Ieuan Wyn Jones demonstrating how he will be commuting between Anglesey & Cardiff from now on
"We suspect that WAG either simply do not want to award any contract to Highland Airways for political reasons or else they hope that Highland Airways will fail and that they can allow the service also to fail – blaming Highland.”
This prompted Ieuan Wyn Jones to leap into action ...by sending a letter to the Daily Post (March 15):
"We are certainly not 'dithering' over the North-South Air link.
We are 100% committed to this service and we certainly do not 'hope it will fail' as claimed by Mr Wright. It has been a great success and our objective is to make sure there is no break in this service.
The facts are that the current contract comes to an end this May and we carried out an open tender process. Unfortunately this was not successful - we did not receive any bids that complied with the requirements of this particular tender.
I want to reassure passengers who use this service that action is being taken to secure its future and keep it in place"
Not sure what the 'requirements' of the tender were - but I would imagine that they would probably include an obligation for the winning airline to operate the link with far less WAG subsidy than was previously necessary (£800,000 per year). The fact that the tender failed probably reflects the economic reality that there just isn't a great demand for the service.
Personally the Druid didn't think that the North-South Air link was such a bad idea. Anglesey is on the periphery of the United Kingdom so an improved transport infrastructure to effectively bring the Island 'closer' to the economic centre is absolutely necessary to attract businesses here. The problem is that the North-South Air link only linked one peripheral part of the UK to another peripheral part. As far as the Druid is concerned it would have made more business sense for the WAG to subsidise an air link between Anglesey and London - even if that wouldn't make IWJ's weekly commute so convenient.
UPDATE: More here from the BBC's Betsan Powys.