Whats the problem at CWL?

Profile picture for user Spence_CWL

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15 years 2 months

Posts: 454

CWL has recently been pushing out the boat to get new scheduled routes particularly to Europe. The airport reiterated this in the statement above. They now have a direct rail link to Cardiff and Bridgend, a new Express hotel, a newly resurfaced runway, a refurbished terminal and a new corporate identity and website. They have launched a high profile advertising campaign to get people to book flights directly from the new airport website, www.cwlfly.com . But so far all this has done little to achieve it's aim. The charter sector has seen large scale expansion, with Thomsonfly added new long haul routes and increased frequencies, Excel moving into the airport seving 12 destinations, and FirstChoice adding Naples. All this boosts numbers by about 600,000. However the scheduled sector ahs seen little expansion. You can book a few routes with Excel, and Thomsonfly have introduced 4 typical Spanish coast destinations, and Zoom have announced Vancouver as we as extending Toroto, but these are only small when compared to the entire scheduled traffic at the airport. Aside from these we have bmibaby, probably the most unproductive and unambious airline ever, KLM to Amsterdam (the most popular scheduled route with 164,000), Ryan to Dublin and Air Wales, who despite offering a number of routes and being committed to the airport, are simply not big enough to make that big enough impact. There are loads of routes that scheduled airlines, loco or non loco, could easily make a success of, but for some reason none seem to want to. The facilities are in place and the demand is there. The obvious problem is BRS, but even that can't be enough to deter airlines. From Cardiff it takes 40 mins-1hour to get to CWL, it takes at least 1hr30 to get to BRS, and even longer if you are one of the 1.3 million people living in Cardiffs catchment in the Valleys. Add to this time advantage the facilities and weather record and CWL is a safe bet. Loads of aircraft due to land st BRS in the morning end up on CWL becuase of fog etc. Why don't airlines want to come to CWL??? And is there anyone in the frame to arrive soon?
Original post
Profile picture for user G-CDFF

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14 years 1 month

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I agree with you mate!! CWL and BRS are my two local airports, and I have been wondering the same thing. Why do airlines opt for BRS? If I would fly, I would probably go from BRS, as there is a wider choice of airlines and destinations. FR have three flights a day to DUB from BRS, but only one or two from CWL, and EZY are really commited to BRS, unlike baby at CWL - they seem to be taking routes away not adding them! :mad: BRS is also a hub to Air Southwest, another loco, bringing more pax. I agree that CWL has the facilities, and it is within easy reach of the city centre, and is also signposted all the way along the M4! When we flew from BRS once, we got lost in the city centre trying to find the airport, as their were no signs at all. I would really like to see Ryanair come into CWL, as they are extremely cheap and seem to do well at other UK reigonal airports. To compare destinations at both airports; CWL - http://info.cwlfly.com/en/content.asp?area=2&id=268 BRS - http://www.bristolairport.com/flight_information/destinations/destinations_map.aspx
Profile picture for user bmi-star

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15 years 7 months

Posts: 4,255

Also CWL has a train service now to it, so it is even easier to get to, to what it was! I'd like to CWL get more services, but as you both say, BRS is just too close. P.S At least CWL has a flight to YYZ and YVR next summer :D
Profile picture for user Spence_CWL

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15 years 2 months

Posts: 454

Yeh Mike O'Leary said a year or two ago he could see FR establishing a base at CWL within 5 years, but nothings come yet, and 3 more years is a long time to wait. The reason they have less flights to DUB from CWL is that 6G operate it as well more frequently and at more conveniant times so FR don't really compete. I just don't get this. Maybe it's becuase from an international point of view less people know where Wales is than England, but I can't really see that as being a big factor, and either way that doesn't acount for British and Irish carriers like FR, Jet2, Flybe, bmi, Monarch etc. CWL is far better signposted than BRS, got a rail link and now a white paper is being produced on the improvements to Culverhouse Cross and connecting roads serving CWL, and a consultation on a direct motorway link. The only thing that CWL perhaps lags behind in is the image and modernity in design of it's terminal building, where BRS has a large glassy box, CWL has a more traditional building- quite low ceilings, not as open plan and smaller. But although it may be slightly dated in design, it's still modern enough to suit business needs and smart enough to be called an international, and extensive refurbishment and extensions have left parts of it like the check in hall, departures lounge and arrivals hall quite light and airy.
Profile picture for user Spence_CWL

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15 years 2 months

Posts: 454

Yeh the links to Canada are a real confidence booster I think, Vancouvers not your average long haul destination from a regional airport!
Profile picture for user bmi-star

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15 years 7 months

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LOL no! But hey i OOM know they potential for Canada-Wales links. I'm my job over the summer, i met a lot of Canadains who love Wales!
Profile picture for user Spence_CWL

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15 years 2 months

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How could they resist lol. For some reason theres always been some sort of air links between CWL and Canada, like when Air Transat operated YYZ on and off for a few years, and now Zoom. I don't understand this, as you would think that if an airport has links to Canada, it would usuually have links to more obvious places in Europe and elsewhere like NWK. Is there any specific reason for the Canadian ties?
Profile picture for user bmi-star

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15 years 7 months

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I'm not sure! I have familiy in Canada, and i know plenty of people, well in North Wales, who have Canadian family links. Not sure about South Wales tho!
Profile picture for user Spence_CWL

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15 years 2 months

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If theres that many in North Wales theres bound to be even more in the South given the populatoions twice the size and with Cardiffs world community fro mthe ports. I'l do some digging.....
Profile picture for user Skymonster

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15 years 3 months

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CWL's lack of services is probably down to there being too many sheep on the runway! ;)
Profile picture for user Spence_CWL

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15 years 2 months

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No sheep at CWL, your thinking of SWS, seriously!