12 April

Financial year at Cardiff Airport ends with more passenger growth

In what has been a ground-breaking twelve months at Wales’ national airport, the 2017/18 financial year has ended with more positive developments including a 10% increase in passenger growth. The number of customers flying through Cardiff Airport now stands at more than 1,488 million over the rolling year.

This exciting news comes as a result of our airlines offering an increased choice of destinations, more seats and improved flight times with greater value for money when choosing to fly from Cardiff.

Some of the new destinations launched over the last 12 months include Madrid with brand new airline Iberia Express; Faro with Ryanair; Venice and Rome with Flybe plus Guernsey with Blue Islands – Flybe’s franchise partner.

In September it was announced that 5* airline Qatar Airways will begin operating a regular service to Doha, Qatar from May 1st. This direct flight to the Middle East will offer customers opportunities to travel onwards to destinations including Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia from Cardiff. 

12 months of continuing passenger growth:

Month 2017-18

% growth from previous year

Passenger numbers





































The ten most popular destinations in 2017/18 were:

Amsterdam with KLM
Palma Majorca with Vueling, TUI and Thomas Cook
Alicante with Vueling and TUI
Dublin with Flybe
Edinburgh with Flybe
Tenerife with Ryanair, TUI and Thomas Cook
Malaga with Vueling and TUI
Paris with Flybe
Belfast with Flybe
Faro with Flybe, Ryanair and TUI

Debra Barber, CEO of Cardiff Airport, said: "The past 12 months have seen increased choice for our passengers, exciting announcements for the seasons ahead and even more improvements to the customer experience. In addition to the huge Qatar Airways announcement, we’ve also welcomed a third aircraft to the Flybe base and look forward to its third summer of flying customers to 21 destinations across the UK & Europe.

“KLM has introduced a larger aircraft to its daily services to Amsterdam Schiphol and introduced a wealth of new connections to far flung destinations including New York, Orlando, Los Angeles and Toronto. The next twelve months will be transformational, with new routes already announced including Doha with Qatar Airways plus Naples, Dubrovnik, Enfidha and Hurghada with TUI in summer 2019.

“Cardiff Airport is proudly flying the flag for Wales every day of the year.”

2017/18: The highlights

  • Over 1.488 million passengers chose to fly from Cardiff over the past 12 months, a growth of 10% year on year
  • The busiest year for 8 years
  • Now over 50% growth in passenger numbers since change of ownership in 2013
  • Secured a 5* Middle Eastern carrier, Qatar Airways, starting on 1st May
  • Two new airlines: Iberia Express and Blue Islands
  • New destinations: Rome, Madrid, Guernsey, Venice
  • Our airlines fly direct to over 50 destinations including 9 capital cities
  • Our airlines fly to over 900 destinations via 11 hub airports
  • 30% of our passengers are visitors to Wales
  • Named Best Airport (under 3 million passengers) by Airport Operators’ Association
  • Cardiff Airport now sustains over 2,675 direct and indirect jobs
  • The overall GVA impact of Cardiff Airport to the local economy is £102 million.
  • 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. 

What’s next for 2018/19?

  • Forecasting double digit growth
  • Improved Departures area and improvements to car parking infrastructure to be unveiled in April 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 
  • New Thomas Cook flights to Antalya and a second weekly flight to Dalaman this Summer plus new flights to Enfidha in Summer 2019
  • New TUI flights to Antalya this summer plus new flights to Hurghada, Dubrovnik, Naples and Enfidha in Summer 2019
  • 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, Madeira and Iceland. The first of which took off in January.


Low fares from Cardiff to Tenerife with RYANAIR