Belfast International Airport will top 125,000 passengers during the Christmas rush with Friday expected to be the busiest day with well over 100 arriving and departing aircraft.
Scheduled services from ten GB destinations will account for the bulk of the passengers with people heading home for Christmas with their families.
Belfast International Airport Operations Director, Alan Whiteside, said: “Christmas is always a busy time for us, and this year won’t be any different. “This Friday will be hectic with almost 20,000 passengers coming through our Arrivals Hall. Saturday, too, will be exceptional, but we are also expecting a spike on Christmas Eve before things quieten down. “Then, after Boxing Day, activity ratchets back up for the big New Year ‘exodus’ with people flying out after the break and families taking off for a skiing or sunshine holiday. “The Terminal is a welcoming place for people coming home. For many of them, coming through Arrivals can be emotional as they are re-united with family and friends. “We will have people travelling great distances to be in Northern Ireland this Christmas. Whole families turn up to welcome home their loved ones, and it is a heart-warming sight. “The Christmas Week rush is now underway in earnest and between now and Christmas Eve on Sunday, we expect to accommodate in the region of 125,000 passengers.
“Given that the Terminal is so busy this week, we would ask passengers and to give themselves extra time to get to the airport and to be processed through security to our Airside facilities and Departure Gates. “This is a record-breaking year for the airport when we will see passenger numbers exceed 5.8 million. Our airlines are already committed to adding hundreds of thousands of additional seats next year, all of which augurs well for a strong performance, increased passenger throughput and new employment opportunities. “More growth is on our agenda, but for now, we’re delighted to be playing such a pivotal role in making Christmas so very special for the tens of thousands who will pass through our doors.”