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  • 1,000 inbound and outbound flights at Cork over holidays
  • Shannon passenger numbers up 5%
  • 14,500 to use Cork on two busiest Christmas season days

Cork and Shannon airports are gearing up for the busiest time of the year with over 135,000 passengers expected at Cork alone over the festive season.

Shannon expects over 70,000 passengers to use the airport from this weekend through to the New Year, up from 66,500 last year.

Cork is expecting nearly 1,000 inbound and outbound flights from December 18 through to  January 8. Kevin Cullinane, head of communications at Cork Airport, said: “We seize this busy time as a chance to prove our capability in welcoming and setting loved ones off on their way over the holiday period in the safest and most efficient way possible. It’s all about our fly-friendly ethos.”

But Mr Cullinane warned: “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.”

Sunday, December 18, is tipped to be Cork’s busiest day prior to Christmas with a total capacity of 7,350 seats available. The busiest arrivals period will be 10.00 – 12.00 and the busiest departures period will be 06.00 – 08.00.

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Friday, December 30, will be Cork’s busiest day after Christmas, with a total capacity of over 7,000 seats available. The busiest departures period will be 06.00 – 08.00 and the busiest arrivals period will be 10.00 – 12.00.

Two additional Aer Lingus flights to Lapland will take children to visit Santa Claus, while Aer Lingus is also including an additional Cork to London Heathrow service on December 22.

Shannon Airport CEO Matthew Thomas said:  “Airports are a special place at Christmas and we’re even happier this year as there are more passengers coming through than any year since Shannon achieved independence.

“There’s probably no place better to get the real magic of Christmas than an airport. You see all the emotion of people coming back, being greeted by family and friends. It’s a really special time.”

Cian O'Sullivan (5) and his brother Alex (3), from Kildysart, Co Clare, at the 2016 Santa Flights special at Shannon

Cian O’Sullivan (5) and his brother Alex (3), from Kildysart, Co Clare, at the 2016 Santa Flights special at Shannon

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Mark Evans

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