Jet2 to open Bournemouth base; three airlines operate in S24; Palma top destination at Bournmouth

Located in the English county of Dorset, Bournemouth Airport has a core catchment area of 2.4 million people. According to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the airport welcomed 950,200 passengers in 2023, a substantial increase on 2019. However, it was not quite as high as that recorded in 2007/2008. In contrast to Bournemouth, UK airports were collectively down by 8.4% compared to 2019.

Bournemouth passengers 2004-2023

Jet2 to open its 12th UK base at Bournemouth

The fast-growing leisure airline will open a base at the airport in April 2025, with two based 737-800s. It expects to deliver 300,000+ annual passengers, meaning Bournemouth will easily smash its prior traffic record and return to the 1m+ club. Cirium shows that Jet2 last served the airport in 2005 (from Belfast BFS).

Jet2 initially plans 16 routes to Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Turkey, with most beginning in May. It expects 28-weekly flights in the peak season, with most routes weekly to 2-weekly, as is standard for the carrier.

Fourteen of the 16 routes will have head-to-head competition. Jet2 will face Ryanair in two markets, TUI in eight, and both operators on four airport pairs. Only Funchal and Fuerteventura will not have direct competition, but they were served a decade+ ago from Bournemouth.

Bournmouth route map for

Many passenger airlines over the years, with three in S24

Bournemouth has been served by many airlines, helped by a longer runway, more workable operating hours and lower charges than at nearby Southampton.

Analysis of Cirium data shows that Aer Lingus, Aurigny, airberlin, Blue Islands, bmibaby, Flybe Mk1, Thomas Cook, Thomsonfly and Wizz Air, among others, have all operated from Bournemouth in the past 20 years. Several no longer exist. Additionally, Buzz, which was purchased by Ryanair, had originally planned a Bournemouth base in 2003.

Shannon AIrport

The following figure charts the development of airlines between 2004 and 2023. Narrowing the focus to S24 shows that three airlines will operate: Ryanair (73% of departing seats), TUI (27%), and easyJet (negligible).

easyJet only has a 2-weekly Geneva service until the end of April, in the shoulder period, a hangover from the winter ski season. It means that only Ryanair and TUI will operate in the peak summer.

Airline capacity at Bournemouth 2004-2023

Palma is the top destination; only one domestic route is served

Many of Bournemouth’s S24 routes are to popular tourist destinations. There is also a smattering of city services, including Budapest, Edinburgh (the sole domestic route), Kraków, Nantes, Wrocław and Venice VCE. Intriguingly, Dublin – Ryanair’s original Bournemouth route in 1996 – is no longer served, with the route ending in 2023.

Palma is comfortably the number one destination, with almost twice the number of available seats of second-ranked Alicante. There are 14-weekly departures in July by Ryanair (9) and TUI (5). When Jet2’s base opens in 2025, Palma will be its most-served route (4-weekly).

Top 10 Bournemouth destinations S24

20 destinations have been removed since 2014

Using Cirium to compare airports with Bournemouth flights between 2014-2023 with full-year 2024 shows that 20 are no longer served. They are based on having at least five flights and are organised as follows. The stated year reflects the last time they had Bournemouth service.

  • 2023: Dublin
  • 2022: Lisbon
  • 2021: Belfast BFS, Liverpool
  • 2020: Prague
  • 2019: Guernsey
  • 2018: Naples
  • 2019: Jersey, Turin
  • 2016: Amsterdam, Glasgow, Manchester, Paris CDG
  • 2015: Biarritz, Deauville, Sharm El Sheikh, Toulon
  • 2014: Chania, Fuerteventura (Jet2 to begin this in 2025), Pisa

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