After a record year, Toulouse Airport is ready to take off internationally
Toulouse is situated in the south of France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
Home to Airbus, Toulouse is now one of Europe’s high-tech cities with a large number of cutting-edge businesses in the aeronautical, IT and space industries, as well as many research institutes. It is an important university town with prestigious cultural centres. Toulouse is the world capital of aeronautics (85,000 indirect jobs from 700 companies) and the European capital of space (French National Space Agency major site).
Toulouse is undergoing rapid demographic expansion – the fastest-growing in France.
The city and Occitanie Region is an outstanding destination, with eight great sites belonging to the UNESCO World heritage (the Canal du Midi, Albi, Carcassonne etc.) Lourdes is also located in Occitanie Region, and is the biggest regional tourist attraction, and the third-most visited tourist site in France (six million visitors per year). Also, Toulouse is located two hours from the Pyrenees Mountains (39 ski resorts in France and Andorra).
2017 was a record year for Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (ATB) in many ways. The airport handled 1.1 million more passengers than in 2016, a record annual increase, making it the number three French regional airport with 9.2 million passengers. This significant growth confirms the development strategy adopted by ATB, because it was European low-cost traffic which stimulated this upwards trend, driven by easyJet, Ryanair and Volotea. Asa result, the low-cost share grew once again in 2017, rising from 32.2% to 41% of the total traffic.
This growing use of the airport means that ATB has had to adapt its infrastructure. It is having to think bigger and offer services that an international clientele rightfully expects from an airport.
New passenger flow
Since 5 April, passengers have discovered the new route taking them through to the boarding lounge, with the opening of a single security checkpoint and a duty free area, both accessible from Hall D. Simpler and more attractive, this route gives a glimpse of what the airport will offer its passengers at the end of the year, when the work is finished. With the first part of the terminal works complete it brings ATB into the big league.
All security checks now take place in this new security checkpoint (both zones in Halls B and D will no longer be operating). It has high-speed inspection points, with the latest security technology, and a specially-designed route for families and people with reduced mobility. All of this gets the passenger through security easier and more comfortably, while still maintaining optimum security levels.
This new duty free area is open to everyone, whether their flight is domestic, European (Schengen Area, VAT charged on product prices) or international (outside Schengen Area, no VAT). Expanded from 680 m² to 1,800 m², it offers the alcohol, tobacco and perfume products traditionally found in airport duty free stores, but also a selection of the finest regional products. Operated by the Dufry brand, a benchmark in the airport retail world, this duty free area is a prelude to the upmarket services that will be offered to passengers at the end of the year.
“This first stage in the journey to boarding is illustrative of the full experience we intend to offer our passengers at the end of the year: a single route for all, with a more pleasant feel and with many services along the way,” explains Jean-Michel Vernhes, Chairman of the Board at ATB. “We have an ever-growing international clientele, who want their time at the airport to be useful and enjoyable. To meet this demand, in 2018 we will be offering a far superior level of services than before.”
A single, simplified route, and a duty free area featuring varied and attractive products: the work continues, and the airport’s flagship project is moving forward.
About Toulouse-Blagnac Airport
- 9.2 million passengers (+14.6%);
- Third largest regional airport in France;
- Largest regional freight airport;
- 63 scheduled international destinations;
- 17 scheduled national destinations;
- 37 charter destinations;
- Toulouse-Paris Orly: biggest air route in Europe;
- Two runways (3,000 and 3,500 metres long);
- Open 24/7; non coordinated facility.