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vfw614
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Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Wed May 26, 2021 9:16 pm

As many of you will remember, Clermont-Ferrand (CFE) airport was an importnt regional hub 20 years ago in the heyday of Régional Airlines. It had 30 or so destinations, more than 1m passengers annually and a relatively large terminal (that still exists today). Nowadays, as far as I know, Paris is the only year-round destination and the airport is a mere shadow of its former self. Of course Air France was not interested in keeping the hub operation when Régional was taken over in 2001 or so, given its relative proximity to Lyon and Air France's large domestic hub there. I am, however, surprised that there is absolutely no other traffic to/from CFE nowadays, given the fact that Clermont-Ferrand is a decently sized city in its own right and that many French regional airports have a few leisure oriented routes to the UK, the Netherlands or Belgium. Anyone able to shed a light why CFE has seen such a massive decline and been unable to attract traffic?
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Wed May 26, 2021 9:29 pm

Fly Kiss tried to open some routes at CFE in 2016 to London, Lille, Nice and Strasbourg. It did not go well
As to why there are no international routes, I can only suggest that tourist interest in the region is somewhat limited - or at least the promotion of the region for tourists has not been effective. And yes, I did see the advertisements via Ryanir for the region a few years ago
 
SCQ83
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Wed May 26, 2021 10:16 pm

davidjohnson6 wrote:
Fly Kiss tried to open some routes at CFE in 2016 to London, Lille, Nice and Strasbourg. It did not go well
As to why there are no international routes, I can only suggest that tourist interest in the region is somewhat limited - or at least the promotion of the region for tourists has not been effective. And yes, I did see the advertisements via Ryanir for the region a few years ago


Indeed. I am however surprised Clermont Ferrand is relatively far away from Lyon and LYS (in my mind it was closer). I checked Maps and it is 191 km to LYS by car. To Lyon Part Dieu it is 2h24' by train (TER, no TGV) + train Lyon/LYS which is very time-consuming and expensive (so no less than 3 hours).

To Paris-Bercy it is 3h25' by train (Intercité, no TGV), so add at least 1 hour to CDG.

Wow... flying anywhere (other than connecting with Air France in CDG) from CFE seems like a PITA. Clermont Ferrand might be in the center of France but it is far from everywhere!
 
TUGMASTER
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Wed May 26, 2021 11:24 pm

A couple of years ago when I wanted to score an EMB120 ride, I flew NCE-CFE on A Regional bird, (full AF livery) spent a few hours in town then a CRJ700 of Brit Air upto CDG (again full AF paint), …
Very well connected place…..Once
 
SCQ83
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Thu May 27, 2021 8:16 am

TUGMASTER wrote:
A couple of years ago when I wanted to score an EMB120 ride, I flew NCE-CFE on A Regional bird, (full AF livery) spent a few hours in town then a CRJ700 of Brit Air upto CDG (again full AF paint), …
Very well connected place…..Once


I recall Air Nostrum flew MAD-CFE for a while. https://www.lasprovincias.es/20120109/e ... 91851.html I wonder if that is related to Michelin which is HQed in the city.

Back in the day, CFE was connected to three major hubs (AMS and CDG with HOP and MAD with YW).
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Thu May 27, 2021 9:39 am

It's very sad. I remember the days when the airport was a pretty successful low-volume hub, with plenty of easy connections.
Unfortunately scheduled, low-volume, high-frequency and regional jet/prop, are all 'deceased' words in the language of European aviation. I suppose the margins are no longer there.
Why flying from Bologna to Lisbon via CFE when you can go direct, perhaps on a low-cost?
AF clearly thought that such a little gem had no place after the de-regionalization of all operations, and the final Paris-ization of all their international connections.
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Thu May 27, 2021 9:48 am

I don't think it was just the Paris-ization of AF.... the fact they had a minihub in Lyon, a city with a far larger population and considerably more money than Clermont-Ferrand, might have something to do with it
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Thu May 27, 2021 10:36 am

If there is enough subsidy, there would have CFE-FNJ route
 
DIJKKIJK
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Thu May 27, 2021 11:49 am

Clermont-Ferrand, like Saint Etienne, Valence, Grenoble and Macon, is a catchment area for Lyon Airport. Besides, there's also Geneva that's not too far away from these places. Hence the lack of flights.
And if the French Government 's plan to ban all flights less than 45 minutes comes through, it will make Clermont-Ferrand even more irrelevant.
Air Mediterranee and Aigle Azur used to operate flights to North Africa from Clermont-Ferrand when they were around.

The only hope is Ryanair, who may sell that destination as Lyon.
 
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trickshot99
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Thu May 27, 2021 12:08 pm

I’m a regular traveller to Clermont. Over the years the reduction of activity by the city’s number one employer Michelin may have contributed to less affluence and money to spend on flights.

Certainly the number of execs coming in and out has dropped in my time flying in and out. So much of the city is built on that legacy that employment will have a hard time picking up as they wind down in my opinion.

Transport connections are famously poor, its in the middle of nowhere but if you like the outdoors it’s a fabulous place. Maybe the locals just stay and enjoy the fantastic landscape.
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Thu May 27, 2021 12:33 pm

I wonder if Chalair or Twinjet would be interested, potentially with a bit of PSO money involved
 
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Alsatian
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Thu May 27, 2021 1:12 pm

DIJKKIJK wrote:
The only hope is Ryanair, who may sell that destination as Lyon.


davidjohnson6 wrote:
I wonder if Chalair or Twinjet would be interested, potentially with a bit of PSO money involved


Or Volotea. The spanish carrier will launch Limoges - Marseille / Ajaccio early july so Clermont could also be a target in the near future.
 
vfw614
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Thu May 27, 2021 1:51 pm

Even if there is next to none business demand other than for a hub link to Paris, I am really surprised about the total lack of inbound leisure oriented flights, given the large number of rather exotic routes from the UK and the Benelux countries to regional French airports that serve second home owners or folks often on an upscale vacation. I remember flights between places like Maastricht and Brive or Southampton and Bergerac, so one would expect that at least an LCC route from AMS or LON would be feasible. The same is true for outbound flights to Corsica that seem to exist from almost regional airports in France at least during the summer peak.
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Thu May 27, 2021 2:05 pm

Before they went bankrupt, Flybe flew 78-seat props from the UK to many places in regional France. I think Southampton-Bergerac was almost daily in summer, but Southampton-Clermont managed only 1 weekly or (in July + August) 2x weekly. To the average person living in the UK, the area around Bergerac (anglicised as "Dordogne-shire") is a lot better known than the Auvergne

Air Corsica flies summer seasonal between Clermont-Ferrand and Ajaccio
 
factsonly
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Thu May 27, 2021 2:33 pm

vfw614 wrote:
Even if there is next to none business demand other than for a hub link to Paris, I am really surprised about the total lack of inbound leisure oriented flights, given the large number of rather exotic routes from the UK and the Benelux countries to regional French airports that serve second home owners or folks often on an upscale vacation. I remember flights between places like Maastricht and Brive or Southampton and Bergerac, so one would expect that at least an LCC route from AMS or LON would be feasible. The same is true for outbound flights to Corsica that seem to exist from almost regional airports in France at least during the summer peak.


The CFE - AMS route was operated 4x weekly by HOP until 2019.

The HOP CRJ aircraft was routed:

- RNS-AMS-CFE-AMS-RNS
 
vfw614
Topic Author
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Thu May 27, 2021 2:46 pm

I guess with at most half a dozen daly flights by one airline - which will require just one gate -, most of the rather large terminal must be mothballed::


Image

Source: Wikimedia
 
icna05e
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Sat May 29, 2021 5:21 pm

That photo was taken in 2007. The jetways have been removed now.
Indeed, quite a shame this extension barely got to be used , it was a great design for simple transfers (maybe now would be a different song given all the security constraints!). I don't know if/how they keep all the amenities inside, but even in the recent pics it still looks nice from the outside!

I had never noticed how the intermediate "hubs" of the satellite extension look like rugby balls. A specialty of the region ;-)
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Clermont-Ferrand Airport

Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:34 pm

CFE will regain its international status (and its dignity !) - Ryanair will start/resume flights to Porto in Portugal in November 2021

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