Welcome to Dublin Airport's busiest day of the year

The airport will deal with nearly a million passengers over a record-breaking festive period

Welcome to Dublin Airport's busiest day of the year

Image: Henry McKean

With nearly 83,000 passengers journeying through both its terminals, Friday December 23rd – or "Festivus" to the Seinfeld-watching rest of us – is set to Dublin Airport's busiest day of the year.

It is the peak day of what will be a record-breaking festive period in the airport's 76-year history, with almost one million passengers predicted overall.

That's an increase of 8% on the same time last year.

It will be busiest festive season on record, with the numbers travelling this year up 8% on 2015.

Siobhán O’Donnell, spokesperson for Dublin Airport, said:

"We have some musical [entertainment]: we've choirs, we've choral societies, we've got bands playing over the course of the next few days to make it a truly festive place for people coming home. It's a magical, wonderful place, Dubiln Airport, there is nowhere like it at Christmas time. It's truly emotional."

Dublin Airport will close on Christmas Day – the only day on which it closes every year – though a number of staff members will remain on duty, including the airport's emergency fire services.

Flight operations will cease on Christmas Eve after the last flight departs at 2250 to Chisinau with Air Moldova and will resume on St. Stephen’s Day when an Aer Lingus flight from New York lands at 0500.

Dublin Airport had already welcomed more than 27 million passengers in 2016 at the start of the period, two million more than last year's record total. The airport’s previous annual passenger record was 25 million passengers.

Vincent Harrison, managing director of Dublin Airport, said:

"We have had a very busy year at Dublin Airport and have been setting new passenger records every month. Dublin Airport has been the fastest-growing major airport in Europe this year, due to the introduction of 19 new routes and also additional capacity in the form of extra flights or larger aircraft on 31 of our existing routes.

"Welcoming 27 million passengers is a major milestone, which would not have been possible without our airline customers, our passengers, staff and all the other stakeholders that help Dublin Airport work on a daily basis, and I’d like to thank all of them for their support this year."

"We’ve seen growth from the vast majority of our major airline customers during the year and also across almost all major market sectors. European, British and transatlantic passenger numbers have all experienced double digit growth so far this year. Transfer passenger numbers are also up strongly and have passed the one million mark, as more and more people are choosing to connect at Dublin Airport."

A very strong November, traditionally one of the quieter months for aviation, also helped push the airport past its previous annual passenger record. Numbers in November were up 9% to just over two million, due to growth in almost all sectors of the business.