Dublin Airport is expecting its busiest day of the Christmas period today.

A spokesperson told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that passenger numbers will be comparable to pre-pandemic levels.

Around 45,000 arrivals and 45,000 departures are expected, similar numbers have passed through the airport each day this week.

Figures, released by the airport, show that from 16 December to 22 December, half-a-million passengers used the airport, representing around 94% of passenger levels during the same week in 2019.

Over the next 12 days, over 1 million passengers will pass through the airport. This compares to almost 1.05 million in 2019, a year of business unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dublin Airport spokesperson Graeme McQueen said: "In total, 99% of all passengers have queued for 30 minutes or less at security screening over the past seven days, while almost 90% have queued for 20 minutes or less."

"This is in keeping with our consistently stable performance over the past six months, which have seen 98% of passengers through security screening in under 30 minutes," Mr McQueen added.

Dublin Airport is advising passengers using the airport over Christmas to arrive at the airport two hours before a short-haul flight, three hours before a long-haul and another one additional hour if checking in a bag.

Dublin Airport will remain busy between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The Dublin Airport campus and terminal buildings have been decorated to give a special atmosphere to the airport over this festive season.

As many as 1,000 performers from local schools and choirs will sing in both terminals in the days leading up to Christmas bringing a true Ceád Míle Fáilte to the many people coming home for the Christmas holidays and to those visiting Ireland from overseas.

Today is also going to be Bus Éireann's busiest travel day of the year.

Up to a quarter of a million people will use their services today, Bus Éireann's Chief Commercial Officer Eleanor Farrell said.

Bus Éireann is operating a regular Saturday timetable today, with last departures around 9pm for city, town and rural services, she said.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said Expressway services may vary slightly, so people are being advised to check the website for last departure times.

Bus services finish tomorrow (Christmas Eve) at 9pm and there will be no bus service on Christmas Day, Ms Farrell added. On St Stephen's Day services will resume from around 9am, but some Expressway services will start earlier.

Dublin's Heuston Station will see some of the 100,000 passengers
expected to travel on intercity rail services until Christmas Eve (Pic: RollingNews.ie)

From today until lunchtime tomorrow will be the busiest hours for rail users over the festive season.

Iarnród Éireann Corporate Communications Manager Barry Kenny said over 100,000 people will travel on intercity services from yesterday evening through to Christmas Eve.

He said trains will not operate on Christmas Day and St Stephen's Day but services will operate for the rest of the season.

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