11:12, 6 April 2015 By Sion Barry
Andrew Sergent believes the airport is in good shape and welcomes the appointment of Roger Lewis as its next chairman
Non-executive of Cardiff Airport Sargent has stood down from the board after completing a two-year term.
He leaves after playing a key role in recent negotiations that has seen Flybe significantly expanding its routes at the airport – which is expected to add a further 400,000 new passengers over the next few years.
He was appointed to the board in 2013 following the acquisition of the airport by the Welsh Government for £52m, minus professional advisory fees, from Spanish firm Abertis.
Mr Sargent was appointed due to his expertise and strong track-record in change management and strategy in the airport sector.
He advised the Civil Aviation Authority on the introduction of NATS ( National Air Traffic Services), and later led the transformation programmes, post and pre-acquisition, at leading UK regional airports Bristol, Luton and Newcastle.
He said: “During the last two years I am proud to have been able to propose, initiate or influence a number of important enhancements to Cardiff’s operating strategy and structure.
“There are positive changes for all to see, not least of which are the improvements to customer service, operations, and the beginning of a long and much needed journey to reduce the cost base.
“All this must not only continue, but accelerate. However, I decided some weeks ago that two years was as much as I was prepared to give this and wrote to Welsh Government on March 30th to confirm that I did not wish my name to go forward for retention.”
Chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union Roger Lewis has been confirmed as the next non-executive chairman of the Rhoose-based airport.
He will take over from Lord Rowe-Beddoe in November.
Mr Lewis will have a direct input into the appointment of a new chief executive of the airport as well any new board members. All board members see their two-year terms expire this year.
The other non executives are David Goldstone, Geraint Davies, Margaret Llewellyn and Philip Ashman.
Mr Sargent said: “I welcome the announcement that Roger Lewis will be the new chairman and wish him and the airport team well.
“What Cardiff needs now is a combination of sound investment, tough decisions and belief in a clear, focused future as an integral part of the Welsh aerospace industry.”
The airport, which currently handles just over one million passengers a year, is operated by a holding company at arms length from the Welsh Government.
Sourced from walesonline
16:40, 20 March 2015 By Sion Barry
WRU boss Roger Lewis expected to be named as the new chairman of Cardiff Airport taking over from Lord Rowe-Beddoe
Chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union Roger Lewis is expected to take up a new role as chairman of Cardiff Airport in November, WalesOnline understands.
In what will be a ministerial appointment he will chair the holding company that operates the airport at arms length from the Welsh Government. An announcement is expected next week.
Mr Lewis will succeed Lord Rowe-Beddoe, who is expected to stand down after a two year term as chair. He was appointed following the Welsh Government’s £52m acquisition of the Rhoose-based airport from Spanish company Abertis in the spring of 2013.
Mr Lewis, 60, will stand down as chief executive of the WRU following the Rugby World Cup this autumn. He took up the role in 2006.
One of his first actions could be to help shape the look of the next non-executive board. As with Lord Rowe-Beddoe their two year terms will expire this year.
While some could remain, it will provide an opportunity to bring in new blood around the boardroom table and potentially more executive experience in the airport and airline sectors.
Lord Rowe-Beddoe will leave with the airport having recently been boosted after negotiating a major expansion of routes with airline Flybe, which is expected to add 400,000 passengers to the airport’s current annual number of just over one million over the next few years.
While having no previous aviation sector executive experience Mr Lewis has held a series of high profile roles, which as well as his current role with the WRU, include being a former managing director at EMI Records and president globally for the Decca Record Company.
He is also chairman of the Cardiff Capital Region advisory board.
The current non-executive board members of Cardiff Airport are Philip Ashman, Margaret Llewellyn, David Goldstone, Geraint Davies and Andrew Sargent.
Following the departure of chief executive Jon Horne last year, the airport is currently in the process of seeking to appoint a new chief executive.
The most senior executive currently at the airport is its interim managing director Debra Barber.
Speaking from Rome, ahead of Wales’s game tomorrow, Mr Lewis declined to comment.
The airport is continuing to hold talks with a number of airlines. High on its list of targets is securing a route into a hub airport in the Middle East, providing for connecting flights into the Far East and Australasia.
Possible candidates include Emirates. However, Cardiff is facing competition from its nearest rival Bristol Airport to land a new route into the Middle East.
The Welsh Government declined to comment when asked about Mr Lewis and chairmanship of the airport.
Sourced from walesonline
10:34, 19 March 2015
OPINION BY MARTINEVANS
Aviation expert Martin Evans explores Flybe’s investment in new routes at Cardiff Airport but asks what will happen over the long-term
In the airport business it helps to have a short memory.
There are a limited number of airlines to do deals with so if one airline stabs you in the back, the next morning you offer to sharpen the blades for them.
So it was no great surprise when Flybe announced a triumphant expansion at Cardiff Airport thirteen months after abandoning some of the airport’s most important routes at very short notice.
This was a deal that both parties really needed but of the ‘eleven’ new routes, how much is really new?
Well, two routes, Belfast and Jersey were already being flown by flybe.
Dusseldorf had already been announced as a replacement for Germanwings.
Edinburgh, Glasgow and Paris Charles de Gaulle abandoned by Flybe a year ago, with Edinburgh and Paris Orly already served by City Jet leaving Cork, Dublin, Milan, Faro and Munich as the new routes but of these Dublin is already served by Aer Lingus.
Route network isn’t the only positive from this deal. Flybe has signed a ten year agreement with Cardiff Airport to base two aircraft at Cardiff.
Having based aircraft is very important, it brings jobs, it brings more convenient arrival and departure times and it helps the marketing of routes. It shows a commitment to the airport and more aircraft can be added later for future growth.
This was a deal that had to be done by Cardiff Airport.
The opportunity to become a base for a low cost airline now seems to have vanished.
The weakness at Cardiff is not only having a very strong summer market but a very weak Winter market but also competition from Bristol Airport where the UK’s two biggest low cost airlines have bases.
This is unfortunate because the smmer market at Cardiff is better suited to a low cost airline.
However, the traditional Spanish market is well served by low cost airline Vuelling who, by not having aircraft based at Cardiff, can offer more seats in summer than in winter.
The lack of a based low cost airline makes Cardiff an ideal base for Flybe. They don’t want to compete directly with the low cost airlines who use larger aircraft and have lower costs of operation.
Their business model is to use smaller aircraft offering high frequency services between major cities or routes that are too small for the low cost airlines.
An airport that doesn’t have a based low cost airline needs connections to major UK and European cities and as Europe’s largest regional airline, flybe is the best option available.
Related story: Chief executive of Flybe on the Cardiff investment.
Flybe also had reasons to need this deal. Flybe has been undergoing a restructuring to take costs out of the business. As part of the restructuring they have grounded a complete fleet of 14 aircraft, the Embraer E195.
These aircraft are too large for high frequency services in the UK market but too small to compete with low cost airlines on leisure routes.
It is unusual strategy for an airline to ground a fleet if there isn’t a definite disposal plan, if the aircraft can cover their operating costs any contribution towards the lease costs would be better than nothing.
Even though the aircraft are grounded, the lease costs still have to be paid.
It was sensible of Flybe to grab the opportunity of earning some revenue with them at Cardiff.
However, we will have an airline at Cardiff operating two aircraft that it doesn’t want to operate any more because it is the wrong aircraft for the UK market.
The problem then becomes one of how is the airline going to grow the business at Cardiff over the ten years of the agreement?
Five of the E195 fleet have already been disposed of and if flybe see an opportunity to dispose of the rest of the fleet will they still retain two of the aircraft for Cardiff or take the more sensible option of disposing of all of them?
Will they extend the lease on these aircraft in 5 years time or will they be returned? What if there can be further expansion of the Cardiff base, will another aircraft type be operated?
What is probable is that in the second half of this agreement we will see smaller aircraft being operated, probably turboprops.
Clearly the deal works for both parties in the short term, Cardiff gets more routes and passengers, flybe earns revenue from two unwanted aircraft.
However, we should expect the route network to evolve over the next ten years to one that uses smaller aircraft flying more frequently.
That would be not be a bad outcome for the business traveller but it would be one that doesn’t serve the leisure market that Cardiff is currently so dependent on.
If Flybe doesn’t develop a profitable business at Cardiff Airport over the first few years of this agreement with a strategy that fits in with the rest of the UK business then we can expect the knives will be kept polished for future use.
Sourced from walesonline
By Paul Martin
The delay in publishing two high-profile reports by the Wales Audit Office has come under fire.
The watchdog is examining the Welsh government’s purchase of Cardiff Airport and a multi-million pound land sale by Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales (RIFW).
Tory AM Byron Davies says he is “disappointed” neither has been published.
The WAO plans to deliver the airport paper in June and the other in July.
Its investigation into Cardiff Airport is looking at whether the government’s decision to buy it for £52m represented value for money.
The WAO is also analysing the airport’s overall performance.
Its fieldwork for the report started last March and it had hoped to publish its findings by the end of 2014.
But it blamed the delay on “resourcing pressures”.
RIFW had been set up to invest in the regeneration of town centres and was funded by European and Welsh government money.
The WAO’s probe is looking into the sale of 16 parcels of publicly-owned land which were sold for about £20m by the fund and there are concerns they could have generated much more for the taxpayer.
The watchdog is focusing on the decision to sell the sites privately rather than by a public auction – and the findings were supposed to be published in 2013.
But now it says audit work has been completed and it is “currently confirming the factual accuracy of our findings with each of the parties concerned”.
A spokeswoman for the WAO said the RIFW investigation has been “a particularly complex project but we anticipate publication of the auditor general’s report before the start of the National Assembly summer recess in July”.
BBC Wales understands the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is still looking into the matter.
The SFO said it can “neither confirm nor deny” its interest in RIFW.
Former RIFW board member Chris Holley told BBC Wales last year RIFW had “done nothing wrong” and had followed “the guidelines and the rules”.
AMs are due to question representatives from the WAO about the reports in a private session of the Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday.
Mr Davies AM said: “I’ve always had the highest regard for the leadership of the Wales Audit Office and the calibre of the people working there.
Mr Davies said he is ‘disturbed’ by the slow progress
“But I have to say, things have slowed up.
“And I really am disturbed the RIFW report has taken this long to be published and there’s no date as to when it might appear.”
Mr Holley added: “We are currently checking all the facts that have been put in the report. When that is done we will send it back and they will publish it.
“It has been an extremely difficult and complex issue.
“This has not been as easy as certain people have made it out to be.
“It has taken a great deal of time to understand all the questions.
“That is why this investigation has taken so long.”
Sourced from BBC Wales
Chair of Cardiff Airport Lord Rowe-Beddoe says direct routes to the US and Middle East still very much on the radarPosted: March 6, 2015
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
On 5th March 2015 Flybe confirmed a major expansion at Cardiff Airport with new routes and announcing that the airport will become it’s newest base with two aircraft in a 10 year deal.
The first of the two based 118 seat Embraer 195 regional jets will arrive in June with the second arriving in Septemeber.
The new routes will be Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh, Faro, Glasgow, Milan, Munich & Paris and will add to the existing services to Belfast City and seasonal flights to Jersey, Dusseldorf & Geneva.
The chief executive of low-cost airline Flybe, Saad Hammad, said the aim was to get as quickly as possible to a desired 400,000 annual passenger level from its new routes out of Cardiff Airport.
Speaking at Cardiff Airport Mr Hammad said: “We are targeting 400,000 incremental passengers annually.”
It is understood that Flybe’s current passenger occupancy rate on its existing network is in the mid 70% range.
As for a time frame to get to the desirable 400,000 passenger mark Mr Hammad said: “That is our vision and we want to get there as quickly as possible.
“We are doing business and sun routes and importantly cities such as Paris and Dublin. So we think it is a really good combination of business and leisure, both for the local community but also to draw traffic into Wales.
“Wales is brilliant for leisure and one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. It is also great in terms of inward business investment, so I think it is a win win all round.”
On the potential for adding further new routes in the future Mr Hammad said: “Absolutely. We will see how we go to get to that occupancy and traffic flows, but the beauty of what we do is that it isn’t a finite thing and if it goes well we want to build on success.
“So the sooner that we get to the kind of volumes we are looking for the better.”
Although Flybe will have two Embraer 190 aircraft based at Cardiff Airport some flights will be operate by non-based Bombardier Dash8-Q400.
Wales Air Forum will tell you a little more on the aircraft below.
The Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 twin-engined, medium range, turboprop aircraft produced by Bombardier Aerospace.
The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100 engines and carries up to 78 passengers in a 2 x 2 seat configuration.
The Embraer 195 is a narrow-body medium-range twin-engined jet aircraft produced by Embraer.
The aircraft is powered by two GE CF34-10E engines and carries up to 118 passengers in a 2x 2 seat configuration.
Information supplied by Wales Online
The city has been reinventing itself for sometime as a great destination for food and drink and it hosts the second biggest arts festival in the UK. The tourism figures are showing the upward trend for the Northern Irish city. Plus, all this development is being helped by the fans of Game of Thrones flocking to visit locations used in the hit show.
Belfast tourism site: visit-belfast.com
|Cardiff (CWL) to Belfast City (BHD)|
|Belfast City (BHD) to Cardiff (CWL)|
The compact city is crammed full of great architecture and fantastic foodie options. The Venice of Ireland is built on waterways and the city centre is an island in the River Lee. Close to Cork is Kinsale, the gourmet capital of Ireland, and also nearby is the kissable Blarney Stone.
Belfast tourism site: www.discoverireland.ie
|Cardiff (CWL) to Cork (ORK)|
|Cork (ORK) to Cardiff (CWL)|
An easy city to navigate on foot. There is more to the city than Guinness, but a visit to the factory is a must for most visitors. Not only do you learn everything about how a pint of the black stuff, but you can enjoy a complimentary one as well. There are plenty of museums and galleries, and for family fun there is the National Aquatic Centre.
Dublin tourism site: www.visitdublin.com
|Cardiff (CWL) to Dublin (DUB)|
|Dublin (DUB) to Cardiff (CWL)|
The German city is a must for culture lovers, with 100 galleries, 26 museums and an opera house. Dusseldorf is a great destination for shopaholics. And after all that cultural and retail therapy you can head to the old town with its 260 bars and restaurants in a half mile square area.
Dusseldorf tourism site: www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de
|Cardiff (CWL) to Dusseldorf (DUS)|
|Dusseldorf (DUS) to Cardiff (CWL)|
Flights to the Scottish capital from the Welsh capital are nothing new, but they will now be more frequent. During the annual festival the city comes alive, and a New Year’s Eve in the city should be on everyone’s list of things to do before they die. But whatever time of the year you come there is always something to see or do.
Edinburgh tourism site: www.visitscotland.com/
|Cardiff (CWL) to Edinburgh (EDI)|
|Edinburgh (EDI) to Cardiff (CWL)|
For a bit of sun there is Portugal’s southern gem. The capital city of the Algarve region is full of beautiful architecture, marina, parks and plazas. There are plenty of beaches nearby.
Faro tourism site: www.visitportugal.com
|Cardiff (CWL) to Faro (FAO)|
|Faro (FAO) to Cardiff (CWL)|
Since the 1980s the Scottish city has been rebuilding its reputation – becoming a European City of Culture, fa City of Architecture and Design, and Unesco City of Music. And it is the music scene that is a big draw to the city.
Glasgow tourism site: www.visitscotland.com
|Cardiff (CWL) to Glasgow (GLA)|
|Glasgow (GLA) to Cardiff (CWL)|
The Island is only nine miles by five, and while that makes it the biggest Channel Island it also makes it very easy to navigate. The War Tunnels are a fascinating trip, along with the castles Mont Orgueil and Elizabeth.
Jeresy tourism site: www.jersey.com
|Cardiff (CWL) to Jersey (JER)|
|Jersey (JER) to Cardiff (CWL)|
The Bravian city has something for everyone. But a lot of people associate it with one month in particular: October. Oktoberfest brings thousands to the city, but there is far more to it than the annual beer festival, from castles and palaces, to parks and plazas.
Munich tourism site: www.muenchen.de
|Cardiff (CWL) to Munich (MUC)|
|Munich (MUC) to Cardiff (CWL)|
A fashionistas playground. The Italian city all about the trendy shops and the designer clobber on offer. There is also the gothic Cathedral and La Scala Opera. Plus you can always take in a game at the San Siro.
Milan tourism site: www.tourism.milan.it
|Cardiff (CWL) to Milan Malpensa (MXP)|
|Milan Malpensa (MXP) to Cardiff (CWL)|
The City of Light. The City of Love. Whatever you want to call it a great weekend destination with so much to do. Cardiff Airport has had flights to Paris for a while but the Flybe flights will add to the frequency.
Paris tourism site: en.parisinfo.com
|Cardiff (CWL) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)|
|Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to Cardiff (CWL)|
Europe’s largest regional airline, Flybe, has announced it is to create a new base at Cardiff Airport this summer in a move which will see 11 routes, 50 new jobs created and over half a million extra seats on sale from Wales’ national airport.
The new network includes flights to existing routes between Cardiff and Belfast, Düsseldorf and Jersey, plus new routes between Cardiff and Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh, Faro, Glasgow, Munich, Milan and Paris.
Seats will go on sale on Friday 6th March at www.flybe.com, with fares available from £24.99 one way.
Two of the airline’s 118-seat Embraer 195 aircraft will be based at the Airport: the first from 1 June 2015, the second arriving on 1 September 2015. Jobs will include flight crew and ground handling staff.
The announcement follows the signing of a long-term agreement between Flybe and Cardiff Airport.
Saad Hammad, CEO, Flybe said: “We are delighted to launch these exciting new routes from Cardiff Airport. We have been looking to find a productive home for our surplus E195 aircraft and we are delighted at this agreement with Cardiff Airport which involves us basing two of these jets there to serve the Welsh market with great value fares and further improving UK regional connectivity.”
Lord Rowe-Beddoe, Chairman, Cardiff Airport, said: “Our customers want greater choice in routes, more frequent services and better value flights. This new Flybe base is most welcome news for our passengers as it will bring new destinations and increased services from a popular great-value airline, as well as creating opportunities to encourage more visitors to come to Wales.”
First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said: “Flybe’s announcement that it is opening a new base operating 11 routes from Cardiff Airport is fantastic news. We’ve always said that we want the airport to be a gateway to Wales, as something that will drive our economy by bringing tourists and business to the country. We’ve already invested in improving the overall customer experience at Cardiff Airport and the new routes to major European destinations, as well as the creation of 50 new jobs, demonstrates Flybe’s commitment to the Airport and will help to make it the success we know it can be.”
About Cardiff Airport
Flybe currently operates services to Belfast City, Geneva and Jersey from Cardiff Airport. Over 50 direct routes are available from Cardiff Airport with more than 900 destinations available with connections.
The Airport directly supports over 1700 jobs in South Wales and forms part of the Welsh Government’s Cardiff Airport – St Athan Enterprise Zone.
To find out more about destinations from Cardiff visit www.cardiff-airport.com