The number of flights taking off this month has grown three percent on the same period last year, according to research recently released by analyst OAG Aviation.

A total of 2.76 million flights will take to the skies during July, OAG predicts, with over 351 million seats available on them, five percent more than the same period in July 2010 thanks to the growth of large aircraft.

However, that growth hides some regions which are less popular than last year - the number of flights to and from both Africa and Central/South America has fallen by one percent, according to the company's analysis (although there are marginally more seats available on flights to Central/South America).

Other regions performed better -  the Middle East leading the charge with a ten percent growth in seats available to and from the region, edging in slightly ahead of Asia, which showed an 8.7 percent jump in capacity.

There are five percent more seats available to and from Europe this month than there were last month, the figures showed, and three percent more available to North America.

The top three busiest airports (Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson in the US, Beijing and London Heathrow) all maintained their respective positions, said OAG, although there was some bright news for Tokyo's Haneda, which showed a 14 percent rise in flights "indicating that airlines are looking to improve schedules."

Madrid was the only airport in the world's top 20 to see a decline in traffic.