Nine of top 10 French airports growing in 2008; Beauvais and Lyon lead the way

Image: Foreign airlines carry 62.5% of all international passengers to and from France
Foreign airlines carry 62.5% of all international passengers to and from France. Delta Air Lines last week began transatlantic services between New York JFK and Lyon – the second-largest French city. North American traffic was up 2.8% at French airports during the first half of 2008

Image: plane hosedPassenger numbers at nine of France’s top 10 airports have increased in the first half of 2008 with only Strasbourg failing to perform as well as in 2007. Strasbourg’s figures are well down because of the introduction of Paris TGV services last June which wiped out over half of the air traffic between the two cities. This single city-pair represented half of Strasbourg’s traffic in 2006.

Chart: French Airport Traffic Growth
Source: Airport websites and contacts

Paris Beauvais has consistently reported the highest growth rate in the first half of 2008 thanks to an increase in low-cost services primarily from Ryanair. Since last July Ryanair has added new routes to Beauvais from Alicante, Bremen, Marseille, Pisa and Valencia.

Lyon has also benefited significantly from easyJet’s decision to make it a base in April and considerably expand its route network. As a result the airport has reported double-digit growth during the second quarter.

The two main ADP operated airports at CDG and Orly have reported modest growth with CDG (+3.7%) growing faster than constrained Orly (+0.9%). The number of aircraft movements at Orly even fell 0.5% in the first half of 2008.

International traffic up 6%, domestic traffic down almost 5%

Image: French President and Wife
Two cheerful ordinary French citizens flying on holiday to Egypt. Traffic from French airports to North Africa was up 8.1% in first half 2008 and 3.5% overall. There were big differences between domestic (-4.6%) and international (+5.8%).

According to DGAC analysis of traffic across all French airports in the first quarter of 2008 passenger numbers were up 3.5% to 26.91 million. However, this disguises a significant difference between domestic traffic and international traffic. Domestic passenger numbers are down 4.6% but domestic routes from Paris are down 6.8% while ‘transverse’, regional route traffic is actually up 2.7%.

International passenger numbers are up 5.8% to 20.84 million but again there are regional variations. EU routes have seen an increase of 6.0% in demand but traffic to Japan was down 1% while North American traffic was up 2.8%. Traffic to the Maghreb countries (mostly in North Africa) was up 8.1%. On international routes French airlines grew their traffic by 4.4% while foreign airlines increased their numbers by 6.6% and now carry 62.5% of all international passengers travelling to and from France.


  1. keithmoses says:

    Great to finally see positive movement in French pasenger figures.
    Other regional airports like Carcassonne, Perpignan,Beziers Cap D’Agde, Rennes etc are also increasing their international traffic. There remains much to do in France before comparable traffic figures with other European countries can be achieved.
    We all know the problems, but I do believe that to quote Bob Dylan ‘ The times they are a changing’

Comments are closed