicles:
– Car park P2, which is often full, will be redesigned and renovated and will feature new services including a new management system for available parking spaces. The entrance to this cark park will also be relocated closer to the entrance to the airport in order to streamline the flow of traffic towards the airport (construction work will begin in August 2017 and completed in February 2018)

– The capacity of certain car parks will be increased, like the areas for dropping off or picking up passengers and the cark park for vehicle rental companies (construction work set to begin in July 2018)
– A quick drop-off area will be created on the access ramp to the departure levels of Halls A & B (construction work to begin in July 2018)
– Creation of a covered parking area for two-wheeled vehicles (construction work to begin in July 2018)

These developments will be complemented by the creation of an intermodal hub located opposite Hall B, on the airport’s arrival level. It will enable passengers to make easy bus and tram connections in the best possible conditions of comfort and safety.

Therefore, by 2019/2020, the entire passenger journey will be optimised, from the arrival at the airport platform to boarding area for the flight.