December 17, 2021 Back to all news

With Christmas season well and truly upon us, Dublin Airport expects to be much busier this year than last year, with an average of 45,000 passengers travelling through its terminals each day. This compares with an average of 12,000 daily passengers in 2020.

The busiest day during the Christmas season is expected to be this Sunday, December 19, followed closely by Thursday, December 23.

The traffic situation this year is more unpredictable than a normal Christmas so final passenger numbers may differ from the forecast traffic levels.

The normal Christmas entertainment schedule at Dublin Airport has been postponed for a second year.

Kevin Cullinane, Group Head of Communications at daa, the operators of Dublin and Cork airports said:

“Every effort was made to put an entertainment schedule in place, and we would like to thank all those that volunteered their talents and services in a bid to make it happen, but unfortunately, due to COVID-19 guidelines, Dublin Airport is unable to host its Christmas music programme this year.”

“However, everything lies in readiness for Santa’s flight plans this Christmas Eve. We are maintaining close contact with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) to monitor Santa’s progress over Irish air space, and to ensure that his reindeer are assisted with a smooth landing. There will be no flights on Christmas Day to make sure Santa has the skies to himself as he approaches Ireland from the North Pole after midnight on Christmas Eve. Everyone can help ensure he maintains social distance by being tucked up early for bed on the night and stay fast asleep”, Kevin Cullinane added.

Dublin Airport will close on Christmas Day - the only day on which it closes every year - however a number of staff members will remain on duty that day, including the airport’s emergency fire services and Airport Police. 

Flight operations will cease on Christmas Eve. The last flight to depart is an Air Moldova flight to Chișinău at 11.10pm and the final arrival is an Aer Lingus flight from Tenerife, which is due to arrive at 11.35pm.

The airport will reopen on St. Stephen’s Day when a TAP Air Portugal flight from Lisbon arrives at 03.05am.

“Over the Christmas period we would like to remind all passengers to comply fully with COVID-19 guidelines throughout their journey through Dublin Airport,” Kevin Cullinane 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.”

In line with Irish Government guidelines and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) guidelines, to help maintain social distancing, access to the terminals is limited to passengers, crew and airport staff.

“We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of Dublin Airport’s passengers, staff, airline partners, business partners, supporters, neighbours and friends a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and a healthy and prosperous New Year,” said Kevin Cullinane

Picture: Hugh Fitzsimons, from Whitehall, is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Daidí Na Nollag to Dublin Airport 

Dublin Airport has the following key tips for passengers travelling over the Christmas holidays:


Aer Lingus, Emirates, and ALL American carriers operate from Terminal 2, while all other airlines operate from Terminal 1.


Passengers are reminded to follow COVID-19 guidelines throughout their entire journey through Dublin Airport. Passengers should wear a face mask throughout their airport journey (masks are not required for children under 13) and observe social distancing and hygiene etiquette throughout.


To comply with Irish law, arriving passengers must complete an Electronic Passenger Locator Form. This form can be found HERE and should be completed online in advance of arriving in Ireland. Passengers should also familiarise themselves with current Irish Government guidelines in relation to arriving in Ireland. All arrivals aged 12 and over who are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 must provide either of the following: A negative or not detected antigen test (taken within 48 hours before arrival) or a negative or not detected RT-PCR test (taken within 72 hours before arrival).


EU aviation liquid regulations are still in place, so passengers are reminded to pack any gifts in bottles or containers measuring more than 100ml into their checked-in luggage. Details can be found on   


Passengers are also reminded not to carry sharp objects in their hand-luggage, such as, scissors, nail files, blades, corkscrews, cutlery or other sharp objects of any description. These objects should be packed into checked in luggage. Christmas crackers may be brought through the passenger security screening area provided the novelty gifts inside are not sharp/prohibited items. Snow globes are not permitted in hand luggage due to their liquid content.

Passengers should prepare for security screening by removing their outer jacket, belts, keys, coins and laptops from cases so that security searches are kept to a minimum.


If you are planning to bring Christmas gifts by air this festive season Dublin Airport is asking passengers not to gift wrap presents and to consider using an open gift bag instead.

Many passengers take a lot of care and time to wrap Christmas gifts for family and friends overseas. We would ask them not to wrap these gifts otherwise they may be disappointed if they are requested to open them at the passenger security screening area.


For short haul flights, please be ready to go through Security at least 2 hours before your flight boards, and allow 3 hours for long haul flights before boarding and please allow an additional 30 minutes if parking a car.