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Corsican airports report fourth straight year of growth; easyJet gradually making inroads

Map: Corsica

Image: CorsicaTraffic at the four commercial airports in Corsica has gradually grown in recent years to finally pass the 2.5 million passenger mark in 2008. Traffic to and from the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean is dominated by routes to the French mainland. The island’s busiest airport is Ajaccio (AJA) which handles over one million passengers annually followed by Bastia (BIA) which generated just under one million passenger movements.

Chart: Corsican airport traffic 1997-2008, Annual passengers (millions)
Source: www.aeroport.fr

The airports at Calvi (CLY) and Figari (FSC) are much smaller though in the last couple of years Figari has been the fastest growing in percentage terms. At both the major airports the leading routes are to the same three French cities.

Destination Ajaccio (2006) Bastia (2008)
Paris 454,000 376,517
Marseille 263,000 256,661
Nice 110,000 109,036
Source: Ajaccio Airport, Bastia Airport

In 2008 these three routes accounted for 84% of traffic at Bastia airport. Just 10% of traffic is on international routes. From both Ajaccio and Bastia airports Lyon, Marseille and Nice are served by CCM (also known as Air Corsica) while Paris Orly is served by Air France. Since last December easyJet has also been operating between Bastia and Lyon, and in mid-February it finally began daily flights from Bastia to Paris CDG.

Chart: Corsican airport seasonality, Monthly passengers
Source: Ajaccio Airport, Bastia Airport

Demand across the year reflects the appeal of Corsica as a tourism destination with summer traffic levels at both Ajaccio and Bastia almost three times higher than during the off-peak winter months. CCM is the leading airline at both airports. It operates a fleet of 10 aircraft (two A319s, two A320s and six ATR 72-500s) and transported 1.654 million passengers in 2007 (Source: DGAC). The airline is majority-owned by the island with Air France having a 12% stake.

LCCs gradually increasing international traffic

Image: CCM plane
CCM is the leading airline at both Ajaccio and Bastia airports. It operates a fleet of 10 aircraft and transported 1.654 million passengers in 2007. From Ajaccio easyJet has started services to London Gatwick and Geneva, and it will be starting daily flights to Paris CDG from 11 July.

During the last 12 months a number of new routes have been started at both of the major Corsican airports. From Ajaccio easyJet has started services to London Gatwick (a former GB Airways route it inherited) and Geneva (operated six times weekly during the summer peak until mid-September), and it will be starting daily flights to Paris CDG from 11 July. Last summer CCM started weekly flights to Montpellier using an ATR 72 while Air France began summer only services to Basel and Metz/Nancy using ERJ145s.

From Bastia easyJet also operates to London Gatwick and has already started flights to Lyon and Paris CDG. This summer it will add weekly flights from Bristol, Geneva and Manchester. Germanwings, which last summer added Dortmund flights to its existing Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart operations, will this summer add weekly flights to Berlin Schönefeld. Last summer there were also new scheduled services to three other German airports; Lufthansa to Dűsseldorf, Intersky to Friedrichshafen and Air Berlin to Berlin Tegel.

TUIfly.com operates weekly to Calvi from Cologne/Bonn and this summer is adding weekly flights from Allgäu Memmingen.


Comments

  1. Munnings says:

    Bastia will be the busiest airport of Corsica in 2009 due to the number of routes with low cost airlines and the increase of route from CCM due to the interest of EasyJet and others on this airport. CCM based in Ajaccio for politic reason always had favourite Ajaccio and Bastia had less flight in the summer who means you coudn’t travel because not enought seats in offer, now it is changing and it is a good thing. In 2009 already Paris Orly Bastia is busiest than Ajaccio with Air France CCM

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