Airport gears up for the Christmas rush

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Belfast International Airport is gearing up for the Christmas rush when an estimated 150,000 passengers will pass through the terminal.

From now until the last flight on Christmas Eve, the airport will handle up to 120 flights each day.

Over the weekend, an estimated 45,000 passengers used Northern Ireland’s principal ‘gateway’.

And so far this month, passenger numbers are up almost 17% on the corresponding period last year.

Graham Keddie, Belfast International Airport Managing Director, said: “We’re ready for a hectic week. Demand is buoyant with capacity up 15% year-on-year with tens of thousands of additional seats available.

“London tops the list of destinations with up to 30 return flights a-day to Gatwick, Stansted and London Luton. Liverpool is right up there as is Scotland. Beyond that, there’s Amsterdam, Paris, Krakow, Reykjavik and Vilnius.

“Let’s not forget the big getaway to popular ski destinations, Geneva, Salzburg, Lyon and Bulgaria. For those who chase the sun, there’s the Canaries, Spain and the Algarve.

“The year is going to finish on a high note as consumer confidence makes a welcome return. The trend is upwards and we’re confident that 2016 will see us build further on passenger numbers and on our national and international route network.

“Along with our airlines, we’re advising all passengers to please allow ample time for your journey. To avoid disappointment, check what you’re allowed to take on board, and also check with your airline on flight times.

“There’s no better time to work in the airport. There’s a great sense of Christmas cheer as people arrive home to be reunited with their loved ones for Christmas.”