New contract for Anglesey-Cardiff air link operators

David Ingham

The Welsh Government says the Anglesey – Cardiff air link has been secured for the next four years.

Eastern Airways, which runs the twice-daily service, has won a new Welsh Government contract to continue flights until 2023.

The Lincolnshire-based operator, which runs as a Flybe franchise, stepped in following the collapse of CityWing in March 2017.

Plans are still afoot to increase the air link’s capacity by almost 50% – but that will depend on whether the UK Government will reclassify Anglesey Airport.

Last year, an attempt to relax security regulations at RAF Valley was turned down.

Transport Minister, Ken Skates, said: ”Wales needs to be better connected. Eastern Airways shares our ambitions to significantly grow the route over the next four years, thereby increasing the economic benefit to Wales.”

”The need for an increase in capacity on the route has been clearly demonstrated over the last two years. With increased efficiencies and higher yield due to additional passenger revenue, this increase in capacity would see a reduction in the subsidy over the four years of the contract when compared to continuing with a 19 seat operation.”

The Minister for North Wales added: ”The PSO route provides an important functional and symbolic link connecting north and south Wales. It facilitates access to internal markets for Welsh businesses. This quick and effective internal mode of transport will be vital post Brexit.”

”In addition to already supporting the Cardiff – Anglesey service, I continue to push the UK Government to allow Wales to introduce a network of new PSO air services across the UK to support Wales’ domestic trade.”

Last year, First Minister Carwyn Jones announced the service would continue following a review, but opposition parties have called for the air link – which receives £1.2 million of annual public funding – to be scrapped.

Roger Hage, general manager at Eastern Airways, said: ”Since stepping in to cover this incredibly important economic link between the north and south of Wales, we have proactively grown passenger numbers as part of the Flybe branded service.”

”We are delighted in being awarded the contract to help further grow the capacity on the service in fully supporting the Transport Minister, and both Cardiff Airport and Anglesey Council’s ambition to increase accessibility and also improve connectivity to other services of offered by our partner Flybe, plus Qatar, KLM, Ryanair and TUI at Cardiff.”

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