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Bristol congestion charge could boost Cardiff Airport passenger numbers

05 Apr 2022 2 minute read
Cardiff Airport. Photo by Holidayextras is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Aviation experts are predicting the introduction of a new congestion charge in Bristol later this year could provide a welcome boost to Cardiff Airport, which almost went bust during the Covid pandemic.

It’s estimated that up to 30% of all passengers using Bristol Airport come from the south of Wales and although it lies outside the city’s new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) the most popular route for passengers driving from Wales goes through the charging zone.

Cars driving through the CAZ will have to pay at least £18 for a return trip unless drivers have the very latest euro 6 diesel or low-emission petrol cars.

Bristol’s Clean Air Zone (in blue).

Following the scrapping of tolls to cross the Severn bridge in 2018, the airport saw a significant increase in Welsh passengers and there are fears in Bristol this could be reversed, to the benefit of Cardiff Airport. once the congestion charge is introduced over the summer.

Wizz Air

Although Cardiff doesn’t offer the same number of routes as Bristol, UK Aviation News predicts the new charges plus the presence of the new low-cost airline Wizz Air could attract additional passengers.

Wizz Air, which also has UK bases in Gatwick, Luton and Doncaster, will fly to Portugal, Greece, Spain and Egypt from this Friday, while Vueling currently serves Mallorca and Alicante and Ryanair flies to Faro.

The airline is expected to put on sale just over 200,000 seats for its inaugural summer season in Wales, with the airport hopeful of achieving around 75% capacity.

Welsh Government

Cardiff Airport was purchased by the Welsh Government for £52 million in March 2013 and it subsequently purchased additional equity totalling £9.3m.

Last year government auditors valued the facility at just £15 million and ministers had to step in with a grant of £42.6m and wrote off £42.6m in taxpayer-funded loans to help it survive the impact of the Covid pandemic.

The Economy Minister at the time, Ken Skates, said Covid had a “catastrophic” impact on the airport, and it faced imminent closure if the government had not taken action.

A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) report last year showed Cardiff suffered an 87% decline in passenger at the height of the pandemic, the worst of any UK airport.


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Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago

Senedd should control landing revenues…..Not some English airport with the help of our Vidkuns.

Last edited 5 months ago by Quornby
Man meirion s
Man meirion s
5 months ago

Let’s actually get some flights at Cardiff airport. Has anyone looked at the schedule? One or two flights a day?
Come on Welsh assembly pull your finger out!

Rob
Rob
5 months ago
Reply to  Man meirion s

Welsh Assembly what’s that?. The Welsh Government however have been doing everything they can to keep Cardiff Airport alive, including spending millions of on purchasing it. State Aid rules also prohibit as to what a government can do. It would be helpful if the UK Government devolved Air Passenger Duty to Wales, like they have in both Scotland and Northern Ireland, and not cave in to the selfish interests of Bristol Airport.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago
Reply to  Man meirion s

8-10 departures and about the same number of arrivals per day.
Easyjet cancelled over 200 flights this weekend and 500 empty flights a month take off from other UK airports simply to keep slots open. As the article reports, Wizz Air aim to sell 200,000 seats this summer out of Cardiff but the point of the airport is not just flights.

Rhoose and Saint Athan Enterprise Zone already employ loads of taxpaying workers and should in future employ tens of thousands.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
5 months ago
Reply to  Man meirion s

The pandemic has curtailed the number of flights. As soon as KLM reintroduce their 6am flight to Amsterdam, the world from Cardiff will be accessible again.

Rob
Rob
5 months ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

I’ve used that service, however the problem is a lack of access to get there. Public transport needs to operate on a 24 hour basis to accommodate the check-in deadlines for early morning departures and late night arrivals. The T9 bus service was suspended due to the pandemic and still isn’t back in operation as of yet.

Last edited 5 months ago by Rob
Grayham Jones
5 months ago

All people living in wales should fly out from Cardiff I only fly from Cardiff all over the world support Cardiff airport stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Rob
Rob
5 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

I agree that we should all be using Cardiff as much as possible and would love to it become a truly global & really global airport. But surely you can’t blame those living in Llandudno, Rhyl, or Wrexham preferring Liverpool or Manchester instead.

Last edited 5 months ago by Rob
Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
5 months ago

Cairns and Hart will pay the charge for you.

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