Lyon St Exupéry Airport Guide
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Your Complete Guide to Lyon St Exupéry Airport

Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport is situated approximately 24km/15 miles to the east of Lyon’s city center. The city lies between Paris and Marseille, and is the second largest in France. It is also the capital of the Rhône département and the Rhône-Alps region. Lyon Airport provides a major transportation gateway for these locations.

The airport is close to Azieu, La Plaine, Janneyrias, Saint Laurent-de-Mure and Saugnieu. Lyon is 313 km/194 miles from Marseille, and 463 km/287 miles from Paris. It was formerly know as Lyon Satolas. In the year 2000, the airport and train station was re-named after the French aviation pioneer and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, but still has the official code of LYS.

On 12 April 1975, Lyon Airport was inaugurated by President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, and was open for operation shortly thereafter. The airport was constructed to replace the older Lyon-Bron Airport, which was located in an urban area, making expansion impossible. The magnificently designed Gare de Saint-Exupéry (train station) began it’s service to the airport in 1994.

More recently, the airport receives over 7 million passengers per year, with 7 320 952 passengers in 2007, and 7 924 063 passengers in 2008. The international flight totals are almost double that of the national flights.

LYS serves both international and domestic flights from it’s two twin-level terminals. They are named Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, and are connected by a large central building/hall. Passengers are able to easily manage the distance between the two terminals on foot. International airlines operate from Terminal 2, and domestic airlines from Terminal 1. The Arrival levels are located on the lower floor, and Departures on the upper level.

International flights are fairly frequent to some African and Middle-Eastern destinations, as well as Portugal, Egypt, Morocco, Finland and many more. Many flights are received from all over Europe. Paris is just an hours flight away. Some of the airlines at the airport include Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, Alitalia, KLM, Austrian Airlines, Air Malta, Northwest Airlines, Transavia and TNT International.

The Lyon Airport Train Station is the most striking and notable architectural feature. It was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. Although he insists that it was not his intention, the two huge converging steel arches are most obviously expressive of a bird with open wings. The steel arches are 120 meters long and 40 meters high, coming together at the bird’s ‘beak’.

The terminals are linked to the train station by a walkway, and escalators (at the back of the bird) lead down into the main concourse. Further escalators continue down to the platforms. The structure of the railway station is just as impressive from the inside as from the outside. Unfortunately, since the station is only built for TGV trains, it is not very busy, and many spaces within remain empty decks. Passengers can take the TGV trains to destinations such as Paris Gare de Lyon, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Grenoble, Valence, Italy and Milan.

The Lyon Airport features excellent conference and business facilities, and all other amenities necessary for the comfort and convenience of it’s passengers. In the central hall there is a post office, travel agency, pharmacy, medical center and currency exchange services. Throughout the terminals there are many restaurants, bars, shopping areas, ATMs and Wi-Fi internet access points. Information desks are available in each terminal and in the central area. There are baby changing facilities, and the airport is more than adequately equipped for disabled passengers.

Passengers arriving at Lyon will find a mild, temperate climate with hot, enticing summers, but cooler winters, often with sharp frosts and snowy weather.

The official code of LYS is assigned to Lyon St Exupéry Airport. Please find below GPS coordinates which may help you in your arrival or departure from the airport. The Coordinates are 45.72556, 5.08111 which you can enter into your Smartphone or in-car GPS.


Below is a sample of routes flight times and Airlines that fly from Lyon Airport.

Destination Weekly Flights Distance
Toulouse (TLS) 50 374 Km (233 Miles)
Brussels (BRU) 47 577 Km (359 Miles)
Bordeaux Mérignac (BOD) 46 464 Km (288 Miles)
Munich (MUC) 44 585 Km (364 Miles)
Paris Charles De Gaulle (CDG) 43 413 Km (256 Miles)
Madrid (MAD) 39 913 Km (567 Miles)
Nantes (NTE) 37 536 Km (333 Miles)
Dusseldorf (DUS) 35 631 Km (392 Miles)
Frankfurt (FRA) 28 543 Km (338 Miles)
Zurich (ZRH) 28 328 Km (204 Miles)