BOURNEMOUTH Airport welcomed a special visitor at the weekend.

An Antonov An-12BP Ukraine Air Alliance UR-CZZ was spotted coming into land on Saturday afternoon.

The striking blue plane with red detailing is a four-engine turboprop transport aircraft which was designed in the Soviet Union.

Freelance photographer Ed Holbrook from Bournemouth, who spotted the plane during its descent, said it was a “rare treat” to see the aircraft. He said he thought it may have been delivering cargo.

According to live air traffic website Flightrader24, the aircraft had flown in from Naples International Airport and landed in Bournemouth at 2.49pm. It had flown to Naples from Tunisia earlier in the day.

The first An-12 prototype flew in December 1957 and entered Soviet military service in 1959. It was initially produced in the State Aviation Factory in Irkutsk from 1962.

For more than 30 years, the An-12 was the standard aircraft used by the Soviet Air Force to transport medium-range cargo and paratroopers. It has capacity for up to 100 fully equipped paratroopers.

More than 1,200 Antonov An-12 aircraft were produced between 1957 and 1973.