British Airways says it will not be flying between London City Airport and the Loire Valley in the summer of 2017. The UK flag carrier previously offered summer season services to Angers-Loire Airport, but says the withdrawal of air traffic control services means it will not be doing the same this year.
Aviation authorities in France stopped providing air traffic control at Angers-Loire Airport at the end of last year. The reason behind the move was to reduce expenditure as BA and a charter airline from Poland were the only airlines flying here.
International aviation regulations do allow passenger airlines to fly to airports with unmanned control towers. Airline industry analysts say BA was probably not prepared to take the flak if something went wrong while they were flying somewhere without full air traffic control cover.
Angers-Loire director Jean Pierre Stagnaro said the cancellation of BA’s flights was born out of something trivial but had major ramifications. He added that the airport hoped to attract another airline as the BA service was the only non-stop one from the UK to the Loire Valley.
The airport is on the western edges of the Loire Valley and 25kms from central Angers. Although not as centrally located, airports at locations like Nantes and Rennes do offer alternate choices when flying to the Loire Valley.
Angers itself is noted for its abundant visitor attractions. Highlights of these are the 13th century Chateau d’Angers, Adam’s House, St Aubin Tower, Ronceray Abbey and the fabulous collections housed in the Fine Arts Museum.