An airport is gearing up for its busiest festive period in five years as travellers fly home to spend Christmas and Hogmanay with loved ones or jet off to sunnier climes.

Around 140,000 people are expected to travel through Glasgow Airport between December 23 and January 2.

For those swapping winter weather for sunshine, the top destinations are Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Dubai, with New York, Paris, Barcelona and Berlin popular for city breaks.

One particulary busy airline at Glasgow will be easyJet which is preparing for its busiest Christmas ever, carrying a total of around 22,000 passengers on December 20-29.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: ``The festive period is always an emotional time at the airport. Many of our passengers will be returning home to spend the holidays with friends and family, and as a result there can be lots of happy tears in the terminal as loved ones are reunited.

"Others will be seeking to escape the cold weather by flying to sunny locations, and we also have a great number of people keen to be at the heart of the celebrations by heading to popular Christmas destinations. Whatever our customers' travel arrangements, sunny or festive, we hope they enjoy their break and would like to wish them all a very happy Christmas.''

Glasgow Airport is urging travellers to pack any Christmas gifts carefully and place wrapped presents in hold luggage rather than hand luggage.

Passengers are also reminded of restrictions which allow only liquid containers of up to 100ml, packed in clear, resealable plastic bags for any hold luggage.

Containers larger than 100ml must be packed in hold luggage.

Ronald Leitch, head of terminal and security operations, said: ``To ensure our customers' journey through the airport is hassle-free, we would encourage anyone travelling with Christmas presents to take a few moments before they leave home to double check any liquids are properly packed and within the 100ml limits.

``If anyone is planning to take any presents on their flight, we'd recommend they pack them in their hold luggage as this will help reduce time at security.''