By James Ward, PA
Around 850,000 passengers are expected to pass through Dublin Airport this Christmas, a drop of 42 per cent on pre-pandemic numbers.
Almost 1.5 million flew in and out of the airport in 2019, before Covid-19 caused havoc for air travel.
But this year’s activity will be a significant increase on December 2020, when just 235,000 passengers travelled through the country’s main international gateway.
Dublin Airport estimates that an average of 45,000 people per day will pass through its doors from Friday, December 17th to Tuesday, January 4th, 2022.
That compares to an average of 12,000 passengers per day over the Christmas season last year, and 77,000 per day during the same period in 2019.
The busiest day during the Christmas season is expected to be December 19th, followed closely by December 23rd.
New travel restrictions introduced for arrivals into Ireland, amid fears over the Omicron variant, have made predicting passenger numbers more difficult, Dublin Airport said in a statement.
It is expected that some passengers who have already booked will decide not to travel.
Dublin Airport has asked those who do travel this Christmas to be mindful of the Covid-19 rules.
“Face masks are mandatory at Dublin Airport and must be worn when in the terminal buildings” the statement said.
“In addition, social distancing protocols should be observed and there are more than 1,000 hand sanitisers located throughout the Dublin Airport campus.
“Anyone planning to greet passengers should arrange to meet them outside the terminal buildings.
“There are new meeting points just outside Terminal 1 and at the glass walkway between the Terminal 2 car park and arrivals.
“It is recommended that anyone who is collecting passengers at Dublin Airport plan and arrange pick-ups in advance.”