Flybe, the British low-fares regional airline, has announced that it will operate up to four ‘rescue flights’ on weekdays, and two a day on weekends between Cardiff and London City Airports.
The announcement comes following the expected disruption to national rail services resulting from the six week closure of the Severn Tunnel from September 12 to October 21, 2016. The planned flight services will provide transport options for those travelling between South Wales and SW/SE England, and also provide opportunities for tourism both into and out of Wales.
With flight times scheduled throughout the day, seats will be available for booking at www.flybe.com. Fares, one way, start from GBP34.99 inclusive of taxes and charges.
Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s chief revenue officer said: ‘We have pulled out all the stops to ensure that customers wanting to travel between the two capital cities of Wales and England still have convenient and affordable travel options during the period when the Severn Tunnel will be closed and there will be no direct rail link. Flybe champions regional air travel and we hope these rescue flights will help alleviate the travel woes of the thousands of passengers displaced by the loss of the region’s direct rail services.’
Debra Barber, managing director and chief operating officer at Cardiff Airport, added: ‘This is really good news for Wales and another great way in which the Airport has been able to serve the people of South Wales. It’s fantastic to see the Flybe response to the news about Severn Tunnel closure. The airline’s swift offer to step in and create alternative options for Welsh business and leisure passengers to travel to London by air from Cardiff at such short notice, is further evidence of the confidence they feel about growing their flights linking Wales to key British, Irish and European cities.’
Scott Waddington, CEO of SA Brain and chairman of Cardiff Business Club commented: ‘Links between Cardiff and London are essential for business so it is great see the response by Flybe and Cardiff Airport in offering a fast and convenient option for travel to the City. As they say, time is money and the potential time savings to businesses at both ends of the M4 is a significant incentive to use the new service, and hope it proves viable for Flybe to continue to operate beyond October.’
Flybe last come to the rescue following disruption to national rail services in 2014, the airline provided additional capacity on its popular London Gatwick to Newquay service for many months when a part of the rail line between the UK capital and Cornwall was damaged during winter storms, Cardiff Airport said in its release.