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4m Brits fly abroad for Xmas, with Canaries and Dubai top destinations

Around four million Britons will be heading overseas for the Christmas break.

The peak days for those flying off to foreign climes are expected to be Friday, Saturday and Sunday coming up (Dec 20-22), said travel organisation Abta.

It added that the most popular destinations for sun lovers were the Canary Islands, Tunisia, Morocco and the Cape Verde Islands off western Africa.

For those flying long haul, Dubai, Mexico, Cuba and Kenya are favourite spots, while for skiers Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy are the top spots.

Popular for New Year's Eve breaks are Paris, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Rome, and Dublin, Abta said.

For those holidaying in the UK, London and York are popular along with the seaside resorts of Llandudno in Wales, Torquay and Eastbourne.

Abta said around 360,000 travellers would be flying off from Stansted airport over the Christmas period, with around the same number leaving from Manchester, 175,000 from Luton and 100,000 from Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.

Ryanair is carrying a record three million passengers from December 20 to January 6, while Gatwick Airport will handle an estimated two million travellers between December 13 and January 5.

Also, British Airways said just under two million people will fly with the airline between December 16 and January 5, with this Friday being the busiest day with more than 115,000 travellers flying.

In addition, Channel Tunnel high-speed rail company Eurostar said it will be carrying more than 420,000 people from December 20 to January 3 - an 11% rise on the same period 12 months ago.

In the UK, an estimated £2 billion is being spent on travel to friends and families this Christmas, and the RAC is predicting that 13 million people will take to the roads from December 24-26.

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