Manchester Airport aims to surpass 23 million annual passengers by the end of the year.
The target came as the airport broke its all-time passenger record, with 22.32 million people using the northern gateway in the last financial year.
The figure beat the previous 12-month record set in July 2006 of 22.26 million.
It also represents an increase of 7.5% year-on-year, with March 2015 seeing growth close to 10%.
Managing director, Ken O’Toole, said: “This is a magnificent achievement, an historic milestone for Manchester airport and UK aviation, as well as a huge boost for the economy and the north of England.
“We have worked closely with our airline partners to cement and maintain this continued growth, increasing capacity and frequency on existing routes, plus confirming new services, particularly to serve demand that exists from Manchester in the long-haul market.”
He added: “It’s great news that an increasing number of the 22 million UK residents living in our catchment area are choosing to fly from Manchester.
“With Manchester airport having spare runway capacity we can offer those customers and airlines an alternative to travelling via a congested London airport.
“We have made great headway to unlock the spare capacity at Manchester airport and are in talks with a range of carriers to further capitalise on the potential we offer in the short to medium term while the southeast capacity debate evolves, as we continue to develop our role as the UK’s global gateway from the north.”
Recent long haul includes Cathay Pacific adding a service to Hong Kong, increased capacity to Atlanta through Virgin Atlantic’s partnership with Delta and the US carrier also adding a new service to New York JFK from next month.
May also sees Thomas Cook Airlines launch of a twice-weekly service to Miami.