IT HAS been a record-breaking summer for Southampton’s airport which has experienced its busiest July in seven years.

An impressive 192,353 passengers have travelled through Southampton Airport last month – an increase of 1.9 per cent on the saem time last year and the largest number since 2007.

Passengers flocked to the airport to fly to sun drenched destinations including Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, despite the glorious weather enjoyed in the UK this summer.

The news comes less than a fortnight after it was revealed the airport has been put up for sale after owner Heathrow Airport Holdings put it and Aberdeen and Glasgow airports on the market.

The top five summer sun routes were Malaga, Alicante, Palma, Faro and Bergerac – which were most popular with families departing in the school holidays.

Passengers have also been enjoying city breaks, with the top short break destinations being Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris. Flights to Guernsey also proved to be extremely popular, with more than 5,000 more passengers flying there than in July 2013.

And to ensure the airport continues to be busy, Flybe’s popular summer sun routes from Southampton to Alicante, Malaga and Faro have been extended to operate through to early November to accommodate those wanting to get away during half-term.

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

Jan Halliday, director of marketing and communications, said: “It’s great to see so many people heading off on their summer holidays from Southampton Airport.

“Passenger numbers in July have been similar to pre-recession levels, with many people taking advantage of flights from their local airport.”

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.