Cardiff Airport to receive financial support from Welsh government
In order to limit the impact of COVID-19 on Cardiff Airport, the Welsh government has announced financial support and called on the UK government to help.
The Welsh government has announced that it is set to provide Cardiff Airport (CWL) with financial support to limit the longer-term consequences of the early impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In addition, it has called on the UK government to urgently change its policy towards providing further financial help for regional airports.
The Welsh Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, announced that the Welsh government will provide finance to Cardiff Airport – through varying its existing agreed commercial loan facility – to support its reduced operations and to maintain solvency. He also called on the UK government to develop arrangements to enable Cardiff Airport to receive additional state support as compensation for the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
Global travel restrictions means that there are currently no commercial passenger flights operating from Cardiff Airport and operational hours of the airfield have been reduced. However, the airport remains open to provide continued freight, emergency and critical logistical support to assist in the response to the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, management at Cardiff Airport have announced that just over half of the job roles at the airport will be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks, which will be reinstated when business needs change.
Skates said: “Cardiff Airport is an important part of our economy and our transport network, and this proactive step will help to protect the airport. We will release the minimum amounts of the existing loan arrangement necessary to keep the airport operating, and will ensure it can continue to support the wider response to the outbreak. This includes being available for key medical flights and serving the needs of the military and emergency services.”
He continued: “However, our support from the Welsh government is a short-term solution for the airport and this is not a sustainable position. The UK government has the key lead in supporting the aviation industry and must change its policy towards further financial help for regional airports.”