Ski routes return to Cardiff Airport after three-year absence

FlyBe aircraft
Image caption Exeter-based Flybe said the four new destinations would start operating on 21 December

Winter flights to skiing destinations are returning to Cardiff Airport after a three-year absence.

Airline Flybe said the four direct routes to Chambery, Grenoble and Lyon in France and Geneva in Switzerland were positive news for Wales.

The Exeter-based company said the flights would start operating from Cardiff on 21 December.

Cardiff Airport was bought by the Welsh government for £52m in March after a slump in passenger numbers.

The figures had fallen from a peak of two million in 2007 to just over one million in 2012.

Flybe's four new routes will take the total it operates from Cardiff to nine.

The company's marketing director Simon Lilley said: "We see these new routes as a natural addition to our network out of Cardiff Airport and are confident that these attractive winter destinations can only be positive news for Wales."

Cardiff Airport's chief executive Jon Horne said the news heralded the return of ski destinations after an absence of three years.

"We have been working closely with Flybe as part of our strategy to bring back a greater choice of flights and destinations to Cardiff Airport and we look forward to exploring further opportunities in this regard," he said.

Economy and Transport Minister Edwina Hart said that with recent improvements to the airport's terminal and public transport links, Cardiff now offered a "much improved service to passengers".

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