Cardiff Airport is booming after a spell in the doldrums. Geoff Jones explains what’s driving the turnaround.

Flybe is the dominant carrier at Cardiff Airport, operating the Embraer 195 and Dash 8-Q400 (pictured), since establishing a base there in 2015.
All photos Geoff Jones unless stated

Early-morning departures to the Netherlands and Scotland are visible signs of a growing success story at Cardiff Airport. The KLM Cityhopper Fokker 70 heading to Amsterdam and an Edinburgh-bound Flybe Embraer 195 herald the start of a working day which will see up to 40 scheduled and charter flights.

These flights at around 6am are part of a surge helping Cardiff become possibly the fastest growing UK airport – in terms of passenger percentage increase – during 2016. There was a 16% rise over the previous year. Data from other airports is not yet available. Traffic in December 2016 was up 13% year-on-year, thanks to a strong Christmas, particularly by Flybe, Vueling, KLM and Thomson Airways.

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