Manchester Airport has reported it is having its busiest July since the start of the financial crash in 2008.

The UK’s third-largest airport has seen passenger numbers rise for 14 consecutive months, with last month’s numbers hitting 2.2 million.

The 4.4% year-on-year increase was fuelled by a 5.5% increase in international traffic. Total traffic in the current financial year has surpassed 7.8 million, a year-on-year increase of 5.6%.

Ken O’Toole, chief commercial officer for MAG, the owner of Manchester Airport, said: “We are delighted to see passenger numbers continuing to rise at Manchester.

“This is set to be our busiest summer in five years thanks to a host of new routes, increased services and our successful ‘Fly Manchester’ campaign helping to attract passengers throughout our large catchment area.

“We predict that numbers are set to increase even further as the summer progresses and we continue to look to add frequency and new routes to the destinations served.”

The airport said the top five foreign destinations for this summer are Palma, Amsterdam, Dubai, Alicante and Dalaman.

It claimed the annual increase in traffic to all these destinations “echoes how Manchester Airport has listened to, and met, customer demand to these popular holiday destinations”. August 23 is expected to be the busiest day of this year.

Manchester is looking forward to further passenger number rises thanks to new routes including a Thomas Cook services to St Lucia, Antigua and Barbados, which starts from November.

EasyJet is also launching a new service to Lyon, which went on sale on July 25, and will begin on November 2 and Emirates is also increasing capacity and for ten days will run the A380 on two of its three daily services to Dubai in and out of Manchester Airport.