LIVERPOOL John Lennon Airport is celebrating a double achievement.

Latest figures show an increase in passengers and one of the world’s best scheduled flight punctuality records.

Last year some 4.95 million passengers used the airport, a three per cent rise with 125,000 extra people compared to 2016 and the airport’s highest annual figures since 2011.

The Punctuality League, published by OAG, the world’s leading air travel intelligence company, shows that Liverpool has the seventh best record in the world for scheduled flight on time performance compared to airports of a similar size.

Highlights in 2017 included the start of Blue Air’s base at Liverpool and the introduction of new year round services to Rome, Milan and Alicante.

Other new destinations included Venice with easyJet, and Prague, Bari and Girona with Ryanair, whilst TUI commenced summer holiday flights to Ibiza.

Several retailers including Dixons and Accessorize opened along with new bars and restaurants.

More than £4.5 million was invested in the refurbishment and upgrade of the departure lounge with new washroom facilities and improvements to seating and lighting plus large flight information screens.

Airport strategy director Mark Povall said:“2017 has been another great year with even more passengers choosing to take advantage of the convenience of flying from here with Liverpool now seen as the faster, easier, friendlier airport of choice for passengers from across the region.”