Edinburgh has recorded its busiest ever month, becoming the first Scottish airport to welcome 1.5 million passengers in a single month.

The airport reported passenger traffic of 1,501,988 travellers in July, up 6.3 per cent on the same period in 2017.

The growth was driven in particular by international passengers, with just over one million travellers (1,003,289) passing through the airport over the month, up 7.3 per cent on last year.

Qatar Airways recently increased capacity on its Doha-Edinburgh route, and Emirates is set to launch new flights to the Scottish capital from Dubai on October 1. But fellow Gulf airline Etihad is to suspend its route between Abu Dhabi and Edinburgh from the same date.

Hainan Airlines new flights between the Chinese and Scottish capitals in June.

Commenting on the news Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said:

“These are fantastic figures for the airport, for Edinburgh and for Scotland, and they show an increase in passenger demand of 60 per cent over the past five years – that is phenomenal growth and easily makes us one of Europe’s fastest growing airports.

“That growth is something we should be proud of as it delivers wide-ranging benefits for the country through job creation, tourism spend and business growth, but it also means we need to keep growing our infrastructure and build that additional capacity to cater for those increased numbers.

“We have invested huge sums already to keep up with that demand and are now for the first time in a position where we’re ahead of that curve thanks to a terminal expansion which will see us grow our passenger capacity to more than 17 million. That headroom is welcome and is a position we want to stay in and aim to do so through continued investment.

“Part of that wider picture is the need for improvements to the external infrastructure as well and that is an ongoing discussion with various partners as we must change and grow to maximise the opportunities that the airport brings.

“This extension is the beginning of a longer period of investment in our airport. Growth is our main strategic challenge and we will develop in order to enable growth for Edinburgh and Scotland as a whole.”