Flying to the Cannes Film Festival? 4 (More) Things You Must Know
This aviation blog post is part two of a series on planning a flight to the Cannes Film Festival. It continues from our previous post covering selecting airports and airport alternates.
Once you’ve reserved parking and Prior Permissions Required (PPRs) (if applicable) at Cannes, France (LFMD) or one of the surrounding airports for the Cannes Film Festival (May 16th-27th) or Monaco Grand Prix (May 24th-27th), it’s important to book accommodations and all services as soon as possible. You’ll be competing for services during this busy time, and last-minute changes can be problematic. Be aware that parking fees – particularly for longer stays at Nice, France (LFMN) – can be very expensive. It’s often best practice when planning a departure from LFMN over the weekend to fuel on arrival.
1. Be aware of airport, ground handling and aircraft parking fees
During the busy Cannes Festival and Monaco Grand Prix period, the airport, landing and ground handler fees do not increase at either of the primary airports (LFMD and LFMN). Aircraft parking fees, however, can become progressively more expensive for longer stays. Based on an aircraft with a Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) of 49,000 lbs. (22 metric tons), you’ll pay approximately 245.65 Euros (Value-Added Tax [VAT] excluded) for the first 24 hours at LFMD and approximately 137.28 Euros at LFMN. Parking costs escalate quickly at LFMN. The first 24 hours will be charged with a 50% premium over the base rate. This escalates to a 100% premium over the next 24 hours and a 300% premium after 48 hours. Unlike at LFMN, LFMD parking is calculated at full price for the first 24 hours, but any additional day is set at 50% of the first-day rate. Parking for a total of four days at LFMN, with a 49,000 lbs. (22 metric-tons) MTOW aircraft will cost approximately 1,506.99 Euros. The same length of stay at LFMD would cost approximately 614.12 Euros (VAT excluded): less than half the cost of parking at LFMN. Ground handling can be arranged on a credit basis for all fees at LFMD and LFMN. Additionally, for LFMD only, in-flight catering and limo services are to be paid directly to providers.
2. Book hotels and ground transport well in advance
Hotel prices during the Cannes Festival and Monaco Grand Prix period are higher, with extended cancellation policies. We consider it best practice to book your rooms months in advance. If you book hotel accommodations at the last minute, your most likely choices may be in remote towns, involving a 40- to 60-minute drive to and from Cannes. Ground transport is readily available, with a range of options –from pre-paid vehicles with drivers to taxis or rental cars. Early booking of ground transport is also recommended for this period.
3. Consider the procedures for customs/immigration clearance at LFMD and LFMN
Passports must be shown to police for flights arriving from or departing to a non-Schengen country. When it comes to international travel, Europe’s borderless Schengen area operates very much like the U.S., with external border controls for passengers traveling into and out of the area, but with no internal border controls. There’s typically no waiting time for Schengen flights into LFMD, and it only takes a few minutes for a flight to arrive from or depart to a non-Schengen country. VIP clearance can be arranged at LFMD for non-Schengen area arrivals and departures, if you provide your general declaration information in advance. For LFMN, passengers are taken to the general aviation terminal to clear customs. This is considered VIP clearance, as it’s a separate building dedicated exclusively to corporate flights. Your 3rd-party provider will forward passenger information in advance. Your ground handler will provide this information to the police, and passengers arriving from or departing to outside the Schengen area will only have to have their passports stamped. Clearance time at LFMN takes between five and 10 minutes. Both LFMD and LFMN have VIP lounges available.
4. If you stay at LFMN, plan on fueling your aircraft on arrival
Be aware that airport fuel stocks can run out on weekends at LFMN. This is due to French regulations prohibiting jet fuel deliveries between Friday afternoon and Sunday night. If you plan on departing LFMN on the weekend, particularly on a Sunday afternoon, you’ll want to consider fueling your aircraft on arrival in order to avoid the prospect of having to reposition on departure to pick up fuel.
Begin making arrangements now if you plan to attend the Cannes Film Festival or the Monaco Grand Prix. It’s best to firm up your schedule well in advance and work on aircraft ground handling, hotel and local transport arrangements. Try to limit schedule changes, as this may cause problems with PPRs and parking arrangements – particularly at LFMN.
If you have any questions about this article, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to thank Hélène Williame with LFMD Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur company for providing us with the latest information on Cannes Film Festival corporate operational planning.