Ryanair flights will proceed at the Welsh Government-owned Cardiff Airport despite a plea to postpone them until Wales ends its five-mile travel guidance.

On Wednesday, the airline said flights to and from Malaga in Spain and Faro in Portugal due on Friday would go ahead as planned despite the objections from government ministers.

Confirming the news, a spokeswoman for the airline said: "We are operating normally on 3rd and 4th July with hundreds of Welsh people travelling home from countries with lower 'R rates' than the UK."

Transport minister Ken Skates told a press conference in Cardiff the Welsh Government would "prefer" to see the flights postponed until after the planned ending of the country's "stay local" guidance on travel on July 6.

He said: "We look forward to seeing Cardiff Airport and Ryanair strengthen their relationship to resume more flights. But at this moment in time everybody needs to be continuing to contribute to the national effort, and it is for individuals to take responsibility.

"We know that a huge proportion of the tickets sold for these flights were sold up to 12 months ago. We don't know how many passengers will actually turn up at the airport.

"We've seen during the course of the pandemic a vast proportion of people who have pre-booked not arriving for their flights. I expect that to be the same for these flights."

Mr Skates said those travelling on compassionate grounds or for work were eligible to do so, but two-week quarantine rules would remain in place.

The Welsh Conservative MS for South Wales Central, Andrew RT Davies, said: "This is a pretty pathetic response from the Welsh Labour Government, blaming Ryanair and the management team at Cardiff Airport after the embarrassment of being caught out.

"I want people to be able to go on holiday and use my local airport but this has highlighted more inconsistency in Mark Drakeford's lockdown policy which is keeping tourism and hospitality businesses shut in Wales, but supporting such industries abroad.

"The Welsh Labour Government bought the airport, fund it, they supposedly even run the country and have the power to stop this if they really wanted to."