Coronavirus: KLM cuts Cardiff Airport flights

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image copyrightReuters
image captionKLM said it will carry out about 10% of the normal number of flights

One of Cardiff Airport's longest-serving airlines is to "significantly reduce" its flights as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

From 29 March until 3 May, KLM will carry out about 10% of the normal number of flights.

The airline runs a daily service between Cardiff and Amsterdam.

Cardiff Airport said the industry faced unprecedented challenges but it was "in a strong position to bounce back when the recovery comes".

It added: "As it stands, we do not plan to make redundancies in our directly employed teams, and we are doing everything we can to safeguard roles and salaries."

This blow comes shortly after the collapse of Flybe and Thomas Cook.

In a statement, the airline said: "Due to the corona crisis, KLM will start the summer schedule with a significantly reduced network.

"From 29 March until and including 3 May, KLM plans to fly to 25 intercontinental and 32 European destinations.

"During this period, KLM will fly according to an adjusted schedule, which amounts to about 10% of the normal number of flights."

KLM is an important carrier for the airport and Schiphol in Amsterdam is a major hub for onward travel- connecting Cardiff with many worldwide destinations.

The aviation industry has been particularly badly-hit by the coronavirus outbreak and there has been frustration that the UK government hasn't brought forward a package of support for airlines and airports yet.

The UK pilots' union, BALPA, said some airlines faced imminent collapse unless the government stepped in.

The International Air Transport Association said the industry would need $200bn globally to deal with the suspension of routes and a drop in demand.

However, some argue the public might not be as sympathetic to financial support for the airline industry as for other businesses.

image copyrightCardiff Airport
image captionCardiff Airport was bought by the Welsh Government in 2013

Cardiff Airport chief executive Deb Bowen Rees said the current global situation was unprecedented, with airports and airlines across the world feeling the impact of a number of issues.

"While we're feeling the impact at Cardiff Airport we are in a stronger position because of our business growth and diversification over the past few years," she said.

"We are confident that, although in the short term, flights and passenger numbers will be affected, we are in a strong position to bounce back when the recovery comes."

Current airport advice is:

  • Some flights are operating and all customers should check with their airline, tour operator or travel agent before travelling to the airport to ensure they have the latest information
  • Passengers can travel within the guidelines outlined by the Foreign Office and updated UK Government advice
  • A number of airlines are offering more flexibility with bookings to allow for any changes that are needed, this gives our passengers the confidence they can travel or amend their plans

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