Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline, today announces it is to open a new base at Cardiff Airport. The airline will serve 11 destinations in the UK and Europe this summer and base two of its existing Embraer E195 aircraft at the Airport. One of these 118-seat aircraft will arrive at Cardiff in June and the second in September 2015.
This announcement will result in the creation of 50 jobs, including flight crew and ground handling staff. Flybe will offer flights to Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Faro, Glasgow, Jersey, Munich, Milan Malpensa, and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Seats will be on sale from Friday 6 March along with the publication of full schedules.
Saad Hammad, CEO, Flybe said: “We are delighted to launch these exciting new routes from Cardiff Airport. As part of Project Blackbird, we have been looking to find a productive home for our surplus E195 aircraft and we are delighted at this 10 year agreement with Cardiff Airport which involves us basing two of these jets there to serve the Welsh market with great value fares and further improving UK regional connectivity. We continue to seek solutions for the remaining 7 E195 Project Blackbird aircraft.”
Lord Rowe-Beddoe, Chairman, Cardiff Airport, said: "Our customers want greater choice in routes, more frequent services and better value flights. This new Flybe base is most welcome news for our passengers as it will bring new destinations and increased services from a popular great-value airline, as well as creating opportunities to encourage more visitors to come to Wales.”
First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said: “Flybe’s announcement that it is opening a new base operating 11 routes from Cardiff Airport is fantastic news. We’ve always said that we want the airport to be a gateway to Wales, as something that will drive our economy by bringing tourists and business to the country. We’ve already invested in improving the overall customer experience at Cardiff Airport and the new routes to major European destinations, as well as the creation of 50 new jobs, demonstrates Flybe’s commitment to the Airport and will help to make it the success we know it can be.”
Cardiff Airport has become an important gateway, both to the city of Cardiff and the rest of Wales, following significant investment in recent years. Over one million passengers passed through the Airport last year. Cardiff is a vibrant city, where stunning ancient architecture sits harmoniously alongside contemporary developments. Cardiff is the UK's top ranked city for quality of life and boasts a serious passion for world-class culture and sport, creating an atmosphere like no other city.
The latest development builds on Flybe's growing network of bases, including Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Manchester and Southampton, showing the airline's commitment to improving connectivity across the UK.
Footnote: There are 8 new routes in addition to the 3 routes Flybe already operated from Cardiff: Belfast, Jersey and Dusseldorf