Additional flights mean Cardiff Airport will welcome more than 20,000 passengers during the two-week Christmas and New Year period - an 18% increase on last year.

The peak travelling period is the four-day run-up to Christmas Day, when over 9,000 travellers will pass through the airport - a 24% increase on the same period in 2012. This is due to new flights programmes with Vueling and Flybe for those in search of sun or snow this winter.

Flybe’s new weekly ski flights to Lyon, Chambery, Grenoble and Geneva start on December 21 until April 2014.

The top destination for travellers is international hub, Amsterdam, with the majority then choosing to fly worldwide, while Spain still remains popular for those heading for sunnier climes on flights to Alicante and Malaga operated by Spanish airline, Vueling.

Spencer Birns, director of aviation and business development at Cardiff Airport, said: “The increase in passengers is down to the introduction of the new winter flights with Vueling and Flybe, which is great news for the airport’s development as well as for local people wanting more choice and the convenience of flying from Cardiff.

“We remain focussed on and look forward to continuing our drive to increase routes and passenger numbers in 2014.”

Passengers travelling to the airport during the Christmas holidays are advised to allow plenty of time for the journey to the airport, and particular attention should be given to public transport services as there may be some restrictions to regular timetables over the period.

Passengers wishing to travel with Christmas Crackers should consult their airline before arriving at the airport and are reminded not to travel with wrapped presents in hand luggage as it may be necessary for presents to be opened during the security procedure.

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