Cardiff Airport - General Thread

Jerry

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"Fully vaccinated people arriving in Wales from countries not on the red list will be able to take a cheaper and quicker lateral flow test rather than the PCR version from October 31, it has been announced."
 

Jerry

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Perhaps it was because TUI are well established at CWL
I also wonder if they feel that they aren't likely to get much more from TUI and that a 3 aircraft base may well be the limit for CWL so any future growth will have to come via the LCC airline's like Wizz and Ryanair and Vueling.
 

geoff

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I think you may be correct Jerry, it may alter somewhat if things get a bit tougher for them at BRS, where they are up against Easyjet Holidays and Jet2, in the inclusive tour sector.
 

TheLocalYokel

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I think you may be correct Jerry, it may alter somewhat if things get a bit tougher for them at BRS, where they are up against Easyjet Holidays and Jet2, in the inclusive tour sector.
A post today in one of the BRS forum threads points out that only BRS and MAN are bases for easyJet, Ryanair, TUI and Jet2 - not even LGW, STN or LTN.

With BRS's small site and other operational challenges as well as not serving a major metropolitan region it's a surprising situation. When things return to normal post-pandemic it's likely that BRS will see its current 10 mppa planning cap reached with the airlines already there. If it loses its appeal to raise the passenger cap that in itself will mean that there can be no further expansion, so surrounding airports including CWL will no doubt see some benefit.
 

TheLocalYokel

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There is speculation in the press that the chancellor will announce a reduction of air passenger duty (APD) on domestic flights in his forthcoming Autumn Budget - for more details see link to thread below.

Higher rates of APD are expected for passengers travelling in business class or first class with the distance bands set to be revised.

Lower domestic rates might encourage airlines at CWL to set up new domestic routes and/or increase frequency on existing ones. The charge for the lowest class of travel has been frozen at £13 since around 2014.

 

Jerry

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Lower domestic rates might encourage airlines at CWL to set up new domestic routes and/or increase frequency on existing ones.
The biggest hope is that it'll encourage Loganair to increase frequency on the Edinburgh route. Though it may only be for CWL-EDI flights as with the Greens being in government/cooperation deal in Scotland i can't see APD on EDI-CWL being cut.
 

TheLocalYokel

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The biggest hope is that it'll encourage Loganair to increase frequency on the Edinburgh route. Though it may only be for CWL-EDI flights as with the Greens being in government/cooperation deal in Scotland i can't see APD on EDI-CWL being cut.
I think that the UK government is still responsible for APD in Scotland despite the tax being devolved a while ago.

Scotland has renamed the tax air departure tax (ADT) but, because of the previous EU exemption for Highlands and Islands airports, introducing ADT by Scotland would have prevented the exemption. Following Brexit one might think that this problem would have lapsed but it appears not according to the Scottish Government website on taxation.

The relevant section on that website is as follows:

We will engage with the UK Government on its current consultation on APD reform to find a solution that remains consistent with our climate ambitions. The UK Government will maintain the application and administration of APD in Scotland in the interim.

See this link.

 

Starflyer

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Correct - the Scottish Government does not control APD or ADT to and from Scotland - it never took the devolved powers that were offered to it because of complications with the Highlands & Islands exemption. Whatever happens in Westminster still runs across the whole of the UK.
 

Jerry

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APD will be reduced for domestic flight's to £6.50. Will be interesting to see what effect that has on routes from airports like Cardiff. This won't kick in until April 2023 though.
 
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Jerry

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TheLocalYokel

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geoff

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I watched the session live on Senedd TV, it was nearly all related to financial matters, but Spencer Birns did state that the airport with the present services on offer for Summer 2022, would hope to reach one million passengers. It was also stated that the airport was developing more income from other services other than passenger services, but that it was difficult to persuade cargo carriers to the airport, because they wanted to situate themselves nearer to the motorways e.g.East Midlands.
 

Jerry

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I haven't been able to watch it yet but I expect it was a grim watch.
 

geoff

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It wasn't very exciting,it was mostly about the money borrowed from the Welsh Government, with questions about how it was spent. Many of the answers given by the airport financial director, he said would have to be made in a private session with members of the Senedd.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Yet again the grasp of the subject, lack of knowledge and consequent inability to probe the answers from airport senior management was apparent in the performance of committee members. Some examples:

+ The chairman suggested that Bristol Airport's freight performance was growing in contrast to Cardiff's that was declining - he was corrected by the airport CEO. BRS has virtually no air freight.

+ One MS asserted that Bristol Airport had received £60 million from the UK government but that Cardiff Airport had received nothing. Where did she get that? The UK government did make money available to English airports in connection with business rates relief re the pandemic but it was capped at £8 million per airport.

+ The committee, or at least some members of it, were clearly confused by the explanation of the airport company's £13 million write-down of intangible assets.

As to to matters that were discussed at the meeting these caught my eye:

The airport CEO spoke of nearly one million passengers next year having in a previous interview with the press suggested that it will take five years to get back to the 1.6 mppa pre-pandemic level. If he's correct on both scenarios it means that it will take a further four years to add the remaining 600,000.

When asked about the UK government's decision to reduce APD on UK domestic routes from April 2023 the CEO didn't think the reduction was big enough to make a significant difference and anyway it was nearly 18 months away. Ryanair had told him to come back when APD is zero.

The airport chief financial officer's default position seemed to be a fallback to commercial sensitivity although he was happy to give details in a closed session. The chairman later asked him why the reticence about UK government job retention finance to CWL when the amount was already in the public domain through the UK government. The CFO then confirmed those particular figures were correct but came up with an unconvincing explanation of why he wished to keep the remaining sums confidential.

There is no doubt that an airport of CWL's size in terms of passenger traffic is disproportionately, and some would say unfairly, affected by fixed costs that are both legally and regulatory necessary and this matter was mentioned more than once. Attempts to diversify and earn income from non-passenger sources are ongoing.

Finally, the airport CEO told the committee that 'the route to Amsterdam is operating normally at three times a day'.

It doesn't seem to be this week. I've checked with South Wales Aviation Group website (my thanks and acknowledgement to them) who show the following airline departures from CWL from the first of this month.

Monday 1 November

Eastern Airways to Belfast City - J41
Ryanair to Dublin - B738
Loganair to Edinburgh - E145
KLM to Amsterdam - E190

Tuesday 2 November

TUI to Alicante - B738
Vueling to Paris Orly - A321
Vueling to Alicante A320
TUI - Tenerife South

Wednesday 3 November

Ryanair to Dublin - B738

Thursday 4 November

Loganair to Edinburgh - E145
Eastern Airways to Belfast City - J41
KLM to Amsterdam - E175
TUI to Arrecife - B738

That's not 3 x daily or anything like it.
 

geoff

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TLY I entirely agree with your comments, the lack of knowledge by some of the SMs is really staggering, the answers of the chief financial officer were evasive, and even some of the CEO's answers were incorrect.
 

Foxlimayankee

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TLY I entirely agree with your comments, the lack of knowledge by some of the SMs is really staggering, the answers of the chief financial officer were evasive, and even some of the CEO's answers were incorrect.
Absolutely. It's embarrassing for them. My favourite was the Labour SM probing about flight times to malaga and why aren't they 1100 to make them more attractive to passengers as if there could be a single aircraft sat on the ground to operate a return flight at optimum time each day to AGP.
- In the later part of the interview it was said that the WG gave Qatar £1m a year to advertise Wales which has currently been paused.
- 1m passengers a year are leaked to BRS and 1m to LHR, which I think most know, but nothing was said how they intend to win some of those back.
I'm surprised they are only forecasting 1m passengers. I would've thought the seat offering for 2022 would be well in excess of 1m.
 

geoff

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There doesn't seem to be anybody in the Welsh Government at the moment with any interest in the airport, and placing the transport portfolio in with the Climate Change department was a big mistake.
 
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