Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Coming home for Christmas - joy and tears at Belfast City Airport

Heartwarming scenes at airport as families reunite for Christmas

Presseye.com 21st December 2013
Erin Grahamfrom Sheffield  runs to meet granda Robert   at Belfast City Airport as she arrives home for Christmas.
Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Erin Grahamfrom Sheffield runs to meet granda Robert at Belfast City Airport as she arrives home for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Baby Yasmin Bailey from Inishowen meets dad Andrew at Belfast City Airport as he arrives home for Christmas as he arrives home from Leeds. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Matt Maguire pictured with Julie Holmes from Darbyshire as she arrives at Belfast City Airport for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Charlie Blakely from Omagh with Grandson Charlie pictured at Belfast City Airport as he arrives home for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Erin Grahamfrom Sheffield runs to meet granda Robert at Belfast City Airport as she arrives home for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Graham and Cameron Stephens meeting mum Elizabeth Stephens at Belfast City Airport as they arrive home from Wales for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Julie Cairns from Portadown pictured with Dad Bill Cryer as he arrives home from Huddersfield at Belfast City Airport for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Colin Jones and daughter Heather pictured at Belfast City Airport as she arrives home for Christmas from Wales. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Ronnie Gilmore with Samantha Gilmore home from Australia with sister Natasha and friend Susana Cassidy from Donegal pictured at Belfast City Airport as they arrive home for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Dad Ronnie Gilmore with daughter Samantha Gilmore home from Australia with sister Natasha from Donegal pictured at Belfast City Airport as they arrive home for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Erin Graham from Sheffield runs to meet granda Robert at Belfast City Airport as she arrives home for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Joan McKnight from Ardglass meets son Lorne as he arrives home from London at Belfast City Airport for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Elaine Johnston from Nottingham with mum Margaret Joihnston from Coleraine pictured at Belfast City Airport as they arrive home for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Gareth Davis pictured with Lisa Davis and Michelle McGrath at Belfast City Airport as they arrive home for Christmas from Cardiff. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Erin Graham from Sheffield runs to meet granda Robert at Belfast City Airport as she arrives home for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Shannon,Graham and Cameron meeting mum Elizabeth Stephens at Belfast City Airport as they arrive home from Wales for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Ronnie Gilmore with Samantha Gilmore home from Australia with sister Natasha and friend Susana Cassidy from Donegal pictured at Belfast City Airport as they arrive home for Christmas. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Cara Bailey with baby Yasmin from Inishowen meets dad Andrew at Belfast City Airport as they arrive home for Christmas as he arrives home from Leeds. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com

A LOVED one returning home in time for Christmas is the best present a family can receive.

As thousands of commuters travelled home through Northern Ireland's airports and ferry terminals yesterday, their families gathered to welcome them with open arms.

People from every corner of the UK, Europe and across the world have been arriving home to spend Christmas with their families, many shedding tears of joy upon seeing their family members walk through the sliding doors of the arrivals hall.

Northern Ireland's three airports, Belfast International, George Best Belfast City and City of Derry were awash with families and friends embracing one another in the arrivals halls. Around 250,000 people are expected to travel through our airports over the Christmas and New Year period, with thousands more arriving into our ports.

With strong winds and wintry showers forecast for Northern Ireland over the festive period, families said they were glad their loved ones were home safe and sound.

Families gathered patiently at George Best Belfast City Airport to wait for their loved ones, among them parents waiting for their daughter who was returning home from university, a man who had not seen his daughter in two years and a mother coming home to live in Northern Ireland after two decades living in Wales.

Passengers walking through Belfast International Airport got a nice surprise as golfer Rory McIlroy was also returning to Northern Ireland, arriving on a flight from New York.

Brian Ambrose, chief executive of George Best Belfast City Airport, said: "Christmas is certainly the busiest time of the year and the atmosphere in the terminal is always fantastic with choirs from our adopted schools performing carols and extra staff on board to ensure the smoothest of journeys for all our passengers.

"This has been a particularly busy year for Belfast City Airport with over 1.65 million passengers being transported through the terminal in the summer months alone. This is an increase of nearly 22% on the same period last year."

John Doran, managing director at Belfast International Airport, said: "Christmas is one of our busiest times and we are expecting around 60,000 passengers to use the airport in the few days before Christmas alone.

"It won't just be the passenger aircraft working hard, our cargo business will also be in full swing, making sure that all those presents are delivered in time for Christmas.

"While the airport has no scheduled flights on Christmas Day we still remain open should there be a requirement for diversions or medical emergencies," he added.

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