Government intervention: Good? or Bad!

Profile picture for user Spence_CWL

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15 years 4 months

Posts: 454

A report recently released showed last year the Wales Tourist Board and Welsh Development Agency travelled around the world promoting Wales as a tourist and business destination. Part of this, involved making a presentation to Continental Airlines in Houston and a trip to Dubai to try and persuade Emirates to use CWL. A few months later, Continental then launched a service to Newark from BRS, a bit of a slap in the face. I was just wondering what your views were on this. Should government related organisations go around trying to persuade airlines to use CWL, or should they just leave that to the airport itself? After all, it clearly didn't work with CO, and so far theres been no talk of Emirates moving in. Next year the charter sector at the airport will grow, but thats not down to government persuasion, it's due to market demand and good selling tactics by the actual airport. Now the new Transport (Wales) Bill is going through parliament, and one of the main powers the Assembly Government will have is to subsidise air services. This was put in just because the Assembly want to subsidise an airlink connecting SWS & CWL to RAF Valley on Anglesey. Why do they need to subsidise it? Because no airline wants to operate it, and thats becuase they know it's not viable. For a start the number of people travelling from north to south Wales may be enough to complain that the journey takes too long, but theres not enough to support a 3 times daily service. Secondly, hardly anyone lives on Anglesey and the people that do live in Holyhead, the only sizeable town the other side of the island from RAF Valley. The majority of north wale-ians live further east, nearer to LPL where Air Wales operates a succesful service to CWL, which is far more conveniant. Thirdly, it'll cost £350,000 to upgrade Valley, and god knows how much a year to subsidise it, creating resentment amoung taxpayers. Finally, environmental groups will do everything possible to stop it. Whats the point? Government interferance seems to be complicating and doing more harm than good to the commercial aviation industry in Wales.
Now, what started out as a desperately boring topic wanting your views, has turned into a full scale rant, but what the heck, lets have your views anyway! :o

* oh, and just another little rant!The Assembly Government pressured Air Wales into starting up a CWL- Brussels service, saying it was vital to the economic development of Wales and was sure to be a success amoung AMs travelling between the two cities on business. Less than 2 months later the service was canned, becuase the majority of flights had been leaving at only 48% full. Another great success story! My view, is that if a service can't be made economicaly viable without subsidies, then it's not worth running.

Original post
Profile picture for user tenthije

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19 years 11 months

Posts: 4,887

A report recently released showed last year the Wales Tourist Board and Welsh Development Agency travelled around the world promoting Wales as a tourist and business destination.

That's a good thing. Everyone does it and I do not see why Wales should not do it. It's a beautiful environment with a lot of sheep, what more would anyone want?

The Assembly Government pressured Air Wales into starting up a CWL- Brussels service.
Now this is something I do not agree with. The Assembly may give them incentives if they want. But they can not (should not) force any airline into opening a route that can not be sustained, unless the Assembly is willing to refund the losses. Of course the EU will stop any such measures so that is not possible either.
Profile picture for user rdc1000

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19 years 11 months

Posts: 1,342

Spence_CWL, I think you are EXTREMELY NAIVE! I work for a company that looked at the consultancy proposal for helping to set up the subsidised servcies in Wales, I also know a lot about route development funding and also issues such as tourist promotion etc. Air Travel is a catalyst for economic growth, albeit that it is extremely difficult to measure the catalytic growth effects. In the nonsense that you have blurbed out in your message you have clearly identified why an air service needs to be put in place and subsidised, it is obvious that you are from Cardiff area and have no interest in allowing the remainder of Wales to develop. By subsidising the north/south air routes then economic growth can be encouraged to the northern region, thus eventually increasing demand and making life fairer for those living in such areas, are you suggesting that they should not be entitled to a better way of life, both through economic growth, but also through access to air servcies which is a major 'quality of life' issue??

Are you aware of the number of air services subsidised throughout Europe, including in the UK?? They are not operated because they are not viable, but that does not mean they are not essential. In the UK Loganair would have no need for the BN Islander if their services to all but the most major Scottish Islands were not subsidised!

The Welsh Government has got it right, they need to increase the ability for northern companies to work in and around the southern cities of Wales in order to spread the economic growth in the country better, otherwise they will have an rich south and a relatively empoverished north, it sounds mad, but simple regular air servcies can help reduce the chance of this happening. Remember that public transport links fromt he north to south of Wales take over 4 hours each way, which prevents same day return business trips, a major consideration of companies choosing who they do business with!

If you had ever lived in an extremely rural area of the UK then you would understand better why the government has picked up on an important issue and intends to see it through! There is no distortion of the market because currently there are no air services, so your comment about Government interference is doing more harm than good is utterly ridiculous...how can a government be interfering in something that does not exist????

Wales will shortly join Norway, Scotland, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Spain and many others for subsidising air travel where necessary! In the meantime Spence, grow up and read a bit more about an issue before declaring how silly it is, if you'd put forward good arguments for your thread it would have been more worthwhile!

Profile picture for user Spence_CWL

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15 years 4 months

Posts: 454

OK, what if I told you I have close ties with the Cardiff Chamber of Commerce and people within the Welsh Assembly Government, and neither of them are particularly thrilled with the plans. The Chamber of Commerce hates the idea in fact, becuase not only will they have to pay for the scheme through taxes, but their will be even more impetus on them to establish links with northern companies. And that to be quite frank would be catastrophic. Yes, it's a shame that the north doesn't share the souths prosperity, but unfortunately the areas economic stability and attractivness to investers & companies is very shaky- a serious lack of investment by the government itself has left parts of it very run down which in turn warns off prospective employers. The problems are far more wide ranging though- few main roads, low income farming, social problems like drug abuse and teen pregnancies all equal a big turn off for everybody concerned. The market just isn't there in north Wales, the west especially. The east is better off becuase there are more main roads, larger towns, and they are closer to LPL, but it's questionable whether this contributes, as prosperity still isn't great. The assembly workers don't like the idea either. Although the bigshots are all for it, ask any of the 10,000 other personal and they all think it's going to be a drain on much needed money rather than a catalyst for regeneration. Even if there was market, Valley is miles away from any real towns. Air Wales couldn't make SWS work and thats just a few miles outside Swansea, a city with 280,000 people. The whole of north Wales hasn't got that many people! The government should be building better roads, improving the health service ( which in Wales is diabolicle) and investing in education (which although at present is quite good, a funding shortage has left many schools unable to afford photocopying) which is the key to attracting employers.