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The place is the massive airport promised after the abandonment of Notre-Dame-des-Landes?

“We’ll help the event of Rennes Saint-Jacques, beginning with the enlargement of the Rennes terminal to higher distribute site visitors from the Grand Ouest”. The phrases of Edouard Philippe nonetheless resonate within the workplaces of Rennes airport. The then Prime Minister had simply introduced the abandonment of the controversial undertaking at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. To answer those that feared that Brittany would stay landlocked or that Nantes airport could be saturated, Emmanuel Macron’s proper arm brandished Rennes because the miracle resolution. Nearly 5 years after the declarations, the promise is way from being saved.

On the tarmac at Rennes, the orange and white EasyJet Airbus touchdown for its maiden flight is a wonderful sign. Coming from Lisbon, it confirms the arrogance of the English airline on this small airport during which it has been established since 2018. On the finish of 2021, the low-cost firm had already opened an everyday reference to Porto earlier than reopening the road to London. Three openings that save Rennes airport from the doldrums. In 2019, EasyJet CEO François Bacchetta described the Breton capital as “a sleeping magnificence”. “I really like Rennes, it is all the time a pleasure to return right here. It is true that she wakened effectively, ”says Reginald Otten, deputy director of EasyJet in France.

Vueling is gone

After a long time of scraping by, the platform took off in 2013 with the arrival of Vueling and the opening of strains to Barcelona, ​​Rome and Madrid. However the Covid disaster handed by and the Spanish firm left. Why ? “They obtained slots [créneaux horaires] at Orly and moved their total fleet there. It is a suggestion they could not refuse,” tries to justify Chivoine Rem, the very younger director of the airport.

EasyJet has opened a regular line between Rennes and Lisbon, and becomes the first company in terms of number of travelers in the Breton capital.
EasyJet has opened an everyday line between Rennes and Lisbon, and turns into the primary firm when it comes to variety of vacationers within the Breton capital. – C. Allain/20 Minutes

After breaking its attendance document annually, the platform suffered the total brunt of its shutdown. And the target of exceeding a million and even 1.5 million vacationers has flown away. “We’re rebuilding our provide with 11 locations and 14 strains. We’re enjoying with our qualities: this airport is easy, family-friendly, on a human scale”, continues the director. Hit by the Covid, its platform has regained 70% of its attendance this 12 months, within the common of its opponents. She even misplaced her line to Casablanca opened “on the worst second” which died out earlier than she was two years previous.

The 1.5 million goal is way, very far

However tips on how to clarify that Rennes doesn’t profit from the saturation of Nantes, which had welcomed greater than 7.2 million vacationers in 2019? “We’ve got monumental potential however it’s under-exploited”, insists Hervé Cavalan for years. The president of the Affiliation for the event of Rennes-Bretagne airport (ADARB) believes that it’s as much as the area to set increased goals for Vinci and the CCI, shareholders of the construction. “Till 2024, the target is 500,000 vacationers per 12 months and after that, they have no idea if they are going to be renewed. How would you like them to speculate? asks the specialist. The latter additionally tackles the dearth of help from Rennes Métropole, which “does nothing” to help its airport. He doesn’t hesitate to ask for the cessation of help for small airports like Quimper or Lorient to concentrate on the 2 “huge” ones, Brest and Rennes.

To draw airways, the airport is betting on the tourism and enterprise combine but additionally on the diasporas. With Lisbon and Porto, EasyJet is aware of that it will likely be capable of rely on the numerous Portuguese households established within the West. A wonderful method to fill planes that would encourage different corporations to contemplate locations within the Maghreb or neighboring international locations. Perhaps subsequent spring? “We’re engaged on it,” says the airport supervisor.

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