I am deeply saddened by today’s announcement that Flybe has ceased operations. This news has affected a number of regional airports across the UK including Cardiff and my thoughts are with Flybe employees and passengers who have had their travel plans disrupted.
In the immediate term passengers due to fly from Cardiff with Flybe should not travel to the Airport. Advice is available from the Cardiff Airport and Civil Aviation Authority websites.
Cardiff Airport: www.cardiff-airport.com
Flights to Anglesey, Teeside and Aberdeen will continue to operate as normal with Eastern Airways.
Flybe has made a hugely positive impact on Cardiff Airport, accounting for 24% of passenger numbers. However, owing to the proactive steps that Cardiff Airport has taken in recent times to diversify and improve its financial sustainability, income generated from Flybe routes accounts for around 5.6% of revenue. Whilst of course it will be challenging to mitigate this loss, Cardiff Airport is not at risk.
The Welsh Government is working closely with all partners. I have held urgent conversations with the Chief Executive of Cardiff Airport and her team as well as speaking with the UK Government about how to mitigate the impact of this news. I am holding further such meetings through the day and have also been in touch with Assembly opposition spokespersons.
Cardiff Airport is actively talking to a number of airlines about the opportunity that exists for other carriers to pick up routes impacted at Cardiff Airport. In the short-term the focus is on filling the core domestic routes which Flybe serves for the region I am delighted that Logan air has already agreed to take over 16 routes, including Edinburgh to Cardiff. Daily flights will commence on 23 March 2020 and from September, there will be 10 flights weekly.
Across the UK there is huge pressure on regional airports and the impact of the Flybe news only increases those pressures further. The UK Government could have avoided this news by providing proactive support to Flybe to assist them through this difficult financial situation. It is devastating for the workforce and the families of those affected that they chose not to.
I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that the UK Government now needs to act urgently and inject real and genuine pace into the regional connectivity review it has begun. It must also now devolve Air Passenger Duty and provide the consent that the Welsh Government has called for some time to provide to open up more PSO routes.
Alongside our wider support we will also make available, when appropriate, support for individuals impacted by this news through Careers Wales and our ReAct programme.
I will keep members informed of developments.