RYANAIR and Aer Lingus increased passengers last month as an increase in air traffic during the Christmas period boosted all of the main European airlines.
Aer Lingus announced a strong set of figures driven by an increase in the number of long-haul passengers using the airline.
The total flown passenger numbers, including Aer Lingus regional operations, increased by 7.2pc to 734,000 in December 2012 compared to the same month the previous year.
And Irish no-frills carrier Ryanair had 2pc more passengers at 4.84m.
It carried 79.6m in the full year 2012, a rise of 4pc.