Pau Pyrénées (PUF/LFBP)

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Renowned destination for its quality of life, gastronomy and perfect scenery on the Pyrenees, Pau has a lot more to offer – especially in the lucrative corporate segment.

Pau is “a revealed gem in France” and offers to airlines or new prospects a solid market to enable success with:

The most affluent market in South West

Strong economy with top tiers corporations

Highest Yields markets with an average of US $0.36 (per pax per km)

Preferred access to the Pyrenees and Gascony The true catchment of Pau-Pyrénées Airport represents over 1,000,000 habitants using the airport from Pau, Tarbes, Mont-de-Marsan and Dax.

Pau is home of numerous multi-national corporations and provides the high revenue per capita in the region with 22,723€ per habitant.

Facts and Figures

  • Number of Terminals: 1
  • Total Catchment Population: 1 million residents within 90 min drive
  • Number of Runways: 1
  • Length of main runway (m): 2,500m
  • Operational Opening Hours: 24 Hours
  • Passenger Numbers (mppa): 645,577 (+5.9% in 2013)

New routes and frequency possibilities and why these routes would work

2 weekly (summer)

Other major reasons to serve this airport

Tour de France 2012: Bradley Wiggins wins the yellow shirt for the 160-kilometre Stage 15 from Samatan to Pau before going on to win the 'Tour'. Located in the south-western region of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Pau has plenty to offer to tourists on an all-year-round basis.

Horses have historically played a vital part in the region's culture, and equestrian activities remain a major tourist draw, outpaced only by 5 million annual pilgrimages to Lourdes, just 50km from the airport. There are several untapped markets for pilgrims who currently travel via Paris.

Passenger traffic in Pau Pyrénées Airport remains linear and constant throughout the year with three well-defined customer segments:

Tourism market

Between sea and mountain, in the centre of the Aquitaine region, and a one hour from the coastal mountain (the Bearn) – the region served by Pau Pyrénées Airport offers a variety of tourist activities centred around hiking, equestian, winter and water sports, and gastronomy and heritage.

Lourdes pilgrims market

Strong pilgrim traffic flows offer a significant potential because of the proximity of Lourdes which is only 35 minutes/50km away from the airport. There is especially an untapped market for long haul passenger-pilgrims coming to Lourdes from USA, Asia, South America, and Africa who currently fly to Pau through the Air France CDG hub.

Business market

Despite its tourist attractions the airport serves a business-dominated region with very large groups and companies in several major sectors including geosciences, chemicals, aeronautics and food. These are supported by the presence of large educational institutions, universities, and major R&D centres.

Majors employers


Economic strengths of the region

  • Major population centre with untapped market potential among big companies and business executives.
  • Pau offers substantial growth opportunities; particularly for low cost carriers
  • Leisure VFR and business market can be expected to be stimulated rapidly by wide availability of low fares and the diversity of destinations
  • Excellent location in the South West France bordering Spain
  • Pivotal point of the Pyrenees region, and third largest industrial zone of South West France
  • Strong business traffic flows from Pau (major centre for foreign trade)

(Also see: Underserved freight opportunities and other economic impact factors)

Pau Pyrenees Convention Bureau

Pau Pyrenees Tourism 

Marketing and other support

Pau's rich MICE offering, includes premium hotel infrastructure amid outstanding natural beauty. Airport incentives include up to 70% fee discounts in year-one for new route start-ups.

  • Incentives for new routes:
    • 1st year: reduced fees of up to 70%
    • 2nd year: reduced fare 50 %
    • 3rd year: reduced fare 30%
  • Pau airport company will support airline promotions with agreed marketing and advertising initiatives
  • Our local authorities are also ready to give support to the launch and the advertising of new routes
  • CCI Pau, the airport operator, offers integrated airport services (safety, security, handling, ground staff etc.), which allows the airport to be flexible on proposed rates and commercial offers to airlines

Catchment Area

Pau Pyrénées Airport enjoys a strong catchment of 1.5 million within two hour's drive, including a valuable growth of inbound and outbound by younger consumers – such as these participants in Pau's annual Carnaval Béarnais – the Carnaval des enfants.

Pau Pyrenees Airport – serving the heart of Southwest France!

  • 1,000,000 inhabitants in catchment area (60 mins), 1.5 million within 2 hour’s drive
  • 10 minute drive from Pau city, Palais Beaumont Congress Centre, and Pau Castle
  • 20 minute drive from racing circuit Pau Arnos
  • 35 minute drive from Lourdes sanctuary
  • 1 hour drive from ski slopes in the Pyrenees which offer diverse activities in winter and summer
  • 1 hour drive from seaside resorts and surf spots of the Atlantic ocean and Landes coast
  • 1 hour drive from Gascony and Nogaro racing circuit
  • 1.5 hour drive from Toulouse and Bordeaux
  • 1 hour drive from Spain
  • On the border of regions Aquitaine and Midi Pyrenees

Under-served freight opportunities and other economic impact factors

Equestrian transport is unsurprisingly in demand, SAFRAN – the maker of aircraft engines and other vital aerospace components to the world – is a major local employer.

Economic sectors

  • Petroleum and geosciences
  • Aeronautics
  • Food industry, food processing, chemical
  • Mechanics and metallurgy
  • Equestrian activities sector
  • Research laboratories
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Information technology
  • Electronics

European & Global companies around Pau

Alcan, Halliburton, Pride Forasol, Baker Hughes Inteq, Schlumberger, Weatherford, Toyal Europe, Lindt & Sprüngli, Rexam, Knauf, Siemens, Eaton, Arysta Lifescience, Smurfit Kappa, Hönsel Messier, Abengoa Bioenergy France, Pardigm, INT, Actinum

Transportation of horses

Horses are a major part of life in Bearn and the south-west of France. Equestrian tourism includes the “Concours Complet****  – étoiles de Pau or Stars of Pau – the top-level 3-day eventing competition. Equestrianism includes stud farms, training centres, race tracks, veterinary clinics and the “concours d’attelage” (harness competitions).

Pau-Pyrenees Airport’s horse transportation service allows flights to be chartered to transport horses Europe-wide. The service saves breeders, owners and trainers time, and will minimises stress for horses!


Ryanair's withdrawal from Pau Pyrenees Airport in 2011 offers great, ready-made opportunities for new airline entrants wishing to take on tested, viable markets.

  • Airport strategically situated at the very heart of Aquitaine
  • At the crossroads of two important rail routes:
  • Spain to Italy – Irun-Ventimiglia – via Bayonne
  • France to Spain – Paris-Madrid – via Pau
  • 1.5 million residents within a 1-hour 30 drive of Pau airport
  • airport at just 1.5 miles from the toll motorway:
    • Pau – Bordeaux
    • Pau – Toulouse
  • The airport’s major highway intersection offers direct links to:
    • Tarbes and Toulouse to the East
    • Biarritz to the West
    • Bordeaux to the North

Infrastructure & Operations:

  • Mixed airport open to international traffic
  • IFR-VFR night
  • Operating hours: H24, category D
  • Terminal: 1
  • 25 minutes turnarounds
  • 1 runway – 2,500m x 45m
    • Orientation: 13/31
    • Landing aid: ILS Cat III
    • Lighting: HI / BI-PAPI-Strobe lights

Other relevant Infrastructure & Operations details:

  • 10,000 metre terminal with 1 million passenger capacity
  • 60,000 metre parking area
  • Two airbridges and 10 additional parking positions

Cargo handling

1,000 metre cargo terminal with 700 metre aircraft parking

Important infrastructure developments and/or other news

  • The new terminal was built in 2002. Brighter and larger, it ensures smooth and comfortable flows for passengers.
  • All integrated services are provided by the Staff CCIT Pau Béarn allowing consistent service quality for all passengers and airline users.
  • Situated in an economic zone with aeronautical vocation for companies needing a direct access to the runway (Aérosite)
  • An airport with business vocation (big local companies, aeronautical subcontracting, food-processing, chemicals, supporting universities etc).

Vital statistics

Passenger numbers

  • 2012: 609,535 passengers
  • 2011: 641,496 passengers
  • 2010: 673,697 passengers
  • 2009: 691,037 passengers
  • 2008: 817,511 passengers

Services left free by Ryanair offer the potential for more than 150,000 passengers, mainly tourists, but also pilgrims and business executives.


  • 2012: 1,073,715 kg
  • 2011: 1,065,155 kg
  • 2010: 976,442 kg

Services available

  • Transit centre
  • Specialist carriers available
  • Approved personnel
  • Border Inspection Post approval in progress

Largest carrier

  • Air France