Heathrow airport recorded its busiest ever November for passenger traffic, with a total of 5.72 million passengers over the month.

The figure was up 2.5 per cent on the previous year, with growth particularly strong for emerging markets including Mexico, China and the Middle East, all of which saw growth figures of over 8 per cent.

The year-to-date passenger figures are up 0.7 per cent on 2015, as “Larger, quieter and more efficient aircraft continued to be a driver for growth in passenger volumes”

The average aircraft using Heathrow so far this year is 1.3 per cent larger than in 2015 – key to passenger growth as the airport continues to run at near full capacity.

Heathrow also saw a 4.4 per cent growth in cargo volumes last month, led by the Middle Eastern, East Asian and Latin American markets, “underlining strengthening trade opportunities for Britain’s exporters”.

The monthly figures are the second to be reported since the government gave the go-ahead for a third runway at Heathrow, and CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

“With record passenger volumes and strong cargo growth in November, Heathrow is delivering for Britain’s economy.

“Since the Government’s backing of a third runway, we’ve put a team in place that will help us to deliver the benefits of expansion as quickly as possible – an affordable plan that creates more jobs, boosts exporters and builds an economy that is stronger and fairer for everyone – and we are looking forward to the publication of the Government’s National Policy Statement early next year.”