A strong rise in Heathrow passenger numbers to emerging markets helped the airport increase traffic in April.

Around six million passengers used the airport last month, with traffic to Mexico up 13.1 per cent, Middle East and Central Asia up 3.1 per cent and China up 16 per cent, compared to the same period in 2014.

Heathrow said combined March and April passenger growth stood at 1.2 per cent and takes into account the impact of an earlier Easter holiday travel period.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye renewed calls for expanding Heathrow saying it delivers “exactly what the UK economy needs”.

Heathrow expansion isn’t about a runway, it’s about the future we want for Britain. Let’s be ambitious about our place in the world, let’s keep Britain at the heart of the global economy and let’s get on with expanding Heathrow.”

The Airports Commission’s decision on runway expansion could be delayed after its chairman called for more public consultation on the impact of air pollution.

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