Subsidised flights just can't compete with the train
A year ago the devolved Welsh Assembly government decided that the subsidy flying receives by our turning a blind eye to the environmental damage of aviation (and leaving the fuel untaxed) just wasn't giving enough of an advantage to the beleagured aviation industry.
Instead they simply decided to hand over wads of cash to support a ridiculous air link from Cardiff to RAF Anglesey. Even though the link was designed to improve business travel the subsidy per passenger is double the average single fare - a whopping £84 for every passenger.
Despite these outrageous favours the chronically underinvested rail link hasn't suffered. Against all the odds the 5 hour ponderous rail route between south and north Wales has seen growth of 28% over the last year. Rail passengers complain of a 'dreary experience' but cite environmental consequences and higher costs of flying to explain why they are sticking to the railways.
For a country as small as Wales to claim that an internal flight is at all necessary is farcical. Given that it takes at least a couple of hours on a Thameslink train to get from Luton to Brighton, how long will it be before some air entrepreneur suggests that it is imperative to lay on a vital, strategic air link between Shoreham and Luton airports to improve the economic performance within southern England?
P.s. the image above is of course not the actual plane. It's just the first image that appeared when I typed "wales" and "plane" into Google images. How could I refuse the offer of a plane made from weetabix boxes?