The owners of Cardiff airport should run it “properly” or sell it, according to the first minister of Wales.

Carwyn Jones said he would not want to welcome visitors to Wales through the airport because of the bad impression it gives of the country.

His comments, reported by the BBC, came after it emerged that passenger numbers fell last year by 13% to 1.2 million.

The airport, owned by Spanish company Abertis, said it wanted to work with the Welsh government.

The first minister said: “I have to say that with the condition of the airport at the moment I would not want to bring people in through Cardiff airport because of the impression it would give of Wales.

“It’s something that has been echoed to me time after time after time by passengers who use it

He added: “I have to say the time has come now for the owners of the airport to decide to run the airport properly or sell it.”

Airport planning and commercial director Steve Hodgetts said: “Cardiff airport’s desire to work closely with the Welsh government remains, as communicated last week in the airport’s presentation to the enterprise and business committee.”