Ynys Môn to Cardiff air link to come to an end, climate change minister announces
The Ynys Môn to Cardiff air link will come to an end, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change has announced.
The service was costly, bad for the environment and the train link from the north to the south of Wales faster, Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change, added.
The £2.93m air service has been suspended since March 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19.
Weekday intra-Wales flights began in May 2007 under the Plaid Cymru-Labour One Wales Government and was dubbed ‘IeuanAir’ after the Deputy First Minister and Transport Minister at the time, Ieuan Wyn Jones.
Following a full cost-benefit analysis of the future of the air service, the Welsh Government said that they had made a decision to cease all support for the service.
Ceasing support for the service has led to the loss of 7 of the 10 jobs employed by Cardiff International Airport Limited to run Anglesey Airport.
“Passenger demand is not estimated to recover to pre-Covid levels until 2024/2025 and it will not match the potential demand that would have happened by 2025 if Covid had not occurred,” Lee Waters said. “Future demand for air travel continues to remain very uncertain.
“According to pre-pandemic passenger surveys undertaken by the operator, 77% of the people who travelled on the service used it for work purposes. It is widely recognised that business travel has significantly reduced as a result of the pandemic, and this change in behaviour is likely to continue.”
The Deputy Climate Change Minister added that the decision followed the outcome of an independent study commissioned by the Welsh Government into the carbon impact of the service on the environment.
“The study showed the service had a more negative impact on the environment than any other form of travel between Ynys Mon and Cardiff, unless it was flying close to full capacity every day, which, given the significant reduction in business travel since the pandemic, would be very highly unlikely. Even if every flight was full, the carbon impact of the service would be significantly worse than the rail alternative,” Lee Waters said.
“The analysis also showed that despite common perceptions, the air service was not always the fastest link to Cardiff from north Wales, especially east of Bangor, where rail travel is actually faster, door-to-door.
“The Welsh Government’s investment in new rail carriages, with Wi-Fi, comfortable workspaces and on-board catering, means that the Holyhead-Cardiff rail service now offers a much more attractive proposition for those who still need to travel on business between the north and the south.”
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