Bosses at Gatwick are hailing a new record for the airport with its moving annual passenger total now standing at 36.5 million.

The total follows the airport's record months for passenger numbers in April and May.

A Gatwick spokesman said last month, more than 3.4 million passengers flew through the airport.

The figure is up by 6.5%, equating to 209,500 additional passengers, he said.

“Given the importance of Europe as a major trading partner for the UK, and that it is home to the most popular leisure destinations, growth to this market remains strong,” he said. “European scheduled traffic grew by 8.8% year-on-year - an additional 186,300 passengers - and European charter traffic increased by 11.3% - an additional 26,000 passengers.”

The spokesman continued: “Business routes to key European cities including Paris and the Nordic capitals performed particularly well, with Copenhagen up by 18% and Helsinki up by 11.6%. “Gatwick now serves 46 of the top 50 European business destinations, with one in five passengers travelling on business through Gatwick Airport. “More capacity to Europe over the winter, including new services to Berlin and Warsaw with Norwegian Air Shuttle, will further strengthen Gatwick’s business offering.”

North Atlantic and other long haul routes saw moderate growth in May. Highlights in these figures included 11.9% more passengers travelling to the United Arab Emirates, largely thanks to increased capacity from Emirates’ new A380 service to Dubai from Gatwick, and 6.6% more passengers travelling to the US.

Stewart Wingate, chief executive officer at London Gatwick, said: “Competition is the single most important driver in delivering the best outcome for passengers in terms of service, choice and price.”

He said: “Today, Gatwick is growing its share of the London market, particularly for business travel, and new airlines continue to choose to fly from Gatwick, offering new routes and competitive fares. “If we are to provide the next generation of passengers with a diverse choice of routes, better service and continued affordable travel for all, then building a second runway at Gatwick is the obvious choice.”