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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Air firm sorry over cancellation
Plane taking off from Valley, Anglesey
The service has attracted Welsh Assembly Government support
The operator of the air service between north and south Wales has apologised after a plane had to be cancelled.

A month after Highland Airways flights began, Thursday's Cardiff-Anglesey service failed to take off because of a fault with the brakes.

Some passengers were critical, with a number taking a different flight and others accepting a minibus ride.

The firm said "no effort or expense was spared" trying to solve it, and the service was back to normal on Friday.

Highland Airways said bookings had exceeded expectations in the first month, and more than 1,000 people had already travelled between Valley on Anglesey and Cardiff International Airport.

The idea of a plane is fantastic, but more thought should have gone into it, and they should have more than one plane
Iona Williams, passenger

The service is subsidised by the Welsh Assembly Government.

An assembly government spokesman said it "delighted" with the first month.

"Overall, feedback has been very positive," he said.

But one passenger on said she would not use the service again after a "horrendous" six-hour minibus journey to Anglesey on Thursday.

"The minibus was the only option as the company was unwilling to pay for hotel accommodation," said Iona Williams, who had taken the flight to Cardiff for the first time.

"The minibus driver said he knew at four o'clock that he was needed, but in the end we didn't start off until 6.30, and it was horrendous.

"It took us just under six hours and we got to Anglesey just after midnight.

"It was such a pity because on the way down it was lovely.

"The idea of a plane is fantastic, but more thought should have gone into it, and they should have more than one plane," she added.

Basil O'Fee, Highland Airways' commercial manager, said he was "very sorry for the inconvenience caused to passengers".

"The component needed was replaced, but then the replacement also turned out to be faulty, and in the end we got someone to drive yet another replacement part down form Inverness, which got to Cardiff around 4am on Friday.

"We'd like to assure customers that no effort or expense was spared, in fact we flew down the first replacement part.

"We hate it as much as passengers when this type of thing happens, but would like to reassure our customers that we made every effort to get it sorted out."

Take off for north-south air link
08 May 07 |  North West Wales

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