The Welsh Liberal Democrats say the news that Flybe is ‘reviewing operations’ at Cardiff Airport is the first test for Carwyn Jones following his decision to buy the airport. They say the First Minister must convince the airline there's a sound and sustainable future for its routes from Cardiff.
Flybe operate some of Cardiff’s key business routes to places like Paris, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are strategically important to the economy in South Wales. If Flybe go the same way as Ryanair and BMI Baby in dropping out of Cardiff it will be another major setback for our airport. My thoughts are with Flybe’s excellent and dedicated staff at this uncertain time.
– Liberal Democrat Business Spokesperson Eluned Parrott AM
300 jobs across the UK are at risk from Flybe's review of regional bases. It's one of the few airlines to offer scheduled services from Cardiff, where passenger numbers have fallen. Both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have questioned the Welsh Government's plan to buy the airport.
This announcement really piles the pressure on Labour Ministers to spell out their plans to revitalise Cardiff Airport and dramatically turn around its fortunes. Over the coming months Flybe will undoubtedly be examining the merits of each of its regional bases, so Welsh Labour Ministers need to urgently remove the question marks hanging over the airport’s future ownership and management.
Cardiff Airport has the potential to be a major regional hub in the UK, but neglect and a lack of political leadership from the Welsh Government have seen freight and passenger numbers decline. We urgently need a bold and ambitious vision and a clear statement of intent from the First Minister if we are to restore confidence in Wales’ international airport.”