Monday 12 December 2016 11:41 am

Christmas and New Year holidays abroad will boost Gatwick's total passenger numbers by more than 10 per cent

More Britons are choosing to spend the winter holidays abroad this year than ever before, boosting passenger numbers at Gatwick Airport.

With Christmas and New Year both falling on weekends, significantly more people are jetting off for extended holidays compared to the previous year. Gatwick expects more than a 10 per cent boost to its total passenger numbers as a result.

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This year, 34 per cent more travellers will book a flight on Christmas Eve.

Even on Christmas Day, which is normally the quietest day of the period, Gatwick is expecting passenger numbers to be 25 per cent higher.

For the entire lead up to and including Christmas Day, total traffic is predicted to be up 12 per cent compared with the previous year. 

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After the Christmas surge is over, Gatwick will prepare for an influx of travellers to celebrate the New Year outside the UK.

On New Year’s Eve, passenger numbers are expected to increase by 32 per cent, while the New Year period on the whole will experience a 22 per cent lift in traveller numbers.

Watch out for the busiest day at the airport, which is set to be Friday 23 December.

As travellers pile into the airport to jet off to their holiday abroad, passenger numbers are expected to be up by almost a fifth, or 18 per cent.

This year, the top Christmas long-haul flight destinations are Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Bridgetown, Barbados; and Orlando, Florida. The top short-haul flights of the year over Christmas are Dublin, Ireland; Geneva, Switzerland; and Barcelona, Spain.