For both tourists wishing to holiday in the Dordogne and the ex-pat community living here permanently, any news from Bergerac airport is always welcome. I recently caught up with Emily James, Route Development Manager, for an update.

There is a lot of excitement on social media from English-speaking residents living in the Dordogne regarding the new route to Edinburgh, as from April of this year. Why Edinburgh? How long will this route be available?

Wonderful to hear that this “new” route has been welcomed so enthusiastically by the community. I put the “new” in speech marks as the route was previously operated by Flybe before their demise in 2020 and available via London City with British Airways (it still is an option).

Edinburgh has always been a requested route both by inbound tourists to the Dordogne and by the ex-pat community who live here most of the year and if all goes well, i.e. people actually book flights and use the route regularly, the service will be provided for as long as it’s popular. For the moment, Ryanair plan to operate the route until at least the end of October 2024.

Are there any more new routes planned for this year for Bergerac airport?

No.

What factors determine your choice of new routes?

Market size, demand, airline capacity (aircraft availability). The airlines have to be able to make money so the route must be sustainable with high load factors and a good yield.

Can you confirm what flights are permanently available throughout the year?

In 2023, London Stansted with Ryanair and Rotterdam with Transavia Holland ran for at least 11 months (Transavia usually suspends the service during the last 2 weeks of November and 3 weeks in January and February).

British Airways also provided Christmas flights from both Southampton and London City in 2023 and we are hoping to reiterate in 2024. It would be good to know what the community thinks about this service.*

What additional routes are added to this for the summer?

Summer 24 looks a lot like summer 23 but with the flights to Edinburgh and additional flights from Stansted: up to 9 flights per week in April.

By how much does passenger frequentation of the airport grow from winter to summer?

In winter, we have between 2 and 4 flights per week, in summer it goes up to 35 flights per week.

With a lot of permanent residents from Manchester and the south of the UK living in the Dordogne all year round, why are there no flights to serve the demand from these residents in the winter? Stansted is a long way from these parts of the UK.

We have tried and tested various routes to and from the north of England during the winter including Liverpool with Ryanair and Manchester, both were stopped after the first year and resumed their summer season only status as they were virtually empty. If routes are operated following the community’s requests and then not used, we have great difficulty in asking the airlines to consider lengthening the operational season.

Only Southampton was a continual success on a yearly basis with Flybe. I am trying to persuade BA to turn the summer service into a year-round route but it is proving difficult.

Which are the most popular flights?

London Stansted, Rotterdam, Bournemouth and Leeds.

Why is there no regular flight to Paris?

It is only 3.5 hours to Paris on the train and Brive provide daily flights to Paris Orly, so the only route that would make sense would be a flight to Charles de Gaulle in order to connect to the rest of the world – Air France for example. However, Bergerac is not part of Air France’s strategy.

Fancy a holiday in Malta or Slovenia this year? Package holidays are also available via local travel agents in Bergerac with flights from the airport. See the website for more information.

https://www.bergerac.aeroport.fr/

*What do you think about Christmas flights from London City and Southampton operated by British Airways?

https://www.facebook.com/aeroportbergerac.dordogneperigord

Photo credits – Didier Durieux

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