Gatwick airport has reported its busiest-ever September, seeing 4.5 million passengers travelling through the hub during the month – up 2.7 per cent on 2016.

The airport says a substantial rise in passengers taking long-haul breaks played a part in the growth, with its long-distance destinations growing by 8.1 per cent compared to September 2016. The increase subsequently drove a boost in the amount of cargo being handled at Gatwick too, bringing a 27.3 per cent increase year on year.

Destinations in Asia proved the most popular with Gatwick passengers; the number of travellers to Hong Kong grew by 64 per cent, while journeys to Tianjin saw a 28.4 per cent increase. Elsewhere, trips to New York, Paris and Milan were likely boosted by each city’s fashion week (49.9, 30.7 and 3.4 per cent respectively).

Meanwhile, Gatwick says a 15 per cent jump in passengers travelling to Lima, Peru lends credence to Norwegian’s move to offer further direct flights to South America – Buenos Aires, in particular – from 2018.

Commenting on the growth in figures, Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “As Gatwick continues to grow beyond 45 million annual passengers, we are exploring further ways to make best use of our existing facilities. We remain ready and willing to build our financeable and deliverable second runway scheme instead of, or in addition to, Heathrow should the government give us the green light.”

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