Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Cardiff Airport is getting set for one of its busiest weekends on record as it welcomes a huge number of additional passengers ahead of what is set to be one of the largest sporting events in Wales’ history.
More than 24,000 additional fans are expected to fly through the national Airport of Wales between 3 - 4 June, generating some 400 additional aircraft movements via charter and private aircraft.
Regular, scheduled airlines including Ryanair and Vueling have increased frequency while KLM will operate larger aircraft to manage demands.
Juventus fans will arrive into Cardiff through a second terminal that has been built especially to manage the significant additional passenger traffic safely and securely.
Both the Juventus and Real Madrid teams and their management will be welcomed onto Welsh soil on June 2ndahead of the match at the National Stadium of Wales, including Welsh football superstar Gareth Bale who will land onto home turf.
While the Airport will be much busier, scheduled flights will operate as usual with every effort being made to minimise the impact on regular passengers flying off for their summer holiday or away on business.
Customers are being advised to allow additional time to travel to and from the airport, and to be mindful of road closures in place in and around the area.
Additionally, on site car parks will be very busy until the 5th of June with many dates already fully booked, so pre-booking is highly recommended, or customers should plan to arrive via public transport.
Deb Barber, chief executive of Cardiff Airport, said: “We are immensely proud to play our part in the ‘Team Wales’ approach to the delivery of this major event.
"Cardiff Airport’s role in the Champions League Final has been some 12 months in the planning with the support of a number of key agencies to ensure that air transport plan is robust, effective and of course safe and secure.
"As a team we’ll be going above and beyond to ensure business as usual is upheld for our customers, whilst delivering a successful event and a warm Welsh welcome to a wealth of excited sport fans!”
In total, more than 170,000 people are expected to arrive in Cardiff for the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday 3 June, providing a £45m boost to Cardiff and the wider region.
And as well as the airport, Cardiff City Heliport is also experiencing significant international demand ahead of the match and Fresh Air will deliver a full helicopter charter service for the VIPs, footballing dignitaries and celebrities looking to arrive in comfort and style.
Fresh Air, part of One Event Management Ltd, expects over 150 flights during the course of the event and will be providing a full registration and slot allocation process, full air traffic control services, fully trained ground handlers and check in/check out agents available on site in Cardiff.
Ian Halliday, director at Fresh Air, said: “We are excited to be expanding our heliport business by partnering with Cardiff City Heliport for the UEFA Champions League Final. We are looking forward to using the customised state of the art (mobile) air traffic control unit we have recently invested in, which gives us the opportunity to provide a total heliport and helicopter solution on a global stage.”
Neil Hanratty, City of Cardiff Council’s director of economic development, said: “Playing host to the UEFA Champions League Finals will create a huge and lasting economic legacy for Cardiff which will continue to be of benefit to the city for many years to come.
“It has been estimated that this hugely prestigious sporting event will have an economic benefit of approximately £45m to Cardiff and the wider region.
“Throughout the knockout stages, The Road to Cardiff branding has been used at every game and is expected to reach a global TV audience of 1.3 billion people by the end of the tournament.
“And the monetary value of the print, broadcast and online media coverage of the UEFA Champions League and Cardiff is estimated to be more than £8.5m.
“Staging such a world-class sporting occasion in Cardiff, when the eyes of the world will be upon us, will generate a massive and long-lasting boost for the whole city – its people, its businesses, its hospitality and tourism trade and its universities.”
A free, four-day UEFA Champions Festival is being staged in Cardiff Bay from Thursday, 1 June, to Sunday, 4 June as part of the event.