Stansted’s long haul routes gave the airport to its busiest ever month in August with 2.98 million passengers.

Growth at the airport enabled owner MAG to handle 6.7 million passengers in the month – up 3.2% year-on-year -despite air traffic control restrictions, strikes and extreme weather.

The performance moves the airport operating company within touching distance of serving a milestone 60 million passengers a year for the first time, a landmark it expects to pass this month.

New daily flights by Emirates from Stansted to Dubai were the most significant contributor to growth at Stansted.

Newly introduved Primera Air routes to New York and Toronto with also added extra numbers of passengers compared with last year.

Budapest, Lisbon, Warsaw and Prague were all in the airport’s top ten growth destinations in August, a month which also saw Stansted serve more than 100,000 passengers in one day for the first time in its history.

Overall, non-EU passengers flying through Stansted grew 21.9% year-on-year.

Stansted CEO Ken O’Toole said: “Strong collaboration with our airline partners has been needed to contend with air traffic control restrictions, industrial action and extreme weather, and allow us to welcome a record number of passengers to the airport and pass the 27 million passengers a year milestone for the first time in the airport’s history.”

Manchester airport’s performance was broadly flat year-on-year – down 0.6% – despite Monarch running a full summer programme from the airport at th e same time last year.

The backfilling of collapsed Monarch’s slots demonstrates led to very strong growth in eastern Mediterranean and North African destinations, with 24,000 more passengers travelling to the Turkish destinations of Antalya and Dalaman alone compared with last August.

Cancun, Dubai and Seattle were the fastest growing long-haul routes, contributing to 3.9% growth to North American destinations and 8.9% growth to long-haul destinations elsewhere in the world.

East Midlands airport’s passenger numbers were down by 1.2% in August.

Eight of the top ten growth destinations were in the eastern Mediterranean.

The most popular destinations compared with last year were Corfu, Antalya and Dalaman, followed by Zakynthos and Dubrovnik.