Booming long-haul services helped contribute to a record November for Gatwick with 2.8 million passengers handled.

Long-haul services saw 20% year-on-year passenger growth in the month, including a new Thomson Airways route to Sri Lanka.

Further expansion is planned next year with Cathay Pacific increasing its four time a week service to Hong Kong to a daily frequency from June.

Thomas Cook Airlines’ new route to Cape Town takes off tomorrow (Thursday) adding to British Airways existing service to give six flights a week to the South African city.

The airport saw a 7.3% overall rise in passengers in November.

Chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “Almost three million more passengers are travelling through the airport this year versus the same time last year, with 42.7 million passengers passing through the airport annually – this figure that puts us 14 years ahead of industry predictions.

“Passengers are responding to our growing line-up of long-haul connections with routes to China, Peru, Canada, Costa Rica, Nigeria, as well as the US added this last year.”