Heathrow continues to post record figures, despite awaiting a capacity boost from airport expansion, as it announced its best month in its history for July.
The London airport said summer getaways meant passenger numbers had soared, with Heathrow bringing in 7.53m passengers in July (edging up 1.2 per cent on the same time last year), averaging 243,000 passengers every day.
The airport said Middle Eastern destinations in particular were popular for travellers, as fuller aircraft led to a seven per cent rise in passengers to the area, while UK destinations also posted five per cent passenger growth after Flybe launched flights from Heathrow to Scotland earlier this year.
Trade through Heathrow climbed at its fastest rate to date too, up 15 per cent to 143,000 tonnes.
The airport said American Airlines boosted cargo volumes by 44 per cent, which propelled growth in trade with North America up 16 per cent, while there was a 14 per cent rise on the back of growth to China, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said:
Britain's global gateway is hard at work this summer holiday season - July was the best month in Heathrow's history.
With more passengers than ever and trade growing at the fastest rate ever recorded, Heathrow is helping Britain show the world our country is open for business.
Last month, the airport said it was making solid progress as it works with airlines to meet the government's challenge of delivering expansion with charges close to current levels.
The airport said it was confident of delivering the project affordably, and its airline partners now expected to grow their businesses faster than Heathrow expected, so there was a possibility of being able to spread the cost of expansion among more passengers using the airport.
It comes after rival airport Gatwick released its July figures yesterday, reporting 6.1 per cent growth in Chinese routes as it focuses on ramping up connectivity with Asia.
The London airport also announced its busiest ever July, recording a 2.4 per cent rise in passenger numbers to 4.7m, while rising long-haul traffic led to a 20.4 per cent increase in cargo growth.
Gatwick Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate said: "The £1.15bn set to be invested at Gatwick over the next five years will revolutionise our facilities and transform the airport experience for our passengers, ultimately paving the way for increased connections, including to China – one of our key ambitions for the near future.
"As we approach the halfway mark of our busiest summer on record, it’s clear that Gatwick is thriving and growing at an unprecedented rate."