Portugal, Spain, Greece… Where to leave from the four Normandy airports

A desire to move at the last moment in the heart of summer: Normandy has four airports ready to welcome passengers. But to go where? We take stock.

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From Caen, chip jumps (but only in France)

Caen-Carpiquet airport currently offers ten destinations per week in air-only flights. In France only. Four to Corsican airports (Ajaccio, Bastia, Figari and Calvi), Marseille, Montpellier, Toulouse, Nice, Biarritz and finally Lyon. These ten routes are maintained for next season and discussions are underway with the airlines for the 2023 program. With, perhaps, a return to the European market? The destination “Antwerp” (Belgium) was stopped and the company which ensured the rotation towards London (United Kingdom) went bankrupt, pushing the 17,000 annual passengers to other transport.

The airport attracted around 304,000 travelers per year in "normal" times, including before the Covid and the confinement of March 2020. This year, after two lackluster seasons, passengers seem to be returning: the site recorded, at the end of June , 134,000 passengers transported (up 100% compared to 2021).

In the projects, the airport wants to obtain the label Airport carbon accreditation for its work around the reduction of its carbon footprint.

Specificity, it has an automatic beacon lighting system allowing landings and take-offs at night for medical flights.

From Le Havre, towards the sun (but it’s too late)

too late to leave Le Havre-Octeville. The eleven departures sold to groups by tour operators – to Crete, Menorca, Croatia, Montenegro, Rhodes, Portugal and Madrid – are only sold in April, May and June… The 2023 season is gaining momentum with twenty announced departures and new destinations (mainland Greece, Canary Islands – Tenerife, Lanzarote – Malta and Madeira).

The rest of the year, the airport also operates thanks to the transfer by helicopter to the offshore wind platforms off Le Havre, a regular activity which meets "an economic need of the Le Havre basin", it is indicated. at Sealar, the operator of Le Havre-Octeville.

From Rouen, to where you want (if you know how to drive)

Rouen Seine Valley Airport no longer has a regular line since 2019 and the cessation of flights to Corsica and Lyon. Boos nevertheless records some 35,000 annual movements thanks to the flying club activity: recreational flying is indeed highly developed on site with, in particular, a grass runway for certain aircraft. In addition to medical flights (the Samu helicopter is in residence there and flights for organs to be transplanted arrive and depart from here), business flights also bring the site to life and one of the objectives of the mixed syndicate in charge of the Boos site is to increase this component by basing new aircraft. Development also involves land use with the project to create a new economic activity zone on two or three hectares. But, as it stands, no consumer flights are scheduled for 2023.

From Deauville, the widest choice (even with your horse)

With around fifteen destinations operated from April to October, Deauville-Normandy airport, in Saint-Gatien-des-Bois offers the most choice: Balearic Islands, Canaries, Crete, Spain, Greek islands, Sardinia, Sicily, Palermo, Heraklion, island of Cosse. More recently, a line to Geneva was opened. Another was planned between Normandy and London but Brexit came to thwart the plans and the project was postponed sine die. However, post-Covid is proving complicated: from 150,000 passengers in 2019 to the dark years of 2020 (-90% attendance) and 2021, the airport is struggling to regain attractiveness: in the first half, it recorded “only” 30,000 travellers. No new destination has yet been announced for 2023, negotiations will start in September. This has no impact on the two other important activities of this airport with business flights, a classic, and the reception of private passengers: horses! It is in fact equipped with a filtering inspection post dedicated to checks on horses, in conjunction with the veterinary services; an uncommon specificity in the west of France.

In the meantime, the site is building a new terminal to replace the one dating from the 1970s. The inauguration is scheduled for the end of 2023.

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