Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur heading towards a Business Aviation Ecosystem

Published on 23/05/2014 at 18:53 • Updated on 15/12/2014 at 12:26


Issued: May, 23th 2014

Sky Valet (skyvalet.com)

The activity of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA) is structured around two major centres: commercial aviation and general aviation, two complementary activities that reinforce one another. 

Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur manages Nice Côte d’Azur, Cannes Mandelieu and, since July 2013, Saint-Tropez airports.

In 2014, the company confirms its move towards business aviation. It is currently Europe’s Number 2 business aviation hub. Located in the heart of the French Riviera, one of the most attractive regions in the world for business and tourism between Saint-Tropez and Monaco, this exclusive territory hosts worldwide events: the Cannes International Film Festival, the Monte Carlo Formula 1 Grand Prix, the MIPIM (International Market for Exclusive Real Estate), the Cannes Yacht Show, the Monte Carlo Yacht Show, etc.

Our region is connected to the rest of the world by 3 international airports all operated by ACA, representing one of the most important airport general aviation groups for in Europe.

Welcome to Europe’s Number 2 business aviation hub

Nice Côte d’Azur, Cannes-Mandelieu and Golfe de Saint-Tropez airports are the destinations most on demand in summer. Together they account for almost 50,000operations for business aircraft and more than20,000 operations for private helicopters. Altogether, these three airports contribute more than €7.28 billions annually to the economy of the south of France and support 5,300 direct jobs.

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has a General Aviation Terminal where 3 FBOs perform more than 32,000 operations per year. Two repair stations (Dassault and Bombardier) for light maintenance are based here. Nice is the second airport in France in terms of Business Aviation traffic, as well as for commercial traffic. From Nice Airport, Monaco can be reached within just 6 minutes by helicopter. More than 23,000 helicopter movements transport 64,000 passengers every year, this dense traffic making the Nice-Monaco connection the first commercial helicopter line throughout the world. In 2013, Nice Côte d'Azur experienced a 2.8% rise in traffic. The key to this success was the good performance of high end services, Long Range and Global Jet (from Falcons to private Boeings) traffic being up by 7%.

Cannes Mandelieu Airport is entirely dedicated to General Aviation. More than 70,000 operations are performed there every year. Business Aviation represents more than 13,000 operations of aircraft and 13,000 of helicopters. More than 220 aircraft are based there, as well as few MROs such as Cessna, Bombardier, Dassault, Cannes Aviation, and flight and training schools.

The Golfe de Saint-Tropez Airport,also dedicated to General Aviation, is the gateway to the iconic and eponymous peninsula, THE place to be in the summer. It performs 3,000 yearly operations on aircraft and the same number on helicopters. The airport has 3 summer connections: Nice by helicopter, and Geneva and Sion in Switzerland by aircraft.Saint-Tropez Airport has recorded the most remarkable progression, with traffic up by 11% in 2013.

In 2013 ACA speeded up its policy of external growth through the acquisition of 99.99% of the shares of Aéroport du Golfe de Saint-Tropez (AGST) belonging to the Group Reybier, majority shareholder for a decade and a half. This operation is part of the group's development strategy, focused on improving reception capacity for general aviation on the French and Italian Riviera and building up a geographically consistent offer. Saint-Tropez is a new high-end destination in its portfolio allowing it to offer customers high quality services and standards across all of its platforms.

This reasonably-sized airport is only 15 to 45 minutes away from most of the region's major business centres, and is thus an asset to the area much appreciated by business travellers.

Together with Nice Cote d'Azur and Cannes Mandelieu, the Golfe de Saint-Tropez airport makes up a business aviation hub for Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur.

The Group's transformation:spectacular take-off towards high-end services

“Nice being the most important Business Aviation airport in terms of traffic in summer, it was mandatory for Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur to provide clients with an exquisite quality of service, matching the French Riviera’s prestige,” states Dominique Thillaud, Chairman of the Board of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur.

Introducing Sky Valet , ACA’s new Business Aviation brand defining a Premium travel experience

Our goals to become also a service provider, with the Cannes and Saint-Tropez teams joining the ranks of the Nice staff in working in the same assistance-provision activity, and aiming for excellence. Our goal is to provide business aviation customers with all the services they can expect: tailored services from a provider they can rely on.

"Our role is to promote and assist the development of general aviation by providing our three assistance provider partners -Landmark, Swissport Executive and Aviapartner Executive- with the necessary tools for better aircraft handling. To be the facilitator of their activity by supporting the development of General Aviation, in partnership with them. And the partners will very quickly benefit from the new Business Aviation Terminal facilities, with new areas intended for luxury retail. We have a single motto:we must move upscale!" statesMichel Tohane, Business Unit General Aviation Director.

To deliver a level of requirement worthy of these globe-trotting passengers familiar with the laws of supply and demand,Aéroports de la Côte d’Azurhas created one tool:Sky Valet.This is a premium brand capable of providing the right services and facilitating a door-to-door path (aircraft, helicopter) for business passengers. It promises to make each passenger remember the time spent at ACA airports and has the sole ambition of becoming Europe's leading provider of quality service for general aviation.

Sky Valet has its own visual identity to embody this strategic activity of FBO, the second "pillar" of the ACA ecosystem.

The dedicated website  www.skyvalet.com  brings together all our services on the 3 airports, as well as the specific contacts to promote a direct link with the clients (who can make their FBO request at Cannes Mandelieu, for instance, directly online).

ACA ramps things up joining forces with the best Business Aviation partners 

In order to make a difference and offer a better service to its customers, ACA has built partnerships with strategic General Aviation’s big players to gain best practices and expand its network internationally. All this in pursuit of a single goal: to surprise our clients with a delightful experience!

Bombardier to expand support in Nice and Cannes Mandelieu airports.

The world’s only manufacturer of both planes and trains plans to establish a permanent presence at Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur to support on-site AOG/return to service capabilities for all Bombardier business jets.

On –site support to serve as extension of Bombardier’s Amsterdam Service Centre capabilities. 

May 20, 2014 - Sister Airport Relationship signed with Morristown Airport, linking the U.S. and France through the two gateway airports

Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU) is one of New Jersey’s busiest business aviation airports in the New York Metropolitan area. With U.S. Customs and Border Protection available onsite, international corporate travellers find MMU to be the most convenient choice when visiting New York City and Northern New Jersey destinations.

The relationship will foster the opportunity for both airports to collaborate on airport and business development projects and enhance customer service for the business aviation community. Both airports have Customs clearing capabilities for passengers and crew, allowing direct business flights between New York and Nice.

This agreement with Morristown fits in perfectly with the business aviation hub policy ACA wishes to implement.

May 12, 2014 - The Allen Groupe, leader in aircraft technical cleaning, chooses Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur to open a new base in Nice and Cannes.

The Allen Groupe, operating in the most prestigious World General Aviation airports, offering performing services of exterior cleaning and cosmetic polishing, interior cleaning and carpet extraction, was lacking a presence on the French Riviera.

The Allen Groupe makes a difference using aviation-approved products and highly trained technicians for demanding General Aviation clients, a key target dear to ACA, expanding its General Aviation centre around an exquisite quality of service.

 The various customers of Nice Airport will benefit from The Allen Groupe services and experience,offering a high quality level of services to promote the airports’ benefits to a wider customer audience.

Now is the right time to expand the Allen Groupe’s geographical position to be able to provide a worry-free experience in the South of France.

May 2014 - securing the Nice Business Aviation Terminal and creating luxury shops in public areas

With a view to further improving conditions at Nice Cote d'Azur, in 2014 Aéroports de la Côte d'Azur has continued to work on the Business Aviation Terminal, in particular securing access to it. The aim was to enclose the space, making it secure and private. Two automatic gates equipped with a videophone and digital license plates recognition system have been installed at the entrance to the terminal. Pedestrian access is also protected by a gate, badge reader and remote monitoring. The last feature of this operation is the creation of a specific VIP access leading to the VIP lounges of Terminal 2

In Nice, the dedicated terminal now has a new retail offer with two luxury shops: Petrossian and Vilebrequin. The existing offer (jewellery) has been expanded to include wine and liquor, perfumes and top of range items.

ACA's goal is to provide, at its three airports, a bold, unique and innovative shopping offering goes beyond classic retail to ensure customers enjoy Europe's most surprising experience. New features are also to be expected on the Cannes Mandelieu and Saint-Tropez platforms.

May 2014- Launch of our new Business Aviation Magazine, Private Skies

To keep pace with the spectacular take-off towards high-end services, Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has chosen to gain altitude and is heading forPrivate Skies. A name all the more relevant for ACA as the beating heart of French Riviera air travel.

Private Skiesis our new magazine, dedicated to these premium settings of sheer luxury, that will accompany the revamping of the three ACA’s Business Aviation airports, from the choice of boutiques to the facilities designed for the comfort of its Business aviation customers.

Distribution: bi-annual / offered only within our Business Aviation platforms at Nice, Cannes Mandelieu and Saint-Tropez.