skycub
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Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:15 pm

Hello all...

I have a question.

I understand that the EuroAirport serving Basel-Mulhouse is one of the few (if only) airports that carries multiple IATA codes (BSL for Basel and MLH for Mulhouse).

I also understand that the airport dates back to the 1940s.

I am confused about something, though, and hope someone can provide some insight.

Looking at an old OAG from the 1980s, under "To Basel/Hulhouse, Switzerland (BSL)" it says:

"Also see Mulhouse/Basel, France."

Then, under "To Mulhouse/Basel, France (MLH)" it says:

"Also see Basel/Mulhouse, Switzerland."

Furthermore, the flight schedules for each of those listings are completely different (different airlines, destinations, flights, etc.).

So I am confused... is this airport NOT the same facility???

If it is, why does each city listing recommend seeing the other listing and why are the schedules completely different.

Can someone provide some insight?

Thanks in advance.
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Viscount724
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RE: Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:45 pm

It also has the IATA code EAP for EuroAirport.

It's one airport but it serves both as a French domestic airport and as a Swiss airport. It's entirely located in France but there's a dedicated "customs road" leading 2 or 3 km to the Swiss border, so passengers to/from Basel don't have any border crossing or customs/immigration issues. When you arrive you have the choice of entering either France or Switzerland.

GVA is similar as it's in Switzerland but right on the French border and there's a fenced customs road leading from the French part of the terminal to the nearby community of Ferney-Voltaire just across the border, so passengers originating/terminating in France can use AF flights between GVA and CDG as if they were domestic flights.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:55 pm

His question is about the flights themselves. Would there be flights reserved to PAX coming from France and others reserved to PAX coming from Switzerland ?

[Edited 2012-10-10 16:56:55]
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skycub
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RE: Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:07 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
His question is about the flights themselves. Would there be flights reserved to PAX coming from France and others reserved to PAX coming from Switzerland ?

Exactly.

Why would there be a completely separate set of schedules for BSL compared to MLH?

For Example:

From BSL:

Crossair to Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, etc....
Swissair to Geneva, London, Paris, etc....
British Airways to London

Yet from MLH:

TAT to Ajaccio, Bastia, Lille
Air France to Constantine and Tunis
Air Inter to Paris

I guess the completely different schedules depending on whether you look at BSL or MLH make me wonder if it WAS the same facility and if so, why different schedules?
My opinions are my own. They are not representative of my employer, my union or my co-workers. They are all mine.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:08 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 2):
His question is about the flights themselves. Would there be flights reserved to PAX coming from France and others reserved to PAX coming from Switzerland ?

I have only ever flown on LX flights from BSL and never to points in France. As far as I recall my tickets have always shown the BSL code.
 
Thomas_Jaeger
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RE: Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:30 am

It is the same facility as mentioned before. There are several reasons why the flights are showing up that way. As has been said before, generally speaking MLH is for the French side of the airport and BSL for the Swiss side. The following carriers currently operate "from" MLH:
Aigle Azur/Air Algérie: Flights to Algeria with main demand clearly from the French market.
Air France/Twin Jet: Obviously also the majority of the demand from France as they offer domestic flights in France
Belle Air Europe/germanwings/Wizz Air: Flights to Pristina (Belle Air Europe/germanwings), Belgrade and Skopje (Wizz Air), I believe mainly for traffic rights reasons as they can sell France to these non-EU countries but not Switzerland to these countries.

If you travel on any of these airlines and come from the Swiss side of the departure hall, you first pass the border to France walking through customs (generally no passport control anymore because of Schengen). If you travel on any other airline, you would walk in the opposite direction for check-in.

Air France and Twinjet sell some flights as "MLH"-"BSL"-Destination (shows up as a one-stop) but the flights actually only fly "MLH"-Destination. At least with AF, flights are also often priced differently for departures from "BSL" than from "MLH" with the general rule of thumb being that flights from "MLH" are cheaper. This is obviously complete nonsense but good revenue management as Air France just capitalizes on being able to sell two markets on the same aircraft.
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Eurohub
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RE: Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:05 pm

Quoting Thomas_Jaeger (Reply 5):
This is obviously complete nonsense but good revenue management as Air France just capitalizes on being able to sell two markets on the same aircraft.

The same is true of hiring a car at EAP - the major brands have desks on both the Swiss side and the French side but, in my experience, the French side normally costs less than the Swiss side.
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masi1157
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RE: Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:30 pm

Looking up MLH at www.flightstats.com I found flights MLH-BSL by Regional/Air France, e.g. YS3285 departing MLH at 13:30, arriving BSL 13:31, 1 minute later. What is that good for?



Gruß, masi1157
 
Thomas_Jaeger
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RE: Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:58 pm

Quoting masi1157 (Reply 7):
Looking up MLH at www.flightstats.com I found flights MLH-BSL by Regional/Air France, e.g. YS3285 departing MLH at 13:30, arriving BSL 13:31, 1 minute later. What is that good for?

That is exactly what I said above. The flight then "continues" at 13.32 to CDG. This flight actually goes from MLH (French part) to CDG but is also sold from BSL.
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Longhornmaniac
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RE: Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:08 pm

It's also interesting to note there is a border checkpoint within the terminal building itself (though unmanned). How can this be if the airport property is entirely within France (though I can clearly see on Google Maps it is)? Furthermore, there is a bar that straddles this "border", with one side paying CHF, and the other side paying EUR (at different prices, no less!).

This whole premise is quite odd to me. The airport is not in Switzerland, but it acts as though it is. It's not like if you were to step outside the "French" half, you couldn't get in a car and go straight to Switzerland, or vice versa.

Are there any other examples of border airports that have a functional zone for each country (that is, different currencies for shops on different sides of the airport)? Furthermore, do any of these exist while residing land-wise entirely within one country?

Thanks for any info in advance!

Cheers,
Cameron
Cheers,
Cameron
 
Thomas_Jaeger
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RE: Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:35 pm

If Switzerland would be part of the European Union then this set-up would be more pointless, but since it is only part of Schengen and there still are customs controls, the split is still required. Before Switzerland joined Schengen, there obviously also used to be passport control.

Geneva has been mentioned before. The Hong Kong International Airport ferry terminal comes to mind as a similar exception.
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Viscount724
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RE: Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:44 pm

Quoting Thomas_Jaeger (Reply 5):
At least with AF, flights are also often priced differently for departures from "BSL" than from "MLH" with the general rule of thumb being that flights from "MLH" are cheaper. This is obviously complete nonsense but good revenue management as Air France just capitalizes on being able to sell two markets on the same aircraft.

I noticed that yesterday when checking to see how the AF site shows BSL. When I checked fares BSL-CDG and MLH-CDG, the BSL fares on the same flights were 10% to 20% higher than the MLH fares. Something to remember for future travel planning.

Quoting Eurohub (Reply 6):
The same is true of hiring a car at EAP - the major brands have desks on both the Swiss side and the French side but, in my experience, the French side normally costs less than the Swiss side.

Same at GVA. Car rentals (and almost everything else) on the French side are usually cheaper.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 9):
t's also interesting to note there is a border checkpoint within the terminal building itself (though unmanned). How can this be if the airport property is entirely within France

It's based on an agreement between Switzerland and France that permits the airport to be used as a Swiss airport and Swiss passengers on flights to/from anywhere other than destinations in France being able to use the airport without passing through any French border controls. As previously mentioned, a similar arrangement applies at GVA airport (entirely in Switzerland) where passengers on flights to/from France can arrive/depart as if they were French domestic passengers without any contact with Swiss authorities.
 
RJ100
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RE: Question Regarding Basel-Mulhouse Airport

Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:33 am

It is even more complicated. For example many companies located at EuroAirport are registered in Basel (Swiss, Jet Aviation, AMAC etc.), where they pay taxes. But in fact they are on French territory.

Their employees have Swiss labour contracts and Swiss salaries. It caused some problems recently as some French courts decided to apply French law (which is much more stricter).
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