MORE than 135,000 passengers are set to pass through Cork Airport over a hectic Christmas season.
Airport officials have confirmed that nearly 1,000 flights are expected in Cork across the period of December 18 to January 8.
The busy season kicks off this Sunday with thousands expected to pass through the airport on their way home for Christmas.
It will be the busiest day prior to Christmas, with some 7,350 seats available for flights on the day. The biggest crowds can be expected early in the morning, between 10am and 12pm, with many looking to make the most of their trip home.
The week after Christmas is set to remain busy as many make their way back home from Ireland, with Friday, December 30 the peak of this travel with more than 7000 seats available in total.
There are some important additions to Cork's flight service in the coming weeks, too.
Two additional Aer Lingus flights to Lapland will take children to visit Santa Clause, with Aer Lingus also increasing the frequency of their Cork-Heathrow service to meet demand.
Speaking ahead of the busy festive period, Kevin Cullinane, head of communications at Cork Airport had some important advice for passengers before travelling.
"Arrival and departure times for all services can be checked on our website or live flight tracking on our App, so that you can arrive and collect loved ones in plenty of time or to ensure you have ample time to get through departure gates and pick up some last-minute presents in The Loop.
“I would remind anyone dropping off or collecting people from the airport that there is 15 minutes free parking in our multi-storey carpark. Cars left unattended at the airport forecourt risk being clamped and we certainly don’t want anyone to incur any unnecessary additional costs over Christmas."
The hectic festive period will mark the end of a busy year at Cork Airport, with passenger numbers increasing by 8%.
Some 2.25 million passengers will have used Cork Airport by the end of 2016.