STANSTED Airport has topped 27 million passengers per year for the first time in its history.

The rolling 12-month total to August this year stands at 27.2 million passengers which is an increase of 7.2 percent on 2017.

During June, July and August a total of 8.4 million used the airport which is an increase of nearly 700,000 on last year.

Last month was also the busiest ever at the airport with more than 2.9 million people taking to the skies - August 24 was its first ever 100,000 plus passenger day with 101,500 people passing through the terminal.

Destinations Alicante, Belfast, Naples, Nice and Prague showed the biggest growth in passenger numbers compared to last year.

Ken O’Toole, the airport chief executive, 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 – 700,000 more than last year – and pass the 27 million passengers a year milestone for the first time in the airport’s history.

“As London’s fastest growing airport we expect this upward trend to continue so that’s why we are investing £600m in transforming the airport experience for passengers and 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.”

Meanwhile, from 2019, Ryanair will fly to Kiev and Lviv in Ukraine and Nantes in France from Stansted.