Southampton airport expects to handle 1.5% more passengers in the July and August summer peak than the same period last year.

More than 430,000 people are due to use the airport over the two months.

Numbers for July are forecast at 216,099, an increase on last year’s 207,631, and August passengers numbers are predicated to reach around 217,773.

The airport has been investing in facilities to cope with the increased numbers.

This includes introducing parallel loading in the security area to make it more efficient, introducing a new Border Force desk to speed up the immigration process for arriving passengers, and installing a new WH Smith Tech Express kiosk in the departure lounge.

New airlines and routes have played a large part in the increased passenger numbers this summer, including a service to Ibiza with Volotea and Rodez with Eastern Airways.

Cork flights by Aer Lingus Regional will be operating for an increased six days a week during the summer and Flybe introduced a weekend leisure hub allowing regional passengers to connect via Southampton to destinations in France and Italy.

Airport managing director, Dave Lees, said: “We are looking forward to our busiest summer ever which comes just after we surpassed the two million passenger milestone back in April.

“It is great to see so many people flying local this year to some fantastic destinations in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

“We hope to see this trend in passenger numbers rising continue through the year as we introduce our new airlines for ski this winter, easyJet to Geneva and powdair to Sion.”

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