THE former managing director of Bath Travel has estimated that Bournemouth Airport currently has a billion pounds worth of aircraft parked.

More than 30 British Airways planes have parked up at Bournemouth Airport and can be seen when driving down Parley Lane.

As well as this, several Virgin Atlantic planes have also been stationed at the airport as the majority of flights around the globe are grounded due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Stephen Bath, former managing director of Bath Travel and son of Palmair founder, Peter Bath, said: “I never thought I would ever see so many BA planes here at once, I think 37 out of a fleet of around 370.

“An unprecedented sight. Last time there were this many planes at Hurn was before the D-Day invasion.

“Together with the Virgin Airbus A340’s, we probably have a billion pounds worth of aircraft newly parked up at Hurn.

“The southern taxiway is now completely turned over to parked aircraft, so incoming aircraft now has to backtrack on a live runway or take the northern taxiway back to the terminal.

“Unsurprisingly, there is a lot more security around the airport. The barrier into the north-east sector is down all the time. There are security vehicles constantly on patrol around the parked aircraft.”

A spokesperson for British Airways said: “Things continue to change every day so we’re not updating on schedule changes/parking arrangements.”

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson added: “We do indeed have three A340s parked at Bournemouth. They’ve now been retired from our fleet and will be passed onto their new owner very shortly.”

Bournemouth Airport originally opened as RAF Hurn in August 1941, during the Second World War, and was the base for many RAF units over the following three years.

After the end of the war, the airport was the hub for international flights into the UK until Heathrow opened in 1949 and many airlines moved their operations to the site just outside London.

The arrival of the BA and Virgin aircraft drew a lot of attention on social media, with aerial images taken by the National Police Air Service team based at the airport proving extremely popular.