Ireland West Airport is expecting to have its busiest Christmas period in the airport’s 30-year history, handling close to 30,000 passengers, up by almost 10% compared to last Christmas.
Airlines have added extra flights in the past few days to cater for increased demand for flights to and from the West of Ireland with flights from UK cities such as East-Midlands, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool proving most in demand.
The 23rd December is expected to be the busiest day before Christmas with almost 2,500 passengers passing through the airport and the ‘Mayo Male Voice Choir’ will be on hand to greet arriving passengers with a special Christmas performance.
Joe Gilmore, Managing Director, said: “We are expecting our busiest Christmas period in the airport’s history and it’s a special time of the year to be at the airport to see families and friends reunited. The airport has had a memorable year with passengers expected to exceed 730,000 for the first time, which is particularly poignant given that we are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year.
“The run up to Christmas Day is a very busy period for the airport and this Christmas passenger numbers will be up by almost 10% compared to this time last year, which is testament to the increasing popularity of the airport as the gateway to the West and North West of Ireland.”
2016 was a milestone year in the airport’s history as the airport enjoyed some memorable events, such as a visit from USA Vice President Joe Biden, a late-night homecoming for the PRO12 Champions Connacht Rugby, the airport’s first ever 5km runway run for the public, and also welcomed the 10 millionth passenger to use the airport since it opened in 1986. A six-part documentary series by UTV Ireland, ‘The Airport Up in Knock’, aired in October and was watched by almost 1.5 million people.
Earlier this year investment by seven local authorities was approved to invest in the development of Ireland West Airport and take an equity stake in the airport. These include Galway City and County Councils together with Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Roscommon and Mayo.