More Britons than ever before will be boarding long-haul flights this half-term, according to data released by Gatwick Airport.

In the search for winter sun, 30% more passengers than last year will be spending half-term in a long-haul destination. Dubai, Bridgetown (Barbados) and Orlando top the list of Brits’ favourite winter getaway destinations, whilst travellers’ love affair with New York continues with a 93% increase in passengers flying out to the Big Apple.

Overall passenger numbers at the airport are expected to be 14% higher across half-term compared to 2016. February 19 is expected to be the busiest day overall, with total passenger numbers up 15%.

Short haul destinations favoured by passengers this half-term include Geneva, with ski-loving Brits flocking to the slopes, Dublin, and the warmer climes of Barcelona.

With the popularity of long-haul flights increasing, Brits’ favourite destinations have changed significantly over the last decade. The family-friendly sun of Orlando has been replaced by the sandy appeal of Dubai along with also the likes of Cancun and Toronto rising in popularity. Meanwhile, the appeal of American cities remains strong as New York, Las Vegas and, new addition, Los Angeles all make the 2017 top ten.

Stephen King, head of airline relations at the airport, said: “In the past many Brits might have waited until the Easter Holidays to jet off, but we’re seeing an ever growing number of travellers fly out in February, either for the slopes, a city break or some much needed sunshine. With more long haul routes on offer, the idea of jetting off to the likes of Dubai, the U.S., Caribbean and South America is becoming easier than ever and increasingly appealing.”

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