Ryanair ignores calls to stop flying from Cardiff as it ‘breaks local lockdown rules’

Ryanair said it will be flying hundreds of Welsh people on Friday and Saturday. Credit: PA Images

All Ryanair flights will go ahead despite Welsh Government calls for the airline to cancel journeys scheduled for Friday.

Cardiff Airport is running flights to Malaga in Spain and Faro in Portugal on Friday.

The economy minister told the director of Ryanair that he does not think the flights should go ahead, as current Welsh law prohibits people from travelling out of their local area for leisure purposes or holidays.

Ken Skates MS said: "In operating these services I hope you will appreciate that those travelling on your services on Friday should only be doing so if that travel is essential and permitted by the law in Wales."

Ryanair said operations are continuing as normal, with "hundreds of Welsh people travelling home from countries with lower R rates than the UK” on Friday and Saturday.

Cardiff Airport is operating flights to Malaga and Faro on Friday. Credit: ITV Wales

Since mid-March, Ryanair has operated a skeleton daily schedule of 30 flights per day between the UK, Ireland and the rest of Europe. But in May it confirmed the ramping up of flights to 40 per cent of its normal schedule from July 1.

Tourists were told last week they could soon be allowed to travel to other countries without the need to quarantine.

The UK Government is expected to finalise agreements in the coming days to allow people to travel from the UK to a small number of countries including Spain, France and Greece.

But with Welsh Government guidelines advising people to stay local, anyone travelling further than five miles to Cardiff Airport would technically be breaking the rules.

The First Minister is expected to lift the five-mile rule from Monday 6 July, which was put in place to prevent the virus from spreading.

The restriction has been criticised by opposition parties, who described it as "unclear" and "unfair".

A spokesperson for Cardiff Airport said: "Cardiff Airport has remained open throughout the pandemic to support essential flying including critical cargo and medical flights.

"During July our airlines will slowly re-start flying passenger services, increasing in August. All airlines are making decisions about reinstating flights on a global basis and the situation remains fluid.

"We continue to follow Government guidance and work closely with Public Health Wales to keep the safety of our team and customers as our number one priority."