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, the city is now one of Europe’s high-tech hubs with a large number of cutting-edge businesses in the aeronautic, IT and space industry, 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 with 700 companies) and the European capital of space (French National Space Agency’s major site).
Rapid demographic expansion, the fastest-growing in France
Toulouse is undergoing rapid demographic expansion, the fastest-growing in France. The city and the Occitanie Region are an outstanding destination with eight great sites belonging to the UNESCO World heritage (The Canal du Midi, Albi, Carcassonne…etc). Lourdes, located in Occitanie Region, is the leading 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, with 39 ski resorts between France and Andorra.
Record year for airport
Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (ATB) handled 1.1 million more passengers last year than it did in 2016, a record increase, and making it the third-largest French regional airport, seeing 9.2 million passengers in 2017. Last year was a record year for ATB in many ways. This significant growth confirms the development strategy adopted by the airport, because it was European low-cost traffic which stimulated this upwards trend, driven by the likes of easyJet, Ryanair and Volotea. On this platform, the low-cost share of the airport grew once again in 2017, rising from 32.2% in 2016 to 41% of the total traffic last year.
This growing use of the airport means that Toulouse has had to adapt its infrastructure. It is having to think bigger and offer services that an international clientele rightfully expects from an airport. Three major building projects illustrate the airport’s development drive: the redesign of an extended Hall D; the construction of a boarding jetty exclusively for low-cost and regional airlines, as an extension to Hall A; plus the construction of a four-star hotel connected to the terminal building.
A larger, more welcoming Hall D
A 3,000m2 area will be created to accommodate all security checkpoints leading to the departure lounge in one place. As they exit, passengers will walk through a new 5,000m2 shopping area, which will offer a range of shops that is vastly superior to the existing one, for a bit of shopping before boarding. They will be able to move around a spacious shopping area, interspersed with stands and shops. They will also be able to enjoy very comfortable facilities to help them unwind, including a new restaurant area. From this area, passengers will have direct access to all boarding gates for the halls. Operational launch is scheduled for W18.
A boarding pier for Hall A
The airport will extend its infrastructure in Hall A to address the strong growth in low-cost traffic and to meet the needs of regional airlines. A 2,500m2 pier will be built in this extension, with five walk-on/walk-out boarding gates for direct access to the tarmac and to reach the aircraft parked nearest to the hall. It will guarantee 25-minute turnarounds. Operational launch is scheduled for July 2018.
A hotel connected to the airport
ATB is implementing a property diversification policy and will build a hotel directly linked to the airport. NH Hotel Group, the hotel partner selected further to the call for tender, and which is new to the local market, will run the hotel. New customers, new requirements and expectations, and new services. In 2018, the Toulouse Airport will invite its passengers and airlines to embark on an all-new airport experience.
About Toulouse-Blagnac Airport
- 9.2 million passengers in 2017 (+14.6%);
- Third largest regional airport in France;
- Largest regional freight airport;
- 63 regular international destinations;
- 17 regular national destinations;
- 37 charter destinations;
- Toulouse-Paris Orly: largest air route in Europe;
- Two runways (3,000m and 3,500m long);
- Open 24/7 and non-coordinated.