Wales

Latest Cardiff-Anglesey flight figures released

Cardiff Airport Image copyright Cardiff Airport

Latest figures have been released for an under-threat air service between Cardiff and Anglesey.

It took 9,862 passengers in 2016-17, a slight drop of 128 following small rises previously, but still only filled half of the available seats.

Launched in 2007, it has received about £1.2m of public money annually.

A Welsh Government spokesman said the figures were in line with the numbers seen in the previous year and an improvement on 2012-15.

Last year, the Welsh Government ordered a review into its viability and in 2014, a report said it was underperforming.

Scrapped

In the first two years of operation, more than 14,000 people used the service but that figure has been below 10,000 since.

The service has also had problems with its operators.

In March, Eastern Airways took over its running after Citywing was liquidated because its Czech operator Van Air had its permission to fly suspended by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

In 2015, the CAA revoked the air operators licence of Links Air for safety reasons leading the firm going out of business.

Opposition parties have previously called for the service, which runs twice a day on weekdays, to be scrapped with others have argued it needs better transport links and marketing.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "Whilst it's true to say that a change in operator does have an effect, the passenger figures for 2016/17 are in line with the numbers seen during 2015/16 and represent an improvement on the annual number of passengers using the service during 2012-15."

Yearly passenger numbers (May - April)

2007-08: 14,133

2008-09: 14,718

2009-10: 9,491

2010-11: 8,719

2011-12: 9,606

2012-13: 8,421

2013-14: 8,679

2014-15: 9,737

2015-16: 9,990

2016-17: 9,862

Max number of seats available per year: 18,720

Source: Welsh Government and Wales Audit Office

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