Chair of Cardiff Airport Lord Rowe-Beddoe says direct routes to the US and Middle East still very much on the radar

Chairman of Cardiff Airport Lord Rowe-Beddoe

By Sion Barry,

Chairman of Cardiff Airport Lord Rowe-Beddoe said the airport is still hopeful of landing a direct route into a hub airport in the Middle East, as well as a scheduled service to the US.

On the Flybe announcement Lord Rowe-Beddoe, a former chairman of the Wales Millennium Centre and the WDA said:”This is quite an expansion and is something that the Welsh public wants… which is greater choice and frequency from an airline which is recognised for offering such good value.

“And just as importantly we also have an opportunity to bring more people into Wales.”

Eight of the 11 routes have never be serviced before by Flybe from any of its UK bases.

And he believes it could provide the impetus for other airlines to expand or invest in Cardiff. Lord Rowe-Beddoe said: “I really think this can be the spark. Vueling has been doing very well and building.”

Despite the UK Government ruling out Air Passenger Duty being devolved to Wales in the near future in its announcement on further devolved powers last week, Lord Rowe-Beddoe believes it is far from dead in the water and has constantly called for the in the House of Lords that Wales be given powers to vary the tax on all types of flights, not just on long-haul.

Talks with Emirates Airline

Lord Rowe-Beddoe said: It is a typical example of this crazy asymmetric devolution that exists in the UK. The Scots are going to have it [APD] and Northern Ireland have it on longhaul.

“Some say it has been kicked into the long grass, but I don’t think it is going to stay there for one minute.”

Lord Rowe-Beddoe said Cardiff, along with other airports in the UK, were continuing to talk to airlines such as Emirates, with a view to a direct service into a hub airport in the Middle East.

He said: “It is still very much a live lead and we are pursuing it very ardently.

“We also have an excellent hub via Amsterdam to the world, as well as to the US from Dublin.

“However,at the end of day there is nothing better than having a direct long-haul [from Cardiff] to the Middle East and to America as well. These are things we are negotiating on.”

Sourced by Wales Online

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