Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Coronavirus: Orly airport will temporarily close on March 31

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Orly Airport will be temporarily closed to commercial traffic from March 31 at 11:59 p.m. In question, the “major and brutal” collapse of traffic due to the Covid-19, announced Wednesday the management of Groupe ADP (Aéroports de Paris). The Secretary of State for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, had already mentioned this possibility a few days earlier.

“Yesterday, we were at -92% of passenger traffic at Orly and at -89% at Charles-de-Gaulle”, against -75% at Orly and -70% at Charles-de-Gaulle last week, a Airport manager Edward Arkwright explained to reporters.

Activities transferred to Roissy

An airport terminal, located south of Paris, had been closed on March 17. The four companies (out of more than a hundred previously) which currently continue to operate from Orly, will transfer their activities to Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle, the airport north of the capital, from April 1. In Roissy, ADP will only keep terminal 2E (hall K), part of 2F and 2A open, according to La Tribune.

According to a new financial simulation of the ADP group, the drop in traffic is evaluated “at -65% between March and July at all the group’s airports”, which directly or indirectly manages 24 airports around the world, including Paris airports.

The readjusted savings plan

Over the year, at this stage, the drop in traffic would be “around 30%” at the group’s airports, said the director general of ADP. A first savings plan of 180 million euros, including 120 million in Paris, has been readjusted to now amount to 270 million euros, including 125 million in the French capital, not counting the partial unemployment measures which affect 80% of Aéroports de Paris SA staff.

Abroad, “almost all of the group’s airports, excluding Turkish airports, are completely closed,” said Edward Arkwright.

Fewer and fewer French people to repatriate

Regarding air transport, “there is still a very minimal traffic of around 10% which continues to circulate today”, estimated Tuesday the Secretary of State for Transport, announcing a drastic reduction in the number of TGV.

“We have a long-haul activity which remains quite significant, in particular to bring back the French who have been outside our borders for five or six days now,” he observed. Tuesday, “there were still 50,000” out of a total of 130,000, calculated Jean-Baptiste Djebbari. This repatriation, coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is not enough to keep the two Parisian airports open.

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