Binious, bombardes and sunshine: it was under a big blue sky and to the sound of traditional music from Bagad Kadoudal in Vern-sur-Seiche that passengers arriving from London’s Gatewick airport set foot on the Breton tarmac from Rennes airport. Because after more than two years of interruption, Rennes airport is once again connected to London.
The company EasyJet started its flights on May 2, the ribbon cutting therefore took place this Friday, May 13, 2022, in the presence of Nicolas Notebaert, the general manager of Vinci concessions and president of Vinci airports (Editor’s note. boss of the 53 Vinci airports airports in the world, including twenty in Europe). The opportunity to welcome the resumption of air traffic since the beginning of the year.
At Rennes airport, Friday May 13, 2022, the bagad Kadoudal of Vern-sur-Seiche came to welcome the passengers of the EasyJet flight from Gatewick airport (London, England) to music. © West-France.
Traffic takes off again at the airport
Rennes airport, which had lost altitude during the health crisis, is seeing its attendance take off again. It hopes to approach its 2019 level (800,000 passengers at the time), while it had fallen to 256,532 passengers in 2020, before slowly rising to 394,564 passengers in 2021. Two years of Covid crisis which seriously disrupted activity, in Rennes as elsewhere.
Family photo of the various local players (airport management, Vinci Airports, EasyJet, CCI Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany region), Friday May 13, 2022, for the official inauguration of the Rennes-Gatewick line (London). © West-France.
Now the signals are green. The Rennes platform currently offers around fifteen destinations, including several abroad. After Frankfurt at the beginning of the month with Lufthansa, it is London’s turn to illustrate this rebound. As of mid-March, the British authorities lifted the health restrictions. Travelers no longer have to present a vaccination pass or a negative test, all they need is a passport.
London, a key destination
By serving London Gatwick twice a week on Mondays and Fridays from May 2 until October 28 (and up to five times a week, from the end of June to the beginning of September), EasyJet adds a 6th destination on departure from Rennes, after Geneva, Lyon, Porto, Toulouse and Nice. “This is the result of the excellent relationship between our teams, EasyJet once again proves its interest in the Breton capital”welcomes the direction of the airport.
Michaël Quernez, vice-president of the Brittany region (in the center on the left of the photo) next to Bertrand Godinot, France and Netherlands director of Easyjet. © West-France.
Gatwick is also the second largest airport in the UK, serving 200 destinations in 90 countries. An airport that Vinci Airports “offered” at the end of 2021 through an investment of more than 3 billion euros “for an unlimited period”, underlines Nicolas Notebaert, Managing Director of Vinci Concessions and President of Vinci Airports, who came specially to Rennes, Friday May 13, 2022. The airport subsidiary of the construction group Vinci had already spent a similar sum (3.08 billion euros) in 2013 to acquire ANA, the concessionaire of the ten Portuguese airports, for a period of 50 years.
Bertrand Godinot, France and Netherlands director of EasyJet (left) and Nicolas Notebaert, general manager of Vinci Concessions and president of Vinci Airports, Friday May 13, 2022, at Rennes airport. © West-France.
Bertrand Godinot, EasyJet’s General Manager for France, is also convinced of the success of this new line. “The British will be able to rediscover Brittany, a very popular region across the Channel! » Especially since the recovery of the tourist market is more than anticipated. “We anticipate a very strong summer. We are the first operator between the United Kingdom and France. In 2019, out of a total of 20 million passengers transported by EasyJet, that represented 5 million passengers.insists Bertrand Godinot.
Bertrand Godinot, France and Netherlands director, in Rennes, poses with the flight team from London Gatewick airport on Friday May 13, 2022. © Ouest-France.
In the other direction, the Rennais can again fly directly to London. The destination interests tourists but also businesses, against a backdrop of economic exchanges, even if this market has not yet regained the dynamism of before 2020. “The British market is important for Brittany, it is the first flow of foreign tourists to our regionrecalls Jean-Philippe Crocq, new president of the Ille-et-Vilaine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who made the opening of this airline the first official inauguration of his mandate. 14,000 British residents live in Brittany, 136 Breton municipalities are twinned with England, there are many school exchanges and many companies work with England”.
Rennes-Londres Gatwick with EasyJet, every Monday and Friday. The frequency will increase to five flights per week during the summer, between June and September. Fares from €34 one way. Information and reservations at the EasyJet website.