Cardiff airport needs public money, and cannot survive without it

cardiff-airport-needs-public-money,-and-cannot-survive-without-it

Cardiff airport needs public money, and cannot survive without it

Cardiff airport needs public money, and cannot survive without it
2021-11-29 12:57:00
Cardiff Airport’s CEO says it would not have kept going without an £85m bailout from the Welsh government during Covid.  The Welsh government wrote off £42.6m of airport debt in March this year and also gave it a 5 year recovery grant of £42.6m.  The airport’s passenger numbers were down by 90% in August 2021, compared to 2019.  It currently has flights to 15 destinations, while in 2019 it had 52.  It loses business to its rival, Bristol airport. The value of the airport has dropped by more than two thirds. The Welsh Conservatives have said the Welsh government should sell it. The Welsh government bought the airport in 2013 for £52m and has since invested more than £130m of taxpayers’ money into it.  The airport was doing reasonably well before Covid. The airport claims to still support many jobs, and that in “normal times” it generated some £240m per year in revenue. The Welsh government is aware that it has climate commitments, and increasing flights from Cardiff will conflict with targets of reducing carbon emissions.  Professor Calvin Jones, an economist at Cardiff University’s business school, questioned how compatible owning an airport was with tackling a climate emergency. .Tweet     Covid: Cardiff Airport dead without bailout, boss says By Emilia Belli  (BBC News) 28.11.2021 Cardiff Airport was bought by the Welsh Government in 2013.  It would not have stayed alive without an £85m bailout from the Welsh government during Covid, its boss says. Chief executive Spencer Birns said despite a slow recovery, it could “provide the economic value back to Wales”. But the Welsh Conservatives said the Welsh government should sell it. The Welsh government said it was committed to the airport because of the benefits it brings the Welsh economy. More public money for Covid-hit Cardiff Airport Cardiff Airport passenger numbers drop to 1950s levels Mr Birns said the the bailout had “given us the framework to stay alive”.  “They’ve helped us get into position that we can help re-grow the business, that can provide the economic value back to Wales,” he said. The Welsh government wrote off £42.6m of airport debt in March this year and also gave it a five year recovery grant of £42.6m. The airport’s passenger numbers were down by 90% in August 2021, making it the second-lowest number in the UK.   Its value has also dropped by more than two thirds. Mr Birns said that recovery had been slow “primarily because people have been encouraged not to travel overseas this year”. Fifteen destinations are currently up and running, but prior to the pandemic there were 52. Next year, Wizz air will start running out of Cardiff, while TUI will increase the number of flights from the airport. The Welsh government bought the airport in 2013 for £52m and has since invested more than £130m of taxpayers’ money into it. It’s run at arm’s length by an independent company HoldCo and before Covid it had seen significant growth in passenger numbers. Welsh Conservative MS Natasha Asghar says the Welsh government should sell the airport But the Welsh

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