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Closure of Nimes airport


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A worrying mail I received today :

You may have heard that the airport Garons of Nimes is threaten to be closed from the end of this month of January.

Like me, I think you will be angry to hear this news.

On behalf of all BritsNimes memebers, other English speaking people of the region which regularly use the airport, I am taking action to prevent this happening.

I am preparing a letter which will be delivered to the CCI, maire of

Nimes and the Agglomeration of Nimes offices tomorrow. This same letter will also be given to the Midi Libre, Radio France Bleue et France 3. The letter will state our feelings about this proposed closure and state the benfits which the Gard would lose as a result.

I am in contact with the directorice of the Airport itself, who has

indicated that the employees have threaten to strike from Monday

morning the 24th of January.

It's a real shame as today Wednesday at 1pm at the Place de la

Maison-Carrée, 50 free ryanair tickets are to be given to the public

to celebrate the 600,000th passenger since they started coming to

Nimes in June 2000. By the way to get one you must be wearing Blue & Yellow, the Ryanair colours!!

Please feel free to share you support for my actions by email contact@britsnimes.com .


Robin Boxall

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"It's a real shame as today Wednesday at 1pm at the Place de la
Maison-Carrée, 50 free ryanair tickets are to be given to the public
to celebrate the 600,000th passenger since they started coming to
Nimes in June 2000."

It might have been interesting to have established for which route these tickets were valid as Ryannair currently have no flights to Nimes. I always found it strange that Ryannair operated to both Montpellier and Nimes bearing in mind that the driving time between these airports was about 30 minutes. I wonder if Ryannair has or is pulling out of Nimes  has led to the proposed closure of the Airport.

I hope your efforts to prevent the closure are successful.



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actually Ryanair are listing Nimes Stansted, Nimes Luton and Nimes Liverpool for June 2005.

The problem, I think, lies with Nimes airport. Some local carriers went bust last year, AF don't use it, not even sure if they have holiday charters. So it is just Ryanair and has been only 1 flight per day during the winter.

And in 2005 Marseille is going to open a low cost, EU only terminal. Marseille is probably not much more than 30 mins away from Nimes airport, too !

It isn't critical as we still have quite a few other airports within a couple of hours drive ( http://www.the-languedoc-page.com/languedoc-tourism-air.htm ), but Nimes was marginally closest to me (about 25mins away)!


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Presumably Nimes-Garons will continue as a military, and perhaps private, airport. It's just the commercial flights that are threatened, with those only being operated by Ryanair apparently.

One assumes Ryanair pay minimal airport charges in comparison to the likes of Marseille. This suggests the real issue with Nimes airport is the cost to the local taxpayer.


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Update from Robin Boxall :

Yes in fact it appears that things are moving positively towards a


It appears that at the meeting this morning, it was decided to set up a consortium of the different areas which benefit from the airport, who then will try to collect the money required to keep the airport open & Ryanair paid up.

So the strike is now off, the employees are happy that the different

authorities are starting to talk and find a solution.

I would like to thank you all very much for you help. Our actions of

delivering our letter to the Mairies, and others involved did make an

impact, waking them up to the problem.

In fact the letter is to be printed in the Midi Libre Sunday or Monday

(not sure which edition), so keep a look out.

Of course, It is too early to say that it is completely saved until the

new consortium have publicly stated that they have come up with the required finance.

Please forward this first piece of news to all you have contacted these

past two days.


Robin Boxall

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According to current summer booking info, Ryanair plan to be operating to Nimes from Stansted with an evening departure, from Luton late morning and from Liverpool (not daily) late afternoon.

Of course no guarantees that this will actually occur. The basis of "low cost" airlines is that their sole purpose of being in business is to generate profits. Costs are incurred to provide the "end to end" service the customer (passenger) needs, which is transportation from outside one airport perimeter to outside another.  SOMEone has to supply and  pay for everything involved in the chain, the O'Leary trick is to pretend to the passenger that it's only him when it comes to taking the money in, and washing their hands of any responsibility or payment for anything other than the most basic operation of the aircraft, as far as the suppliers of everything else are concerned.

Without knowing anything about the actual situation at Nimes I imagine the problem is whether the "total benefit less costs" of having a passenger facility there is turning out to be negative. The local community knows what the costs are because they are paying them e.g. reduced wages for staff? but the benefits are spread around a whole lot more people who haven't contributed enough - or even at all - up to now. (Including maybe a lot of Ryanair passengers on 99p tickets!)

Hope they can come to a decent agreement which will keep the service going ....   

Steve L

retired BA, pilot, union rep and occasional management.



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