IT'S ESTIMATED that over 100,000 people will be flying home to Ireland in the run up to Christmas this year.
The week leading up to December 25, which is traditionally one of the busiest periods of the year for airports around the world, will see over a tenth of a million people touch down at Irish airports to be with their family and friends for the holidays.
Last year, a record 1.2 million people flew in and out of the country over the festive period, and while Covid-19-related restrictions has caused that number to drop significantly, it's thought that because the virus has kept those living abroad apart for their families for almost an entire year, the Christmas period will still be the busiest period of 2020.
Particularly with the news of vaccines on the horizon, and due to the ever-changing nature of the Covid-19 environment, many people have and will continue to wait until the last minute to book flights in and out of the country.
Between 140,000 and 160,000 passengers are expected to travel through Irish airports between December 20 and January 3.
Ryanair and Aer Lingus say they have increased their schedules over the festive period to try and meet anticipated demand.
"As part of its commitment to bring families and friends together this Christmas, Ryanair is pleased to announce a total of 24 additional flights from Dublin, London Stansted, London Gatwick, Porto and Bari," a Ryanair spokesperson said in a statement.
"This follows recent additional flights from Paris Beauvais, Manchester, Malaga and Budapest."