Stansted Airport is set for its busiest Christmas period in three years as more than 1.2 million people travel through the terminal over the festive period.
Winter sunnies and skiers are among the 650,000 passengers departing Stansted between December 16 and January 3, while another 550,000 will arrive at the airport during the same period.
By contrast, 300,000 passengers flew at the same time last year when Covid-19 restrictions remained in place.
Friday, December 23, is expected to be the busiest day with 78,000 passengers, compared with 4,000 on Christmas Day.
Spanish winter sun hotspots Malaga, Alicante and the Canary Islands are popular travel destinations this Christmas, along with flights to Turkey, southern Portugal and Emirates with Dubai.
Early season skiers head to the slopes of France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and Scandinavia, while Edinburgh, Vienna, Amsterdam, Dublin, and Barcelona are also popular for New Year’s holidays.
Ahead of a train strike that could affect travel arrangements, airports are urging passengers to take simple steps to help make their journey through the terminal as smooth as possible.
Anita Harrison, director of customer operations, said: “London Stansted has been one of the fastest-growing airports in the UK and we expect this Christmas to be the busiest it has been for three years.
“As we carry more than 1.2 million passengers during the holidays, our staff will be working 24 hours a day to provide the best possible service to all passengers.
“We advise customers to prepare for security checks before leaving home to avoid unnecessary delays and allow plenty of time for their journey to the airport to start their holiday stress-free and fun.
“Liquid restrictions remain in hand luggage, so it’s important to keep them in one clear, resealable bag of less than 100ml, and remember that all electronic items such as laptops and iPads must be checked-in. When you arrive, lay it in your luggage and on the rack.
“Passengers should follow the airline’s advice on when to arrive at the airport or drop off their luggage. We also recommend checking changes to public transport in advance, especially as train strikes are expected to increase during the festive season.”