Heathrow Airport
Passengers line up in Terminal Three as they wait for delayed flights at Heathrow AirportGetty

Heathrow Airport saw a record-breaking 73.4 million passengers make their way through its gates last year as more people travelled to Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.

The total number of passengers who used the airport was 1.4% more than in 2013 and was bolstered by an increase in long haul flights.

Almost six million (5.93 million) passengers flew in December alone, a hike of 2.4% on December 2013.

More passengers travelled from Heathrow to China (15.1%), Mexico (10.9%), the Middle East and Central Asia (4.0%) than during the previous 12 months, while the airport also saw a 5.3% increase in cargo volumes to 1.5 million metric tonnes.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye used the figures to highlight why the Airports Commission should look to the west London airport to improve UK aviation capacity.

"Only by expanding Heathrow can we add direct flights to the world's growing cities, increase our exports and connect all of the UK to global growth," Holland-Kaye said.

"Expanding Heathrow will help Britain win the race for growth."

The commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, shortlisted Heathrow and Gatwick Airport as the best possible options to handle additional airline capacity in the hope of boosting international trade.

Last month the airport said passengers would feel the benefit of expanding Heathrow in their pocket, claiming it could deliver cheaper ticket prices for passengers than expanding Gatwick.