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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 May 2007, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Take off for north-south air link
Take off from Valley
The first flight from Valley left at 0900 BST on Tuesday
Flights have started on a new week-day air service between north and south Wales.

The first passengers arrived at RAF Valley, Anglesey, at 0830 BST on Tuesday, after a 40 minute flight from Cardiff International airport.

The 18-seater aircraft, operated by Highland Airways, will make two return flights a day.

The airline said it was selling an average of 200 tickets weekly and had attracted different types of customers.

Anglesey Council chairman J W Williams said he hoped the service would boost the island's economy.

Basil O'Fee, Highland Airways' commercial director, said demand was initially for tickets flying from the north to the south, but this was now balancing out.

He said: "We think this is probably because the bush telegraph works better in the north where the population is less, although in the medium term we feel the market is bigger in the south because the population is larger."

Mr O'Fee said the company was pleased with tickets sales, and the first official flight on Tuesday had seen a mix of both business and social passengers.

"It is definitely not just business people as there were people in jeans and casual clothes - users are more diverse than the pessimists had forecast," he added.

Take off from Valley
The first flight from Valley left at 0900 BST on Tuesday

Council chairman W J Williams said he was pleased the service had finally started, adding: "This is a chance to unite Wales."

The service offered business people an easier journey to Anglesey, he said, and could attract more jobs to the area.

It was also a first step to possibly expanding the service to include flights to Dublin, Manchester, or London, he said.

He said he sympathised with people who worried about the environmental impact of the service, but said that should be balanced with the fact that it would cut down on car use.




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"It took 40 minutes in the air, which is wonderful"



SEE ALSO
Air link to begin 'within a year'
28 Feb 06 |  North West Wales

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