“We’re in it for the long haul” says Chief Executive on airport anniversary

Cardiff AirportPress Release by Cardiff Airport

“We’re in it for the long haul”- that was the message from Cardiff Airport Chief Executive Jon Horne exactly one year to the day since Cardiff Airport transferred to Welsh Government ownership.

Jon Horne said: “The past year has seen great positive change. A return to growth after years of decline was our first goal, and this began six weeks after the change of ownership.”

In the 12 months since, the Airport has experienced continued growth, adding new destinations, a new airline, CityJet, and reporting ten consecutive months of growth with passenger numbers currently standing 10.6% higher for the period.

“It is a really good start and should be recognised as such”, Jon Horne went on. “However, we have much more to do and it won’t happen overnight. We have a strategy and plan to achieve continued growth over the coming years, and the team is committed to delivering it.

“Our immediate aim is to add more flights to European destinations and our medium-term ambition is to add direct long haul flights, as our runway is already large enough to accommodate this.”

First Minister Carwyn Jones marked the anniversary at the Airport, ahead of flying to Anglesey on one of Citywings’ ten weekly flights to north Wales.

The First Minister commented: “It is satisfying to see that passenger numbers have grown by more than 10% between May and February. More capacity and new services, including a return of ski flights and Mediterranean and Caribbean cruise flights, as well as a new airline, CityJet, have all contributed to the success of the first year. The airport is a major asset for the people of Wales and they deserve to have an airport that meets their travelling needs.”

Jon Horne continued: “The increase in passengers has been supported by improvements we have made and others currently underway. These are influenced by customer feedback; we have listened to our passengers and have acted to deliver what they want.  We now have free WiFi, free baggage trolleys and a new taxi facility in Arrivals. Within the next six weeks, a new Departures and security screening area will be fully open with state of the art technology to ensure the best and swiftest passenger experience possible.

“In the same timeframe, new car parking equipment with Automatic Number Plate Recognition will come into operation along with free drop off in front of the terminal”.

Alex Cruz, Chief Executive of Vueling, said: “We have a great relationship with the team at Cardiff Airport, which we are sure has been an important factor in the success of our flight programme from there. We’ve been working together to get the message out to local travellers, and I am delighted we have been part of Cardiff Airport’s successful first year of new ownership. We look forward to continue working with the team to get even more passengers flying from Cardiff with Vueling.”

Jon Horne underlined: “Progress is still about growing the number of flights and destinations; it’s all about providing the people of Wales with more travel options, whether that’s Dusseldorf or Dubai, Belfast or Barbados, so that they can choose to fly from Cardiff”.

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