The airport is located approximately 7km from the city centre of Montpellier, and is an airport in southern France. It is the tenth busiest airport of the country, and is officially known as the Montpellier-Méditerranée Airport. Sometimes it is referred to as the Fréjorgues Airport as well. Montpellier is distinguished from other airports by its IATA code of MPL. Inhabitants of the area have access to a variety of destinations offered by the airline companies of the airport, and the Montpellier departure area is well equipped for the needs of its passengers. Departure and arrival flights mainly operate during the hours between 05:30 and 23:00, seven days a week.
The Airport has been in existence for over sixty years, and is one of the most important airports in France, as it provides the largest air gateway to the third most popular region for tourism, known as the Languedoc Roussillon region, and is significant in international and business travel as well. The airport is found in Mauguio, just outside of Montpellier city, and alongside the Mediterranean coastline. It serves many of the towns and cities in the Hérault department, and is also within easy driving distance of a couple of larger and well known French cities, for example, Nimes, Arles and Orange, and Beziers, Narbonne, Carcassonne and Toulouse.
Passengers on departure flights can easily drive their own vehicles to the airport, as the main A9 Autoroute provides access from these cities mentioned. The turn-off from this motorway is Exit 29, ‘Montpellier Est’. Parking is provided in three main areas, and in one more private and guarded area. The short-stay car parks are P2 and P3, while the long-stay car park is P4. It will take approximately forty minutes to drive to the airport from Nimes, fifty-five minutes from Beziers and just over an hour from Narbonne. From Montpellier, the airport is just a fifteen to twenty minute drive, depending on traffic conditions. Alternatively departing passengers can arrive at the airport by bus or taxi. There is no train station at the airport. Buses leave from the Place de l’Europe in the city centre, approximately every hour, or in accordance to the departure flights, and taxis can be arranged to collect you from the doorstep of any location.
A number of the Montpellier airline companies offer scheduled flights throughout the year, to a wide variety of destinations. These airline carriers include Air Arabia Maroc, with flights to Casablanca and Tangier, Air France, with flights to Paris, Air France operated by Brit Air and Régional to Lyon and Nantes, Easyjet with flights to London-Gatwick, Ryanair with flights to Brussels South-Charleroi and Hahn and Iberia operated by Air Nostrum with flights to Madrid. A number of these airline companies offer seasonal flights as well, and a selection of other companies have holiday flights during the busier seasons. Other airlines and their destinations include Air Algérie, Cimber Sterling, Lufthansa Regional (operated by Lufthansa CityLine) and Transavia.com, with flights to Algiers, Oran, Rennes, Strasbourg, Bastia, Copenhagen, London-Luton, Munich, Birmingham and Rotterdam.
The majority of passengers on Montpellier Airport departure flights are national, flying to local destinations, but there are a significant number of international passengers who use the airport as well. In 2010, the airport was recorded to have handled 1,180,448 passengers, which was a decrease in numbers from previous years. However, traffic is expected to only increase at Montpellier Airport in the future years.
Montpellier Airport consists of two terminal buildings, with a combined area of 14,000 square metres. The airport’s facilities are modern and comfortable, and are designed to meet the needs of all its passengers. Once passengers have completed the check-in process, and collected their boarding cards, they can proceed to the upper level of the terminal, by staircase or elevator, and pass through the security control checks. Within the secure boarding lounge, passengers will find a duty-free store and a café, however, you will need to stay in the main departure area in order to reach these facilities, as you cannot come back once you have cleared passport control to the international gate area. Some airline companies will allow their customers to check-in online, or at self-service kiosks at the airport, but no matter from where you check-in, it is important to do so before the final check-in time of your airline company. For Ryanair, it is forty minutes prior to the time of departure and for domestic flights it is twenty minutes before take-off. Check-in closes for international flights, passengers with connecting flights, unaccompanied minors, groups of travellers and all who require additional assistance at the airport half an hour before departure.
Further facilities include restaurants and shops, the business centre, cash dispensers, a letter box, travel agencies, a nursery, WiFi services, public telephones and the Hôtel Aéroport, which is about a two and half minute walk from the terminal. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant, swimming pool, lock-up car park and rooms with air conditioning, satellite TV and comfortable furnishings. The hotel could be the ideal stop-over for those on early departure flights, or for those who are waiting for connecting flights. Corporate clients can arrange all their business affairs at the airport’s business centre, as it has rooms of all sizes to meet the needs of various functions. There are smaller offices for private work sessions as well as larger rooms for conferences and other functions. All areas have high quality equipment and furnishings. The airport is accessible to disabled passengers and all with reduced mobility challenges.
Live Montpellier departures can be viewed on various online websites, and for further information, the airport can be contacted at 04 67 20 85 00.
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