Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport are set to be almost 90 per cent down over the Christmas period compared to last year.
It is estimated that 137,000 people are due to travel through the airport, compared to nearly 1.2 million people in 2019 – a decrease of 88 per cent.
It comes as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the aviation industry, with the Government advising those living abroad to skip a return to the island for the festive season this year.
About 127,000 passengers are expected to be travelling to and from Ireland this Christmas, while about 10,000 connecting passengers will pass through the airport.
Dublin Airport will be quieter this Christmas than it has been in decades
An average of 8,615 departing and arriving passengers is expected each day from December 21st until January 4th.
This compares to an average of 83,508 passengers per day over the Christmas season last year.
“Dublin Airport will be quieter this Christmas than it has been in decades,” said Dublin Airport spokeswoman Siobhán O’Donnell.
“Over the Christmas period we would like to remind all passengers to comply fully with Covid-19 guidelines throughout their journey through Dublin Airport,” she added.
“Face masks should be worn when in the airport buildings, social distancing protocols should be observed and there are more than 1,000 hand sanitisers located throughout the airport campus.”
Dublin Airport said passenger traffic this year is more unpredictable than a normal Christmas so the final passenger number may differ from the forecast traffic levels.
In line with Irish Government guidelines and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) guidelines, access to the airport’s terminals is limited to passengers, crew and airport staff to help maintain social distancing.
In light of these restrictions, Dublin Airport said anyone planning to collect passengers should arrange to meet them outside the terminals.
Dublin Airport will close on Christmas Day, though a number of staff members will remain on duty including the airport’s emergency fire services and airport police.
Flight operations will cease on Christmas Eve after the last flight departs to Chisinau with Air Moldova at 11.20pm.
They will resume on St Stephen’s Day, when Ryanair’s flight to Manchester departs at 6.25am.