London Stansted made a flying start to 2017 by recording its busiest ever January.
During the month, over 1.74 million passengers passed through Stansted, an increase of five per cent over January last year and surpassing the previous record of 1.66 million passengers also set in January 2016.
Aircraft load factors also hit a record high for the month of January with an average of 81.4 per cent of all available seats occupied on every flight.
This beat the previous high of 79.2 per cent set last year.
In the 12 months ending January 2017, Stansted’s passenger numbers grew by 7.3 per cent over the previous year with the moving annual total rising to 24.4 million.
The positive start to the year was boosted by the news both Ryanair and British Airways will launch new services and additional flights to a number of popular destinations from Stansted for summer 2017.
Andrew Cowan, Stansted Airport chief executive, said: “We have begun 2017 in a similarly positive way to how we ended 2016, with a record number of passengers for the month of January taking advantage of the extensive range of destinations available from Stansted.
“In addition, and in a further boost to growth, it was fantastic to hear both Ryanair and British Airways announcing they will be launching a host of new services and increasing frequency on a range of popular destinations and holiday hotspots across the summer season, including Florence, Copenhagen, Nice, Naples and Geneva.
“This is excellent news for Stansted as we continue to grow our route network and even better news for passengers across London and the east of England looking for more choice and great value flying from their local airport.”