The Welsh Government faces criticism for paying £52 million for Cardiff Airport. Rival Bristol Airport suggests it's a high price to pay.
A 'Severnside Airport' would replace Cardiff and Bristol airports.
MEP Kay Swinburne is attacking proposals by the Welsh Government to buy Cardiff Airport. She's raised the matter in the European Parliament.
Cardiff Airport has launched new flight services today following airline Flybe's decision last month to pull its routes.
Newcomers CityJet will offer daily services to Paris and Glasgow and summer routes to Jersey and Edinburgh.
It is welcome news for Cardiff Airport, which is owned by the taxpayer after being bought by the Welsh Government for over £50 million.
The Chief Executive of CityJet, Christine Ourmières, says the company is committed to Cardiff Airport after the airline began operating flights from the Welsh capital and that new routes to Edinburgh and Jersey will be added from March 30th this year.
Cardiff Airport recently announced that it had secured CityJet, part of the Air France airline group, to operate the Glasgow and Paris routes and fill the breach left by Flybe. The airline started operating the routes earlier this month.
The airport was bought for £52m by the Welsh Government last year to try and safeguard the airport's future and increase passenger numbers.
Flybe has apologised to passengers, after one of its planes made an emergency landing in Paris on its way from Geneva to Cardiff Airport.
– Flybe spokesperson
Flybe can confirm that flight BE1832 experienced a minor technical fault and diverted to Paris Orly.
A replacement aircraft has been sent and passengers are expected back into Cardiff before 2100 this evening.
Flybe would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.
67 people on board @flybe aircraft that has been forced to make emergency landing in Paris enroute to Cardiff
All offloaded and heading to terminal. @flybe crew have been fantastic throughout
A plane en-route to Cardiff Airport has been forced to make an emergency landing in Paris.
The Flybe service, which took off in Geneva, landed unexpectedly in France shortly before 4pm today.
According to passengers on the plane there were 67 people on board the low-cost airline's flight when it landed at Paris Orly International Airport.
Among them was Luke Broadley, who was returning to the UK from a skiing holiday, and tweeted about the incident.
First Minister Carwyn Jones says the news that Cardiff Airport has secured a new airline to run the Glasgow and Paris routes, which Flybe is withdrawing from in January, "clearly demonstrates the commercial attraction and strong potential" of the airport.
CityJet, part of the Air France airline group, will operate the routes from next month.
The Welsh Government bought Cardiff Airport for £52m earlier this year, aiming to turn around years of declining passenger numbers.
This announcement is excellent news for Cardiff Airport, and clearly demonstrates the commercial attraction and strong potential of our national airport.
I am pleased that we were able to respond swiftly to the news of Flybe’s withdrawal, and in the space of just two weeks, attract a new carrier to operate routes to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris and Jersey.
These new routes will provide the business and leisure traveller with excellent choice and flexibility.
– Carwyn Jones, First Minister
Together with the announcement of new routes to Germany and the Caribbean earlier this week, Cardiff Airport is proving to be a highly attractive proposition for airlines.
Our recent announcement of a £10m loan facility will help the Airport to develop and modernise, and continue to attract new carriers and open new routes.
Cardiff Airport says it's secured CityJet, part of the Air France airline group, to operate the Glasgow and Paris (Orly) routes and fill the breach left by Flybe.
CityJet will start serving the routes in January.
Flybe announced, earlier this month, it will be withdrawing the routes because of the reorganisation of its business.
Managers also say from the start of the summer schedule flights to Edinburgh and Jersey will be added.
Cardiff Airport’s Chief Executive, Jon Horne:
'This is fantastic news and I’m delighted CityJet has responded so quickly to pick up these vitally important routes from Cardiff Airport.'
'We’re very pleased that there will be continuity in our services to Glasgow and Paris for the tens of thousands of passengers a year for whom these routes are vital.'
The news that Cardiff Airport is to benefit from new routes to Germany and the Caribbean has been welcomed by the Airport's Chief Executive as an "encouraging" development.
– Jon Horne, Chief Executive of Cardiff Airport
The ongoing success we have in attracting new services means the hard work of the team here is paying off.
It is also encouraging that airlines and tour operators are making these commitments to Cardiff Airport and Wales and this gives us confidence that we are on track to achieve our longer term goals.”
Cardiff airport is to benefit from new routes to Germany and the Caribbean.
Europe’s largest airline group has launched a low-cost route to Dusseldorf from Cardiff starting in Spring 2014, while luxury Caribbean tour operator, Sandals, is introducing its first Barbados flight from Wales.
Germanwings, owned by Lufthansa Group, will first take off from Cardiff for Dusseldorf on 5th April, with flights departing on a weekly basis. The two-week Sandals flight to Barbados departs on Sunday 9th March.
This news follows Vueling’s winter programme expansion from Cardiff, with additional flights to Spanish airports, Malaga and Alicante, operating all year round, and Flybe’s addition of ski flights to Chambéry, Lyon, Grenoble and Geneva.
– Edwina Hart, Economy and Transport Minister
Cardiff Airport have been making progress in growing the number of flights and destinations. This new money will help them further improve the facilities at the airport and make sure the facilities for passengers are to the standards required for the 21st century.
Together with our investment in refurbishment and the new shuttle bus service, this programme of improved facilities and modernisation is part of our vision to create a high-quality airport of which Wales can be proud. The improvements will also make the airport more attractive to airline operators.