There Regional Chamber of Accounts of Occitanie emphasized the “fragility” of the’Béziers-Cap d’Agde airport (Hérault), confronted with a heavy structural deficitto one strong dependence on Ryanair requirements.
Mainly welcoming tourists from northern Europe (United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, northern France) attracted by the Mediterranean coast, the small airport, located between Béziers and the seaside resort of Cap d’Agde, records no just over 200,000 passengers per year, the Audit Chamber indicated this week in a report covering the years 2017 and following. Owned since 2009 by a mixed union made up of three agglomeration communities, a community of communes, the department of Hérault and the Occitanie region, united in a mixed union, it is “strongly competed» by five other airports located less than 100 kilometers away, including those of Montpellier and especially Toulouse.
For the period 2017-2019, Béziers airport presents “an annual operating deficit of 4.7 million euros, overcompensated by public contributions of 5.1 million euros, or 20.69 euros per passenger”, and is therefore, like many small airports in Europe, “very far from the threshold of one million passengers allowing a balance to be considered» to “cshort, medium and long term», Estimated the Chamber of Auditors. The financing of this deficit by public authorities places the joint union “in a fragile position“, which is largely explained by the “very advantageous financial conditions» which benefits the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair which serves the small airport.
Furthermore, the “airport activity» in Béziers could be “called into question by the ongoing investigation by the European Commission“, following a “complaint filed by Air France» for unfair competition, warned the Chamber of Auditors, while a regime authorizing certain public aid to small European airports must in principle end in April 2024.