Numbers using Heathrow in October rose by 4.6% to 6.3 million passengers.

Adjusted for the effects of fog and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and Hurricane St Jude this year, the underlying growth was 4%.

Travellers to emerging BRIC nations were up 5.9%, with passengers to China, India and Brazil up 19.2%, 8.3% and 4.7% respectively.

Passengers per aircraft using the capacity-constrained airport rose 1.4% to 154.6.

Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: “Traffic to the BRIC economies was strong this month, driven in part by a 19.2% increase in passengers to China.

“Heathrow is now the only UK airport serving the market after Air China suspended its services from Gatwick, making it the latest in a long list of airlines that have found it impossible to make long-haul business routes work from point-to-point airports.

“In contrast, British Airways has redeployed previous BMI slots to introduce a new route from Heathrow to Chengdu, showing that if new capacity were available at the UK’s hub, airlines would add new routes.”