Roland Garros Airport
The island’s main airport is found in the town of Saint-Marie, just four miles from the heart of Réunion’s most important city, Saint-Denis. It was named after the famous aviator, Roland Garros, who born here. The airport welcomed about two million passengers in 2011, and currently serves as the hub for Air Austral. This is the busiest airline serving Roland Garros Airport to date, connecting to more than 20 cities across the globe, including Paris, Bangkok, Johannesburg, Mauritius, and Chennai. American tourists will not be able to find direct flights to Réunion. However, easy connections can be made. American travelers can fly to Paris, Toulouse, and Johannesburg, from where flights are offered to Roland Garros Airport.
The terminal at Roland Garros boasts duty-free and regular shopping facilities for passengers. The majority are found on the first floor of the terminal. A range of different items can be sourced within the airport’s shops, including jewelry, accessories, books, and convenience store merchandise. Bars and restaurants are also scattered around the public and secure areas of the terminal. The Aerobar is a great place to find a bite to eat before departing. In addition, the third floor boasts a nice dining option with great views of the runway. Travel agencies, meeting rooms, banks, car rental services, and car parking facilities are also available in and around the terminal building.
The journey between Roland Garros Airport and Saint-Denis is reasonably effortless, taking an average of 10 minutes. There are several means of transportation available from the airport. Public bus line G connects to Saint-Denis and Saint Benoit, from where connections to other cities and towns across the island are available. Another cheap option between the airport and Saint-Denis is the airport shuttle bus service. It only costs a few euro and runs every 20 minutes. It is slightly more expensive than the public bus service, however. Of course, taxis are the most commonly used form of transport from the airport. Cabs generally sit outside the terminal entrance.
Pierrefonds Airport is the second airport serving Réunion. It is found about three miles from the city of Saint-Pierre, and currently serves some 140,000 passengers a year. Most of the flights from this airport connect Réunion with Mauritius, even though the largest airport in Réunion, Roland Garros Airport, also offers routes to Mauritius. Air Mauritius and Air Austral are the two main carriers serving Pierrefonds Airport. General aviation flights also depart and land from this facility, located in the very southern region of Réunion. Taxis are the easiest way to reach the nearby towns.