Pau Pyrénées (PUF/LFBP)

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Pau Pyrenees bag tag

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 hidden gem in France” and offers airlines a solid market to enable success with:

A strong economy with top tier corporations

High yield passengers

Preferred access to the Pyrenees and Gascony. A catchment area of 700,000 inhabitants within 1 hour drive time and 1.5 million inhabitants within 1.5 hour drive time.

Strong foreign communities (Portugal, UK, Morocco…)

Facts and Figures

  • Number of Terminals: 1
  • Total Catchment Population: 1.5 million residents within 90 min drive
  • Number of Runways: 1
  • Length of main runway (m): 2,500m
  • Operational Opening Hours: 24 Hours
  • Passenger Numbers: 600,000 in 2017
  • Commercial aircraft movements : 9,950 in 2017
  • 21 destinations in direct flights (11 scheduled, 10 charter)
  • 6 scheduled airlines

Other major reasons to serve this airport

Pau is one of the French cities that most often host stages of the Tour de France. 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. 5 million pilgrims visit Lourdes every year, 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, the region served by Pau Pyrénées Airport offers a variety of tourist activities centred around hiking, equestrian, winter and water sports, gastronomy and heritage.

Lourdes pilgrims market

Strong pilgrim traffic flows offer a significant potential because of the proximity of Lourdes which is only 50 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 market (65% of total traffic) 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 and unemployment rate below French average.

Majors employers


Economic strengths of the region

  • Major population centre with untapped market potential among big companies and business executives
  • Substantial growth opportunities particularly for hub and low-cost carriers
  • Leisure, VFR and business markets can be stimulated rapidly by 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 economic zone of South West France. Strong business traffic flows from Pau (major centre for foreign trade)
  • High presence of the French army (5,000 soldiers) with a high propensity for travel

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

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: 70% discount on airport fees
    • 2nd year: 50% discount
    • 3rd year: 30% discount
  • Pau Pyrénées Airport will support airlines with marketing support and advertising initiatives/li>
  • Our local authorities are also ready to give support to the launch and the advertising of new routes
  • Ongoing tender for service contracts (new routes contracted and funded by the local authorities)
  • Air’py, 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 one and a half hour's drive. Many events take place during the year in Pau like the Carnaval Béarnais

Pau Pyrenees Airport – serving the heart of Southwest France!

  • 700,000 inhabitants in catchment area (60 mins), 1.5 million within 1.5 hour’s drive
  • 162,000 inhabitants in Pau urban area
  • 15 minute drive from Pau city, Palais Beaumont Congress Centre, and Pau Castle
  • 20 minute drive from racing circuit Pau Arnos
  • 50 minute drive from Lourdes sanctuary
  • 1 hour 15 min drive to the ski resorts in the Pyrenees which offer diverse activities in winter and summer (17 ski resorts in France and Spain are linked with the airport by direct shuttles)
  • 1 hour 15 min drive from seaside resorts and surf spots of the Atlantic ocean and Landes coast
  • 1 hour drive from Gascony and Nogaro racing circuit
  • 2 hour drive from Toulouse and Bordeaux
  • 2 hour drive from Spain
  • On the border of regions Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie

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 minimizes stress for horses!


  • Airport strategically situated between sea and mountain
  • 1.5 million residents within a 1-hour 30 drive of Pau airport
  • Airport at just 1.5 miles from the toll motorway
  • This major highway intersection offers direct links to:
    • Tarbes, Lourdes and Toulouse to the East
    • Biarritz to the West
    • Bordeaux to the North

Infrastructure & Operations:

  • Airport open to international traffic
  • IFR-VFR by 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 sqm terminal with 1.2 million passenger capacity
  • 60,000 sqm parking area
  • Two airbridges and 10 parking positions

Cargo handling

1,000 sqm cargo terminal with 700 sqm 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 Air’py 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) and strong tourism potential.

Vital statistics

Passenger numbers

  • 2017: 600,075 passengers


  • 2017: 1,100 tonnes

Services available

  • Transit centre
  • Freight forwarders
  • Approved personnel
  • Border Inspection Post approval

Largest carriers

  • Hop!, Air France