How to create a strong, attractive international airport for Low Cost Airlines


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How do you create a strong, attractive international airport for Low Cost Airlines?

The challenge of assimilating the needs of low-cost and network carriers under one roof has seen some airports choosing to segment their offerings

Marseille Provence Airport has shown considerable perseverance in its efforts to attract low-cost carriers in the past. Having presented three business cases to the DGAC, France’s Civil Aviation Authority, the airport was finally granted approval for its plan to convert a former cargo facility into a dedicated terminal for the low-cost sector – complete with a much reduced passenger service charge.

It was a significant ruling, not least for Marseille, as by sanctioning the plan, the DGAC effectively adapted French law to allow airports to levy different passenger service charges at separate terminals provided they could prove those facilities offered a sufficiently different level of service with no cross-subsidisation between the two.

And Marseille has not looked back since. The airport’s paired down “mp²” terminal, which opened in October 2006, is now a base for Ryanair and is also served easyJet, Myair, bmibaby and Jet4You amongst others. The airport is not alone in a belief that the sector is of sufficient long-term importance to warrant dedicated infrastructure. The rationale is simple enough: if network carriers are not keen on growing their traffic at an airport, it makes sense to reach out to a customer base that is.

One of the airports that is looking towards low cost is Copenhagen which aims to generate and accumulate growth, so capacity expansion is an essential part of its strategy. In the years to come, CPH plans to expand Copenhagen Airport’s facilities to create more space for travellers, improve baggage capacity and allow more intercontinental flights. Work is set to begin in 2012 on CPH's Terminal 2 project and the project to improve the Arcade, which runs between Terminal 2 and Terminal 3; they are both permanent expansions with a lasting effect. In its expansion of Copenhagen Airport to provide capacity for future growth and to make operations more efficient, CPH aims to enhance sustainability and cut its energy consumption, and thus reduce its impact on the climate.

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