France's Bordeaux Airport's new "Billi" (Bordeaux Illico) LCC terminal was launched this month, capitalising on the increased uptake of LCCs in the region. LCC growth has been occurring at a rate of 20%-30% p/a at the airport. (The Independent, 16-Jun-2010). Bordeaux’s new Billi terminal will cater exclusively to LCC operations and is expected to handle 1.5 million passengers p/a by 2015. Billi will offer services between Bordeaux and Ireland, the UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy and Morocco. The terminal was designed to minimise boarding queues, speed bag collection and enable a 25-minute turnaround time. During 2010, an estimated 665,000 passengers are expected to travel to/from Bordeaux on LCCs.
Bordeaux Airport opens 'Billi' LCCT
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Chinese airlines will become France's second largest source of foreign long haul flights, and in the long term China could surpass the US. For China, France could become its third largest long haul market after the US and Australia. France is China's third major aeropolitical expansion in recent months, after the UK and Australia. This could give China leverage to press the US and Canada to expand traffic rights, although these markets are far more convoluted.
Taiwan's China Airlines considers Airbus order as a means to winning French traffic rights
China Airlines is weighing an order for Airbus aircraft that it expects will result in the French state granting traffic rights to allow China Airlines to fly to Paris, providing competition to China Airlines' local competitor EVA Air – the only nonstop operator on the route.
Since a 2016 government change in Taiwan, China Airlines – long a sleepy government airline – has shown greater interest in growth. However, Europe is not a strong market for the airline. In Paris there is opportunity to work with fellow SkyTeam member Air France. This potentially makes Paris less costly for China Airlines than its planned resumption of service to London.
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