Conservatives call for resumption of flights between Anglesey and Cardiff Airport
Welsh Conservatives are putting pressure on the Welsh Government to reinstate the flights between Anglesey and Cardiff Airport.
The service ran twice a week between RAF Valley and Cardiff until it was suspended by Eastern Airways in March 2020 “due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and Government instruction for essential travel only”.
Welsh Conservatives leader, Andrew RT Davies claims that figures show that almost £2.2m has been provided to the airline for staffing costs and facilities since April 2020.
According to the Daily Post, Mr Davies said: “Years of Labour ministers’ mismanagement of Cardiff Airport has seen a dramatic decline in passenger numbers and its value fall to less than a third of what the Labour Government paid for it.
“The flightpath between Cardiff and Anglesey provides a link between the north and south of the country, attracting investment and boosting the economy.
“It is, therefore, vital that the Labour Government reinstates this flightpath to ease the burden on taxpayers and get Wales moving or confirm what their plans are for its future.
“While it is important to keep Cardiff Airport open for business, hardworking Welsh taxpayers will be concerned that they are not getting good value for their money while this flightpath remains closed.”
Value for money
Since the service commenced in 2007 the RAF has allowed two flights to operate out of Anglesey from Monday to Friday. Eastern Airways took over the subsidised route in March 2017, resulting in growth of around 40% in passengers.
While some welcomed the air route link from the island to the Welsh capital, the Welsh Conservatives raised concerns over the value for money for taxpayers while the Welsh Liberal Democrats argued that this money should go into train services.
In 2019 Eastern Airways was awarded a Public Service Obligation (PSO) deal until February 2023. A public service obligation route links a remote part of the country to a capital city.
A PSO air route is justified if the journey by road or train is more than four hours and if there is no suitable public transport that takes less than four hours.
This applies in the case of Anglesey and Cardiff as journeys by road or rail takes about five hours and have no direct link.
The route has carried about 14,000 passengers per year, linking the north of Wales to the south of the country.
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