South East Wales

Cardiff Airport gets flight boost from Vueling

Cardiff Airport has received a boost after a Spanish airline increased the number of flights.

Low-cost operator Vueling has announced it will now fly from Cardiff to Alicante and Malaga all-year round.

This is in addition to its existing schedule to Barcelona and Palma Majorca.

It comes as the Welsh government-owned airport saw its passenger numbers slump to just below one million in the year to March 2013.

Jon Horne, chief executive of Cardiff Airport, said: "We have been listening to what the people of Wales want and one clear message amongst others was year round services."

Javier Suarez, routes manager with the Barcelona-based airline, said: "Vueling has been operating from Cardiff Airport for two years and we strongly believe that the results are very good for both parts."

Earlier this month, the airport revealed plans to attract long-haul services.

The airport, which was bought from its previous Spanish owners for £52m in March, is already undergoing a £500,000 facelift to promote Welsh culture and heritage.

Meanwhile, Cardiff Airport confirmed three British Airways (BA) flights from Boston, JFK and Montreal were diverted to land there after runways were closed at Heathrow Airport on Friday morning.

A BA plane heading to Oslo had to return to Heathrow to make an emergency landing after black smoke was seen coming from an engine.

Passengers have not disembarked at Cardiff and were expected to remain on the plane until Heathrow reopens.

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