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Exciting milestone reached for Cardiff Airport as passengers hit 1.5m

The national airport for Wales has reached the next exciting milestone in its journey of transformation, with over 1.5 million customers now choosing to fly from Cardiff.

This news follows 12 months of continued passenger growth and also represents more than 50% passenger growth since the Airport’s change of ownership in 2013.

The growth is the result of new and existing airlines offering an increased choice of destinations, more seats and improved flight times with greater value for money.

May has already seen some significant developments at Cardiff Airport, including the official launch of Qatar Airways’ new regular service to Doha, Qatar on May 1st. This 5* airline will connect customers across Wales and the South West of England to the Middle East and create connections to more than 150 destinations worldwide including Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia – all on board a stunning Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The 16th of May is also a significant milestone for one of our longest serving airlines, KLM, who will celebrate 30 years of flying customers between Wales and Amsterdam Schiphol airport, acting as a key hub for passengers flying onwards to destinations across the world. Now flying up to three times a day, the airline has recently increased its capacity with the introduction of a larger, super-efficient Embraer 175 with a capacity of 88 seats and a 100 seater Embraer 190.

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, is also enjoying continuing success in Cardiff. With three aircraft now based at the Airport, Flybe’s base is now in its third summer of operation, and regularly flies customers to 17 destinations across the UK & Europe plus a further four destinations with its franchise partners. New routes recently added include the Italian city Venice.

To reflect Cardiff Airport’s commitment to delivering the best possible customer experience, the new-look Departure Lounge was unveiled recently which includes a new Costa Coffee, WH Smith and 51° Executive and Business Lounge, all within a bright and airy space overlooking the airfield.

The highlights supporting this exciting passenger milestone include:

  • 10% growth year on year at the end of the 2017/18 financial year – the busiest year for 8 years
  • Over 50% growth in passenger numbers since change of ownership in 2013
  • New airlines: Qatar Airways, Iberia Express and Blue Islands
  • New destinations: Doha, Rome, Madrid, Guernsey, Venice, Antalya
  • 30% of our passengers are visitors to Wales
  • Named Best Airport (under 3 million passengers) by Airport Operators’ Association
  • Cardiff Airport now sustains over 2,675 direct and indirect jobs
  • The overall GVA impact of Cardiff Airport to the local economy is £102 million.
  • Successfully welcomed 21,000 fans, Juventus and Real Madrid and managed 380 additional aircraft movements over the UEFA Champions League final.

Deb Barber, CEO of Cardiff Airport, said:

“Hitting this important milestone – 1.5 million passengers – demonstrates the contagious confidence we have been working hard to build over the last few years. On behalf of the Cardiff Airport team, I would like to thank our valued airlines and customers for making use of our facilities and supporting the business over the last twelve months.

“Our existing airlines are recognising the growth by adding more choice and capacity, while new airlines have come on board, including a 5* middle-eastern carrier, Qatar Airways, which changes the face of travel for our customers across Wales and the South West.

“Cardiff Airport is proud to fly the flag for Wales, with over 50 direct destinations available, including access to 11 hubs and 9 capital cities. We have invested heavily into the customer experience, having improved our facilities and infrastructure and look forward to welcoming more people over the busy summer months ahead. 2018 is shaping up to be a transformational year with double digit growth projected.”

What’s next?

  • Forecasting double digit growth over the next twelve months
  • New Thomas Cook flights to Antalya (Turkey) and a second weekly flight to Dalaman (Turkey) this Summer plus new flights to Enfidha (Tunisia) in Summer 2019
  • New TUI flights to Antalya (Turkey) and Hurghada (Egypt)  Dubrovnik (Croatia), Naples (Italy) and Enfidha (Tunisia) in Summer 2019
  • Iberia Express flights to Madrid will return for the Summer season, starting from 14th June
  • Super Break will operate short break packages to destinations that include Madeira and Iceland.