After a hugely successful four year tenure, Roger Lewis has announced his plan to step down as Chairman of Cardiff Airport on 31st October 2019.
Reflecting on what has been a transformational period for Cardiff Airport, Roger Lewis has played a pioneering role at a strategic level and chaired the Cardiff Airport Board of Directors since he was appointed in November 2015.
Over the last four years, Cardiff Airport has seen steady passenger growth, welcomed new airlines and more routes and celebrated some significant developments in terms of delivering a sustainable airport business:
Cardiff Airport ended the 2018/19 financial year at 1.588 million passengers, which represents 7% year on year passenger growth. This figure follows growth of 9% in 2017 and 16% in 2016. Passenger growth has now reached 60% overall since the Airport came under public ownership in 2013
Qatar Airways launched a regular, direct flight between Wales and Qatar which shortly celebrates one year of service. The route, which has opened up a world of connectivity for customers across Wales and the South West of England has also re-positioned Cardiff Airport as a key gateway into the UK for international visitors
The Airport posted its first positive EBITDA in 2018 (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) which is a measure of a company’s operating performance. This is the first time a positive result has been posted in eight years, improving the year on year result by £897,000. A significant milestone for the Airport’s long term sustainability
The Airport unveiled its draft Masterplan for the next 20 years in 2018, which sets out ambitious plans for expansion between now and 2040. These are already being realised with the announcement of a new flight handling operator Global Trek – which will open its new premises in May 2019
On 1st April 2019, St. Athan Aerodrome began a 10 year contractual joint venture between Welsh Government and Cardiff Airport which saw the transfer of airfield operational responsibilities to the Airport team, including maintenance, security, radar services and air traffic control
British Airways Maintenance Centre, which employs almost 700 highly skilled staff, has re-affirmed its position at Cardiff Airport with a renewed commitment and the introduction of maintenance on its fleet of Boeing 787, following detailed negotiations between British Airways, Welsh Government and Cardiff Airport.
KLM celebrated 30 years of flying from Cardiff to its international hub at Amsterdam Schiphol TUI has announced three new routes to Naples, Dubrovink and Hurghada and the addition of 100,000 extra seats into the South Wales market which will all launch over the next two weeks
Ryanair has added three new routes to Barcelona, Malta and Malaga for this summer
Thomas Cook brought forward it summer season, introduced a larger A321 aircraft and 25% more seats to its Cardiff routes, not to mention a new route to Enfidha, Tunisia.
Deb Barber, CEO of Cardiff Airport, commented:
“Roger has played a vital role in providing strategic leadership and has imparted a wealth of knowledge that has empowered us, as a Board of Directors, to drive the airport business forward and deliver some huge successes.
“On behalf of the entire team, I would like to thank Roger for his hard work, dedication and for his passion, during what has been a transformational period for Cardiff Airport.”
Roger Lewis, Chairman of Cardiff Airport, added:
“It has been an honour to be a part of such a dynamic team who have continuously delivered not just for Cardiff Airport, but for Wales.
“Our national airport is in great shape and, whilst we acknowledge there is more work to be done, our journey ahead looks bright. I look forward to continuing to work alongside Cardiff Airport to explore the international opportunities that will, no doubt emerge, in my next Welsh Government role at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.
“I pay sincere tribute to all of the staff at Cardiff Airport for their dedication and service to the people of Wales.”
The search for the next Chairman of Cardiff Airport will begin immediately, with Roger Lewis remaining in his position as Chairman for the next six months and overseeing the transition to his successor.