Cardiff Airport to take a big hit after airline folds

(Title Image: Rhydgaled via Flickr under the Creative Commons Licence)

Passenger growth at Cardiff Airport has been thrown into doubt after Flybe – once one of Europe’s largest regional airlines – entered administration yesterday (5th March), with more than 2,000 jobs expected to be lost.

The sudden collapse was blamed on increasing flight cancellations as a result of coronavirus.

Earlier this year, Flybe agreed a deal with the UK Government for a cut in air passenger duty and a £100million investment to stave off a collapse. However, delays to the UK budget seemingly ended hope of that. The UK Government also ruled out devolving air passenger duty to Wales in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Flybe operated around half of all flights to and from Cardiff Airport and the airport was once considered a major base for the airline.

Some routes – Anglesey, Teeside and Aberdeen – will be maintained by Eastern Airways. However, routes to other major UK cities, Paris and Dublin are set to be lost for the foreseeable future.

Chief Executive of Cardiff Airport, Debra Bowen Rees, said: “We are actively talking to a number of airlines about the opportunity that exists in flying to and from south Wales. Given the Flybe news, we will focus on filling the core domestic routes which Flybe serve for the region.”

It was recently revealed Cardiff Airport has asked for an additional £6.8million in commercial loans from the Welsh Government and the government’s involvement and support for the airport has once again been brought into question by opposition parties in the Senedd.