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Strong but uneven recovery for French airports in 2022


Without reaching the level of ten years ago, the number of passengers in transit in French airports has doubled compared to 2021... But the recovery remains uneven depending on the city.

The recovery of the air sector is encouraging for the year 2022, according to the main organization of the sector, the Union of French airports (UAF).

However, the results of the airports are uneven depending on the cities served, the routes and the type of traveller.

Last year, airports handled nearly 174 million passengers.

This volume has almost doubled in one year but is still down 18.8% on 2019, the last full year before the Covid pandemic, which had divided traffic by three.

The airports have therefore for the moment only recovered the level of attendance of 2013. And the year 2023 will not yet be that of a return to pre-crisis volumes, predicted the UAF in a press release, which sees ending with a 10% passenger deficit compared to pre-Covid.

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Uneven recovery depending on the airports

However, several airports have already done better in 2022 than in 2019, in particular Beauvais.

With 15.8% more than three years earlier, it benefited from the extensive program of the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, which operates its main base there.

The Corsican platforms are also doing well: Figari (+21.2% compared to 2019), Ajaccio (+2.7%) and Bastia (-4.5%).

Paris Orly (-8.4%), Montpellier (-9%) and Marseille (-9.9%) also performed better than average.

But many airports are struggling: Clermont-Ferrand shows a deficit of 56.3% compared to the pre-crisis, Brest 35.1% and Strasbourg 28.6%.

In Lyon-Saint-Exupéry it is 27.1% less, in Toulouse 26.9% and in Bordeaux 25.9%.

This last poor performance can be explained by the ban on the connection with Paris Orly, imposed before the Climate law which blacklisted domestic airlines when a rail alternative exists in less than 2h30.

At Paris-Charles de Gaulle, it was the later resumption of international traffic, in particular to Asia, which underpinned the passenger deficit of 24.5% in 2022 compared to 2019, explained the UAF.

Roissy and Orly alone captured 53.3% of passengers in France last year.

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Airports still struggling with the consequences of the pandemic

UAF President Thomas Juin noted that "

what is picking up very well are the airports where low-cost airlines have positioned themselves strongly ", in contrast to other platforms which received "


" traffic

, in clear of the Paris-region radials.

In addition, "

business traffic is slower to resume (...) because companies have streamlined travel

," he added during a press conference.

Indeed, low-cost airlines are on the rise: in 2022, they accounted for 43% of passenger traffic in France, i.e. a jump of eight points compared to 2022, against a backdrop of a strong trend towards dynamic cross-connections.

Despite the "

good news

" of the recovery, Thomas June stressed that French airports were not done with the consequences of Covid-19.

In particular, they will have to repay, from next year and until 2030, the advances granted by the State to enable them to carry out security missions (control of passengers and their luggage, services to combat fires and perils caused by animals,



With interest, these sums now reach 747 million euros, assured the president of the UAF.

He reiterated his call for all or part to be transformed into subsidies, in order to preserve the competitiveness of the platforms.

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Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-23

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