French Connect, the European trade show where airports and airlines come together to
do business, was held in Bordeaux from June 29th to July 2nd. The prime objective: to attract airlines and open up new routes. These four days offered a priceless opportunity for Bordeaux to promote its dynamic image as a major force in the European economy and a prime tourist destination.
Held at Bordeaux’s Palais des Congrès for the first time this year, French Connect is an event where the airline maps of tomorrow are drawn up. A series of ‘speed meetings’ were organised, giving airports twenty minutes to meet different airlines and win them over with their facilities and passenger potential.
“Hosting a congress of this magnitude is further proof that our region has the status and the resources it takes to attract fifty airlines and a hundred airports, a total of almost 400 leading players from the air travel industry,” explains Pascal Personne, Managing Director of Bordeaux Airport and the man behind the campaign to bring French Connect to Bordeaux. “Our goal is clear: to open up new routes.”
Over 4,000 face to face meetings were organised, with hundreds of potential new routes discussed. During the conference, easyJet announced their intention to expand their range of European destinations with direct connections to Bordeaux.
“Bordeaux Airport currently has several new routes in the pipeline for 2014, an extremely promising situation at a time when the general outlook for the industry is still pretty gloomy. Our airport is going up in the world,” enthuses Pascal Personne.
A programme of guided tours was organised in order to introduce the airline representatives to some of the many facets of our dynamic regional economy: cutting-edge technology at the Dassault plant, prestigious winemaking in the Médoc and tourism on the beaches of the Bassin d’Arcachon. The evening entertainment was suitably refined, with a warm welcome at the opening reception hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and introduced by Alain Rousset, President of the Aquitaine Regional Council. The gala evening was held in Saint Emilion, complete with grand cru wines and a son et lumière show.
All of which helped make French Connect 2013 a memorable and highly productive few days for Bordeaux, its airport and the whole region.
Sophie VERGNERES 05 56 34 59 29 / 06 21 61 43 55 svergneresbordeaux [dot] aeroport [dot] fr