Ulster get ‘fry to fly’ start at airport
Published: 18 May 2012
The Ulster rugby squad got a perfect send-off at Belfast international Airport this morning (Friday).
After checking in for their Eastern Airways flight, players and coaching staff walked through the terminal to applause and cheers from well-wishers and fans.
The squad made their way airside where staff from SSP, the food travel experts, had prepared a ‘banquet for our heroes’.
SSP staff, all in Ulster shirts, delighted players and coaching staff with an array of food which, appropriately enough, included the mighty Ulster fry.
There has been a steady build-up of passengers since Wednesday. From lunchtime yesterday, the airport handled more than 2,800 passengers destined for London airports, but that number will soar to 3,500 with 25 London-bound flights today.
Belfast International Airport Business Development Director, Uel Hoey, says in excess of 10,000 passengers are making their way to the Heineken Cup Final at Twickenham tomorrow (kick off: 5pm).
“Services to Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick, London Luton and Southend were filled to capacity. Supporters unable to fly direct to a London airport opted for Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool and even Paris, where they then got the Eurostar to London.
“So tremendous is the level of support for Ulster that people have shown great ingenuity in their determination to be at Twickenham for the showdown against Leinster.
“For the airport, it has been a busy time not unlike a last-minute Christmas rush, but I’m glad to be able to report that everything went off smoothly”.
SSP Manager, Tracey Robson said: “When we heard the Ulster team was coming through, we decided to pull out all the stops. Nothing was left to chance. The food we do is second to none, and the players clearly enjoyed what was on offer.
“Hopefully the ‘fry to fly’ will get them in the right frame of mind for Twickenham. We’ll be glued to the television to cheer them every step of the way. It’s fantastic for the team, and it’s fantastic for the Province”.
The team arrives back at Belfast International Airport at 4pm on Sunday with heavier luggage to carry ...... made that way with the addition of the Heineken Cup and a clutch of medals!
Pictured boarding the Eastern Airways flight bound for London are Ulster rugby players Tommy Court, Johann Muller and Stefan Terblanche.