Gatwick is set for its busiest summer on record, with 8.8 million passengers set to use the airport during the school holidays.

The projection came after numbers rose by 26% in June to 4.5 million passengers with long-haul routes growing by 26% year-on-year.

The busiest summer days at Gatwick are forecast to be:

· Friday, July 20 for departures  – 86,000 passengers
· Sunday, September 2 for arrivals – 88,400 passengers
· Sunday, August 12 overall – 167,200 passengers

Orlando remains the most popular summer long-haul destination, with Doha a new addition to the top ten list after a double-daily service was introduced by Qatar Airways in May.

Barcelona remains Gatwick’s top summer short-haul destination with Nice joining the top ten.

Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “Just one week after we added a 67th long-haul service to our extensive network – with the launch of the UK’s only direct flights to Chengdu with Air China – it’s fantastic to see that our long-haul routes are continuing to perform so strongly, with solid growth recorded in June.”

He added: “We’re currently exploring the best and most sustainable ways that Gatwick can continue to grow in order to keep supporting the local and national economy and help Britain reap the benefits of greater global connectivity.

“In the meantime, with the summer holidays just around the corner and record numbers due to use Gatwick, we’re committed to ensuring that all of our passengers have a smooth and enjoyable experience as they travel through the airport this summer.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh airport reported a record June, wit a 6.7% rise in passengers to almost 1.4 million over the same month last year.

Chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “The summer months see the airport at its busiest with schools breaking up and families heading away for that sunshine and relaxation, and those holidays have helped us record our busiest ever June.

“The surge in international passengers reflects the continued growth in our international routes and we’ve seen strong starts to both our Washington D C and Beijing routes, while traditional beach destinations like Alicante, Tenerife and Palma have also proven to be popular.”

Liverpool John Lennon airport has been awarded a five-star rating by OAG for flight punctuality. With an on-time performance of 85.4% of flights running on time, the ranking represents performance over a rolling 12-month period.

• Liverpool remains the only airport in the north of England and one of just three across the UK alongside Birmingham and Cardiff, to achieve a 5 star rating. Globally, Liverpool is listed in the top 10% of airports.