Highland Airways, Linking North and South Wales

Highland Airways, the Inverness based regional airline, runs the new Wales North and South Route between Anglesey Airport and Cardiff International Airport.

The first flight on this first Welsh Public Service Obligation (PSO) route between Anglesey and Cardiff took off on 8 May 2007.

Twice daily scheduled flights between the RAF Valley-based Anglesey Airport and Cardiff take about one hour in the Highland Airways 18 seat Jetstream 31.

Highland Airways Jet

The company was set up in 1991 (then known as “Air Alba”) in Inverness, originally to carry out a pollution control contract, and since then it has expanded to offer a wider range of services.

These include charter flights for the oil exploration industry, and this work is carried out by the Jetstream 31 aircraft. The company flies to locations as varied as Waterford, Shannon, Stavanger, Bergen, Stornoway and Newquay.

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Highland Airways also operates weekly corporate shuttle flight services between Lancashire and the East of England, using the Jetstream 31.

The company plays a big role in fulfilling community obligations in the Western Isles, and has offered scheduled flights between Inverness and the islands since 2001.

For example, Highland secured a contract with Royal Mail and delivers between the Western Isles and Inverness.

In addition to providing flights from the Western Isles and now between Cardiff and Anglesey, the company also provides crew to fly aircraft for other organisations.

For example, Highland Airways has a contract with the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency to maintain and fly two Cessna reconnaissance aircraft out of Inverness.

This contributes to the important work of enforcing UK and International Fisheries law in the vast waters around the Scottish coast. And since 1998 the company has been delivering newspapers and other items to the Western and Northern Isles, covering Kirkwall, Sumburgh and Stornoway.

Building on this work around the Scottish islands and the oil exploration industry, Highland Airways now sees significant growth potential in serving the strategic integrated transport objectives of the Welsh Assembly Government.

The Welsh Assembly Enterprise, Innovation and Networks Minister, Brian Gibbons, recently visited Anglesey Airport and launched the new name of the Jetstream 31 aircraft.

To symbolise the importance of establishing a link between the two parts of Wales, the plane was named “North and South”.

It is a widely held observation that the new 3 year, subsidised Anglesey Cardiff route offered by Highland Airways will open up better links between north and south and lead to growth in commercial and tourism opportunities.

And importantly there will be the opportunity for travellers from North Wales to reach a growing number of worldwide destinations via Cardiff International Airport.

Over time the company anticipates that this route can expand and be able to continue as a commercially viable service without the need for public subsidy.

So if you are planning to visit Wales and you arrive in Cardiff, remember to visit the North West island of Anglesey on the Cardiff Anglesey weekday scheduled flight with Highland Airways.

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