Residents of the West Midlands are increasingly escaping the gloomy weather in favour of Spanish holidays, it has been revealed.
According to newly released figures from Birmingham Airport, passengers taking flights to Murcia in the winter month of January rose by 335 per cent this year.
The news comes after Monarch Airlines announced it is launching a new route to Murcia from Manchester Airport.
"We received some fantastic news in January with Ryanair announcing a base here at Birmingham and the introduction of 20 new routes commencing onwards from April.
A new itinerary of flights to Murcia from Manchester has been launched by Monarch Airlines.
The service will provide transportation five times per week for Britons looking to enjoy family holidays in Spain.
A daily service will be launched in the summer but the flights to Murcia are currently available on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
"We have been overwhelmed by how well it has been received with the first flight almost fully booked and over 20,000 bookings already taken," a spokesperson for the airline commented.
Flights to Murcia can be taken from January through until December, it has been noted, as the region has been described as a "year-round destination".
According to Exclusively Murcia's founder Andrew Nicholson, flights to Murcia are available frequently and at a low cost.
Murcia is currently looking ahead to what it expects will be a prosperous year, after 2007 figures from Spain's Ministry of Tourism and Commerce revealed that tourist levels rose by 18 per cent last year.
Murcia is located on two seas - the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean Sea both of which boast magnificent cliffs, beaches, ports and coves.
The Costa Brava is one of the top five favourite holiday destinations, according to one commentator.
Holiday Rentals reports that in 2007, the top five favourite holiday destinations were Playa de las Americas in the Spanish holiday island of Tenerife, Orlando in Florida, Chania in Crete, Lucca in Tuscany, Italy and Spain's Costa Brava.
The news comes as the company reveals that over 90 per cent of holiday homes are located in Europe.
Moreover, Spain is said to "dominate" the market in terms of the number of holiday homes it boasts.
More tourists took flights to Murcia in 2007 and the region is looking ahead to a "prosperous" 2008, it has been reported.
According to figures from the Ministry of Tourism and Commerce, tourist levels grew by 18 per cent last year, while property prices rose by four per cent.
Meanwhile, flights to Murcia exceeded the national average in terms of visitor increase as passenger traffic at San Javier Airport grew by 23 per cent to two million in 2007.
"Murcia is one of the fastest growing regions in Spain and a new international airport opening in 2009 will further drive growth with an estimated three million passengers visiting in the first year," commented Mike Hamilton director of Casas de Lorca.
Britons heading off on a Spanish holiday have been issued with advice in regards to car hire.
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Britons renting a hire car overseas should aim to go one of the bigger dealers.
Spokesperson for the ABI, Malcolm Tarling, commented that it is "sensible" to choose one of the better known providers.
"If you arranged a hire with a local hire car company, they'd be perfectly reputable but you won't necessarily know anything about your lack of cover," Mr Tarling noted.
Spanish holidays are popular among Britons looking to escape the UK for some sunshine over the Easter break, it has been reported.
According to Thomas Cook, traditional city breaks like Barcelona are "always popular over Easter".
Additionally, a company spokesperson noted that those looking for "something warmer" tend to take flights to Spain for holidays in Madrid and Seville to enjoy a short break in the sun.
"Family favourites of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote are popular retreats at Easter as they have something for everyone," she added.
This February, Britons without partners will not be sitting at home waiting to see if the postman brings them a Valentine's Day card, but instead they will be practicing their swing on a golf holiday.
According to American Express, enjoying a round of golf with friends in the sunshine is one of the top choices for single Britons who wish to escape the hype of the romantic calendar event.
Other top escapes included taking a cultural break in Europe, a spa weekend, a clubbing holiday, or a singles holiday.
However, in terms of true romantics, it was revealed that 36 per cent of Scots intend on whisking their loved ones away on February 14th.
Advice has been issued to families taking flights to Murcia and other destinations by one author.
In her book, The Rough Guide to Travel with Babies and Young Children, Fawzia Rasheed de Francisco has included top tips for air travel with children.
She advises holidaymakers to book flights onboard larger aircraft with roomy seating wherever possible in order to provide extra comfort are more stability, reducing the possibility of motion sickness among kids.
Early check-in facilities can also help reduce the time spent queuing with children.
British Airways has been named in a list of the top child-friendly airlines, it has been revealed.
The airline, which offers flights to Spain, received 32 per cent of votes from respondents in regards to how they treated younger travellers in the Rough Guide survey.
Number one spot went to Virgin, the airline owned by father and millionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson.
Fawzia Rasheed de Francisco, Rough Guide spokesperson was unsurprised that the larger companies beat low-cost airlines such as easyJet in the child-friendly stakes.