Record numbers of British holidaymakers are flying long-haul in search of winter sun this school half term, according to new data released by Gatwick.

Almost a third (30%) more passengers than last year will be spending the time in a long-haul holiday spot.

Dubai, Barbados and Orlando top the list of long-haul winter destinations, plus a 93% increase in passengers flying to New York.

Overall passenger numbers at the airport are expected to be 14% higher across the February half-term compared to the same period in 2016.

The busiest day for passengers flying out of Gatwick was Sunday, when numbers up by 11%. Next Sunday is expected to be the busiest day overall, with total passenger numbers up 15%.

The most popular short haul destinations include Geneva for skiing, Dublin, Barcelona, Belfast and Amsterdam.

Gatwick head of airline relations Stephen King said: “In the past many Brits might have waited until the Easter holidays to jet off, but we’re seeing an ever growing number of travellers fly out in February, either for the slopes, a city break or some much needed sunshine.

“With more long-haul routes on offer, the idea of jetting off to the likes of Dubai, the US, Caribbean and South America is becoming easier than ever and increasingly appealing.”