The First Minister Carwyn Jones has said that Cardiff Airport will stay under Welsh Government control despite calls for it to be privatised within the next 5 years.
He told Assembly Members that he would not “give away” a controlling interest in the airport during First Ministers Questions but stated that “in time” stakes would be offered for sale in the airport.
Cardiff Airport’s outgoing chairman Lord Rowe-Beddoe said the airport should be privatised within the next 5 years.
Passenger Numbers Up
Passengers numbers at the troubled airport have risen about 10 percent since the Welsh Government purchased it £52m GBP in 2013 but growth has been slower than hoped and the airport is still to attract any major new carriers despite the boost given to it by FlyBe this year.
With its regional neighbour Bristol Airport recently attracting Icelandic Carrier WOW Air, which offers cheap flights to the US and Canada via Keflavik, pressure is growing for the airport to attract new airlines and routes, particularly ones that can take advantage of Cardiff’s main selling point over Bristol, a runway that’s capable of operating direct long haul flights.
Timetable for Sale
Speaking about the timetable for sale Mr Jones said:
“In time we will look to recoup that money – what we will not do is put an artificial timetable on the sale of an airport that is now 10 percent up in terms of passenger figures compared to last year.
“That’s what government can do for airports – if the Tories had had their way, the airport would now probably be looking at being turned into a housing estate.”