A tale of two weekends at Cardiff Airport

Press Release by Cardiff Airport

The last two weekends in February have seen two very different events driving extra visitors to Cardiff Airport, on top of a successful month where passenger numbers look set to increase by over 20% compared with February last year.

Last weekend saw some 7,000 arriving and departing French fans travel through Cardiff Airport for the 6 Nations match between Wales and France at the Millennium Stadium. Thursday and Friday saw French fans arrive in high spirits ahead of their weekend in the Welsh capital and the French team and fans remained in good spirits as they left on Saturday and Sunday.

As fans travelled through the airport, the Nuance Tax and Duty Free store enjoyed impressive sales with fans snapping up the wide range of Welsh products available. French favourites included Welsh sports merchandise, rugby world cup souvenirs from the new Sports Shop and Penderyn Welsh whisky. Over two weeks’ worth of sales were made in the two days French fans flew from Cardiff.

The weekend before saw over 800 people visit Cardiff Airport to attend its Holiday Market, showcasing the many destinations available, including Mediterranean escapes as well as long haul adventures to Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. Over40 exhibitors took part in the event, including airlines CityJet, Vueling, Flybe and KLM; holiday companies Thomas Cook, If Only, Newmarket Holidays and Balkan Holidays; cruise operators P&O Cruises, Hurtigruten and Scenic Tours; and resorts Disney and Butlins.

A programme of talks ran throughout the day, covering topics such as why river cruising is one of the fastest growing travel trends and tips for the single traveller.

The Holiday Market was held in partnership with Regal Travel, whose holiday experts were available to provide advice, special offers and take bookings. There was also a competition to win a holiday to the Siva Sharm Resort & Spa in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, courtesy of Red Sea Holidays.

The winner of the holiday, Mrs Jeanette Price, said “I read about the event in my local paper and went along because I was interested in knowing what was available from Cardiff Airport. I go on holiday once or twice a year and always fly from Cardiff because it’s so convenient. It was fantastic to be able to speak to representatives from each of the tour operators in person and we took plenty of brochures away with us.

“I was so pleased and surprised to win the competition. I’ve been to Sharm El Sheikh once before and it was very beautiful so I can’t wait to go back. I’m taking my husband with me – I don’t think he’d be very happy if I didn’t!”

Chief Executive of Cardiff Airport, Jon Horne, said: “February has been an exciting month for the Airport; not only did we have our first Holiday Market we had the rugby airlift, where our focus was on giving the French fans a first class Welsh welcome and a really smooth passage through the airport.  Judging by their good cheer, even on the way home, I think we achieved that goal.

“February proved to be the perfect time to hold our first Holiday Market; with a variety of new airlines and destinations having been added, plus showcasing our long haul connectivity with airlines such as KLM and Aer Lingus. It was a fantastic opportunity to show travellers just how many wonderful places they can go from Cardiff.

“We were very pleased to work with Regal Travel to bring the Holiday Market to Cardiff Airport and provide the South Wales community with plenty of inspiration for their next getaway.”

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