Angoulême-Cognac airport (ANG/LFBU)

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Rainbow over Angoulême and Cognac country – this recently-commercialised airport is in much demand by the thoroughly-established tourist infrastructure of Cognac country. Taking advantage of a runway extended to 1,860m Ryanair’s first summer season – to London/Stansted three times weekly – achieved 26,000 passengers and 78% load factors, expected to rise to 83% for the 2009 season

Duffy at this year’s Cognac Blues Festival which is annually attended by 45,000 visitors. Royan, the nearby Atlantic resort is a favourite of President Sarkozy who spent his childhood holidays here (this summer he dined with Carla Bruni at the restaurant Koud à Koud on the town’s plage du Chay).

In addition to the cities listed above, the large Moroccan community living in and around the airport area supports the case for a new route there.

Other major reasons to serve this airport

  • France, already the world’s most popular tourist destination, offers a region with great tourist appeal in Angoulême-Cognac airport’s catchment area. The area’s châteaux, picturesque historical towns and villages as well as stunning countryside attract visitors from all over the world. Local ‘beverage celebrities’ such as the one and only Cognac, and the aperitif Pineau, vouch for both the culinary experiences and beautiful scenery of vineyard slopes.
  • Besides fine wines the area is also renown for its pioneering paper industry, textiles and Charentaise slippers which are exported worldwide. Altogether, the local department’s 2002 exports amounted €2.1 billion, far exceeding its imports of €580 million. The area also hosts several international events for niche interests, such as the Angoulême International Comics Festival and the vintage car race Circuit des Remparts.

Monaco eat your heart out: Every September the street are surrendered to the Circuit International des Remparts d’Angoulême watched by 30,000. Meanwhile, the French love affair with cycling was celebrated with a sprint finish for the 18th stage of the Tour de France in Angoulême in 2007.

Marketing and other support

  • Launch incentives available for the opening of new routes
  • The airport has a substantial marketing budget to promote new routes

The catchment includes a diverse range of centres like Angoulême itself (where Europe’s biggest annual “Comic Festival” attracts some 10,000) through to the Charente countryside and stunning Atlantic coast.

Catchment Area

Charente, the department of which Angoulême is the capital city, has a population of 350,000, but the airport’s central location in the region, at the crossing of two main national roads (RN141, N10), stretches the catchment area far beyond the regional borders.

  • 1 hour’s drive from the Atlantic coast (Royan, La Rochelle etc.)
  • 1 hour’s drive from Bordeaux and its vineyards
  • 1 hour’s drive from the audio-visual theme park Futuroscope in Poitiers

The “world brand” of Cognac and dependent industries obviously has tremendous economic impact – recent annual exports exceeded €2 billion – far in excess of imports of €580 million.

Under-served freight opportunities and other economic impact factors

Currently no freight operations, but potential lies in the cognac industry and the large local industries (Emerson, Schneider, DCNS)

Traditionally popular with the Gulfstreams of the wealthy and corporate who frequent this affluent region, Angoulême’s recently-extended 1,860 metre runway is now open for business from commercial carriers with Ryanair enjoying 78% load factors in its first year of London-Stansted services. Airport director, Jean-Noël Petit, would be happy to explain new-entrant incentives.


  • Angoulême-Cognac airport is located 10 minutes by road from the city of Angoulême and 30 minutes from the town of Cognac

Infrastructure & Operations:

  • 1 runway, 1,860 metres (recently extended to accommodate larger aircraft)
  • Not slot coordinated
  • 24 hour operations, on demand
  • 1 terminal
  • A new integrated terminal able to handle 17m will be built by 2013.

Important infrastructure developments and/or other news

  • Shortly, a helicopter simulator unique to Europe will be based at the airport. The airport-based company HUTC (Heli-Union Training Center) is experiencing great growth in terms of pilot students and worldwide projects.

Vital statistics

  • 2008 saw the airport’s first international route to Stansted with three weekly flights during the summer season. It achieved 26,000 pax (78% load factor) in its first season and the load factor is forecasted to rise to 83% for 2009.
  • Largest carrier: Ryanair