Stansted handled 2.4 million passengers in April as numbers rose by more than 8% on the same month last year.

The airport contributed to owner Manchester Airport Group’s growth of 2.7% in the month.

Growth at Stansted, equivalent to 177,000 additional passengers in the month, was bolstered by new services to New York by Primera Air, Reykjavik with Wow Air and Bastia and Ajaccio by Air Corsica.

Emirates’ new daily service to Dubai from June will be the first time that Stansted has a direct link to a Middle Eastern hub airport, opening up 150 new route options.

Other new long haul destinations from Stansted this summer include Washington DC, Boston and Toronto.

Stansted’s growth also came despite the Easter weekend falling partially in March this year, meaning that April included only two busy bank holiday days this year compared with four last year.

This contributed to Manchester airport traffic in April declining by 2% year-on-year but growth is expected to gather pace from this month as airlines ramp up their summer timetables.

The airport has handled 27.8 million passengers in the last 12 months, 4.9% up on the same period a year earlier.

East Midlands airport handled almost the same number of passengers than a year ago, despite the Easter effect, with 405,198 passengers April, compared with 406,505 last year.

Stansted chief executive, Ken O’Toole, said: “London Stansted will be the fastest growing London airport in 2018 and this record April is just the start of a very busy summer to come.

“With limited spare capacity at other airports in the south-east, Stansted will deliver 50% of London’s expected passenger growth over the next decade.

“Given this anticipated growth, we have applied for permission to raise the number of passengers we serve to 43 million a year, with a firm commitment to do so without any additional flights or noise impacts beyond our current permissions.

“We are also investing heavily to ensure the passenger experience is an efficient, comfortable one even as we continue to grow.

“We have recently opened 12 new check-in desks and are adding additional seating and restaurant facilities in time for the summer peak.

“This investment coupled with our new and existing range of airlines and destinations will bring even more passengers to Stansted in the coming months.”

More: Primera Air’s first transatlantic Stansted flight takes off