Cardiff Airport - General Thread

Nuffsaid

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Wales needs all the connectivity it can get in order to recover from the pandemic and even more so from the likes of Brexit. Wales needs the airport otherwise it will slowly die economically.
 

Jerry

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Another thought as well is one of the reasons that the Welsh government bought and invested in the airport was to help increase better connectivity not just for Welsh businesses and foreign businesses but to help boost inbound Welsh tourism as well. A lot of the Flybe routes were part of that as was the Qatar Airways Doha route. So it'll be interesting to see if the Welsh Government is willing to say too foreign business and international tourism especially to essentially fly via England or not too come to Wales at all because the journey is potentially harmful to the planet.
 

geoff

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There is an interview with Lee Walters Ms in Simple Flying, about the future of CWL, basically he saying is it worth investing any more public money in CWL. This present Welsh Government do not seem to have any interest in CWL, and just seem to be following the present popularity trend of the anti pollution activists. Have they given any thought to the jobs of the workers at BAMC, Global Trek, and other workers at the airport, and at St Athan. Similarly they want to close Aberpergwm mine in Glynneath, which if they would, means ships from Australia, bringing coal to TATA steelworks in Port Talbot, (so much for global warming), and this is a Labour Government which is supposed to support the working class.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Is this the same Lee Waters who just eight months ago when deputy minister for economy and transport told the Senedd that the government had no option but to make available to the airport over £80 million in loans and debt write-off?

He said that without rescue and restructuring CWL ‘would have gone bust, it would have closed’.

Now wearing a different ministerial hat he is telling the Senedd that further subsidising of the airport would not be in keeping with the Welsh government’s commitment to tackle climate change.

So what has changed in eight months? Has the government only become aware of climate change in recent weeks or is this, as others have suggested, an attempt to play to the climate change gallery?

If the policy earlier this year was to subsidise the airport to prevent its closure is the government now accepting that if it’s not prepared to offer further subsidy if required it is content to see CWL close?

I don’t believe for one minute that the government would allow that. Having an airport is vital to the infrastructure of the country.
 

Jerry

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So what has changed in eight months? Has the government only become aware of climate change in recent weeks or is this, as others have suggested, an attempt to play to the climate change gallery?
With COP26 underway politically environmental change is much more of an issue so politicians will try and gain political points out of looking green. I personally don't think that the Welsh government would stop supporting Cardiff Airport but money for PSO routes and marketing deals might not be forthcoming in the future. The airport is an important part of the infrastructure of the country and no Welsh government could even contemplate it's closure. In my opinion it would be irresponsible of them.
 

TheLocalYokel

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has any other news outlet posted this info or just the amateur U.K. Aviation News?

my knowledge none of its editors have received official media qualifications.

bad news always sells a story and until the official line of the Welsh Government is to not support the airport then why listen to the voice of 1 man.
The report says the deputy minister's comments were made in the Senedd. A Conservative MS's response is also quoted.

Over the past two days I've looked to see if other news outlets have picked up on this but have been unable to find any. One might have expected the local Reach Plc publications, especially Wales Online, or BBC Wales to have have carried the story. I can't think though that UK Aviation News would have made it up.

Without knowing when the remarks were made, apparently in answer to a question, it's very difficult to find them in Senedd records without spending hours in the attempt.
 

mathers_wales_uk

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I have no doubt that comments have been made however a comment may not indicate a policy.

I was highlighting that maybe if every other usual airport bashing media has not reported it then it could be classed as a non-news event.

Plus the news outlet source isn’t the most professional of ones so may not be relied on so heavily as a source.
 

Foxlimayankee

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I have no doubt that comments have been made however a comment may not indicate a policy.

I was highlighting that maybe if every other usual airport bashing media has not reported it then it could be classed as a non-news event.

Plus the news outlet source isn’t the most professional of ones so may not be relied on so heavily as a source.
Have to agree, not the most reliable news source. Usually reporting on matters from hearsay or trying to post news as quick as possible to get there first, when is in fact an amateur news source rather than official media outlet.
 

TheLocalYokel

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I've now found the exchange at the Senedd. It was at a plenary session on 10 November this year. Below is the link, and the comments and their context can be found by scrolling down to paragraphs 35-37 of the record of the session.


Conservative shadow minister for transport Natasha Asghar MS asked this question of Lee Waters the deputy minister for climate change:

Thank you, Deputy Minister. I know that you often like to use the central UK Government as a reason and justification for a lot of things, and I know, on many occasions, you don't like answering my questions, so sometimes I think to myself would you be happier going back to ITV Wales and actually working on answering the questions that I'm asking you, as opposed to diverting the answer elsewhere.

My final question is: passenger numbers using Cardiff Airport have dropped to the lowest level since the 1950s. Traveller numbers fell from 1.6 million to just 48,000, with the airport's chief executive saying that the drop is down to the Welsh Government urging people not to travel overseas. Last week, at the public accounts committee, officials from Cardiff Airport said that air passenger duty was a punitive tax that hinders the ability of airlines to add to their capacity. Cardiff Airport has been underperforming since it was taken into public ownership in 2013. This is a Welsh Government issue, Deputy Minister, and it appears that things are regularly going from bad to worse. So, Deputy Minister, will you join me in welcoming the announcement by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, from the UK Government, in the budget, that air passenger duty is to be halved for domestic flights? Do you agree that this is a positive move that will assist Cardiff Airport's recovery, or would you rather continue to bail out the airport with millions of pounds of taxpayers' money here from Wales?


The deputy minister replied:

Well, with respect, I do answer the Member's questions; she just doesn't like the answers. I don't think that subsidising and encouraging domestic air travel is in keeping with the challenge of climate change that we have and that the Prime Minister is trying to claim great international leadership on; I think it is a contradiction. The airport is a commercially run body, and its management makes decisions for the best way to run their own airport. That's as it should be. We have invested in the airport to make sure that Wales has an airport, but the Member will be aware that we have a pandemic, and there's been an international collapse in air traffic. That has had a significant impact on the finances of the airport, and we put a support package in place to support them through that.

What I can't find in the session's record is the Conservative shadow minister for transport's reported response in the UK Aviation News as:

The minister’s comments were somewhat surprising given the number of taxpayer handouts Carport Airport has received since being taken into public ownership eight years ago by Labour.

It is a little hypocritical of Labour to say subsidising air travel is a bad thing, when they’ve pumped in hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayer cash, and continue to do so, into their failed vanity project.

If Labour ministers are planning to stop subsidising Cardiff Airport because it flies in the face of climate change, then it raises some serious questions over its future.

I have no doubt that Cardiff Airport could become a thriving transport hub but after this latest intervention its future is now hanging by a thread.

The Labour-run Government needs to urgently make clear its long-term intentions for the site given the jobs and taxpayer money linked to the airport.


It must be presumed that this comment was made elsewhere.
 

geoff

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The meeting of the Public Accounts Committee last week, and the questioning of the Airport Senior Management, shows that MS's from both opposition and government parties have very little knowledge about the running of CWL.
 

Jerry

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The meeting of the Public Accounts Committee last week, and the questioning of the Airport Senior Management, shows that MS's from both opposition and government parties have very little knowledge about the running of CWL.
It's a niche subject so i doubt any of them really have the interest to delve into it and try and learn about the way airports and airlines operate and the business models around that.
 

Foxlimayankee

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The meeting of the Public Accounts Committee last week, and the questioning of the Airport Senior Management, shows that MS's from both opposition and government parties have very little knowledge about the running of CWL.
Any of the committees setup generally have little knowledge of what their talking about. The Thomas Cook enquiry by the UK government was similar. There's been WG committees before on CWL and the lack of knowledge was astounding.

But when you have the opposition transport minister that hasn't got a clue either and is just political point scoring, it shows politics and business don't mix.
 

Jerry

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With Cardiff trying to rebuild it's European network a reduction in the amount of inbound tourism from Europe and beyond won't be helpful especially for routes like Orly and Amsterdam and Dublin.
 

geoff

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I just watched the interview on the Wales Politics show, at least Spencer Birns sees a future for the airport, Ms Aghar doesn't give it any support, she wants it sold, doesn't she realise that the airport supports over 2000 jobs, for workers in South Wales. If the airport was sold some of the jobs could easily move elsewhere outside of Wales.
 
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