Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) has said that flights from Cardiff Airport to Faro, Portugal and Malaga, Spain will go ahead as planned on July 3, despite a request by the Welsh Government, which owns the airport, to wait until the end of Wales' "stay local" travel guidance on July 6.

The airline argued that "hundreds of Welsh people" would be returning from countries with "R" rates of coronavirus transmission that are lower than the UK's, the BBC reported.

Welsh Economy Minister Ken Skates told the broadcaster: "Everybody needs to continue to contribute to the national effort and it is for individuals to take responsibility now. We know that a huge proportion of the tickets for these flights were sold up to 12 months ago. We don't know how many passengers will actually turn up at the airport."

Wales has asked residents to stay local, using the limit of five miles (eight kilometres) as a guideline. These restrictions are expected to be lifted on July 6, after which people can "travel as far as they like for all purposes."

Cardiff Airport has remained open throughout the pandemic to support essential operations including critical cargo and medical flights.

"During July our airlines will slowly restart passenger services, increasing in August. All airlines are making decisions about reinstating flights on a global basis and the situation remains fluid," an airport spokesperson told the BBC.

The airport has scheduled the Ryanair flights to Faro, Malaga, and Barcelona El Prat as the first phase of a planned resumption of commercial flights. During July, Vueling Airlines and Eastern Airways will implement a gradual return to Cardiff, TUI Airways and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines plan a return in August, and Qatar Airways is looking at returning in October, the UK's BusinessLive news site reported.