International  and long-haul growth helped budget carrier Norwegian increase January passenger numbers by 11% to 2.3 million.

The airline flew  223,356 more passengers than the same month last year.

But punctuality was affected by bad weather in Olso, London and New York in January with only 72.4% of flights departing on time.

The airline’s monthly load factor fell by one percentage point to 82% in January.

Chief executive Bjørn Kjos said: “We are very pleased with the continued passenger growth in January, a month traditionally characterised by less demand.

“The global expansion continues with the strongest growth on routes between Europe and the US.

“This winter, we once again offer flights between the US east coast and the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, enabling better fleet utilisation during the low season in Europe.”

The third largest airline at Gatwick took delivery of one Boeing 737-800 and one B787-9 Dreamliner in January.

Norwegian will receive 11 B787-9 Dreamliners, 12 B737 MAX 8 and two B737-800s tis year.