EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Basel Mulhouse Freiburg

Aéroport de Bâle-Mulhouse

Flughafen Basel-Mülhausen
Basel airport logo.png
Aéroport Bâle-Mulhouse 2.jpg
Airport typeInternational
OwnerFrance and Swiss canton of Basel-City
OperatorL'administration de l'Aéroport de Bâle-Mulhouse
ServesBasel, Switzerland
Mulhouse, France
Freiburg, Germany
LocationSaint-Louis, France
Hub for
Elevation AMSL885 ft / 270 m
Coordinates47°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
BSL/MLH/EAP is located in France
Location of airport in France
BSL/MLH/EAP is located in Switzerland
Location of airport near Switzerland
BSL/MLH/EAP is located in Germany
Location of airport near Germany
BSL/MLH/EAP is located in Europe
BSL/MLH/EAP (Europe)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
15/33 3,900 12,795 Concrete
08/26 1,820 5,971 Concrete
Statistics (2019)
Freight (tons)110,129
Aircraft movements99,313
Sources: French AIP,[2] airport's annual report[3] and French AIP at EUROCONTROL[4]

EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (IATA: MLH, BSL, EAP, ICAO: LFSB)[note 1][1] is an international airport in the French Alsace region, in the administrative commune of Saint-Louis near the border tripoint between France, Germany, and Switzerland. It is 3.5 km (2.2 mi) northwest of the city of Basel, Switzerland, 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Mulhouse in France, and 46 km (29 mi) south-southwest of Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany. The airport is jointly administered by France and Switzerland, governed by a 1949 international convention. The airport serves as a base for easyJet Switzerland and mainly features flights to European metropolitan and leisure destinations.


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, and recognized that the existing airfield at Sternenfeld in Birsfelden was too small and, due to development of the adjacent river port facilities, unsuitable for expansion. The suburb of Allschwil was proposed for a new airport, and 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

In December 1998, Swissair inaugurated service to Newark. Aircraft that plied the route included Airbus A310s and A330s.[7][8] According to the local newspaper bz Basel, Swissair mainly launched the link to prevent another airline from starting it first.[9] The newspaper was possibly referring to Swiss World Airways, which had expressed its desire to connect the two cities. Swiss law stipulated that if a carrier based in the country introduced a route, no other Swiss airline could add that route to its network for ten years.[10][11] Swissair also hoped the flight would attract people working for pharmaceutical companies in Basel.[9] Crossair, a subsidiary of Swissair, code-shared on the route. The carrier operated a hub at the EuroAirport, from which it flew to 40 regional destinations. As a result, passengers travelling between Newark and one of those cities could change planes in Basel.[12]

Development in the 2000s[edit]

Swissair announced in early 2000 that the connection to Newark would conclude in March.[8][13] By this point, Swiss World Airways had shut down.[7] Swissair explained that the flights suffered from low occupancy, although a bz Basel journalist commented that the airline did not advertise them well.[9][13]

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 the largest airline at the Basel airport. 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.[14] More recently Ryanair announced it would return in April 2014, with the resumption of Basel–Dublin route as well as a short-lived revival of the Basel – London–Stansted route. Ryanair added a Basel-Zagreb route in December 2021.[15]

In May 2008, Air Transat commenced seasonal service to Montreal, Canada.[16][17]

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.[18] 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.[19]

In January 2017, the removal of Basel/Mulhouse from Air Berlin and its Swiss subsidiary Belair's route networks was announced.[20]

International status[edit]

EuroAirport is one of the few airports in the world operated jointly by two countries,[21] 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.[22] The airport is located completely on French soil; it also has a Swiss customs border and is connected to the Swiss customs area by a 2.5-kilometre (1.6 mi)-long customs-free road to Basel, allowing air travellers access into Switzerland bypassing French customs clearance. 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 eight members each from France and Switzerland and two advisers from Germany.[23]

The airport building is split into two separate sections: Swiss and French. Though the entire 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. French police are allowed to execute random checks in the Swiss section as well.[23] With Switzerland joining the Schengen Treaty in March 2009, the air side was rearranged to include a Schengen and non-Schengen zone.[24] As border control is staffed by both Swiss and French border officers, passengers departing to or arriving from non-Schengen countries may receive either a Swiss or French passport stamp, depending on which officer they happen to approach[citation needed].

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, LSZM is now the ICAO code for the airport of Mollis. (formerly LSMF)[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 is 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.[25] 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 French and Swiss parts.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


The following airlines offer regular scheduled and charter flights at the EuroAirport:[26]

Aegean Airlines Athens[27]
Air Albania Seasonal: Kukës[28]
Air Algérie Constantine
Seasonal: Algiers
Air Arabia Casablanca
Air Cairo Seasonal: Hurghada
Air France Hop Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air Transat Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau
AnadoluJet Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Austrian Airlines Vienna
British Airways London–Heathrow
Brussels Airlines Brussels
Chair Airlines Pristina
Corendon Airlines Hurghada
Seasonal: Antalya, Bodrum, Chania,[29] Corfu, Funchal (begins 3 November 2022),[29] Heraklion, İzmir, Kos, Rhodes
easyJet[30] Alicante, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Berlin, Bordeaux, Brindisi, Bristol, Budapest, Catania, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Hamburg, Lanzarote, Lisbon, London–Gatwick, Madrid, Málaga, Manchester, Marrakesh, Marseille (begins 31 October 2022),[31] Montpellier, Nantes, Naples, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Porto, Prague, Pristina, Rome–Fiumicino, Santiago de Compostela, Tel Aviv, Tenerife–South, Toulouse, Valencia, Vienna
Seasonal: Agadir, Ajaccio, Bari,[32] Bastia, Biarritz, Cagliari, Calvi, Corfu,[33] Dubrovnik, Faro, Figari, Heraklion,[34] Hurghada, Ibiza, Kos, Kraków, Lamezia Terme, Menorca, Mykonos, Olbia, Palermo, Pula, Rhodes, Split, Thessaloniki, Venice, Zadar
Eurowings Seasonal: Palma de Mallorca
FlyEgypt Seasonal charter: Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh
Helvetic Airways Seasonal: Jerez de la Frontera, Larnaca, Pristina, Santorini
KLM Amsterdam
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich
Nouvelair Seasonal: Djerba, Monastir
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Ryanair Dublin, Zagreb[35]
SunExpress Antalya
Seasonal: İzmir
TUI fly Belgium Seasonal: Heraklion, Marrakesh
Tunisair Djerba
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
Seasonal: Gaziantep
Vueling Barcelona
Wizz Air[36] Banja Luka, Bari, Belgrade, Bucharest, Budapest, Chișinău (resumes 8 September 2022),[citation needed] Cluj-Napoca, Niš, Ohrid, Palermo, Pristina, Rome–Fiumicino (begins 26 September 2022),[37] Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, Tirana, Tuzla, Warsaw–Chopin
Seasonal: Kukës


Korean Air Cargo[38] Seoul–Incheon, Vienna
Qatar Airways Cargo[39] Doha


Passenger numbers[edit]

EuroAirport Airport passenger totals. See source Wikidata query.

Route statistics[edit]

Busiest routes at EuroAirport Basel–Mulhouse–Freiburg Airport by passengers [40]
Rank City 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
1 Kosovo Pristina 201 715 103 806 158 867 138 668 115 066 105 338
2 Turkey Istanbul (Sabiha Gökçen) 77 204 47 625 103 528 87 709 78 588 70 338
3 Spain Palma de Mallorca 74 794 26 692 153 240 172 534 182 496 155 949
4 Portugal Porto 65 625 54 460 108 173 108 106 106 307 103 998
5 France Nice 56 798 36 088 93 345 91 405 92 490 87 752
6 Spain Barcelona 55 043 33 727 177 693 179 538 173 414 170 492
7 Germany Berlin (Schönefeld) 53 958 16 764 80 956 192 847 222 665 217 504
8 North Macedonia Skopje (Skopje) 50 952 24 710 61 660
9 Netherlands Amsterdam 50 288 56 954 222 480 219 746 210 215 206 986
10 Turkey Antalya (Antalya) 41 213 28 639 75 789
11 Turkey Istanbul (Istanbul) 40 537 31 575 60 690
12 Hungary Budapest 37 241 32 234 124 652 89 290
13 France Bordeaux 34 880 22 715 68 836
14 Portugal Lisbon 33 959 25 255 101 667
15 Spain Alicante 30 799 17 916
16 Austria Wien 29 750 24 172 99 173
17 Spain Malaga 28 377 30 799 17 916
18 Germany Hamburg 26 447 40 667 126 019 118 612 112 104 113 642
Spain Madrid 22 593 15 084 87 218 91 386 80 318
Germany Frankfurt 20 758 13 342 92 685 93 550 83 348 76 381
France Paris (Charles de Gaulle) 19 280 14 539 72 785 75 910 76 900 82 424
United Kingdom London (Gatwick) 14 213 33 326 143 672 141 380 138 051 135 895
United Kingdom London (Heathrow) 7 228 28 202 140 676 140 289 129 091 126 362
Germany Munich 13 773 85 508 87 754 80 186 76 625
Germany Berlin (Tegel) 38 923 147 257
Turkey Istanbul (Atatürk) 21 553 82 821 73 527 72 896

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.[41][42] The Swiss division Swiss Aviation Software has its head office there as well.[43]
  • 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.[44] The head office moved to its current location, the Villa Guggenheim in Allschwil, in proximity to EuroAirport, on 1 October 2011.[45]
  • Hello, a now defunct Swiss airline, had its head office in the General Aviation area of EuroAirport.[46]
  • Prior to the formation of Swiss International Air Lines, the regional airline Crossair was headquartered on the grounds of EuroAirport.[47] Prior to its dissolution, Crossair Europe was headquartered on the grounds of EuroAirport as well.[48]

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[49] connects the airport to the Basel SBB railway station, 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.[50]
  • On the French exit, Saint-Louis' DistriBus bus No. 11 connects the airport to the Saint-Louis railway station in 10 minutes.[51]
  • The German private bus company Flixbus calls at Zürich, Basel and Freiburg Germany 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.[52][53]


As of 2021 the closest train station is the Saint-Louis-la-Chaussée station, some 900 m (3,000 ft) north of the terminal. There are plans to build a dedicated airport rail link opening some time in the 2020s.


There are two town tramway systems in relatively close proximity to the airport - Basel tramway and Mulhouse tramway. As the former was extended across the border in the 2010s, there are plans to further extend it to serve the airport. Plans to extend the Mulhouse tramway to the airport seem to be further from realization, however.

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 6 November 2014. Search for location
  2. ^ a b LFSB – BÂLE-MULHOUSE. AIP from French Service d'information aéronautique, effective 14 July 2022.
  3. ^ "Annual Report 2013 (2/3): Key Figures" (annual report) (in French, German, and English). l’Aéroport de Bâle-Mulhouse. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  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. ^ a b Collis, Roger (18 December 1998). "Taking the long thin airlines". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Zum Ende der Swissair-Verbindung vom EuroAirport nach New York/Newark" (Press release) (in German). EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. 3 February 2000. Archived from the original on 27 October 2000. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  9. ^ a b c Schuppli, Stefan (30 May 2015). "Der Euro-Aiport sagt "Aadje" Swiss, willkommen Skywork". bz Basel (in German). Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  10. ^ Wicks, John (December 1998). "Peter Leishman: a new name in Swiss skies". SwissWORLD (6).
  11. ^ "Swiss World Flies Against Tradition: New Airline Plans Launch With Clever Marketing Strategies". World Airline News. 8 (35). 28 August 1998. ProQuest 195010896.
  12. ^ Collis, Roger (10 January 1999). "Practical Traveler; Euro Airport as Regional Hub". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Swissair to end Basel-Newark service". The Journal of Commerce online. 6 February 2000. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Ryanair verlässt den EuroAirport". Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  15. ^ "Ryanair Zagreb Flights to Basel, Eindhoven, Paphos Officially Launch Today". Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  16. ^ "30.05.08: Erstflug Air Transat nach Kanada" (Press release) (in German). EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. Archived from the original on 29 November 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  17. ^ "Air Transat. Une nouvelle ligne Mulhouse-Toronto". Le Télégramme (in French). 6 June 2008. Archived from the original on 19 February 2022. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Kurznachrichten: SWISS verlässt Basel, Regierungsterminal in Berlin und Fluggastzahlen von Air France". Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Lufthansa-Billigairline: Eurowings: Wien statt Basel - aeroTELEGRAPH". aeroTELEGRAPH. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  20. ^ "Das Streckennetz der new airberlin -". Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  21. ^ Cochennec, Yann (27 August 2018). "Des avions et des hommes : destination EuroAirport".
  22. ^ "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".
  23. ^ a b "Schweizerisch-Französischer Staatsvertrag vom 4. Juli 1949 (Höflichkeitsübersetzung)" (in German). EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. 1 November 2006. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  24. ^ "Terminal plan". EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  25. ^ "Terminalplan". Archived from the original on 29 March 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  26. ^ "Timetable". Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  27. ^ "Flight schedule".
  28. ^ "As from 29 March 2022 new connection to Kukës (Albania) with Air Albania". EuroAirport. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  29. ^ a b "Corendon Airlines – Flight Tickets – Your Holiday Airline".
  30. ^[bare URL]
  31. ^[bare URL]
  32. ^ "Easyjet apre 8 rotte natalizie". 29 October 2021.
  33. ^[bare URL]
  34. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 December 2021. Retrieved 18 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  35. ^ "Ryanair Opens Its Zagreb Base & Launches Winter '21 Schedule". Ryanair corporate news. 23 July 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  36. ^ - Timetable retrieved 1 November 2021
  37. ^ "Stamattina conferenza-stampa Wizz Air a Roma - Durante la quale il vettore aereo annuncerà novità". 17 November 2021.
  38. ^ - Flight Operation Status retrieved 17 November 2019
  39. ^ retrieved 12 September 2019
  40. ^ "Luftverkehr: Linien- und Charterverkehr, Jahresresultate 2017 - 2017 | Tabelle". March 2018.
  41. ^ "Facts and figures Archived 1 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine". Swiss International Air Lines. Retrieved on 13 June 2009.
  42. ^ "Swiss International Air Lines Basel Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine". Swiss International Air Lines. Retrieved on 24 September 2009.
  43. ^ "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 Archived 27 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine which is of the Swiss head office at Basel Airport.
  44. ^ "How to find us". Farnair Europe. Retrieved on 8 December 2010.
  45. ^ "Contact Us". (Archived 5 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine) Farnair Switzerland. Retrieved on 19 February 2012.
  46. ^ "Hello Location Archived 10 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine". (Direct image link) Hello. Retrieved on 1 July 2010.
  47. ^ "Location". Crossair. Retrieved on 13 June 2009.
  48. ^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. 23–29 March 2004. 58.
  49. ^ "BVB – Line network". Basel, Switzerland: BVB. Archived from the original on 28 May 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  50. ^ "Mobility Ticket". Basel, Switzerland: Basel Tourismus. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  51. ^ "Navette EuroAirport" [EuroAirport shuttle] (in French). Saint-Louis, France: DistriBus. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  52. ^ Petar Marjanovic (16 June 2016). "Umstrittene SBB-Konkurrenz: Bund will Fernbus-Tricksern an den Kragen". Blick (in German). Zurich, Switzerland. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  53. ^ SDA/gr (10 November 2016). "Bundesrat über Fernbus-Trickser: Verstösse kaum nachzuweisen!". Blick (in German). Zurich, Switzerland. Retrieved 3 July 2016.

External links[edit]

Media related to Bâle-Mulhouse Airport at Wikimedia Commons