Cardiff Airport to offer new routes including long-haul cruise flights

Cardiff Airport is set to offer new routes, with Germanwings announcing a low-cost route to Dusseldorf starting Spring 2014, and luxury Caribbean tour operator Sandals launching its first Barbados flight from Wales.

Germanwings – owned by Europe’s largest airline group Lufthansa – will first take off from Cardiff for Dusseldorf on Saturday April 5, with flights departing on a weekly basis and prices starting at £75.73 or €89.99. The route is part of a strategy to bring more tourists to Wales, and the airport team has reportedly worked closely with Visit Wales, the Welsh Government tourism body, to secure it.

The two-week Sandals flight to the luxury tour operator’s newest resort in Barbados will depart on Sunday March 9. Sandals Barbados opened in 2013 and offers luxury accommodation, adventurous watersports, culture and nightlife, as well as beaches of white sand and landscaped gardens.

Additionally, P&O Cruises’ new chartered flights to Barbados from Cardiff Airport, which were launched earlier this year, have been fully sold out for January and February 2014.

The news follows Vueling’s winter programme expansion from Cardiff, with additional flights to the southern Spanish airports of Malaga and Alicante operating all year round, and Flybe’s addition of ski flights to Chambery, Lyon, Grenoble and Geneva.

Cardiff Airport Chief Executive Jon Horne said the developments are encouraging. ‘The ongoing success we have in attracting new services means the hard work of the team here is paying off. It is also encouraging that airlines and tour operators are making these commitments to Cardiff Airport and Wales and this gives us confidence that we are on track to achieve our longer term goals.’

The new services are being offered alongside other programmes to enhance the overall customer experience at the airport, with more planned improvements expected in the coming months, Cardiff Airport said.