Airlines slashing fares in February to encourage winter travel contributed to a 4.6 per cent rise in traffic at airports operated by BAA.
Around 9.6 million passengers passed through BAA airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted last month as aggressive marketing tactics proved a continuing success.
Long-haul travel to destinations outside North America grew at the strongest pace - up 9.5 per cent - as a rosier picture of the economies of Middle Eastern and Asian nations encouraged more people to take to the skies.
At the same time, it is thought that freezing conditions in the UK helped to drive demand for flights scheduled by budget airlines to Europe.
BAA yesterday said passenger traffic rose 4.8 per cent last month after stripping out the impact of the extra day included in comparable figures for 2004, which was a leap year. On a reported basis, the rise was lower at 0.8 per cent.
All airports recorded gains, with Heathrow up 3.3 per cent, Gatwick rising 9.5 per cent and Stansted adding four per cent on an underlying basis.
BAA's three Scottish airports saw a like-for-like increase of 4.3 per cent to
1.26 million passengers, while traffic through Southampton airport rose by 2.2 per cent to 109,100.
But markets for European charter flights continued to weaken last month, falling 4.4 per cent against a year ago and in contrast to the growth of low-fare services.
No-frills travel helped Irish traffic to accelerate by 8.6 per cent last month and European scheduled traffic rose 5.4 per cent.
The figures represent continued growth for BAA, which in common with other aviation industry players has been recovering from the setbacks of Sars, the Iraq war and terrorism in previous years.
Meanwhile, Manchester Airports Group posted an underlying 6.1 per cent increase in overall traffic levels at its four airports, which handled a total of 1.7 million passengers last month.
A total of 27.12 million passengers passed through MAG airports in the last 12 months, an increase of
1.66 million passengers over the previous 12 months to February 2004.
Philip Ridal, group finance director of MAG, said: "This result represents a very satisfactory performance.
"The overall decline in charter traffic during February is consistent with the performance trends seen in the UK charter market in general."