BOURNEMOUTH Airport is set for a big boost as its largest operator confirmed that it will run a winter schedule for 2014-15.

Ryanair, which has upped sticks over winter in some previous years, leaving the airport with few off-season flights, said it planned to run three routes this time around – to Alicante, Malaga and Tenerife.

It predicts that will involve more than 440,000 using the Hurn terminal and says it will support 440 jobs.

At the same time, Thomson and First Choice have announced that in summer 2015 they will be increasing capacity at Bournemouth Airport, with the introduction of more than 3,000 additional seats and a new route to Enfidha, Tunisia, bringing the total destinations on offer from Bourne-mouth Airport to 13.

Ryanair’s Maria Macken said: “Consumers and visitors to the South Coast already choose Ryanair for the lowest fares, great route choice and our industry-leading customer service.”

Karen Switzer, director of aviation planning for Thomson and First Choice, said: “Adding additional capacity from the south of the UK and the introduction of a new route demonstrates our commitment to Bournemouth Airport and the local area and following the success of similar routes across a number of regional airports, we know that the demand is there.

“Expanding access to our portfolio of destinations and hotels is a key part of our overall strategy and we hope that this move will enhance the holiday experience for our customers.”

MD at Bournemouth Airport Paul Knight added: “It’s fantastic news that Thomson, First Choice and Ryanair continue to develop at Bournemouth Airport, giving our passengers a wider choice of destinations and increasing capacity to enable even more passengers to fly to and from Bourne-mouth. We look forward to welcoming passengers to Bournemouth Airport to sample some of the great destinations on offer year-round.”