Gawd, it's so depressing to read such pessimistic verdicts on the future of Bergerac.
As a confirmed optimist, I cant bear it ! Surely there's a bit of 'catch 22' in all of this.....it's underused because there has not been enough development to attract businesses to base themselves in the Bergerac area...therefore it's underused, undeveloped & under threat....
Perhaps instead or as well as, those who have some influence of how the Dordogne will develop, the regional government depts., should offer generous tax incentives to businesses to set up, relocate, whatever, in this area. For instance where is France's I.T. tech development based ?...something like a science park incorporating a new University and research centre, would increase the population and economy......perhaps Bordeaux University could be expanded here......'from small acorns'......
Bassillac Périgueux is operating although only Twinjet to Paris that costs an arm and a leg. I believe that the runway is too short for larger aircraft to take off safely and also because of the elevation with a slope after the runway it cannot be improved. At least that was the reason Bergerac was made the principal airport in the Dordogne in the first place.
When it comes to flying, the KLM-Airfrance group offer more destinations and a better schedule than most other airlines, certainly better than BA who I was using when still BOAC when they were only rivalled by a couple of US companies.
Veolia, Vinci, Louis Vuitton, Suez, Airbus, EDF, AXA, BNP Paribas, EON, Dassault etc. etc..No you're quite right Glen the French don't have a clue how to run a successful business.
I had forgotten about the train from Ste Foy in my case to Bordeaux and then the bus service. My wife used it some years ago when we were snowed in and driving was not safe and it worked fine and not expensive, arguably cheaper for one person than driving and quite fast relative to the road as I recall.
All 25 hours a day of it!
..or Lima in the rush hour !
Barbara, I'm not saying anything denigrating about your work/stress/life balance! It isn't some sort of competition!
It is just that if you have to be in a succession of specific places at a specific time, both imposed on you EVERY SINGLE DAY, then going to Mérignac once in a while to catch a 'plane & being on time isn't exactly a big deal.
Meanwhile I'm very glad to have the option of Bergerac AND Mérignac & indeed Toulouse (even though it takes longer still) if that's what fits best.
I'd like to see Bergerac survive (even if only for personal very selfish reasons: I live up on the hill a whole 5 minutes drive away & don't even have any noise nuisance from it because I never have 'plane engines pointing at me, I can just look & see if a 'plane has landed & go & fetch friends on time etc etc) but if it doesn't survive it won't be for lack of all-singing all-dancing shops or gourmet cafés etc it'll be for rather wider economic reasons to do with airline profits vs regional airport finances.
Don't get me wrong, I would like to see it survive as well. The point is more that if it is not viable then it goes and we must live with it.
I Know about the Rocard at Bordeaux and I use it often.
But, like others half a hour on small roads to the airport is a much
better than 2 hrs to Merignac and then finding parking spaces.
My work time table is very different to yours but the hours are long and
hectic and become very stressful.....but we do what we do best...
and I enjoy my work.
I would love to see that little airport support itself and flourish.
Outrageous parking fees at Merignac? I've just done a quick comparison with Birmingham UK airport. 10 days off site long stay at Birmingham 74.80 sterling 10 days in P4 offsite at Merignac 46.50 sterling. 10 days in a close to terminal car park Birmingham 122.80 sterling 10 days in Merignac P2 93.75 sterling.
For years I lived with the choice of Gatwick or Heathrow to get me round the world, then Stansted expanded and the M25 had replaced to old North and South Circular roads. In fact, the traffic also grew exponentially apace the developments. However, I was still principally using LHR and GTW. The Rocade is like a pleasant country drive compared to anywhere in the SE of England...
If you use Bordeaux then the easy way is either to have someone drop you off or else take a train then either the airport shuttle or tram C + Lianes 1, depending on my destination & other things (eg work timetable, I am not self-employed) I use either Bergerac or Bordeaux & often fly out of one & into the other.
The Rocade in Bordeaux just needs a bit of anticipation, like any ring road; we get so used to there being 'no traffic' out in the sticks that it seems like a big deal, but it isn't (& there isn't 'no traffic' in the sticks either ;-) ). I suspect this is also more of a problem for people who don't have set times for things/places to be every day because it is so easy to get into no-deadline mode. Those of us who have to ferry children to school & get to work etc probably find it less stressful.
I do live near Bergerac airport, in fact using it in a few weeks time to fly to Stansted. as it suits my travel plans - most times it doesn't.
But for the last 3 to 4 years I have gone to Bordeaux simply because the flights with EasyJet are so much cheaper than Flybe.
Save once, when there was a RTA, my journey time to Bordeaux has been consistent at approx. 75 minutes. OK, I am a hyper "get there in plenty of time" nerd, drives my wife wild, but that has nothing to do with the actual travel times.
And since Merignac is whole much nicer experience than Bergerac, I can deal with my choice of extended waiting time.
But I agree with the general comment that these regional airports cannot be economic without subsidies. I seem to recall that there was an extensive campaign by Brussels, Paris and Air France to stop these.
People who live nearer to Bergerac are not interested to travel an extra 45 mins to Bordeaux
with the prospect of meeting the busy times on the Rocard.
Well unless the Tooth Fairy gets involved the no frills airport will die.
and most Dutch people seem to drive as it's a lot less hassle, you can take whatever you want and you're mobile once you arrive, cheaper too if there are several people/a family. I agree with Véro on this, by choice I'd drive most places in mainland Europe, especially with family. Already mentioned elsewhere - most (french) people take their car, not the plane for all these reasons. I can be in Spain in around 3 hours, Italy in 5... ;-)
Transavia fly from Rotterdam already.
Could the airport afford to pay a company like BA to take the routes. The big companies are far more costly than budget airlines and also would passengers pay the higher prices? I think they would fly elsewhere cheaper.
I thought that the costly airport development was a bit risky, knowing that Ryanair (especially) and the other low cost airlines come and go as they please, or if a route is not making a profit. Bournemouth airport have done the same, only for Ryanair to pull out of many of their routes from there.
Bergerac should concentrate on making the most of the summer season demand for flights, perhaps by attracting airlines that run winter schedules to ski resorts to switch to Bergerac in the summer. Even British Airways might profit from a weekend switch from Bordeaux to Bergerac (ex Gatwick & Manchester). (weekdays = business, weekends = tourists)
The Dordogne region attracts 1000's of Dutch visitors each year, so lots of scope for flights from Holland.
Now they've got their 'flash' airport they must market it in every way possible, with some lateral thinking!
Part of the problem is that whilst Ryan Air offer competitive fares, Flybe are often more expensive than flying BA, so we now use EasyJet from Bordeaux despite its distance and outrageous car park fees.
In my opinion, whilst all the comments made about the bar and etc are obviously right, I seriously doubt many people would decide to travel via Bordeaux, Brive, Toulouse etc because they have a better bar/café etc.
It is only about price and destinations.
Our children visit us at Christmas and have to go to Bordeaux then take the train. In fact our daughter has decided to come out in the summer and will be flying to Bordeaux as the departure times at Stanstead are too early. She lives in central London.