The UK’s Bournemouth Airport expects to handle more than one million passengers in 2024 as Ryanair confirms its 19th destination from the airport.
To cater for the expected passenger growth, airport owners Regional and City Airports are investing more than £5mn in new facilities, equipment, staff and training.
Ryanair has confirmed it will start twice weekly flights to the beach destination of Agadir in Morocco from 1 April next year.
It follows the success of the airline’s 2023 season which saw it base a second aircraft at the airport for the summer, increasing the number of flights by 30 per cent to 120 a week.
Further, tour operator TUI has already announced it will add a second aircraft at Bournemouth Airport in 2024 with an extra 60,000 seats available – a 33 per cent increase on its 2023 schedule. TUI has 14 destinations from Bournemouth with increased frequency planned on many routes next year.
The growth in destinations and frequency means the airport, which employs more than 250 people, expects to exceed one million passengers in 2024. The last time it hit that milestone was in 2008.
Steve Gill, managing director of Bournemouth Airport, said: “We’ve embarked on a major investment programme to cater for the anticipated growth in passenger numbers.
“Before the pandemic we saw 800,000 passengers. Having exceeded that this year, we are confident of seeing more than one million in 2024.
“That’s a tremendous achievement and reflects the great range of destinations available from Bournemouth Airport and our commitment to providing the best possible experience for passengers.
“While our investment programme continues, we thank passengers for their patience and aim to complete the majority of work during the quieter winter months.”
In the coming months the airport said passengers will notice several improvements in the terminal as part of the £5mn investment programme. These include an upgraded security search area with new scanning equipment to relax the restriction on liquids and the need to take electronics out of bags, when the works are complete.
There will be a new airport information desk, improved baggage screening, an extra baggage retrieval area in the arrivals terminal, more Border Force desks in arrivals and improved queuing systems for passenger handling in both departures and arrivals.
Bournemouth Airport now has 36 destinations on offer. In 2023 it was ranked one of the top three airports in the UK for customer service, and it has won plaudits for the quality of service provided to disabled and less mobile passengers.