Published Thursday, 19 December 2013
Belfast International Airport is expecting over 150,000 passengers through its doors over the coming days - plus thousands more people who will be gathering to welcome their loved ones home.
Monday is expected to be the single busiest day with over 12,000 people using the airport.
A spokeswoman told UTV that domestic flights are packed out with people returning home to Northern Ireland for Christmas, while New York is the most popular international destination.
According to the airline easyJet, Belfast is the second most popular destination for their passengers from across the UK - only losing out on the top spot to Geneva, the second city of popular skiing destination Switzerland.
Belfast International is definitely getting into the spirit of the holidays.
"Carol singers will be on hand in the arrivals area to welcome passengers home and add that festive touch," managing director John Doran said.
"It won't just be the passenger aircraft working hard, our cargo business will also be in full swing, making sure that all those presents are delivered in time for Christmas.
"While the airport has no scheduled flights on Christmas Day, we still remain open should there be a requirement for diversions or medical emergencies."
He added: "So as you can see, there is no time to rest as just after Christmas the ski season kicks in and we will be expecting tens of thousands of passengers to be heading off to the slopes, jetting off for some winter sun or heading back home after the festivities."
Our staff will be working extremely hard throughout the holiday period to keep Northern Ireland flying.
John Doran, Belfast Intl
George Best Belfast City airport is prepared to transport more than 100,000 passengers over the Christmas and New Year period, in what has been one of the busiest years in its history.
Passenger numbers for the 12 months to the end of October past were over 2.5 million - up 14.1% on the previous 12 months, according to figures from the Civil Aviation Authority.
Chief executive Brian Ambrose said: "Christmas is certainly the busiest time of the year and the atmosphere in the terminal is always fantastic, with choirs from our adopted schools performing carols and extra staff on board to ensure the smoothest of journeys for all our passengers.
"As Northern Ireland's sole link with London Heathrow, this route has been particularly strong and that will no doubt continue throughout the festive period, with passengers from across the world using the London hub to arrive home for Christmas.
"The domestic routes operated by Flybe have performed well throughout the year and will also be extremely busy getting our passengers where they need to be for the holidays."
Meanwhile, Dublin Airport is expecting to deal with 660,000 passengers over the Christmas season - 4% more than during the same period last year.
© UTV News