New continent added to Bournemouth Airport flight list amid £5m investment
AFRICA is the latest destination where residents can now fly to from Bournemouth Airport, it has been announced.
Irish-based airline Ryanair is now taking bookings to fly from the airport to Agadir on the southwest coast of Morocco.
Starting from April 1, Ryanair will launch regular flights to the African nation every Monday and Thursday.
Bosses at the airport are expecting to welcome more than a million passengers through its terminal - a number it last hit 15 years ago in 2008.
As part of the anticipated growth, airport owners Regional and City Airports will be pumping more than £5m into new facilities, equipment, staff and training.
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.”
Bournemouth Airport has said passengers will notice several improvements over the coming months as part of the investment programme.
These include an upgraded security search area with new scanning kit 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.
Agadir is Ryanair's 19th destination from Bournemouth.
It follows the success of Ryanair’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.
Ryanair DAC chief executive Eddie Wilson said: “This is an historic day for the partnership between Ryanair and the Kingdom of Morocco.
“Ryanair is proud to unveil a major $1.4 billion investment in Morocco for summer 24 which, together with our largest summer program, will transport more than five million passengers to/from and within of the Kingdom of Morocco.”
Tripadvisor describes Agadir as southern Morocco’s most-visited city, adding it has “well-maintained beaches”.
It boasts "palm-lined boulevards with beachfront bars 'adding a decidedly Western-resort feel".
Bournemouth Airport now has 36 destinations on offer, including Spain, Greece, France, Italy, Croatia, Malta, Poland and more.
Tour operator TUI has already announced it will add a second aircraft at Bournemouth in 2024 with an extra 60,000 seats available, a 33 per cent increase on its 2023 schedule.