MORE than a million passengers are expected to travel through Bournemouth Airport in 2024.
The announcement comes as Ryanair confirmed its 19th destination from the airport, in Parley Lane, Christchurch – with twice-weekly flights to beach destination Agadir, in Morocco, from April 1.
To cater for the expected passenger growth, airport owners Regional and City Airports said it is investing more than £5m in new facilities, equipment, staff and training in Bournemouth.
The expanded network brings to 19 the number of destinations Ryanair now offers from Bournemouth and comes after the airline based a second plane at the airport for the summer, increasing the number of flights by 30%, to 120 a week.
Meanwhile, tour operator TUI has already announced it will add a second aircraft at Bournemouth in 2024, with an extra 60,000 seats available.
TUI has 14 destinations from Bournemouth with increased frequency planned on many routes.
The growth in destinations and frequency means the airport, which employs more than 250 people, expects to exceed a million passengers for the first time since 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 a 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, passengers will notice improvements in the terminal, including an upgraded security search area with new scanning equipment, 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.
Last year, Bournemouth Airport was ranked one of the top three airports in the UK for customer service.