Friday set to be busiest day at UK airports since before pandemic

The most popular destinations across the weekend include Dublin and Amsterdam. Credit: PA

Friday will be the busiest day at the UK's airports since before the pandemic, new data has suggested.

Aviation analytics firm Cirium said there is a scheduled 11,356 flights departing the country's airports across the bank holiday weekend up until Monday, May 29 - equating to two million seats.

Friday, May 26 is set to see the highest number of UK departures since 20 December 2019 - three months before the first Covid lockdown - with more than 3,000 due to leave.

The most popular destinations across the weekend include Dublin, Amsterdam, Palma, Malaga and Alicante, according to Cirium.

London's Heathrow Airport will see the largest number of arrivals, followed by Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester and Edinburgh.

EasyJet is projected to take the top spot as the UK's busiest airline this weekend.

Outbound flight numbers are 6% higher than the same dates in 2022, and up 291% compared to 2021.

And across half-term (27 May - 4 June), Cirium said 25,606 flights are scheduled to depart UK airports - equating to over 4.5 million seats.

It comes as Heathrow Airport security guards are to launch a three-day strike on Thursday in a dispute over pay.

Members of Unite have already held 15 days of industrial action, including over the busy Easter period.

Heathrow said it has contingency plans in place to keep the airport open and operating as usual, adding that passengers can expect to have a “smooth” half-term getaway.

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