This year has seen a number of notable achievements for Wales’ national Airport. The highlights include:
A new base for Flybe at Cardiff Airport. Europe’s largest regional airline opened a new base for two of its Embraer195 jet aircraft in June. This saw the start of a 14-route network from Cardiff, including three brand new routes to Cork, Munich and Milan.
This major development has had a huge impact on passenger growth at Cardiff Airport which, combined with our other airlines, has resulted in a 13% increase in passenger numbers versus 2014. The fastest month for growth in 2015 was October* with an increase of 62% compared to the same month last year. There was also 21% passenger growth in September, 32% in November and 52% in December.
Vueling confirms extra capacity for summer 2016. Following the best summer in four years for the Spanish airline at Cardiff Airport, Vueling has already announced extra flights on all four routes to Barcelona, Malaga, Alicante and Palma Majorca in 2016 offering 140,000 seats on sale between April and October, a 31% increase in capacity for the summer ahead.
British Airways chooses Cardiff Airport. In October, British Airways identified its on-site facility at Cardiff Airport to be the primary maintenance base for its entire Boeing fleet, including the new 787 Dreamliner. A huge boost for the industry in Wales with many new training opportunities for student engineers.
Industry recognition for environmental achievements. In November the Airport Operators Association (AOA) named Cardiff the best Airport in the UK for environmental initiative, as a direct result of our many environmental achievements this year including being named a ‘zero waste to landfill’ organisation.
A big year for major sporting events. The Rugby World Cup put south Wales firmly on the map as the Millennium Stadium played host to some key matches during the tournament, including the Quarter Finals. For Cardiff Airport this meant a huge influx of travelling fans through its doors, over 35,000 in fact, originating mostly from France and Ireland.
Looking ahead to 2016, Cardiff Airport is committed to continuing on this positive path to passenger growth with lots already in place. Flybe will begin its new flights to Verona once a week, while flights to Milan and Faro will increase to four times a week in peak season. A charter flight to Cancun will depart in May with Thomas Cook while in winter 2016 new direct cruise flights to Dubai with Thomson will begin and P&O Cruises will continue with another programme of cruise flights to the Caribbean.
Our Departure Lounge will undergo major refurbishments beginning in the New Year, with a brand new duty free store, restaurant and bar for passengers to enjoy before take-off.
From February 2016 Made in Cardiff TV channel will air season 2 of the popular fly on the wall documentary ‘The Airport’ – all about the next stages of Cardiff Airport’s transformation.
Debra Barber, Managing Director and Chief Operating officer at Cardiff Airport, said: “2015 has been a key developmental year for us, and while the new Flybe base has had a huge impact our other airlines including Thomson, Thomas Cook, Vueling, Aer Lingus, KLM and Ryanair have all had a great year of flying to and from Cardiff.
“Looking ahead to 2016, we are focused on delivering even more for our customers. Renovations are about to commence in departures which will enhance the customer journey, while vital conversations continue with airlines to bring in new routes. With our new Chairman at the helm we are now moving into a new, exciting phase and I am extremely grateful to our customers for supporting us on our journey so far. Here’s to a prosperous 2016.”