Conservatives urge Welsh Government to sell ‘failed vanity project’ airport
The Conservatives have urged the Welsh Government to sell Cardiff Airport if they can’t turn its fortunes around, describing it as a “failed vanity project”.
The airport, recently valued at £15m, was bought by the Welsh Labour Government for around £52m in 2013, before the airline industry was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last month Budget airline Wizz Air postponed its launch at Cardiff Airport until next year, citing Covid restrictions as the reason for the delay. The airline was set to bring 40 new jobs to the airport.
Last week however Loganair restored flights to Edinburgh at the airport, a route lost when Flybe collapsed in March 2020.
The Welsh Conservatives compared the airport critically with Bristol Airport, saying that 44 flights had taken off from the latter on August 12 while only 31 had taken off from Cardiff in six days.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Asghar, said that Cardiff Airport had the potential to “thrive” as a transport hub.
“I can’t see that happening under this Labour Welsh Government with their inaction and lack of ambition,” she said.
“We need to see a detailed plan of how ministers in Cardiff Bay are going to improve the airport because it’s clear they haven’t got one in place at the moment.
“Labour’s failed vanity project has seen passenger numbers fall by 87% during the pandemic, making it the most affected airport in the UK, and Wizz Air’s news that it won’t start flying out of the airport until summer 2022 is another blow.
“With life starting to return to normal and with more countries being added to the government’s green list for travel, it is vital Labour ministers act now to get more flights landing at and departing from Cardiff Airport to help our economy and tourism industry bounce back.
“If this Welsh Labour Government cannot come up with a real plan, then maybe it’s time they sell the airport to a private company which knows what it is doing.”