Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has announced it saw its eighth successive year of passenger traffic growth in 2018, with passenger numbers rising by 4.1% to 13.85 million travelers, an increase of more than 500,000 passengers compared to 2017.
However, the airport saw fewer aircraft movements in 2018, which the airport stated is down to airlines being able to achieve record-breaking load factors of up to 99% in the peak summer months. The airport also grew the number of direct destinations it offers in the summer by 17 to a total of 117 and also added 12 new destination in the winter season.
“Our ambitious partnership policy with the airlines has enabled us to continue to reduce the seasonal effect that has traditionally conditioned our activity,” enthused Dominique Thillaud, chairman of the board of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur.
To accommodate this growth, Nice Côte d’Azur announced a project in June 2018 to extend Terminal 2, which will ultimately have six additional aircraft stands capable of receiving long- and medium-haul flights. This extension will increase the capacity of the airport to 18 million passengers by 2021, while Terminal 1 will receive two additional gates at the same time.
“Our strategy clearly consists of offering a quality and competitive stop-over for passengers to as many destinations as possible worldwide. We are convinced that the growth of air traffic and the saturation of French airspace requires the existing ultra-centralized model to be reviewed. This is already the case in all the major European countries. This strategic option is favorable from both the economic and environmental perspectives, because it will reduce the distances covered and the turn-around times,” explained Thillaud.