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Visitor numbers up at Cardiff Airport

Credit: ITV News

Cardiff Airport says passenger numbers in September were up by a fifth.It says over 25,000 more customers flew through Wales’ national Airport last month compared to 2014.

The level of growth has not been seen since 2006 and, it says, is set to continue into 2016.

The past four months have seen notable growth which is set to continue. The success of the new Flybe base plus strong load factors for airlines including KLM, Vueling, Aer Lingus and Thomson are also very encouraging.

– Lord Rowe-Beddoe, Chairman, Cardiff Airport

The airport was bought by the Welsh Government in March 2013.

Last month the Welsh Government hit back at concerns raised by UK Government officials about loans to the airport.

Cardiff Airport sees increase in passenger numbers

Flybe is one of the airlines to operate from Cardiff. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Economy and Transport Minister Edwina Hart has welcomed the increase in passengers at Cardiff Airport during the peak summer months.

The airport has seen passenger numbers increase by 10% during the 2015 peak summer season, compared to the same quarter in 2014.

I am very encouraged to see people are taking advantage of the extended choice of destinations now available at Cardiff Airport. The new Flybe destinations and Vueling flights to Spain have been popular this summer.

It is clear Cardiff Airport is now in a much stronger position than it was when we took ownership two years ago and our investment is starting to pay off. I look forward to seeing Cardiff Airport go from strength to strength and become a gateway to Wales for business and leisure travellers.”

– Edwimna Hart AM, Economy and Transport Minister


Flybe announce new Cardiff route and more flights

Airline Flybe has announced a new route from Cardiff airport and more flights to existing destinations.

Credit: Flybe

From Monday a new all-year service between Cardiff and Munich begins - with flights five times a week.

The airline says additional flights will also be added to:

  • Cork - boosting the current Saturday service with a second weekly flight on Tuesdays
  • Dublin – increase to double daily flights Monday – Friday and addition of an early morning flight on Saturdays
  • Dusseldorf - an extra three flights a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to boost the existing Saturday service
  • Edinburgh – increase to twice daily service Monday – Friday, and Sundays
  • Glasgow – now operating five flights a week Monday – Thursday, and Sundays
  • Milan Malpensa – Increase to three flights a week with addition of Thursdays and Sundays
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle - new daily service, up from existing four flights a week.

We are very excited to see the arrival of the second aircraft which will really strengthen the Flybe network with more choice for customers offering convenience and value for money.

The increased frequency on key routes and the addition of Munich is particularly beneficial for those travelling to and from Wales on business.

– Debra Barber, Managing Director at Cardiff Airport,

New service takes off to Norwich from Cardiff and Anglesey

Credit: Google

A new service starts today with flights to and from Cardiff and Anglesey to Norwich.

UK regional airline, LinksAir, says the move follows a 30% rise in passenger numbers for its service between Anglesey and Cardiff.

We are delighted at LinksAir with the initial response to us taking over the Cardiff-Anglesey service and already carrying such increased passenger numbers. Adding the new daily weekday Norwich service will add further to the destinations available from and to Wales helping business and leisure accessibility to the East Anglia region to both North and South Wales.

– Roger Hage, LinksAir Commercial Manager


Welsh Rugby Union boss Roger Lewis appointed as chair of Cardiff Airport

Welsh Rugby Union Chief, Roger Lewis has been appointed the new chair of Cardiff Airport.

Credit: PA

Mr Lewis announced last month that he would be leaving the WRU at the end of October following this autumn's Rugby World Cup.

He will take over from Lord Rowe-Beddoe in November.

Cardiff Airport is crucial to the economy of Wales both in terms of bringing visitors to our country and enabling easier business links with Europe and the rest of the world.

I am thrilled by the appointment and honoured by the confidence being shown in me.

I am now looking forward to focussing on the challenges ahead, working together with Welsh Government and the team at the Airport to continue the developments achieved both in the choice for travellers flying from and to Wales as well as in the infrastructure.

– Roger Lewis, Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union
  1. Nick Powell

German airline drops Cardiff route for 2015

Part of the Germanwings fleet at Dusseldorf Airport Credit: Matthias Balk/DPA/Press Association Images

The only direct air route linking Wales and Germany, a weekly flight between Cardiff and Dusseldorf, will not operate next year unless a new airline takes over the service.

Germanwings, which is owned by the Lufthansa Group, launched the low cost flights in April, as a seasonal service which ran until last month. The German route was seen as an important part of a strategy to bring more tourists to Wales. Visit Wales, the tourism arm of airport owner the Welsh Government, was closely involved in securing the Dusseldorf flights.

Cardiff Airport is still trying to renew the service for 2015.

The reports circulating today regarding the service for next year are misleading as we are in discussions with a number of airlines – including Germanwings

– Cardiff Airport Spokesperson

However, Germanwings confirmed to ITV News Cymru Wales that the airline has pulled out of Cardiff.

In 2015 we will not operate on the route Dusseldorf-Cardiff.

– Germanwings Spokesperson

The Welsh Government has been asked to comment. The Conservative opposition in the Assembly see this latest development as a further sign of trouble for the Welsh Government's running of Cardiff Airport, which it bought for £52 million.

This is very worrying news for Wales’ state-owned airport, following the recent withdrawal of Cityjet flights to Glasgow and a downward trend in annual passenger numbers.

This route was only launched seven months ago to great fanfare as a way to tap into the German market to bring more tourists to Wales. The fact that Germanwings has pulled out of Cardiff Airport altogether so soon suggests a complete failure to properly market Wales to German travellers and improve business links between Wales and Germany.

Labour ministers must engage with Cardiff Airport’s remaining carriers to maintain and expand their route options and focus on attracting new airlines to restore confidence in Wales’ flagship airport.

– Shadow Transport Minister Byron Davies AM
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