Anglesey Cardiff Airlink Funding Threat

by David Phillips

Popular twice week day Anglesey Cardiff flights may be under threat as the £800,000 three year Welsh Assembly Government subsidy, which ends in May 2010, is to be reviewed over the coming months.

Current operator Highland Airways is however confident that the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) will continue to support what it sees as an important transport link.

The arrangement has its supporters and its detractors, with those in favour saying the RAF Valley Cardiff Wales International route helps boost the Anglesey economy and encourages tourism on the island.

Meanwhile those opposed to the scheme and who are lobbying for it not to be renewed claim it is a waste of taxpayers money, and that the funding could be better allocated to improving the rail links between North and South Wales.

Colin Munro, commercial manager at Highland Airways, says that fares would have to be about twice their current rate if no WAG subsidy was available.

While the local MP Albert Owen believes it is crucial that the subsidy is renewed but moreover he says there is a need to have a more ambitious approach which looks to encourage routes to Anglesey from Dublin and London.

Mr Owen says that as the current route has been so popular and successful, there is a need for both public and private funding to develop an action plan for expansion.

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