Gatwick scored a record November as the growth in long-haul routes helped lift passenger numbers up to almost 2.9 million.

Long-haul routes grew by 12.1% last month as total passenger throughput increased by 2.1%, bringing Gatwick up to 45.5 million annual passengers.

Asia connections showed strong increases, with passengers to Hong Kong up 75% and Tianjin by 46.1%.

St Lucia, up 85.8%, Mauritius up 55% and Costa Rica up 47%, were the winter sun destinations seeing the fastest passenger growth in the month.

Some UK domestic routes also performed well with passengers to the Isle of Man, Glasgow and Guernsey up 12.9%, 11% and 6.8% respectively.

But overall UK and Channel Islands traffic fell by 6.4% year-on-year to 309,700; numbers to Ireland dropped by 1.9% to 145,100 and European charter carryings dipped by 2.4% to 221,300.

Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Passenger demand for the global connectivity provided by Gatwick continues to rocket – long-haul routes plus 12.1% in November while business passengers are at record levels.

“This year five new long-haul connections have started, Singapore, Seattle, Denver, Kigali and Taipei, further strengthening Gatwick’s global connectivity. Connectivity which is set to further increase 2018 with new connections to Austin, Chicago and Buenos Aires beginning in just the first quarter alone.

“While demand for the slots previously operated by Monarch outstripped availability six times over, International Airlines Group were ultimately successful in acquiring them and we’re looking forward to the new destination choices they will enable for our passengers in 2018.

“For both our local region and the whole country Gatwick is set to play an increased global role for as we grow.

“We’re ready and prepared to build our financeable and deliverable second runway scheme so that Britain can reap the benefits of greater global connectivity faster.”