AN American airline is laying on extra flights to Glasgow ahead of the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming Scotland celebrations.

US Airways plans to fly 19 extra return flights between the west of Scotland hub and Philadelphia - the equivalent of 6700 additional seats.

Airline chiefs are toasting the 10th anniversary of flights between both cities by launching their summer season three weeks earlier than normal when 15 of the 19 extra flights will take off from May 4.

The remaining four will be slotted in before the summer season ends on October 24.

US Airways usually lays on five flights out of Glasgow every week at the start of the season with numbers increasing to seven.

The move is seen as a major economic boost to Glasgow and the rest of the country.

America is Glasgow's biggest international market. Every year around 85,000 US visitors jet to the west coast hub and boost the city's economy by almost £40million.

Airport boss Amanda McMillan said: "US Airways is a long standing partner of Glasgow Airport and its decision to add 19 additional departures this year to Philadelphia is a clear sign of its confidence in the West of Scotland market.

"It is no coincidence the decision to add flights comes as Glasgow prepares for what will be a landmark year of hosting events with global appeal."

Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council and chairman of the city's marketing bureau added: "It is a positive and welcome step which demonstrates the airline's commitment to the city ahead of what will be a momentous year for Glasgow and reinforces Glasgow Airport's position as Scotland's long haul gateway."