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Wednesday January 18, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

It's a family-run French ski school set up to cater for the British market and prides itself on going the extra mile for its customers. Now Oxygène is expanding. NEW

Oxygène was born in La Plagne in 1992.

Bertrand de Monvallier was just 23 when he decided to launch the company because, in his view, no one was paying attention to providing for the British market of skiers.

At the time, ESF were the dominant force and the ski industry was booming.

Bertrand saw an opportunity to work with the British tour operators.

25 years later, he is still at the head of the company and provides instruction for guests from 30 of the 35 tour operators in La Plagne.

Bertrand de MonvallierBertrand de Monvallier













A few years after Oxygène was established, the British tour operator Mark Warner opened a hotel in Val d'Isère and asked Oxygène to follow them to the upmarket French resort.   The school there, born in 1997,  is run by Bertrand's brother, Pierre, a co-founder of the company.

Oxygène has grown a lot since those days.

It has more than 100 instructors.

They are in two centres in La Plagne (Plagne Centre and Belle Plagne - the school there is run by a third brother,  Julien Favre), as well as Val d'Isère, and - new for the 2016/17 season -  Courchevel, Méribel, Val Thorens and La Tania in Les3Vallées where it recently acquired Magic Ski School.   

The school in Les3Vallées is continuing to operate under the Magic name.

All of Oxygène's instructors speak English as well as French - important since 80 per cent of its clients are British.  But many also speak other languages including Italian, Spanish, Dutch, German, Danish or Russian.

Oxygène instructor in La PlagneOxygène instructing in La Plagne













One third of its customers find Oxygène by word of mouth, another third are returning clients.

"I think Oxygène's strength is the company's team and atmosphere," says Vivienne Falkiner, the marketing and communications manager.

"Everyone is generally happy to help out and go the extra mile.

"Instructors are always inviting their clients to have a drink with us in the evening, they genuinely care about them.

"We know that it's not just about the ski lesson, it's about the whole experience. Oxygène's family atmosphere is contagious." 

Oxygène meeting place in Plagne CentreOxygène in Plagne Centre













Oxygène offers a number of options for skiing and snowboarding lessons, excursions and adaptive ski training. 

Ski & Snowboard

Children's Beginner Lessons (from age 3)

Children's Group Lessons

Adult Group Courses

Snowboard Group Courses

All the above are from €45 per session and €179 per week.

Private lessons from €53 an hour

Off-piste introductory courses with avalanche safety training from €151 for 3 hours with coaching, or €70 for 3 hours in a group.


Stand-up skiing (for the visually-impaired, hard of hearing, amputee or hemiplegic) from €99 for 2 hours.

Sit skiing (for those who use a wheelchair or have difficulty co-ordinating lower limbs) from €130 for 2 hours with equipment provided.

PlanetSKI's Chief Reporter, Jane Peel, has skied with Oxygène on 3 occasions and is a big fan.

Laurent Gras of Oxygène with PlanetSKI's Jane PeelPlanetSKI off piste with Oxygène













For more information, including details of excursions in the Oxygène resorts, see the website.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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