Birmingham Airport has celebrated its most successful year to date - breaking the ten million barrier for the first time.

The airport handled 10.2 million passengers during 2015 - representing a rise of almost five per cent compared to the previous year.

It was the first time the airport has broken the ten million passenger mark in a calendar year in its 75-year history.

Long-haul traffic saw the greatest increase during the year, with a 21.4 per cent increase from 2014 due to greater capacity from Birmingham to destinations such as Dubai, Delhi, Amritsar and Beijing.

Chief executive Paul Kehoe said: "2015 was a fantastic year for Birmingham Airport as we not only handled more passengers than ever before but we also broke the news that 11 new airlines were being added to our growing list of carriers.

"With brand new services launched to Reykjavik, New York, Madrid, Warsaw, Budapest and Poznan, plus additional frequencies added to key hubs such as Dubai, Istanbul and Delhi, we are seeing more airlines realise the huge benefits of flying to and from Birmingham due to its extensive catchment area and strong economy.

"Looking forward, 2016 is set to be even busier as we get set for the launch of Qatar, Blue Air, Iberia and Czech Airlines, as well as welcoming the Emirates A380 aircraft each day from March."

The record year was confirmed after the airport enjoyed its busiest December on record as almost 700,000 passengers passed through.

While 10.2 million, on the back of the runway extension, is an achievement, it will unlikely be enough to place Birmingham in the UK's top five airports for passenger numbers.

Last year, Heathrow had 73.4 million pass through, followed by Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, London Luton and Edinburgh, with Birmingham in seventh place after bringing in 9.7 million.

Overall, in 2015, scheduled traffic grew by 5.2 per cent and made up 84 per cent of the overall figure.

Charter grew by 3.8 per cent and made up 16 per cent of the total for 2015.

This included twice weekly direct flights to Beijing in the summer of 2015.