Archive for May, 2014

This month we were joined by Jon Horne, Chief Executive of Cardiff Airport. Jon returned to Cardiff Airport as Chief Executive in April 2013, having previously been MD between 2001 and 2007. He has over 35 years of experience in the airport industry, including executive positions at Sheffield City Airport, Southampton Airport and London City.

Jon Horne, Chief Executive, Cardiff Airport

Jon Horne, Chief Executive, Cardiff Airport

After a period of decline, Cardiff Airport was acquired for £52m by the Welsh Government in March 2013, with the ambition to restore the airport to its former success. Jon outlined to the club some of his plans to achieve this and ‘get back to the over 2 million passengers a year’ the airport previously had.

When Jon first took up his role, he identified certain key areas which needed immediate improvement. Undertaking the campaign ‘your airport, listening to you,’ Jon discovered that the infrastructure of the airport was something which put off many potential customers. Since then, he has led a large investment to improve many of the airport facilities, including renovation of the check in desks and stairs, installing state of the art equipment, and doubling the size of the departure area.

Jon was keen to emphasis the significant contribution that the airport makes to Wales. As well as providing over 1,600 jobs, connecting Cardiff to the rest of world is vital to Cardiff’s continuing development as it helps to bring tourists and businesses alike to Wales.

Breakfast ClubJon explained that one of the significant difficulties he currently faces is to overcome certain negative perceptions of the airport held by some of the public. He has found that many people do not consider flying from Cardiff because they believe that flights from Cardiff are more expensive than from other UK airports, and because of the lack of flights to international destinations. Jon recognises that bringing more airlines with international destinations to the airport and advertising low priced flights is paramount to changing this opinion and increasing passenger numbers.

Jon believes that the airport has made an important step this week with the announcement that from October, Ryanair will start weekly flights to Tenerife from Cardiff. This development will not only bring passengers to the airport, but it gives confidence to other airlines to bring their business to Cardiff. Jon hopes to build on this in the future and is positive that the airport has a bright and successful future ahead.

The next Breakfast Club will be held on 25th June with guest speaker Professor Chris McGuigan of the Life Sciences Hub. For further information and booking details, please contact eira@petersenspr.com or phone 02920 549597.