EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg

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Basel Mulhouse Freiburg

Aéroport de Bâle-Mulhouse
Flughafen Basel-Mülhausen
Basel airport logo.png
Aéroport Bâle-Mulhouse 2.jpg
Airport type International
Owner France and Swiss canton of Basel-City
Operator L'administration de l’Aéroport de Bâle-Mulhouse
Serves Basel, Switzerland
Mulhouse, France
Freiburg, Germany
Location Saint-Louis, France
Hub for easyJet Switzerland
Elevation AMSL 885 ft / 270 m
Coordinates 47°35′24″N 007°31′45″E / 47.59000°N 7.52917°E / 47.59000; 7.52917Coordinates: 47°35′24″N 007°31′45″E / 47.59000°N 7.52917°E / 47.59000; 7.52917
BSL/MLH/EAP is located in Alsace
Location of airport in Alsace region
Direction Length Surface
m ft
15/33 3,900 12,795 Concrete
08/26 1,820 5,971 Concrete
Statistics (2016)
Passengers 7,314,269
Freight (tons) 101,050
Aircraft movements 95,542
Sources: French AIP,[2] airport's annual report[3] and French AIP at EUROCONTROL[4]

EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (IATA: MLH, BSL, EAPICAO: LFSB, LSZM)[note 1][1] is an international airport 3.5 km (2.2 mi) northwest of Basel in Switzerland, 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Mulhouse in France, and 46 km (29 mi) south-southwest of Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany. It is located in France, on the administrative territory of the commune of Saint-Louis near the Swiss and German borders. The airport serves as a base for easyJet Switzerland and Belair, which operates on behalf of Air Berlin, and features mainly flights to European metropolitan and leisure destinations.


Early years[edit]

Aerial view

Plans for the construction of a joint Swiss–French airport started in the 1930s, but were halted by the Second World War. Swiss planners identified Basel as one of the four cities for which a main urban airport would be developed, but recognized that the existing airfield at Sternenfeld in Birsfelden was too small and, due development of the adjacent river port facilities, unsuitable for expansion. The suburb of Allschwil was proposed for a new airport, but this would require being constructed across the Franco-Swiss border, leading to talks with French authorities centered developing a single airport that would serve both countries, enhancing its international airport status.[5]

In 1946 talks resumed and it was agreed that an airport would be built 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north of Blotzheim, France. France would provide the land and the Swiss canton of Basel-Stadt would cover the construction costs. Basel-Stadt's Grand Council agreed to pay the costs for a provisional airport even before an international treaty was signed (which was not until 1949). Construction began on 8 March 1946 and a provisional airport with a 1,200-metre (3,900 ft) runway was officially opened on 8 May.

Between autumn 1951 and spring 1953, the east–west runway was extended to 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) and the "Zollfreistrasse" (customs-free road) was constructed, allowing access from Basel to the departure terminal without passing through French border controls.

The first enlargement project was approved by referendum in Basel in 1960 and, over the following decades, the terminals and runways were continually extended. The north–south runway was extended further to 3,900 metres (12,800 ft) in 1972. In 1984, an annual total of 1 million passengers was reached. In 1987, the trademark name EuroAirport Basel–Mulhouse–Freiburg was introduced.[6]

In 1992 a total of 2 million passengers used the airport. By 1998, this number rose up to 3 million.

Development in the 2000s[edit]

A decision was made to enlarge the terminals again with a new "Y-finger" dock. The first phase was completed in 2002 and the second phase in 2005.

Crossair was based at Basel and was its largest airline. Following the Swissair liquidation in 2001, the subsequent ending of services in early 2002, and the transformation of Crossair into Swiss International Air Lines, the number of flights from Basel fell and the new terminal was initially underused. In 2004 the low cost carrier EasyJet opened a base at Basel and the passenger totals rose again, reaching 4 million in 2006.

From 2007 until 2009, Ryanair also flew to the airport for the first time. However, as result of a dispute over landing fees, the airline closed all eight routes.[7] More recently Ryanair announced it would return in April 2014, with the resumption of Basel–Dublin route as well as the new route Basel – London–Stansted. Since then, Ryanair has hinted at the possibility of adding new routes in the foreseeable future.

In December 2014, Swiss International Air Lines announced it would cease all operations at Basel by 31 May 2015 due to heavy competition from low-cost carriers.[8] Swiss faced direct competition on five out of its six Basel routes, all of which were operated by Swiss Global Air Lines. The Lufthansa Group announced it would set up Eurowings' first base outside Germany at the EuroAirport as a replacement. However these plans were later cancelled in favour of Vienna International Airport.[9]

In January 2017, it has been announced that Air Berlin including its Swiss subsidiary Belair are cancelling Basel/Mulhouse from their schedules entirely as part of restructuring measures.[10]

International status[edit]

EuroAirport is one of the few airports in the world operated jointly by two countries[citation needed], in this case France and Switzerland. It is governed by a 1949 international convention. The headquarters of the airport's operations are located in Blotzheim, France.[11] The airport is located completely on French soil; the airport has a Swiss customs area connected to Basel by a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) long customs road. The airport is operated via a state treaty established in 1946 wherein the two countries (Switzerland and France) are granted access to the airport without any customs or other border restrictions. The airport's board has 8 members each from France and Switzerland and two advisers from Germany.[12]

The airport building is split into two separate sections – Swiss and French. Though the whole airport is on French soil and under French jurisdiction, the Swiss authorities have the authority to apply Swiss laws regarding customs, medical services and police work in the Swiss section, including the customs road connecting Basel with the airport. However, French police are allowed to execute random checks in the Swiss section as well.[12] With Switzerland joining the Schengen Treaty in March 2009, the air side was rearranged to include a Schengen and non-Schengen zone.[13] Travellers departing from the airport into non-Schengen countries may receive either the Swiss or the French passport stamp, according to their entry choice.

Due to its international status, EuroAirport has three IATA airport codes: BSL (Basel) is the Swiss code, MLH (Mulhouse) is the French code and EAP (EuroAirport) is the neutral code.[1] The ICAO airport code is: LFSB, sometimes LSZM is used to designate the Swiss airport.[2]


The EuroAirport consists of a single terminal building, a brick-style main area with four levels and the Y-shaped gate area attached to it. The basement (Level 1) contains the access to the car park, the ground level (Level 2) features the arrivals facilities. Level 3 sees the check-in area divided into halls 1-4 while the departure gates are located at Level 4. The gate area features gates 1-2, 20-46, 60-61 and 78-87 of which gates 22-32 are used for non-Schengen flights.[14] Six of the boarding gates feature jet bridges, the others are used for walk- or bus-boarding. As described above, the landside areas are uniquely divided into a French and a Swiss part.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


The following airlines offer regular scheduled and charter flights at the EuroAirport:[15]

Airlines Destinations
Aigle Azur Algiers, Constantine, Oran, Sétif
Air Algérie Constantine
Air Arabia Maroc Casablanca
Air France
operated by HOP!
Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air Transat Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau
Air VIA Seasonal charter: Burgas
Austrian Airlines Vienna
British Airways London–Heathrow
Brussels Airlines Brussels
easyJet Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bristol, Berlin–Schönefeld, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Lisbon, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, Manchester, Naples, Toulouse, Venice
easyJet Switzerland Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin–Schönefeld, Bordeaux, Brindisi, Brussels, Budapest, Catania, Copenhagen, Dresden, Edinburgh, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Hamburg, Kraków, Lanzarote, Larnaca, Lisbon, London–Gatwick, Madrid, Malaga, Marrakech, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Porto, Prague, Pristina, Rome-Fiumicino, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Tenerife–South, Toulouse, Venice
Seasonal: Ajaccio, Bastia, Biarritz (begins 28 June 2017), Cagliari, Dubrovnik (begins 28 June 2017),[16] Faro, Figari, Ibiza, Mykonos, Olbia, Pisa, Reykjavík–Keflavík, Split, Thessaloniki
Eurowings Düsseldorf
Seasonal: Palma de Mallorca (begins 2 July 2017)[17]
Iberia Madrid
operated by KLM Cityhopper
Lufthansa Regional
operated by Lufthansa CityLine
Frankfurt, Munich
Niki Seasonal: Heraklion, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca
operated by Belair
Gran Canaria, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife-South (all end 30 October 2017)[18]
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Ryanair Dublin, London–Stansted
SkyWork Airlines London-City
Seasonal: Heringsdorf, Jersey, Sylt
SunExpress Antalya
Seasonal: Izmir
TUI fly Deutschland Agadir, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria
Seasonal: Boa Vista, Corfu, Funchal, Heraklion, Kos, Marrakech, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes, Sal, Tenerife–South
Tunisair Djerba
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk
Vueling Barcelona
Wizz Air Belgrade, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Niš, Ohrid, Osijek, Skopje, Sofia, Tuzla, Warsaw-Chopin


Airlines Destinations
AirBridgeCargo Airlines Moscow-Sheremetyevo[19]
ASL Airlines Belgium Liège
DHL Aviation Leipzig/Halle
DHL Aviation
operated by Atlantic Airlines
East Midlands
DHL Aviation
operated by Bluebird Cargo
Geneva, Leipzig/Halle
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai–Al Maktoum[20]
FedEx Feeder
operated by ASL Airlines Ireland
Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Korean Air Cargo Seoul–Incheon, Vienna
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha, Brussels
UPS Airlines
operated by ASL Airlines Switzerland
Cologne/Bonn, Geneva, Sarajevo[21][22]


Route statistics[edit]

Busiest routes at EuroAirport Basel–Mulhouse–Freiburg Airport (2014) [23]
Rank City Total departing passengers
1 Germany Berlin 444,252
2 United Kingdom London (Heathrow) 245,162
3 Netherlands Amsterdam 157,285
4 Spain Palma de Mallorca 144,827
5 France Paris (Paris-Orly, Paris-Charles de Gaulle) 140,826
6 Turkey Istanbul (Istanbul-Atatürk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen) 135,043
7 Germany Hamburg 132,320
8 Spain Barcelona 124,423
9 Turkey Antalya 104,037
10 Kosovo Pristina 86,951
11 United Kingdom Edinburgh 80,861
12 Portugal Porto 80,190
13 France Nice 76,644
14 Germany Frankfurt 73,175
15 Belgium Brussels 67,839

Passenger development[edit]

EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Passenger Totals 1950-2015 (millions)[24][25]
Updated: 19 January 2017

Other facilities[edit]

Swiss International Air Lines head office at EuroAirport
  • The headquarters of Swiss International Air Lines and Swiss Global Air Lines are on the grounds at EuroAirport Basel–Mulhouse–Freiburg in the Swiss section of the airport; even though the airport is within France, the Swiss head office is only accessible from Switzerland.[26][27] The Swiss division Swiss Aviation Software has its head office there as well.[28]
  • Farnair Switzerland formerly had its head office at EuroAirport. As in the case of the Swiss head office, the area with the former Farnair head office may only be accessed from Switzerland.[29] The head office moved to its current location, the Villa Guggenheim in Allschwil, in proximity to EuroAirport, on 1 October 2011.[30]
  • Hello, a now defunct Swiss airline, had its head office in the General Aviation area of EuroAirport.[31]
  • Prior to the formation of Swiss International Air Lines, the regional airline Crossair was headquartered on the grounds of EuroAirport.[32] Prior to its dissolution, Crossair Europe was headquartered on the grounds of EuroAirport as well.[33]

Ground transportation[edit]


Location of the airport relative to Basel and its surroundings

The airport is connected to motorway A3 which leads from Basel to the southeast of Switzerland passing Zürich.


There are several bus connections to and from the EuroAirport to all three countries around it:

  • On the Swiss exit Basel's BVB bus No. 50[34] connects the airport to Bahnhof SBB, which is the main Swiss and French railway station in Basel. During weekdays, there is a service every 7–8 minutes and on weekends, every 10 minutes during daytime. The duration of the trip is about 20 minutes. On the day of a visitor's arrival to Basel, a reservation confirmation from a local hotel guarantees a free transfer by public transport from the station or the EuroAirport to the hotel.[35]
  • On the French exit Saint-Louis' distribus bus No. 11[36] connects the airport to the gare SNCF, Saint-Louis's railway station in 10 minutes.
  • The German private bus company Flixbus calls Zürich, Basel and Freiburg i.Br. up to five times a day. FlixBus however only serves the French exit of the airport. Serving Swiss destinations from the French part of the airport is a questionable legal trick, as people transport by foreign companies inside of Switzerland is illegal without official authorization due to cabotage regulations, which will not be granted by Swiss authorities on routes already supported by tax-financed public services. It's illegal to travel between Swiss destinations only. Police started to do random checks and to fine failing travelers. Serving Swiss destinations from abroad however is compliant.[37][38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ IATA airport 3-letter codes for the French area, the Swiss area, and the metropolitan area


  1. ^ a b c "Airline and Airport Code Search: 3-letter airport code". Quebec, Canada: International Air Transport Association (IATA). Retrieved 2014-11-06. Search for location 
  2. ^ a b LFSB – BÂLE-MULHOUSE. AIP from French Service d'information aéronautique, effective 22 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Annual Report 2013 (2/3): Key Figures" (PDF) (annual report) (in French, German, and English). l’Aéroport de Bâle-Mulhouse. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  4. ^ EAD Basic Archived 23 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Bell, E. A. (10 May 1945). "Swiss Planning". Flight and Aircraft Engineer. Royal Aero Club. XLVII (1898): 501. Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "EuroAirport - Serving the needs of the RegioTriRhena". EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Ryanair verlässt den EuroAiport". Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Kurznachrichten: SWISS verlässt Basel, Regierungsterminal in Berlin und Fluggastzahlen von Air France". Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Lufthansa-Billigairline: Eurowings: Wien statt Basel - aeroTELEGRAPH". aeroTELEGRAPH. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Das Streckennetz der new airberlin -". Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
  11. ^ "General conditions of use Archived 28 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine.". EuroAirport. Retrieved on 24 September 2009. "The Site is published by Basel–Mulhouse Airport, a Franco-Swiss public enterprise governed by the international convention of 4 July 1949 concerning its construction and operation and the headquarters of which are situated at 68730 Blotzheim, France".
  12. ^ a b "Schweizerisch-Französischer Staatsvertrag vom 4. Juli 1949 (Höflichkeitsübersetzung)" (in German). EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. 1 November 2006. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  13. ^ "Terminal plan". EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  14. ^ "Terminalplan". Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Timetable". Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Book direct for our guaranteed cheapest prices -". Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  18. ^
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2015-04-15. 
  24. ^ "Statistiken des EuroAirport - Statistiken des Flughafens Basel-Mulhouse". Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  25. ^ Peter Sennhauser, David Bauer. "Mehr Passagiere, weniger Flugzeuge, mehr Klagen: Die Entwicklung des EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse in sieben Grafiken -  TagesWoche ". Tageswoche. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  26. ^ "Facts and figures Archived 1 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine.". Swiss International Air Lines. Retrieved on 13 June 2009.
  27. ^ "Swiss International Air Lines Basel Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.". Swiss International Air Lines. Retrieved on 24 September 2009.
  28. ^ "CONTACT". Swiss Aviation Software. Retrieved on 17 September 2011. "Swiss AviationSoftware Ltd. BSLSAS/MA P.O.Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland Marketing & Administration" The location is implied by this picture which is of the Swiss head office at Basel Airport.
  29. ^ "How to find us". Farnair Europe. Retrieved on 8 December 2010.
  30. ^ "Contact Us". (Archived 20 February 2012 at WebCite) Farnair Switzerland. Retrieved on 19 February 2012.
  31. ^ "Hello Location Archived 10 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine.". (Direct image link[dead link]) Hello. Retrieved on 1 July 2010.
  32. ^ "Location". Crossair. Retrieved on 13 June 2009.
  33. ^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. 23–29 March 2004. 58.
  34. ^ "BVB – Line network". Basel, Switzerland: BVB. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  35. ^ "Mobility Ticket". Basel, Switzerland: Basel Tourismus. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  36. ^ "distribus ligne 11" (PDF). Saint-Louis, France: distribus. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  37. ^ Petar Marjanovic (16 June 2016). "Umstrittene SBB-Konkurrenz: Bund will Fernbus-Tricksern an den Kragen". Blick (in German). Zurich, Switzerland. Retrieved 2016-07-03. 
  38. ^ SDA/gr (10 November 2016). "Bundesrat über Fernbus-Trickser: Verstösse kaum nachzuweisen!". Blick (in German). Zurich, Switzerland. Retrieved 2016-07-03. 

External links[edit]

Media related to EuroAirport at Wikimedia Commons