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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Cairns and his cojones in vice like grip over APD

So as the elected MP for the Vale of Glamorgan you’d think Alan Cairns would want and do everything possible to endorse and support Cardiff Airport, which provides local jobs and just so happens to be in his patch.

Perhaps he doesn’t know that Airports are good for economies bringing tourists, business and jobs to the region. Hmmm

You’d think, given the strategic importance of the airport as the gateway to WALES and as a key piece of national infrastructure that the WELSH Secretary (Alan Cairns is his name) would do everything within his power to help the airport continue its recent turnaround i.e. 16 months of continual passenger growth.

Apart from the usual support and encouragement, which ought to be a given but isn’t, there is one other area where his support and help could be a real game changer for the National Airport of WALES. That relates to doing everything in his power to ensure that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is devolved to the WELSH Government. This has already happened in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

So what is APD?

Airline Passenger duty (or APD) is a tax that is added to the price of your ticket.

APD was introduced 20 years ago. Initially it was £5 for European Flights and £10 for longer haul. But it has relentlessly increased so much so that it is £13 for short haul flights of up to 2000 miles, covering all of Europe plus Turkey and North Africa. A large majority of families pay this rate. On trips of 2000 miles and above it rises steeply to £71.

Why would it be a game changer?

And why are Bristol Airport and MPs in the South West quaking in their boots and lobbying hard to ensure it never happens? 

The answer is because it would make flights taken from Cardiff a lot cheaper than comparable flights taken from Bristol.

It would give Cardiff Airport (the National Airport of WALES) a pricing advantage and be a real catalyst for further growth.

So why isn’t the WELSH Secretary supporting the devolution of APD to WALES?

Because the Bristol Airport owners are terrified as to what this could do their passenger numbers and because of this they have had a word in the ear of a number of South West MPs (notably Liam Fox). Those MPs have in turn had a word in the ear of The Treasury and The Chancellor to absolutely make sure this never happens.

So naturally the WELSH Secretary will look to protect and promote the interests of WELSH Business and of large employer in his constituency. You would think so ......... but the silence and passion for the WELSH corner is deafeningly absent. Cue the tumbleweed.

So in conclusion Cairns’ cojones are in a vice like grip by the Bristol Airport Mafia and his bosses, and in a bid to maintain his job he has decided to do nothing to upset the status quo.

So we end this post with Cairns’ cojones in grave peril if he deviates from the party line.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sign the APD petition to get changes to made to this tax that increases the cost of flights from Wales.

Airline Passenger duty (or APD) is a tax that is added to the price of your ticket.

APD was introduced 20 years ago. Initially it was £5 for European Flights and £10 for longer haul. But it has relentlessly increased so much so that it is £13 for short haul flights of up to 2000 miles, covering all of Europe plus Turkey and North Africa. A large majority of families pay this rate. On trips of 2000 miles and above it rises steeply to £71.

Recent changes have meant that under 16s are exempt if they travel economy class.

We want to see the responsibility for this Tax devolved to Wales. If it were devolved to Wales (and hopefully abolished) fares from Welsh Airports would reduce. It is the airlines that set the fares but they have no choice regards the APD element.

If it was devolved to a confident and commercially savvy Welsh Assembly we could see fares coming down dramatically from Welsh Airports. In a stroke this would eliminate the cost prohibitive differential pricing which is one of the reasons that Welsh Passengers are using Bristol and other English Airports. Devolving and abolishing APD could be a real game changer for Welsh Airports and a big bonus for Welsh travellers. Additionally Welsh travellers would reduce their carbon footprint by no longer having to travel to Bristol and beyond for some flights.

 We support and have joined the campaign at www.apd4wales.uk


And ………..

 would urge YOU to sign the petition below to bring about change. 

Our Target is to get 10,000 signatures as this would trigger the need for the UK Government to respond.


Useful links

·         Email: support@apd4wales.uk

·         Twitter: https://twitter.com/Devolving_APD

·         Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/APD4Wales/

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

This is precisely why we need a Tourist Information Centre in Cardiff

Our Guest Blogger is Tony Lloyd CEO of The Difflomats


Yesterday, whilst walking through Cardiff city centre, I saw a grey-haired fellow taking a photo of Duke Street Arcade. I asked if he was a visitor, and explained that Cardiff was 'The City of Arcades' and that he must see Castle Arcade. Taken aback, but warming to the idea, he told me he was Alfred de Bono from Qormi in Malta. He walked alongside me and liked Castle Arcade.

 I told him that I was a DIFFLOMAT, and he asked me lots of questions.

He had needed a Tourist Information Office. Not finding one, he had wandered around for two days, almost aimlessly.

 He said he was so glad to have met me, and wished he'd done so, two days before. I gave him a list of must-sees and took him to Shop Wales, as he had wanted souvenirs. He shared that he'd come to Wales to run in a marathon: the Tenby Marathon on Sunday, but also wanted to see our capital. He was well into his sixties, and Tenby would be his 15th marathon. I gave him my card and bade him farewell.

 THURSDAY/DYDD IAU: Whilst sitting town chatting with my Malaysian friend, Joseph, I see Alfred walking our way. He was surprised that I called out to him, "Hey, Alfred de Bono from Malta!" He burst into a smile and said, "I was just thinking of you Tony, thinking I'd never see you again, and here you are!" He wanted me to take some photos, as he'd liked the ones I'd composed of him, the day before. I then showed him City Hall, the National War Memorial and Bute Gardens.

 We bade farewell, yet again ! Now, someone will return to Malta with a very positive view of Cardiff, despite not finding the TIC !



A capital city without a Tourist Information Centre. What does that say about Cardiff and its standing ?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

An Open letter to the CEO of Cardiff Council

An Open letter to the CEO of Cardiff Council
Here at Fly2Cardiff we desire and want to support a vibrant Cardiff Airport as the gateway for tourists into Wales. We also recognise that Cardiff as a city has so much to offer both tourists and residents.
With that in mind we want to congratulate  you on your blueprint to make Cardiff a top tourist destination within 15 years as reported in Walesonline on 29 March 2015.
For this to happen in addition to all the new high quality hotel rooms the ambitious plans like a city metro also need to come to fruition and even the cable car scheme we read about recently. All of these things will make the visitor experience a better one. With the visitor experience in mind, we want them to have a fantastic time so much so that they come back and also tell their friends about it too. Word of mouth marketing is incredibly powerful as I’m sure you know.

In our opinion transport and great and easy to use transport links are very much part of the visitor experience. Therefore we were extremely disappointed that, inspite of detrimental affects on transport infrastructure, the BBC project was given the go ahead. By detrimental we mean the loss of the bus station (no new site agreed or it) and the lack of a drop off point for users of our excellent railway station. Transport is part of the visitor experience and needs to be integrated. Your actions in approving the BBC project appear to ignore this
Additionally, given the importance of tourism, we are incredibly disappointed of the council’s decision to close the Tourist Information Centre. This flys in the face of the vision for Cardiff to be a tourist capital and destination. I’m sure your counterparts in Dublin and Edinburgh won’t be closing theirs in spite of pressure on the public purse. As a tourist I would expect every tourist friendly city to have a tourist information centre.

We have focussed very much on the impact that these decisions will have on tourists but the residents of Cardiff and the users of Cardiff Bus and the Railway station (the people that voted you in) will also be impacted and inconvenienced by the consequences of these decisions.

To sum up we feel they demonstrate poor judgement, a lack of commercial awareness and a total absence of joined up thinking.

We would welcome the opportunity to meet and here your rationale for these decisions because at the moment we are at a loss to understand why the people who should act in the best interests of the city’s residents and stakeholders have behaved in this way.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

From Norfolk with love - let's be having you

Don’t you think it was an own goal by someone in the Senedd management team to deny James Bond access to do what he does best in our national debating chamber ? I love Bond films especially From Russia with love which allows me to facilitate a rather tenuous link to the Cardiff to Norwich (with love) air service operated by www.Linksair.co.uk

Having spent 6 hours driving there and 6 hours on the train on another occasion you can imagine my delight at Cardiff’s newest offering, a daily flight to Norwich International. The service was announced earlier this year to a chorus of Norwich that’s exactly what the Welsh public want isn’t it ?

I have used the service three times and this Friday will be my fourth trip. On the maiden trip on 20 April there were a few VIPS (I don’t include myself of course) so those 10 passengers on a 19 seater gave a false load factor. Today there were seven of us plus two crew (the pilot and co-pilot)

Because I have an interest in the continued development and renaissance of Cardiff Airport I conducted 1:1 interviews with some of the users of subsequent flights who had the misfortune to be on the same flight as me. They weren’t really interviews I just asked them why they were flying and here are the reasons:

Live in Anglesey and have relatives in Norwich
Live in Norwich and have relatives in Anglesey
I work on the rigs in the sea and this is saving me a 6 hour journey back to South Wales.
I went to visit my 100 year old father in Suffolk.
I am flying to Norwich to collect a car I bought
Two people on today’s flight (not including me) were using the service for work reasons

You know what this route might just work especially at £99 return.

Some useful links

Friday, September 5, 2014

Obama sells #Wales to the world

So Mr President what do you make of Wales ?, asked a journalist at the pre-dinner Nato reception hosted by Prince Charles.

His reply below met with great approval


So are we going to be seeing lots of Americans descending on us and taking advantage of our great hospitality ? Well hopefully yes

Will this benefit Cardiff Airport ?

At the moment there are no direct flights between our capital city and the big apple. So Heathrow airport would be the beneficiary ? 

Not necessarily, because you can connect to Cardiff with www.AerLingus.com  from New York or Chicago via Dublin.

Not ideal for the ex-pats, we know, but better than London and a further 3 hours on top of their transatlantic hop.

Back in 2010 at the time of the Ryder Cup,at the Celtic Manor, Delta wanted the Welsh Government to underwrite any initial losses on a New York to Cardiff route, and the deal never happened.

So Perhaps now with President Obama’s ringing endorsement and a groundswell of opinion and demand we might soon see direct flights from Cardiff to New York.

And even better now that Cardiff Airport is owned by the Welsh Government and with WWW.visitWales.com , the successor to the Welsh Tourist Board, run by the Welsh Government there are obvious synergies to be had. So a transatlantic route from Cardiff has obvious economic benefits.

We hope the Delta deal or a similar deal connecting Wales with the USA can be done soon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wales is not in England

Here at FlyCardiff we're passionate about Wales as a Country and what it has to offer the foreign tourist. However we are frustrated that outside of the UK very few people know where Wales is and those that do think it is part of England. !

So with the Nato Summit coming to Wales in September, a fantastic opportunity for Wales to showcase itself to the world, we thought we'd do our bit to spread the word and put the record straight.
Wales is a Country in its own right, it shares a border with England, is situated to the West of England and is around 170 miles (256 km) long and 60 miles (96 km) wide.
It has its own National Assembly Government which has powers to make decisions for Wales, having had these powers devolved (given) to them by the UK Parliament.
You can fly direct to its Capital City Cardiff already from a number of destinations or via 'hub airports' such as Amsterdam, Dublin and Barcelona.

Wales is truly open for business and welcomes tourists and weve listed a few of its amazing attractions to whet your appetite:

Offas Dyke built by King Offa to quell the unruly Welsh in the 780s.

Fantastic castles and according to
www.VisitWales.com  has the most castles per square mile than anywhere else – 641 to be exact  

Award winning beaches such as Rhossili.

3 national parks: Brecon Beacons. Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire

We could go on and add to our list but to summarise Wales offers a warm welcome to tourists from North to South.

And finally ……. We look forward to seeing Mr President, the First Lady and their girls on Rhossili beach next year.

Dream big #TeamWales