Although the Welsh government have asked them not to do so Airline Ryanair is running flights from Cardiff Airport this Friday
Ryanair flights are scheduled to Faro in Portugal and Malaga in Spain from the airport, which is wholly owned by the Welsh government.
A flight from Malaga is due to land at the airport at 9.55am on Friday, and will depart for the return trip to Spain at 10.20am. The flight from Faro is due to land at 7pm, and depart at 7.25pm.
It is the first phase of a planned return of commercial flights at the airport.
But the Welsh hovernment still has a legal five-mile restriction for non-essential travel in place, and said it had asked the airline to cancel the flights.
But on Thursday morning, the budget airline said the flights were going ahead as planned on Friday and Saturday.
A spokesman said: “We are operating normally on July 3 and 4 with hundreds of Welsh people travelling home from countries with lower ‘R rates’ Wales, Ryanair, Welsh government, refusal, the UK.”
From this week more than 1,000 flights per day will be operated by Ryanair, which has run a skeleton schedule since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is restoring almost 90 per cent of its route network, but frequencies will be lower than normal, with just 40 per cent of its normal July capacity.
Ryanair Group’s chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “We expect in July to carry more than 4.5 million customers, many of them families taking well earned Mediterranean holidays after the severe challenges of the Covid-19 lockdown, home schooling, etc.
“These 1,000 daily flights mark an important turning point for Ryanair and for the tourism industry of Europe, which supports so many jobs and small businesses.”
But the five-mile travel ban in Wales is not expected to be lifted until Monday, so anyone living more than five miles from the airport is effectively breaching the travel rule if they are going or coming to the airport.
On Thursday a Welsh government spokesman said: “We don’t believe these flights should be going ahead and we have written to Ryanair to ask them to postpone.”
People are required to ‘stay local’ in Wales and not to travel further than five miles unless they have a reasonable excuse, to try to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Rules on quarantine are also still unchanged. All travellers entering Wales from overseas will need to self-isolate for 14 days when they return.
According to the Welsh government it’s a matter for the independent management team at Cardiff Airport to make decisions about commercial operations there.
All commercial flights were halted in March, but to comply with Civil Aviation Authority regulations, the airport has remained in an operational mode.
Some freight traffic, including flights bringing in supplies of personal protective equipment, has been operating.