In a further boost following the renationalisation of Cardiff Airport, leading UK tour operators Thomson and First Choice have announced plans to introduce additional flights to Tenerife and Alicante from the Welsh capital during the winter 2013/2014 schedule. The added services from Cardiff Airport’s largest flight provider will start in November 2013 and follow the recent summer expansion of Thomas Cook at the airport.
The additional flights equate to an increase of 17 per cent on operations in winter 2012 and will allow for greater flexibility in holiday durations with customers able to enjoy breaks of ten and eleven nights - not just the standard seven and 14 night stays. The move to add additional capacity from Cardiff is part of the UK’s largest tour operator’s strategy to ensure customers across the UK can fly from their local airport.
Alongside this expanded schedule, Thomson and First Choice will also be the only carriers flying customers to Antalya, Bodrum, Corfu, Kefalonia, Faro, Gran Canaria and Sharm El Sheikh from Cardiff. “Adding these new durations and additional flights from Cardiff Airport demonstrates our commitment to the airport and our Welsh customer base. Following the success of similar routes across a number of regional airports, we know that the demand is there,” said Paul Cooper, Airport Negotiations Manager for Thomson and First Choice
This is a welcome boost for the new owners and management team at Cardiff Airport and comes the same month that Lufthansa inaugurated a new seasonal route to Dusseldorf and Thomas Cook Airlines launched an expanded summer operation through the use of a larger aircraft. The carrier has replaced its Airbus A320 with an A321, offering a capacity of 220 seats, 40 more than the older aircraft. This means this summer it is offering around 12,000 more seats from Cardiff with the capacity growth being supported by an expanded schedule, including twice as many flights to Tunisia.
“We are delighted to see Thomas Cook’s response in offering more seats this Summer which is exactly what Welsh holiday makers have been asking for. We are also delighted that Thomson and First Choice have chosen to expand their programme at Cardiff Airport,” said Jon Horne, Chief Executive Officer, Cardiff Airport.
“This latest announcement is the next step in increasing capacity and the choice of flights available from Cardiff and we will continue working to convince airlines of the great opportunities that exist in serving Wales. This is just the beginning of what we hope will be an increasing choice of services for the people of Wales from their airport,” he added.