The Roland Garros Airport named for Roland Garros a French aviator is located in Sainte-Marie on Reunion. Formerly known as the Gillot Airport, it serves as Air Austral’s hub and according to 2012 statistics served more than 2 million travelers that year. The airport is the principal hub for air travel on Reunion and offers flights to mainland France and neighboring islands.
Its location is looked at as an advantage. Considered the busiest non-mainland French airport for airfreight, the airport is easily accessible from St. Denis and Saint Marie. Travelers can arrange for a shuttle, which takes 20 minutes to reach St. Denis’s center or they can arrange for a taxis.
Flights and Destinations
The primary destinations offered by airlines coming into or leaving the airport are Mayotte, Paris and Mauritius. Five airlines make regularly scheduled stops including Air Astral and Air France, running flights to and from countries in and around the Indian Ocean area. In addition, Air Austral flies nonstop flights between CDG in Paris and Roland Garros Airport in Reunion, covering a distance of nearly 6000 miles.
Additional airlines include Air Madagascar, Air Mauritius, Interair South Africa, Corsair International, which serves Paris’s Orly airport, and XL airways.
Terminals and Infrastructure
The Roland Garros Airport has a single terminal. Instead of spreading out over a large area, the terminal is separated into levels. Each level of the terminal is dedicated to a particular set of operations. The underground level handles the operations of the airport including baggage handling and operations offices. The ground floor handles check in desks, air bridges and passenger handling. The 1st floor is dedicated to administration, shopping centers, restaurants, and a beautiful terrace. The 3rd floor handles additional offices and restaurants.
The Roland Garros Airport offers facilities for disabled passengers. Disabled passengers can find lifts, restrooms, accessible public phones and convenient parking spaces. Tours of the Island can be booked directly at the airport. Rental cars are available and passengers can find information on numerous accommodations. Roland Garros offers an Airport guide, which provides a selection of hotels and discounts. These discounts are offered by the hotel directly for Roland Garros travelers.