BOURNEMOUTH Airport’s newest airline operator announcement is a “major milestone” in its history but the growth may not be stopping here. 

From April 2025, Jet2 will fly from Bournemouth to 16 destinations from 27 flights a week by two planes and employing 100 staff. 

The inaugural flight will take off to Tenerife on April 1, with other destinations across Spain, the Canary Islands, Greece, Portugal and Turkey.

Read the full list of destinations here

But Jet2 teased there is scope for even further expansion on top of this. Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2, said there could be even more planes landing at Bournemouth in the coming years. 

Bournemouth Echo: Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2 (Image: Daily Echo)

He said: “We will have about 300,000 passengers from this airport and we're very excited about serving this area and the wider region.  

“People that would ordinarily go to Gatwick now have the choice to come to or to go on their flight or holiday.  

“We've got no intention of stopping at that. Two [planes] the initial number that we'll be launching with and we hope that we can grow that number over the coming years. 

“Look at some of our other launches at airports: Birmingham, we launched in 2017 with four aircraft, we've now got 14. Bristol we launched in 2021 with three aircraft, we've now got eight. 

“We have a track record of investing very heavily in conjunction with our airport partners and increasing the capacity.” 

Bournemouth Echo:

New pilots, first officers, cabin crew, the famous ‘red crew’, ground operations team, engineers and other staff also means the 100 staff numbers will be met, Mr Bell said. 

He added: “But there will also be a number of jobs created in the airport and in the surrounding region, so it's great for the local economy.  

“We made the decision to come to Bournemouth following a concerted effort from residents of the area, the airport and of course our travel agent partners.” 

The first transatlantic flights to and from America operated from Hurn before Heathrow opened and Andrew Bell, chief executive of Bournemouth Airport’s owner Regional And City Airports, compared Jet2’s announcement as a similar “major milestone” in the airport’s history. 

He said: “Since then the airport’s gone from strength to strength and established itself as a gateway to travel to and from the south coast of England. 

“In recent times, the what's really played to its strength offering low cost and holiday flights to destinations in the UK, into Europe and beyond.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth Airport

Bournemouth Airport managing director Steve Gill said: “Jet2 will bring more choice, better value and fantastic customer service which will bring about inward investment, job creation and give local people an opportunity to fly from their local area. 

“We are already in the background planning a multi-million-pound investment to make sure that we can facilitate not just the two based aircraft that Jet2 has announced but additional growth they are already thinking about beyond next year.” 

Dorset Chamber president Tony Brown said “The surrounding area is definitely going to benefit from at least two planes joining.  

“Next year is going to be a huge promotion for hotels, accommodation etc. and we are really looking forward to it.”  

Steve Witt, co-founder of Bournemouth-based Not Just Travel and its recruitment arm, The Travel Franchise described the announcement as "fantastic news for one of the best airports in the UK".

He said: "Bournemouth Airport has been voted best airport multiple times and massively under-utilised.

"Not Just Travel is already a massive seller for Jet2 and it will be the top seller Bournemouth. It will strengthen the local airport and hopefully attract event more routes and airlines. 

"This announcement will hopefully strengthen EasyJet, Ryanair and TUI's commitment to the airport and hopefully see more overall investment in local infrastructure.

"The Jet2 offering is very strong and it will be a big hit locally."