Welsh Government asks Ryanair not to fly out of Cardiff Airport

The Welsh Government has asked airline Ryanair to cancel its planned flights from Cardiff Airport this Friday.

The airport, which is wholly-owned by the Welsh Government, has scheduled Ryanair flights to Faro and Malaga, as the first phase of a planned return of commercial flights.

The Welsh Government still has a legal five mile restriction for non essential travel  in place, although that could be lifted next week as part of the easing of Covid-19 measures.

The issue for those booked on Ryanair flights is how they can compile with the Welsh Government’s travel rule.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We don’t believe these flights should be going ahead and we have written to Ryanair to ask them to postpone.”

To slow the spread of coronavirus, the law in Wales requires people to ‘stay local’ and not to travel further than five miles unless they have a reasonable excuse.

While there are legitimate reasons why flights can operate, the onus is on individuals to obey the rules.

In addition to this, rules on quarantine are still unchanged.  All travellers entering Wales from overseas will need to self-isolate for 14 days to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

The Ryanair flights have been on sale since the middle of 2019. The Welsh Government said it was a matter for the independent management team at Cardiff Airport to make decisions about commercial operations at the airport.

Ryanair has been contacted for comment.

The airport ended all commercial flights in March due to the pandemic. However, to comply with Civil Aviation Authority regulations, it has remained in an operational mode. There has been some freight traffic including flights bring in supplies of personal protective equipment.

In a statement it said: “Cardiff Airport has remained open throughout the pandemic to support essential flying including critical cargo and medical flights. During July our airlines will slowly restart flying passenger services, increasing in August.  All airlines are making decisions about reinstating flights on a global basis and the situation remains fluid. 

“We continue to follow government guidance and work closely with Public Health Wales to keep the safety of our team and customers as our number one priority.

During July airlines Vueling, Balkan and Eastern Airways, will implement a gradual return of flights at Cardiff Airport.

TUI and KLM also plan a return in August. Qatar Airways is looking at a return in October.

 

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