Geneva International Airport (IATA Code: GVA) is also known as the Geneva Airport, formally Cointrin Airport and serves Geneva, Switzerland. The airport is located approximately 4 km northwest of downtown Geneva with easy access by all modes of transportation. The airport serves over 14 million passengers a year, equipped with two main passenger terminals divided into piers. Numerous gates at Pier D are designated Schengen gates, through which passengers boarding flights are not subject to passport checks. Pier F is designated as the French sector, serving passengers arriving or departing to French destinations.
The Geneva International Airport formerly known as Cointrin, was developed in 1919, serving minimal air-traffic needs from the mid-19 20s to the early 1930s. It wasn’t until 1937 that the first concrete runway was built. During the Second World War, no flights flew from the airport outside the borders of Switzerland, but in 1945 the first terminal was built at Geneva which is today Terminal 2. The runway was extended in 1960. In 1968, the main terminal was inaugurated, able to accommodate approximately 7 million passengers a year. A new pier is currently under construction with completion date set for 2015 to enable larger Airbus, Boeing 777 and 8340 aircraft via air bridges to connect to the terminals.
Passenger services and facilities at the Geneva International Airport are plentiful with a variety of dining, shopping, and VIP lounges located throughout the airport. Dining options include Italian cuisine at Al Volo Pizzeria or enjoy Asian take-out at Bento. Travelers also have options of fast food including Burger King, or sit-down dining at the Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar. When it comes to shopping, everything from gifts and souvenirs to pharmaceuticals, fashion, jewelry, and chocolates are available. Duty-free shops are in restricted areas though fashion and accessories such as leather goods purchased at Hermes, Bongenie and Ralph Lauren are found throughout the terminals.
Car Hire Services
Car hire services at Geneva International Airport offer a variety of carriers. Travelers can hire cars in the Swiss sector and in the French sector. Car rental desks in the Swiss sector are located at the arrival level. Be advised that if you rent a car in the Swiss sector, you must also return it to the Swiss sector. Cars available in this sector include:
- Avis – www.avis.ch
- Budget – www.budget.ch
- Europcar – www.europcar.ch
- Hertz – www.hertz.ch
Car rental desks in the French sector can be reached (even from the International terminal) by following the ‘destination France’ signs. Proceed through customs and show your rental contract. If you wish to depart the airport into the French sector but have arrived in the Swiss sector, you can reach the international sector through the transit area. Cars available at the French sector include most of the same types available in the Swiss sector.
For more information regarding Geneva International Airport visit their website at www.gva.ch or call their general information number +4122 717 71 11. The airport is located at Route de l’Aéeroport 21, 1218 Grand Saconnex, Switzerland.
Geneva International Airport – http://airport-geneva.com/
Genève Aéroport – http://www.gva.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/
World Travel Guide – http://www.worldtravelguide.net/switzerland/geneva-international-airport