Un avion de Ryanair va atterrir sur la la piste à Perpignan. 

La tour de contrôle lui dit:  “Donnez-moi votre position et votre hauteur.” 

Le pilote répond :  « Je suis assis et je mesure 1,80m »  

(Atterrir – to land  hauteur – height)

Airport News

with Robbie Shaw

Robbie Shaw lives near Gatwick where he was an Air Traffic Controller and travels regularly to his place in Collioure. His wife describes him as an ‘aviation geek’, just what we need in fact. 🙂

He travels all over the world photographing aircraft, and also keeps you up to date with flights between this region and UK & Irish airports, and any other airport news that seems relevant.


WINTER 2020-2021

Well what can I say? Covid-19 has made this an awful year for air travel and it is no surprise that airline schedules are changing almost every day. Routes that have not been cancelled are being significantly reduced in frequency.   

A word of warning; if the country you are going to introduces quarantine but the flights are not cancelled, there is a chance you will not get your money back, depending on the airline. 

I am writing this in late August, but no doubt within a week there will be changes, so please continually check airline websites. 

The winter season starts on Sunday 25th October, and like previous years the P-O region is poorly served. Some airlines such as Aer Lingus and British Airways are only publishing schedules a few months in advance due to the uncertain conditions.  


Bon voyage and bonne chance!



Sad news is that, yet again, we have a winter with no direct UK flights. Both the Birmingham and Stansted flight cease late October. 


Béziers airport

Like Carcassonne, Ryanair has a free run at this small airport. In the summer five routes were operated, but this has now been cut to just Luton for the winter months.  

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Ryanair remains the sole operator here, down from five routes in the summer to three in the winter.

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Please note, EasyJet have cancelled all Gatwick-Montpellier flights until December.

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Ryanair is the sole operator for P-O readers, but not in the winter.


There tends to be more flights to Toulouse from UK regional airport in the winter due to skiing opportunities, with Andorra not too far away. The Stansted service has increased from two to ten weekly, and there are extra flights throughout the region around Christmas. At the time of writing, many Aer Lingus flights are not listed due to the ever changing situation. The EasyJet service from Luton has been dropped.  

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Overall, there has been another significant increase in flights here. Vueling have increased flights from their Barcelona base to several other UK airports and Dublin whilst EasyJet have closed their bases at Newcastle, Southend and Stansted, and dropped flights to Barcelona from those three points. 

There will now be on average up to 258 flights per week from UK and Irish airports – incredible. 78 of these from Gatwick alone.

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Social distancing at Barcelona airport

It used to be quite pleasant hanging about at Barcelona airport. Test a few perfumes, wander around the shops, enjoy a cold beer and tapas in one of the many snack bars…

But Covid-19 has changed that for most people, so if you can keep your hire car a little longer,  why not wait on the beach? Check out a couple of seaside towns near Barcelona El Prat Airport worth a visit.  

Around 20 minute drive from the airport…. 


Lively and authentic Spanish seaside resort with delightful old town full of attractive buildings, shops and restaurants, bars and museums, pleasant beach and pretty marina. 

Around 25 minute drive from the airport…. 

Vilanova i la Geltrú 

Pretty marina, plenty of shops and great fish restaurants, old walls, medieval castle, museums, ancient church and clean, wide beaches.  

Or just behind the airport… 

El Prat de Llobregat beach 

Long and sandy beach, perfect for ‘plane spotters so you’re sure to get a crick in your neck as they land and take off just over your head every 5 minutes or so! 

(Warning: the area between the airport and the beach is a little dodgy! There are buses but it is suggested that you only choose this option if you can get there by car.) 


After a busy summer with flights scheduled from 17 airports in the UK and Republic of Ireland, the winter of 2019/20 sees a big fat zero in the number of flights. Jet2 are showing a return to the airport from April 2021 from many UK airports.  

Please note that these are the average number of flights per week, and will be variable in the shoulder and peak seasons, that is why you will sometimes see a minimum and maximum number listed. If you think I have missed any, please contact me on info@anglophone-direct.com. Please do bear in mind airline schedules fluctuate.

AIRPORT TRANSPORT (correct early 2018 – please contact us with any new info)



Bus/Train ……. The airport bus from Perpignan railway station takes about 20 mins and runs regularly from app 06.30 to 19.30 Mon to Sat, with a much reduced service on Suns and Holidays.

Taxi..…..3 taxi firms have the right to use the forecourt at Perpignan airport. Prices average about 2€50 per km, so fares for single trips to coastal resorts and the Alberes/Vallespir can be eye-watering !

Car..…… PGF is north of the city near Rivesaltes. Since the recent modernisation, parking supply is ample and costs around 40€ per week.



Bus/Train.….you can travel to Carcassonne railway station from almost any station in P-O, but must usually change at Narbonne. From Carcassonne, there is a shuttle bus that individually connects with each flight departure and arrival. Single fare 5€.

Car.……The airport is right by jcn 23 of the A61 autoroute. There are 3 car parks: short, medium and long stay, and a week in the latter costs 40€.



Bus/Train…….All trains from PO stations to Montpellier and beyond stop at Beziers. From there, there is a shuttle bus that individually connects with each departing and arriving flight. Single fare 1€60.

Car. …..the airport is close to jcn 35 of the A9 autoroute. There is ample parking right next to the terminal and costs 40€ per week.



Bus/train ……… Not an easy airport to access by public transport anymore. A train from Perpignan will take you to Girona station, the easiest option from there being a taxi at around 40 euros. ( price not confirmed).

You can also take a bus to the airport from Girona’s bus station, not far from train station to the Girona Buses run every hour & travel time is 26 minutes. Check bus schedules HERE

Pick up Flixbus directly to the airport from Perpignan. Prices are reasonable but timetable can be constrictive

Car.…….The airport is right by jcn 8 of the AP7 autopista. Several car parking companies exist both on and off the airport, and the official on-airport car park do regular promotions. For example, at the time of writing, a prebooked stay of 7 to 20 days costs a flat 42€.



Train……. The new Barcelona Metro line L9 now serves both Terminal 1 and 2 but only from stations south of the city so is of limited use if coming from P-O . The suburban train R2 Nord runs from Sants station in the city every half hour, but serves only T2 . As regards accessing Barcelona by rail from P-O, there are 4 trains to/from Perpignan daily direct to Sants station, but unfortunately the earliest of these arrives Sants at 12.38 and the latest departs Sants at 16.45. A better bet is Figueres Vilafant (AVE) station which offers a virtually hourly service to Sants from 06.30 to 21.00 daily.

Bus….. The Aerobus runs from the Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona city centre all day every 5 minutes to Terminal 1 and every 10 mins to Terminal 2. Perpicat (see Girona listings) run one morning service direct to Barcelona airport at a single fare of 50€ . There is a free green shuttle bus between terminals.

Car.…… Barcelona airport is on the south of the city just off the C31 autovia. I find that, generally, easiest access is via the AP7 toll road, continuing round the city onto the A2 autovia as far as the C31. Reckon on 2h15 mins from Le Boulou. Once there, parking options are vast. As a rule of thumb, the nearer the airport terminal, the more you’ll pay, but even at popular times you should need to pay no more than 8€ per day. I recommend looking at the official airport site, as there are often deals and promotions. For example at the time of writing prebooked up to 20 day stays in the main T1 multi storey just 3 minutes walk from the terminal were only 75€ ! Another option, particularly if you are catching an early flight is using one of the 4 local hotels that offer free shuttle buses direct to the terminals. You can leave your car free by the hotel, and usually rooms are available booking in advance for about 70€ . Try www.booking.com for details .

As I’ve stressed in this article, pre-booking tends to save you money, so a little pre-planning and flexibility usually pays dividends. But console yourself with the thought that, generally, transport and parking costs are a lot cheaper here than in the UK, where I’ve regularly paid more for my journey from East Anglia to Stansted than for the air ticket from Stansted to Perpignan !


  1. Yes, I’m afraid you’re absolutely right Paul. It was already out of date three days after posting it. As stated at the beginning, it is a daily changing situation, and getting worse and worse. Will we get these cheap flights back eventually? Who knows.

  2. Your Airport News is already out of date. Ryanair is not flying to Beziers or Carcassonne this winter. Moreover it has just published its summer 2021 timetable and it looks as though it won’t be flying to Perpignan from any British airport.

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