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Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur: despite Covid, a successful 2021 on many fronts


Nice airport has published its 2021 results in terms of traffic and sustainable development.

Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur published their annual report for the previous year this January. Despite traffic being heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, they were able to pursue an ambitious and innovative carbon emissions reduction strategy.


Traffic is on the rise again compared with 2020 (50.9% fewer domestic flights and 77.7% fewer international flights than in 2019). Nice Côte d’Azur Airport welcomed 6.54 million passengers, i.e. a recovery rate of 45% compared to 2019’s reference, and announced the regular creation of new routes.

“The upswing in passenger traffic (…) attests to how attractive our region is, and to the airlines’ and passengers’ confidence in the health safety measures that have been implemented,” explained Franck Goldnadel, chairman of the  Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur board.

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Priority: reducing carbon emissions

Despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, the airport has not lost sight of its sustainability goals. Nice Côte d’Azur, Cannes – Mandelieu and Golfe de Saint-Tropez airports are the only three in France to have obtained Airport Carbon Accreditation level 4+.

This means that the airport has managed to reduce its carbon emissions (-4.4%) and offset them, for example by installing plant-based carbon sinks. “Receiving the level 4+ Airport Carbon Accreditation isn’t a greenwashing operation. (…) This is the course of history, and we want to be the leading laboratory in this field” Franck Goldnadel declared.

Côte d’Azur Airports are also particularly active on the subject of the aviation of the future. In 2021, Prince Albert II of Monaco was the first head of state to take a 100% electric flight from Nice airport. This type of aircraft is set to be more and more popular in flying clubs.

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2021 also saw another sustainability first: an Air France commercial flight between Nice and Paris took on board 30% biofuel. The chairman of the board of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur believes that “In the future, low-emission aeroplanes will take off and land on totally neutral airports.”,