Will Focus On Charter And Freight Ops
Welsh regional carrier
Air Wales announced last week it will stop flying scheduled
passenger flights next month, in order to focus its efforts on
charter flights and freight hauling.
The airline, based at Cardiff International Airport in South
Wales, flew routes to destinations in Scotland, France, Ireland,
and Britain. Up to 80 jobs are expected to be cut due to the
Air Wales representatives blamed the move on "spiralling costs"
and "aggressive competition" from larger, more established low-cost
carriers. In a statement, Air Wales said it was becoming
"increasingly impossible for independent regional airlines such as
Air Wales to operate profitably without substantial subsidy".
Last month, Air Wales re-launched service between Cardiff and
Brussels, Belgium -- with help from the Welsh government assembly.
An official with the government told the BBC, however, the money
was awarded to Cardiff airport -- not the airline -- just in case
such an event occurred.
The company is holding discussions with other carriers about
taking over the airline's current routes, including the Brussels
Air Wales chairman Roy Thomas said the airline arrived at its
decision to stop service "with sadness and regret".
"Increased costs and high competition in the market place have
made it virtually impossible to exist as a passenger focused
airline," he said. "Without the vast economies of scale required to
sustain and successfully compete in the passenger airline business
today, it has become clear that Air Wales now needs to center on
charter and freight services to continue operating in the airline
Founded in 1997, Air Wales flew its first route in 2000. The
airline operates a fleet of five ATR-42 turboprops