Cardiff Airport welcomed over 10,000 French rugby fans through its doors over the weekend, from Friday to Sunday for the Wales v France RBS Six Nations match on Saturday, 17 March.
Over 30 additional aircraft arrived, mostly on Friday, with the majority departing back out on Sunday, in addition to Flybe’s scheduled services to Paris Charles de Gaulle from Cardiff Airport.
Additional security personnel, handling agents and airport staff were brought in over the busiest periods to deal with the increased passenger numbers. This, as well as the thorough plans made prior to the weekend co-ordinating staff, aircraft slots, passengers and transport arrangements to and from the airport ensured the air lift went smoothly and efficiently, and both the inbound and outbound operations were praised by airlines and passengers.
Ceri Mashlan, Cardiff Airport’s head of terminal services and security commented: “Rugby air lifts are always a busy time for us, and once again the team at Cardiff Airport demonstrated efficiency, experience and ability in dealing with large numbers coming through the terminal over a short period.
We would like to thank the travelling French fans, who were in great spirits, and the tour operators who helped with the arrangements for following our procedures and plans, which helped ensure the weekend was a success.”
Hervé Nogues, Regional Station Manager – UK & Ireland for AIR FRANCE KLM said: “I was impressed by Cardiff Airport and its staff. Despite the large number of chartered flights the operation was well managed without congestion.
The processes at the airport were smooth and professional, and all staff were friendly and smiling, ranging from the floor walkers to the police, and from the bus drivers to the coffee shop and car park staff, which makes a huge difference and improves the overall experience for customers.”