EuroAirport Basel–Mulhouse–Freiburg – A Symbol of Swiss and French Unity
The EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg is an international airport located in Saint-Louis, France. Located on the northwestern part of Basel, the southeastern side of Mulhouse and southwestern part of Freiburg, it serves the cities of Basel in Switzerland, Mulhouse situate at France and Freiburg in Germany, hence its name. This airport is owned by the French and Swiss governments and operated by L’administration de l’Aeroport de Bale-Mulhouse. This airport serves as a hub for Belair, operating on Air Berlin’s behalf and easyJet Switzerland. Flights from this airport are usually to European leisure and metropolitan destinations. EuroAirport is today amongst the rare airports that are managed by two countries in unison across world. This airport is governed by the international treaty in 1949. It has its headquarters in Blotzheim, France. The board of EuroAirport consists of 8 members each from Switzerland and France as well as 2 advisers from Germany. The airport, though on French soil and under its jurisdiction, is divided into two sections, the French and Swiss sections. The Swiss section is governed by Swiss laws as it concerns customs, police work and medical services but the French police can carry out random checks on the Swiss section.
The history of this joint airport between Basel Mulhouse and Freiburg goes way back to the 1930s when plans were hatched for the building of a joint Swiss-French Airport. However, these plans could not continued due to the outbreak of the second world war. Upon the conclusion of the war, talks resumed in 1946 and a site was chosen for the airport in Blotzheim, France. France had the duty of providing the site whilst the Swiss canton of Basel-Stadt was to be responsible for the cost of construction. This agreement was made prior to the signing of an international treaty in that respect in 1949. Construction of the airport began in March 1946 and a provisional airport and runway was opened in May of the same year. Extensions to the runway and the construction of custom free roads were carried out during the period of 1951- 1953. Over the decades that followed, the runways and terminals continued to be expanded. This also was replicated in a growth in patronage. The airport received an annual patronage of one million passengers in 1984. This number doubled in 1992 and rose to 3 million in 1993.
In the 2000, an agreement was reached for further enlargement of the terminals. This was completed in two phases. The first was in 2002 whilst the second occurred in 2005. During this period, the largest airline at Basel was Crossair, which made the airport its hub. As a result of the liquidation of Swissair in 2001, the airline’s ensuing termination of services in the next year and lastly, the revolution of Crossair into becoming Swiss International Airlines, there was a fall in the flights leaving Basel. This led to an underutilization of the airport’s new terminal. This however, was temporary. EasyJet made Basel a hub in 2004 and by doing so, improved the total annual number of passengers using the airport again for the first time in a few years. In 2006, 4 million people were accommodated at Base. In 2007 Ryanair commenced 8 routes from the Basel airport. However as a resulting effect of a dispute between the airline and airport over landing fees, Ryanair ended up closing all routes in 2009. In 2013, it became clear that Ryanair intended to return with the new Basel-London-Stansted route and the resumption of the Basel-Dublin route. In December last year, Swiss International Airlines made an announcement of its intention to stop operations at the airport by 31 May 2015. The reason given was the intense competition it faced from low cost carriers.
EuroAirport receives airline fleet travelling to various destinations. It currently serves as a hub for Belair and easyJet Switzerland. It also handles arrivals and departures of airlines ranging from Adria Airways to Austrain Airways, Air Arabia Maroc, Turkish Airlines and SunExpress.
In 1996, the airport received an award as the best regional airport in Europe.
Routes and Destinations
The Basel Airport covers destinations across Europe and the Middle East. Destinations covered include Casablanca, Constantine, Algiers, Vienna, London Heathrow, Dublin, Cluj-Napoca and Brussels. It also handles seasonal charters to destinations such as Rhodes, Pristina, Heraklion, Ajaccio and Figari. According to data gathered early this year, the London airports of Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, City Airport and Stansted remain the busiest airports with total of 311,984 annual departing passengers. This number has risen steadily since 2009.
How to Check-In?
EuroAirport provides its passengers with various alternatives to their check in problems. They are as follows:
· Online check-in – Passengers can check in online through their airline website.
· Self service check in kiosk – Basel airport provides self-service check in kiosks for various airlines to help them perform check in online by themselves.
· Check in counter – check-in counters are available with airline and airport staff ready to assist you check in and make your flight a memorable experience.
Baggage and Allowance
The baggage allowance varies by airline so passengers are advised to find out from their airline the baggage requirements before check in.
Seating depends on the airline. Find out the seating arrangements and options from your airline when booking or during check in.
Although EuroAirport serves a lot of low cost carriers leading to reduced fees, it is advantageous to find out the flight fare from your airline of choice before making a booking.