Airport gears up for rugby exodus
Published: 15 May 2012
Belfast International Airport is gearing up to accommodate up to 8,000 rugby fans on their way to support Ulster in the Heineken European Cup final at Twickenham on Saturday (19th May).
A total of 28 scheduled and chartered flights will operate to five London airports on Friday and Saturday morning to transport fans to the big rugby showdown.
Extra flights are being put on by Monarch, easyJet, Jet2 and Flybe to meet the spike in demand.
Alan Whiteside, Belfast International Airport Operations Director, said they were more than prepared to deal with the upsurge in passenger numbers.
Mr Whiteside said: “The airport is delighted to be able to facilitate the thousands of fans who are making the trip to support Ulster.
“It’s all systems go for both the airport and its airlines. Scheduled services will carry the bulk of the fans and special rugby charters will handle an expected 1,000 supporters.
“This is a huge occasion, and we want passengers to have a hassle-free experience all the way.
“Friday and Saturday morning will be the equivalent of a Christmas rush, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that many fans unable to get their first choice of flights will opt to fly out on Thursday. It’s hard to quantify that activity, but I expect there won’t be many spare seats on any of our out-bound services in the run-up to the big rush.
“Ulster has a mountain to climb but if they play the way they did in the quarter and semi finals, then all of us will have something special to celebrate come Saturday evening”.