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The number of domestic passengers using Heathrow fell by almost 14% last month as the airport attracted more long-haul business.

Year-on-year domestic numbers dropped to 380,000 while routes to the Middle East and Asia Pacific showed the greatest growth.

The west London hub saw the overall number of passengers rise by 2.5% in March to a record 6.1 million. 

Fast-growing emerging markets continued to contribute increased passenger volumes, including to China which was up 12%, Mexico 6%, India 4% and the Middle East which rose 9% as carriers continued to benefit from new aircraft including Airbus A380 superjumbos.

Emirates added a sixth daily Dubai flight in March following a slot transfer and will deploy an A380 on the service from July

East Asia continued to perform strongly, in part following the start of Vietnam Airlines’ services and increase in frequency to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City after switching from Gatwick last year and British Airways’ new flights to Kuala Lumpur.

Garuda Indonesia began the UK’s first direct services to Jakarta after six years of seeking slots at Heathrow.

Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said: “It’s been a record March for Heathrow and I’m delighted that we’ve added the UK’s first direct connection to Indonesia.

“As southeast Asia’s largest economy, Garuda Indonesia’s new route will be a significant boon for British SMEs looking for new export opportunities.

“But it isn’t just Indonesia waiting to access the UK’s only hub – there is a queue of over 30 airlines waiting for slots from Heathrow.

“With expansion, we can supercharge British trade by opening up 40 new long haul trading links with the fastest growing markets in the world. Let’s make it happen.”