24 January

Annual Update marks another successful year at Wales’ national airport

Cardiff Airport has ended another watershed year in 2017 with an increase of 9% in passenger numbers for the calendar year with over 1,468 million customers having travelled through the Airport over the last 12 months.

This figure signifies almost 50% passenger growth since Cardiff Airport came under public ownership in 2013.

2017’s growth has been achieved by announcing new or increased flights to popular destinations including Madrid with Iberia Express, Guernsey with Blue Islands – both new airlines - plus Rome with Flybe and Faro with Ryanair among others. The frequency of flights also increased on core business and leisure services like Belfast City with Flybe, which now offers twice daily return flights every weekday and increased summer flights to Spain with Vueling.

A significant achievement last year was the announcement of a new daily service to the Middle East from 1st May 2018. The Qatar Airways service, which will operate on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will connect Wales and the South West of England to key global markets across Australia, Africa and Asia via the hub at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar.  A multiple award-winning five star airline, Qatar Airways was recently named Airline of the Year at the 2017 World Airline Awards.

2017 - The Highlights 

  • Secured a 5* Middle Eastern carrier, Qatar Airways, starting in May 2018
  • We have achieved 9% year on year passenger growth, on top of 16% growth in 2016
  • Over 1.468 million passengers chose to fly from Cardiff in 2017
  • 30% of our passengers are visitors to Wales
  • Named Best Airport (under 3 million passengers) by Airport Operators’ Association
  • Cardiff Airport now sustains over 2675 direct and indirect jobs
  • The overall GVA impact of Cardiff Airport to the local economy is £102 million
  • Our airlines fly direct to over 50 destinations including 9 capital cities
  • Our airlines fly to over 900 destinations via 11 hub airports
  • Two new airlines: Iberia Express and Blue Islands
  • New destinations: Rome, Madrid, Guernsey
  • Launched £4million investment into improving the terminal
  • Successfully welcomed 21,000 fans, Juventus and Real Madrid and managed 380 additional aircraft movements over the UEFA Champions League final.

Roger Lewis, Chairman of Cardiff Airport, commented: “2017 was a watershed year for Cardiff Airport, defined by a 9% increase in passenger numbers on top of 16% growth in 2016.

“2018 will be a transformational year for Cardiff Airport. We will achieve double digit growth this coming year and significantly enhance the passenger experience.

“Looking back on 2017, we have seen a continuation in fundamental and positive change in attitude and perception about Cardiff Airport and what it can deliver for the people and businesses of Wales and within our catchment area. This change has been achieved by a remarkable team of great people working closely with great airlines alongside a range of great partners.

“We promised that we would grow our business and we have delivered on that promise. In fact, passenger numbers have increased by almost 50% since our change of ownership. Our year peaked with the securing of a global flagship carrier in Qatar Airways which launches a daily service to the Gulf. This is a pivotal move which transforms Cardiff Airport into a vital gateway for both Wales and the United Kingdom and which significantly enhances our relationship with the world.

“I am totally confident that the dedicated and hardworking team at Cardiff Airport will deliver a world class service with Qatar Airways for passengers and businesses visiting Wales and travelling around the world.”

Deb Barber, CEO of Cardiff Airport, added: “2017 has been a significant year of progress for Cardiff Airport. We’ve welcomed new airlines, added to the choice of destinations for our customers, increased capacity on KLM flights and invested even more into the terminal in order to enhance their experience.

“This growth is forecast to continue in 2018 with a number of new routes already planned for launch this year including Venice with Flybe, Hurghada with TUI, the return of flights to Antalya with TUI and Thomas Cook, a wealth of short breaks with Super Break, Bergen with Hurtigruten and, of course, a new service to Qatar in May.

“Delivering high standards of safety and regulatory compliance continues to be one of our key focuses, whist continuing to improve our passengers’ experience and on business critical infrastructure. In particular, we have invested in the latest security screening equipment for hold baggage, invested in Voice Switch Air Traffic Control technology and renewed our Instrument Runway Visual Range to improve our operation during low visibility.

“A new Costa Coffee house, a WH Smith store offering ‘Well’ pharmacy products and additional seating will be unveiled in Departures before the summer in addition to a new ‘meet and greet’ car parking facility and a new car hire centre.

“We have continued our work this year to strengthen our regulatory performance. Working with the HSE, we have strengthened further our safety processes and procedures and have also maintained our focus on environmental sustainability.

“The business is growing stronger and we are well positioned to deliver on our vision and mission generating significant economic benefit to Wales.”

What’s next for 2018? 

  • We are forecasting double digit growth in 2018
  • Improved Departures area and improvements to car parking infrastructure will be unveiled in March 2018
  • New airline Qatar Airways will launch a daily direct flight to Doha in May 2018, offering connections to key destinations via a Middle Eastern hub to Australia, China, South Africa, India, New Zealand and beyond 
  • Flybe will begin operating a new service to Venice from 27th March
  • Thomas Cook introduces a weekly flight to Antalya and a second weekly flight to Dalaman, starting 4 May 2018 and 25 May 2018 respectively
  • A new TUI flights to Antalya will operate every Monday from 7th May 2018
  • Iberia Express flights to Madrid will return for the summer season, starting from 14th June

Super Break will operate a number of short break packages to destinations that include Seville, Malta, Madeira, Montenegro and Iceland. The first of which took off in January.

Download the brochure here (English)

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