Belfast International Airport has announced 5.96 million passengers passed through its terminal last year.
The airport’s owner Vinci said it represented a 95% recovery to pre-pandemic activity from 2019, when a record 6.28 million passengers flew in and out of Aldergrove.
The increase in numbers during 2023 followed the return of Ryanair, with anchor airline EasyJet also running its biggest ever operation at the airport.
Belfast International said there were 48,321 aircraft movements during 2023, a 23% increase on 2022.
The 5.96 million passengers recorded last year was the third highest annual figure on record for the airport, only surpassed by 2018 and 2019.
Belfast International said December 2023 was its busiest ever December.
The airport’s managing director, Graham Keddie said: “These figures are extremely positive and clearly show Belfast International Airport’s continued strong recovery.
“We are expecting a busy year ahead with an extensive range of destinations available as well unveiling our new security building in Summer 2024.”
In October, Vinci announced a five-year £100 million investment plan at Belfast International.
It includes the ongoing £25m development of the airport’s new build security hall, which will see 3D scanners introduced from June 2024.