Mystery surrounds the future of Flybe’s services between Cardiff and London’s City airport (LCY).
Flybe operates twice daily (Monday to Friday) between the Welsh capital and London’s close-in airport. There is a single flight on Sundays.
But according to flybe.com the last day of operations is Friday October 27. However this is not entirely surprising as Flybe is known to juggle its schedules twice a year when availability is removed.
Like all short domestic routes the Cardiff-LCY service is costly to operate. But this niche route is popular with those business travellers based within easy reach of Cardiff airport.
But its future is not guaranteed. Regional airline Flybe posted a loss in the last financial year and has vowed to cut costs by slimming its fleet.
In previous weeks Flybe’s social media team has been telling concerned customers that the Cardiff-LCY route is “under review.”
But last Tuesday, in response to a query from a potential customer, the social media team tweeted, “I’m afraid our final schedules have now been released so there are no flights between Cardiff and London City after October 28.”
Perhaps the die was cast back in April. Interviewed by BBC Wales, Flybe CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener said that the performance of the Cardiff to LCY route was “fine” but she would like to see more passengers using the service.
But Welsh business people planning day trips to London will miss the route should it close.
If a Welsh business person takes Flybe’s morning service at 0745 he or she arrives at LCY at 0900 in good time for a day’s work either in the City or at nearby Canary Wharf.
Those taking the GWR train would have to leave Cardiff at 0656 to be able to arrive at London Paddington by 0854 … and then they would have to trek across the capital (to City/Canary Wharf).
And it’s the same for anyone making a day trip.
Flybe’s final flight departs LCY at 1740 to arrive back in Cardiff at a civilised 1840.
With GWR, not only must one cross London to Paddington station, but the 1745 service would not get you to Cardiff until 1948.
Business Traveller asked Flybe for comment on the route’s future and the reply was somewhat nebulous.
In its emailed statement Flybe said:
“Flybe remains fully committed to its Cardiff base and to ensuring that it offers a regional schedule that best meets the needs of its customers.
“The airline continues to work closely with Cardiff airport to finalise its 2017-2018 Winter Programme relating to those services which may currently not feature in this seasonal schedule.”
Rest assured Business Traveller will update you with developments as they when they occur.