Ex-anna.aero Editor becomes Cardiff Airport aviation development supremo
Marc Watkins, anna.aero Editor for six years between 2012 and 2018, has joined Cardiff Airport as its new Aviation Development Manager. Watkins has more than 25 years of experience in the UK aviation sector, including route development roles for over 13 years at Birmingham and Coventry airports.
He gained a Bachelor of Science degree in Transport Management from Aston University in Birmingham, and also holds a Master of Science degree in Air Transport Management from Cranfield University.
In his new role, Watkins’ primary focus will be building on Cardiff’s relationships with its existing airlines and aviation partners along with seeking new business opportunities and growing the airport’s route network as a key priority.
“We’re delighted to welcome Marc to the Cardiff Airport team as our new Aviation Development Manager,” said Spencer Birns, CEO Cardiff Airport. “The aviation industry is going through unprecedented times due to COVID-19, but we are confident about air travel’s recovery throughout 2022 and beyond. Marc’s wealth of expertise in commercial aviation will be a huge asset to the business, and he will play a vital role in rebuilding our route network as we recover from the pandemic. Welcome to the team, Marc!”
Marc Watkins, Aviation Development Manager, Cardiff Airport, added: “I’m very excited that I’ve joined the fabulous team at Cardiff Airport as Aviation Development Manager, and enthusiastic to be leading on the airport’s route recovery. I am really looking forward to meeting with my existing airline and tour operator contacts, whilst building new relationships with industry colleagues at those carriers that will soon hopefully be flying into Wales’ capital city airport.”
What Watkins wants for Wales
“My brief is very clear – farming first, hunting later. So for the immediate future I will be ‘cultivating’ to ensure that those airlines that have already invested in Cardiff as incumbent partners are looked after as we work on the re-commencement of their services at CWL. In 2022 TUI, KLM, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Vueling, Loganair and Eastern Airways have already developed programmes to operate 18 of the 52 routes that were previously paused due to Covid. The demand for travel in Wales is high and for the 2.5 million people living in Southern Wales, Cardiff is their nearest and preferred airport.
“Working with our current and new airline partners to help reinstate the services to the levels of prior to the pandemic is going to be a key priority, as well as building on our hub connectivity, which is particularly important as the airport is the vital gateway to Wales. In the normal trading environment, where major hub services operate, 1 in 3 passengers using the airport are visitors to Wales, and the business generates in excess of £240m (€290m) in annual GVA to the Welsh Economy. The objectives to recover to levels of passenger traffic seen prior to Covid are of great importance as we are a significant economic asset to the region. Out of the 52 routes that were paused, reinstating the connections to Doha, Rome, Munich, Milan and Jersey are very high on our target list.”