News

Conservatives urge Welsh Government to sell ‘failed vanity project’ airport

13 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
Some routes lost to Flybe’s collapse on March 5th, 2021 are only now being restored. Photo by Jonathan Winton and is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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.

‘Bounce back’

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.”

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Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago

Tories call for closure of airport they have spent decades deliberately undermining in order to send more trade to Conservative Bristol

Chris T
Chris T
2 months ago
Reply to  Cynan

Bristol is more Labour than Tory, but that is irrelevant as the airport is not in Bristol but Tory N Somerset

Cath
Cath
2 months ago

Aye, they want them to sell it to their mates. Tories, they’re the scum of the Earth, but they can always spot an opening to make some cash for themselves or one of their own….

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago

” Get rid of that vanity project” say the party of vanity projects. Probably too small for their portfolio of daft ideas. Never liked our government taking on the airport in the first place but find this lot piping up both irritating and ironic. Just shut up and come up with some really good ideas for a change.

Gareth
Gareth
2 months ago

I never hear the Tory party calling for airports in England co owned by local councils to be sold off, why are they not calling for Manchester airport to be sold ? Cardiff would be profitable, if it were not for the likes of Alun Cairns, who has campaigned on behalf of Bristol airport and even opposed bid’s to help Cardiff airport, whilst he was in office in the UK Gov.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
2 months ago

What they want is to close the airport so that Wales is dependent on England for an airport. Tories = pure scum.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
2 months ago

Bit rich of the Tories to call it a vanity project given that it is a functioning airport.

Of course, the garden bridge, Boris Island, the Thames cable car and the roundabout underneath the Isle of Man couldn’t possibly be called vanity projects.

And don’t forget that the bike rental scheme in London was started by Ken Livingstone but the credit for it was taken by Bojo – I would call that a vanity project.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
2 months ago

In my experience, Wales has by far the worst infrastructure in Europe. No exaggeration.

The answer is not for our government to sit on its hands. Or to disparage efforts (however pitiful) to support or improve it as a “vanity project”.

Last edited 2 months ago by Cai Wogan Jones
Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
2 months ago

I agree our infrastructure is bad. I also believe that this is a deliberate act by the English government: they want to keep us poor and dependent.

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Exactly. Same as they do in the North. For capitalism to succeed, you need a sizeable financial underclass

Last edited 2 months ago by Cynan
Dewi Davies
Dewi Davies
2 months ago

The tories have tried same tactics for Cardiff docks by diverting as much as possible to Avonmouth which is owned by a super rich Tory donor. Air passenger duty is devolved in Scotland and Northern Ireland but repeatedly turned down for Wales in case it impacted Bristol. Alun Cairns repeatedly put the boot into Cardiff Airport and he really has a lot to answer for.

Gareth
Gareth
2 months ago

An example of A Cairns working against Cardiff airport.

https://ukaviation.news/apd-killing-growth-cardiff-airport-doesnt-alun-cairns-care/

Tim
Tim
2 months ago

It doesn’t really make sense to own an airport during a climate emergency.

We should be doing all we can to save the planet – sadly I agree with the tories here but for vastly different reasons.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Whilst I agree that there is far too much air travel, even with a radical overhaul of the way we generate and use energy there will still be a need for air transport. To leave Wales without a major airport would be criminal. I believe that the tories are trying to run down our infrastructure to leave us dependent on England.

CJPh
CJPh
2 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Agreed – although the principles held by the new environmentalist movement are great, the methods suggested are purely destructive, for the most part. Why not work hammer and tongs at greening Air travel, instead of pushing for its destruction? Reform and innovation within the current techno-economic system, coupled with our national emancipation would see us becoming both economically better off and free. Restrictive Green policies and methods require an autocratic central regime – a so called ‘United Kingdom’ would do the trick. Should Cymru find herself remaining within the UK, without an airport, farming replaced by carbon-offsetting woodlands, no major… Read more »

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim

New Zealand – similar population size to wales and 64 airports. Ireland 10 airports, Cyprus 9, Malta 3, Iceland – 2 national airports and dozens of other small airports. But we in Wales are not allowed ONE 🤔

j humphrys
j humphrys
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Every country needs an international airport, for goods and personal travel, if it is to thrive.
Tories are just a wrecking ball for anything potentially good for Cymru.
Climate emergency? Give us a break, troll.

Alan Reilly 1
Alan Reilly 1
2 months ago
Reply to  j humphrys

There’s a climate emergency caused by flights and Greta Thunberg has to travel all around the world telling us about it… 🙄

Scott
Scott
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I would normally agree but the impact of removing an airport is unlikely to decrease demand. It would more likely just mean the usual customers of Cardiff Airport would need to travel further to get a flight. Having the opposite effect on carbon emissions in some cases.

defaid
defaid
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim

How much further would people have to drive in order to get a flight?

Eric Hall
2 months ago

Some rich Tory donor with a few bob to spare and a cunning plan, like a housing develoment, up his sleeve then?

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Eric Hall

Funny you should say that. One of RE-Tweet’s chums is looking at an industrial estate there

Quornby
Quornby
2 months ago

They must have buyers lined up to pick over the bones of their latest road kill project. Tories…… yuk!

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
2 months ago

The Welsh Government must keep the airport. Eventually we will gain independence and then we will be free from the restrictions imposed by Westminster. Under private ownership the airport would probably still be under Tory influence, even after independence, and so would still under perform compared to Bristol etc. It is ironic that Wales voted to leave the EU because of perceived regulations and restrictions when in reality it is the UK government that impedes Welsh prosperity.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 months ago

No wonder Andrew RT has to rely on hand-outs from the EU and Westminster. Selling any asset at the very bottom of the market is just plain bonkers.

Gail
Gail
2 months ago

Since acquired in 2013 the airport has not made any profit; in fact, it continues to make a downward spiral of losses. £42.6 million of the taxpayers money was given this March alone. Now the Welsh Government have a vision for their ‘airport city’ with unsecured prospective occupiers I’m a huge development to concrete over 100 acres of green space, wildflower meadows and woodland with ancient hedgerows housing protected species. They are brazenly defying their climate change commitments to the IPCC and their own declaration of a climate emergency to support their vision that one day after 8 years of… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
2 months ago
Reply to  Gail

I think you are getting the council and Gov mixed up. The land is owned by Legal and Genarel financial services, and planning permission to build was given by Vale of Glam council, majority of councillors are Tory. A report on this is on the Nation Cymru news page.

Alan Reilly 1
Alan Reilly 1
2 months ago

The Tories want Wales to be without a commercial airport…

…you can see what is happening here, can’t you? 🙄

Scott
Scott
2 months ago

Great advice that, sell assets at the bottom of the market -.-

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
2 months ago

The Conservatives say the airport has the potential to thrive but the Conservatives want to sell it off. So why not just come up with useful plans to help it thrive while keeping it owned by the Welsh government/people? Are there people/Tory donors keen to exploit this potential, perhaps? I don’t think now is the time to sell an asset that is likely to increase in value. No doubt if the Welsh gov had already sold the airport, at a loss, the same Conservatives would be calling it a criminal waste of money. As it stands the Conservatives have given… Read more »

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