Bath Travel is to reintroduce fly-cruise and escorted holidays from Bournemouth airport, as parent company Hays Travel opens three high street stores.

From April 2016, Bath will offer a programme of holidays from 
the south coast airport, with flights operated by British Airways.

Bath previously offered holidays from Bournemouth from 1958 until 2011 via its Palmair operation.

The new programme has been “fantastically well-received” by the airport, as well as by agents and consumers, according to John Hays, managing director of Hays Travel.

“Flights will operate to Venice, Milan and Barcelona from April 23 next year and link up with cruises from several lines [Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises],” said Hays.

“This will be the first time BA will fly from Bournemouth airport, so it’s great for the region. There is a real history between Bath Travel and the airport and we’re thrilled to be continuing the tradition.”

The escorted tours programme includes itineraries in Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland, as well as an Orient-Express/Italy river cruise combination.

Hays Travel has also signed leases for three new stores – two Hays Travel outlets, in Leeds and Morpeth, and a second Bath Travel shop in Bognor Regis, West Sussex.

The Morpeth store is due to open next week. It will be the second store Hays has opened in Northumberland this summer, having added one in Blyth in June.

The new Bath Travel store in Bognor Regis is expected to open in three weeks’ time.

Hays said: “We will have seven or eight staff in each of the stores and they will be a mix of existing agents who have moved and new appointments. Of course we have to replace those who move, so we’re creating employment either way.”

Hays Travel acquired Bath Travel in October 2013.