Axed routes and fewer passengers: Why Cardiff airport needs urgent improvement

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Press Release by Welsh Conservatives

Axed routes and falling passenger numbers have been highlighted by Andrew RT Davies as he questioned the First Minister on the future of Cardiff Airport in the Senedd today.

Latest Civil Aviation Authority statistics show a seven per cent decrease in passenger numbers between September 2013 and September this year. That equates to a drop of almost 10 thousand people passing through the terminal.

Last week GermanWings told Welsh media it would not be operating the Dusseldorf-Cardiff route in 2015. The decision followed a similar move by CityJet, which confirmed it would be axing flights from Cardiff to Glasgow last month.

A management restructure also saw the airport’s chief executive depart this summer.

Mr Davies, the Welsh Conservative Leader, asked for an explanation of recent setbacks at the Labour government-owned airport during First Minister’s Questions.

He also called for renewed emphasis on private sector investment at the nationalised airport, similar to that in Scotland, where the government has begun working with the Trump organisation following its purchase of Prestwick Airport for one pound.

In response, Labour’s First Minister said he believes the airport’s future lies in long haul.

Welsh Conservatives published a detailed ‘Blueprint for Cardiff Airport’ last year, setting out a number of ways to expand the airport, sell it back into private hands, and reimburse the taxpayer.

It is available here: http://www.welshconservatives.com/policy

Welsh Conservative Leader, Andrew RT Davies AM, said:

“Axed routes and falling passenger numbers; recent months have raised serious question marks at the nationalised Cardiff airport.

“If the future lies in long haul, as Labour’s First Minister suggests, we need to see a strategy focused on getting a long haul route – and in particular – a transatlantic flight.

“Given nearly 70 million pounds of public money has now been spent by Labour purchasing and improving the airport, taxpayers deserve to hear how the First Minister intends to deliver on his promises.

“Now the airport lies in Welsh government hands, it is absolutely paramount that success and expansion are achieved.

“Welsh Conservatives are committed to doing just that, before selling the airport back into the private sector and reimbursing the taxpayer.”

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