Passenger numbers hit pre-recession highs

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MORE holidaymakers are heading to sun-drenched locations flying directly from Hampshire.

Southampton Airport has reported having its busiest July in seven years, with passenger numbers returning to levels not seen since before the recession.

The airport reported 192,353 passengers travelling through in July – a 1.9 per cent increase on July last year and the largest number since 2007.

Passengers headed to destinations in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy.

The airport’s marketing and communications head, Jan Halliday, said: ‘It’s great to see so many people heading off on their summer holidays from Southampton Airport.

‘Passenger numbers this July have been similar to pre-recession levels, with many people taking advantage of the range of flights from their local airport.’

The top five places people were flying to from Southampton were to Malaga, Alicante, Palma, Faro and Bergerac. Passengers also enjoying city breaks to destinations including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris.

Flights to Guernsey also proved popular, with more than 5,000 more passengers flying there than in July 2013.

The airport is now gearing up for a busy autumn, with new flights to Hamburg and additional services to Leeds Bradford and Aberdeen starting at the end of October.

The airline Flybe has extended its summer routes of Southampton to Alicante, Malaga and Faro through to early November to accommodate half-term travel.

Flights to Alicante and Malaga will also also continue throughout the winter from Southampton.