Has Paris CDG raised the passenger experience bar with its ‘Extime’ concept?


“I’ve never seen anything quite like what’s currently happening at Paris Charles de Gaulle”, wrote airline blogger Rhys Jones of Head for Points.

Jones’ source of wonder was Paris CDG’s new “Extime” concept, in the modernized and newly reopened Terminal One.  

The terminal had been closed for three years for refurbishment.  Its reopening comes as Paris gears up to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The original Terminal was built in 1974 by French architect Paul Andreu in an ‘Octopus’ type design.  A main circular building leads out to seven satellites with boarding gates.

Group ADP, the owner of the airport, says that the transformation has resulted in a major passenger experience upgrade, while at the same time remaining true to Paul Andreu’s vision.

The main central passenger area has been modernized with marble flooring, digital signage, new LED signage and a brand new international passenger path leading to a new 5600 sq.m boarding hall.

Exhibition spaces have been created showcasing French culture to passengers. This includes ‘The Ballade of Paris’, which can be seen in the tunnel on the way to the new departure lounge.  

Created by Jean-François Rauzier, this exhibition features Parisian monuments and architecture, presenting the city of Paris in a surrealist, offbeat way, by juxtaposing photographs and images.

Meanwhile, ‘Archisable’ in the main departure area, is a photographic exhibition paying tribute to the work of Terminal One designer Paul Andreu.  

However, the real ‘Wow’ factor, which has had aviation bloggers and the media amazed is the Extime concept, which has been woven into the Terminal design and passenger experience.

Extime (the name stands for ‘Extra Time’, denoting time passengers spend at an airport) is Group ADP’s retail and hospitality brand.  

Retail brands, lounges and the overall design are matched to the typical kind of passenger passing through the area, and the airline.  

At the moment, the experience is either ‘lifestyle’ (so geared towards LCCs and holiday / leisure flights) and ‘premium’ (long haul destinations, major carriers).

As Paris CDG’s flagship terminal, Terminal One has been given a premium experience, for example, the departure lounge was redesigned by designers Maxime Liautard and Hugo Toro.  Group ADP says that it now “offers a unique design and hospitality experience around the theme “Paris est une fête “.

Meanwhile Lagardère Travel Retail operates the main duty free area, which has more major French luxury designers under one roof than any other Paris department store.

Paris CDG already has a high per passenger spend, and the new Extime concept is designed to raise it even higher.  According to the Moodie Davitt Report, the goal is to increase the average from €25.30 in 2021 to €27.50 by 2025.

The Extime concept will be rolled out to other Paris CDG terminals this year, and then to other Group ADP Airports by 2024.

Finally, as well as giving Olympic visitors a new, improved passenger experience, Paris 2024 visitors may for the first time be able to continue their journey by eVTOL or so-called air taxis.

This comes as Group ADP has been working with Skyports and German eVTOL company Volocopter on a “vertiports” concept, allowing for the take off and landing of these new types of aircraft. 

(All images via Group ADP)