TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: The Battle for (Air) Berlin 2017


White Strand, Miltown Malbay, Co Clare


Things to know about travel this week.

  • Message to the tourism industry after Barcelona: keep travelling
  • The battle for Air Berlin’s market share
  • Martina Coogan to head up United Airlines in Ireland
  • Data regulations to be discussed at ITAA conference
  • JJ Corry’s launch highlight of Dublin Whiskey festival

Travel Extra TV.

In Sochi a drunk couple use a public fountain in a busy resort as a hot tub and claim to be ‘enjoying the spa’ as astonished holidaymakers look on. Watch here.

Aer Lingus is pushing the sights and delights of its Canadian destination of Toronto here.

Meet the man who has never flown in all his 72 years – British Airways reckon they can get him off the ground. Watch here.

Bet you didn’t know that Emirates has 6,000-plus bartenders for its bars in the sky onboard the  A380. Find out more about the lounges here.

Behind the Headlines

The Ryanair share price rose to a record €19.23 after the Air Berlin insolvency was announced Tuesday while, with Franz Beckenbauer efficiency, Germany organised its defences against the Mulingar marauder in advance of the battle for Air Berlin’s 20pc market share. Ryanair lodged competition complaints with the German Bundeskartellamt and the European Commission about the obvious conspiracy playing out in Germany between the German Government, Lufthansa and Air Berlin to carve up Air Berlin’s assets, while excluding major competitors, and ignoring both EU competition and State Aid rules. German ministry officials were quick to accuse Ryanair of being loudmouths, “clatter is part of their business model.” The role of Austrian carrier Niki and also cross-leasing arrangements may also have to unravel. Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has called for Lufthansa to buy a major part of the assets, saying Germany needs a “national champion” in international aviation. Lufthansa aims to take over as many as 90 of the roughly 140 aircraft from Air Berlin (Germany) and operate them under its Eurowings brand. That includes the 38 aircraft that it is already leasing from Air Berlin and all of the NIKI (Austria) planes. Watch here  Airberlin CEO Thomas Winkelmann proclaiming business as usual.

The Irish Travel Industry Awards on Thursday, January 25, 2018, wil have a new headline sponsor. Prize categories, to be voted on by member travel agencies, have been reorganised and details will be announced in the coming weeks along with details of the new sponsor.

NYC & Co‘s Tryphavana Cross and United Airlines’ Brian Hughes led a fam trip of journalists to mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of Fitzpatrick’s Hotel on Lexington

Avenue and also 25 years of Restaurant Week, where the area’s top restaurants offer a cut-price menu twice a year. The group visited the upcoming National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey on Times Square, saw Manhattan in miniature at Gulliver’s Gate model world, the Carole King musical on Broadway and even where Joe Pesci got whacked in Brooklyn in GoodFellas, courtesy of A Slice of Brooklyn tours. Pictured beside the Brooklyn Bridge are Stephen Gordon, Belfast Telegraph, Fearghal O’Connor, Sunday Independent, Brian Farrell, Sunday World, Travel Extra contributing editor Mark Evans, for The Herald, Brian Hughes, United Airlines, Tryphavana Cross, NYC & Co, and Pol O’Conghaile, Irish Independent. United Airlines is currently rolling out its Polaris product, to replace BusinessFirst, and the group got to check out the changes onboard the 777-200 from Dublin and at Newark Airport. The group also got to try out the $42 three-course menus in The Ribbon, in uptown, and The Sea Grill at the Rockefeller Centre, as well as breakfast at the Great Northern Foot Hall on 42nd Street. Connect to the album here.

The agenda for the ITAA conference in Oporto on Friday, October 13. is hotting up. There will be five or six crucial presentations, relevant to both agents and suppliers about changes in legislation coming down the tracks. From January the PCI will dramatically change the regulations on credit card details. Other changes will bring corporate travel bookings outside the bonding system. Fines for data transgressions will be increased dramatically. Places are closing for what will be an intriguing ITAA conference, see here to see details of the full itinerary for the conference, see here for details of the optional post conference FAM October 15th-17th and see  here for the registration form.

Virtuoso in Las Vegas brought 5,670 travel professionals, including 2,714 travel advisors and 2,404 preferred partners, from 103 countries at the Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & Spa for Virtuouso Travel week, pretitled to make a luxury travel conference sound more like fashion week. Attendees engaged in a series of four-minute “speed dating” meetings, 10-minute meetings, and a series of Globetrotting sessions showcasing preferred partners in four areas: adventure travel, cruises, family travel, and wellness, along with a fifth focus on shopping in travel. Globetrotting showcased Virtuoso’s new community building strategy, where brought preferred partners and travel advisors interested in specific travel niche areas together.

There is no sign yet of Ryanair’s summer 2018 schedule. The first details began to emerge mid July 2016.

The Italian Tourist Board ENIT office in Dublin, run by Francesco Tirelli, is now open at 17 Old Naas Rd, Inchicore, Dublin 12, D12 T8P4. Email.

Remember the outcry when the Government sold the Gulfstream Jet in December 2014? it was practically given away for $500,000. The Government at the time cited its poor condition for disposing of it so cheaply. Well, surprise, the aircraft visited Dublin in the early hours of Tuesday and departed today Thursday. It is now registered to Pontiac Aviation LLC, Troy, MI, USA. For an aircraft that was practically given away … it’s looking remarkably well.

The message to tourism after the Barcelona Fiestas de Gracia attack: keep travelling. If we don’t, who wins? Barcelona was a different kind of target Listen here to Eoghan Corry on Marian Finucane, RTE One radio, speaking about aftermath of Barcelona Fiestas de Gracia attack. Read here Eoghan Corry’s reaction to the attack.

Travel Trade

Martina Coogan of United Airlines

Martina Coogan will commence as new Ireland manager for United Airlines on September 26. Martina worked with Aer Lingus, Air France/Delta and Travelport’s Mobile Travel Technology.

Nan Short and Natalie Dorrington of Crystal Cruises hosted 30 agents and key customers on board Crystal Symphony in Dublin. The old girl is going in for an refurb this September and will re-emerge with new dining options, an entirely new class of room designated as Seabreeze penthouse suites, capacity reduced from 922 passengers down to 848 and unlimited, free internet for the duration of each cruise. Picture shows Nan Shortt, Natalie Dorrington and Alissa Gustafsso of Crystal Cruises on board Crystal Symphony in Dublin. Watch here video report of visit. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The prize for longest presentations at a trade event this summer go to Holland America Line who hosted key trade at a quiz night in Dublin.

Jennifer Twomey from Premier Travel, Cork, won an ipad and Leanne Mulcahy from Limerick Travel won a theatre night in Dublin in Topflight’s weekly agent competition. prizes on offer include an iPad, a night at the Theatre with overnight stay, a make up hamper with brands like Morphe, Urban Decay, SoSu etc and a spa day at a venue of the agents’ choice. Next winner will announced next Friday August 25th. To enter book a last minute Topflight holiday within 14 days of departure and then email booking reference.

Mary McKenna of Tour America is inviting support on her 500km cycle from Barcelona to Valencia this September, 3rd to 7th. All funds raised will go to Crumlin Hospital who help so many families. Mary McKenna is participating in memory of her cousin whose daughter spent 12 days there before passing away from Edwards Syndrome. “Only for the wonderful care given to Fiadh they would not have had these precious days with her.” Contact Mary here.

Turkish Airlines is seeking a Corporate Sales Representative Ireland based in Dublin. The role is to identify and develop new leads via direct sales (customer visits), contact by phone, networking and client referrals. The successful candidate will have strong sales and negotiation skills, effective communication skills and well-developed interpersonal skills ability to multi task, perform well in cross-functional team environment, and assist the corporate sales manager and/or marketing manager in implementing targeted sales and marketing plans and ensure corporate customer satisfaction via providing after sales support. Requirements are a minimum two years of experience in Corporate Sales or preferably, travel related fields interacting extensively with customers. Fluency in English is required and fluency in any of the following language is an asset: French, German, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese. Apply here and contact here for further information.

Fly Cruise Stay launched a Certificate of Excellence Award for Hotels & Resorts. Award winners include Royal Hotel Beirut, the Table Bay Mountain, Cape Town, Dosso Dossi Old Town, Sultanhamet, Istanbul and the Kenzi Club Agdal Medina, Marrakesh.

Alan Lynch of Cruisescapes hosted 17 agents from eight agencies on board Fred Olsen’s MS Balmoral in Dublin Only one agent had ever been on a Fred Olsen ship before. The presentation by Fred Olsen Cruises outlined the benefits of small ship cruising: no tendering in busy ports such as St Petersburg,​ cruising into fjords which are impossible to navigate with larger ships and no queuing for food, silver service is available at all meals if the client prefers. Picture shows Amanda O’Brien and Tracey Crowley of American Holidays with Alan Lynch, MD of Cruisescapes, on board Fred Olsen Balmoral.

​Fred Olsen River Cruises were also part of the presentation with the new 4 star Brabant ​launching 31 itineraries for the 2018 season.

Explore are offering free visas with India bookings until 4th September.

Strange World

Councils in England are removing cat’s eyes signs because tourists are worried that poor domestic animals were being so horribly mistreated.

Banker Samuel Jankowsky claimed he accidentally flew to Las Vegas instead of returning to his pregnant wife in England from Cologne after airline staff failed to notice he had the wrong tickets and he fell asleep.

Belfast teenager Lewis Nickell who suffers from Tourette’s syndrome cannot help shouting “I’m in ISIS” at airport security.

One in 10 people in England cannot identify Ireland on a map, according to research by Insurance comparison website Gocompare.

Jack Palfrey recalled a trip to one of the world’s most bizarre borders at Wagah Border, the primary land crossing between the nations of India and Pakistan.

Paradies Arosa hotel in the Swiss Alps said a sign asking Jewish guest to shower had been a mistake, saying that some Jewish guests had gone swimming with clothes, such as T-shirts, on and had not showered first.

EasyJet insisted a cheese toastie was not out to date when it was given to a passenger with a best before 2007 on the label.


Ireland finished top of Hostelworlds list of most travelled nations per capita, followed by 2 Australia, 3 New Zealand, 4 England, 5 Canada, 6 Netherlands, 7 Switzerland, 8 Scotland, 9 Sweden and 10 Denmark. Travel Extra’s own research usually places Ireland in second place behind Norway.

The USA reported 22,100 visitors from Ireland in January 2017, up 0.9pc. Overall visits were up 2pc, the first month of growth in total US visits since June 2016, although key European markets are down, England by 9pc, Germany by 7.4pc, and France by 3.1pc.

  • Germany says overnight stays are up 3pc for January-June 2017 to 36.7m.
  • Michael Leavy of Home Healthcare Adaptations has published an interactive storymap which outlines nine of the most wheelchair-friendly tourist attractions in the world, See website.
  • Forward Keys says international flight bookings to Germany for the third quarter, up to the beginning of August, are 5.6 percent higher than in the previous year.
  • The US federal government says it will eliminate a policy that allowed national parks like the Grand Canyon to ban the sale of bottled water in an effort to curb litter and protect birds and wildlife.
  • News that Louisiana’s favourite crustacean has turned up in Michigan prompted a local tourism agency to create a pop-up crawfish festival in Michigan.
  • Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida has set another record by welcoming the highest number of visitors of any six months in the state’s history with 60.7m visitors.
  • Idaho expects the state’s population to increase by a third with visitors coming to watch the eclipse.

Food & Beverage

JJ Corry’s Whiskey, by Cooraclare based craft distiller Louise McGuane using recipes created by Kilrush publican JJ Corry who died in 1934, launched at the Irish Whiskey Museum last night. The first blend, the Gael will launch in September at $70 a bottle and, so far, 1,000 casks have been sold in the USA. Yup, Travel Extra’s editor, first generation Coraclare, was there to sample an ancestral ball of malt. Picture shows Louise Duane and Blaise Kelly of Chapel Gate Distillery at the launch. Watch here video of the event and interview with JJ McGuane.

Dublin whiskey festival saw launches, seminars and debate about the challenges facing the craft distillery movement.

Opening of the week was Dollard & Co Food Hall and Grill opened on the ground floor of the historic Dollard Printworks, the oldest steel frame structure in Ireland on Wellington Quay and East Essex St. It comes with a casual, order-at-the-counter deli with breakfast dishes, an all day menu, vegan flatbreads, creamy homemade ice cream, dedicated dessert counter, coffees, smoothies and juices. From Wellington Quay entrance there is a bakery, pizza and pasta counter. In the middle is The Grill with 40 seats, serving Miso glazed chicken wings a our Crab, Lobster and Potato Omelette, the Hake with braised Calamari, or their cheeseburger. TwoFifty Square Coffee operate the coffee shop. On the East Essex St side of Dollard & Co is a grocery with meat, fish, charcuterie and cheese counters.

Hotel Chocolat has announced that it will be opening its first ever Irish café this October.

Underdog, which opened beneath Brogan’s Bar next to The Olympia theatre on Dame Street, features 20 beers on tap and intends changing the drinks they have on offer.

East Side Tavern on Leeson Street reopened.

Beer sales in Eastern Europe are down 13pc in March to June, according to Carlsberg.


Hotelier John Fitzpatrick told Travel Extra that despite the strong dollar, occupancy rates are at 91pc, and there’s value to be had in Manhattan given the strong number of new hotel openings in recent years. And he said there’s such a squeeze back home in Dublin, with demand ahead of supply so far, that he’s seen dearer bed nights in Dublin than in New York.

John Fitzpatrick talked about that first month in 1992 – without a liquor licence – as an Irish hotel, hosting Taoisigh, Liam Neeson’s mother – and why Charlie Haughey had to leave the Waldorf Astoria to have a nose around. Catch the interview here.

  • Dublin’s Fitzsimons Hotel spent €378,000 on music, entertainment and royalties in 2015. Pre-tax losses are down from €407,722 to €64,612.
  • Ashford Castle’s Fairytale Castle Experience was listed in the Chad Clark Certified listing 25 premium and unique travel experiences and services.
  • Tullyglass House Hotel in Ballymena saw occupancy rates double raising turnover to £4.6m.
  • Dalata sought to increase the new Maldron hotel on Belfast’s Brunswick Street by 31 rooms.
  • Virtuoso in Las Vegas awarded hotel of the Year to Palazzo Seneca, Norcia, Italy. Other award wnners: Dining Experience: La Terrazza-Hotel Eden Rome, Bar: Bar Hemingway-Ritz Paris, Family Programme: The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Fla, Wellness Programme: Canyon Ranch, Tucson, Ariz, Hotel Experience: Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya, Mexico. Newcomer: Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, Hotel Ambassador: Kees Hogetoorn, Grand Hotel Amsterdam, Hotelier of the Year: Susanne Hatje, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental New York.
  • AirBnB are to launch a new brand to compete with boutique hotels
  • The European cities with most hotel rooms in construction are Istanbul (4,497 rooms in 24 projects), London (4,300 rooms in 27 projects), Moscow (3,602 rooms in 16 projects), Munich (2,897 rooms in 13 projects) and Amsterdam (2,166 rooms in 12 projects).


American Airlines will close their check-in counters 75 minutes before the flight departure time owing to enhanced security checks at Dublin airport to allow passengers to pass security checkpoints in enough time. American say the change has been made with immediate effect. “We ask that all passengers plan ahead their journeys to ensure that they clear the check-in process in sufficient time.” Picture shows Caitriona Toner of American Airlines,

Hainan Airlines did not include Dublin in plans to open six international routes despite reports of ongoing discussions, Shanghai-Tel Aviv, Beijing-Prague-Belgrade, Shenzhen-Brisbane, Chongqing-New York JFK, Chengdu-New York JFK and Shanghai-Brussels.

Headset improvements are next on the agenda for Aer Lingus with new long-haul meals, a €1m entertainment system upgrade. This autumn there will be new south apron gates for short-haul walk-on, walk-off. Aer Lingus has 600 more front-line staff than two years ago. Watch here Aer Lingus COO Mike Rutter.

Ryanair added another 25 connecting airport-pairs at Milan Bergamo. Ryanair launched a dedicated booking platform offering Erasmus students fare discounts, free bags and tailored travel offers.

Fearghal O’Connor reported Hainan Airlines is close to agreeing a direct scheduled flight from Dublin to Beijing for winter season.

  • Pre-tax profits at Shannon-based aircraft maintenance firm Atlantic Aviation Group doubled to €1.48m.
  • Dublin-based inflight services firm Retail inMotion added a retail consultancy contract with Aer Lingus.
  • Apollo Aviation Group is to purchase 38 aircraft in the first half of 2017 for a total gross purchase price of $910m.
  • Fly Leasing appointed Julie Ruehl as its Chief Financial Officer
  • Peter Barrett said SMBC Aviation Capital aims to become the world’s leading jet lessor. It is currently ranked fourth in the world after GECAS, AerCap and Avolon. Annual Report and Accounts here.
  • The Commissioners running Alitalia in bankruptcy are seeking to reorganise its network, with a focus on increasing operations domestically and its central long-haul Rome Fiumincino hub.
  • Cork Airport appointed Con Dooney as General Manager of Operations and Safety
  • Four Irish airports have been nominated in the aviation marketing awards World Routes which takes place in Barcelona in September.
  • Passengers who were aboard an Emirates aircraft that crash-landed in August 2016 are suing Chicago-based Boeing for an alleged malfunction of the aircraft’s electronics.
  • Monarch Airlines is “reviewing its current business model” to deduce optimum size and shape of the airline.
  • TAP Portugal is to revive its prior designation and rebrand as TAP Air Portugal from mid- September 2017,
  • American Airlines is to fly Philadelphia-Budapest, Prague , Zurich and Chicago-Venice seasonal services in 2018 and is dropping Manchester-JFK.
  • The Daily Express reported the distress code 7500 indicates a hijacking. So now you know.
  • Goose eggs were destroyed to stop aircraft strikes at Belfast City airport.
  • New Stobart Air website here.
  • Sad news: James Osborne, director of Ryanair, friend of Ryanair founder Tony Ryan and legal adviser to Mr Ryan’s Guinness Peat Aviation has died aged 68.


Royal Caribbean cut the first piece of steel for its Quantum Ultra ship, destined for the Chinese market, and revealed the name will be Spectrum of the Seas. The 4,180-passenger ship will be the fourth in the line’s Quantum class of ships and will debut in 2019.

Royal Caribbean is cancelling a previously scheduled cruise on Allure of the Seas, saying the ship needs maintenance work in dry dock in January.

The largest competitive race track at sea and an open-air laser tag course are among the features promised for Norwegian Bliss when it launches May 2018.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises unveiled its new 2019-20 voyages season, comprising 118 new sailings, departing from March 2019 to June 2020 aboard four of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships, Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Navigator.

  • Holland America Line’s Explore4 promotion returned with alluring offers on more than 600 cruises from March 2018 until April 2019.
  • Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary- and destination- focused cruise line, unveiled La Cuisine Bourgeoise, by Jacques Pépin.
  • Crystal Symphony skipped her call to Waterford on Wednesday due to rough seas. Pacific Princess skipped a Jersey call following power outage onboard.
  • Silversea adjusted the dining and dress code for Silver Muse.
  • Celebrity cruises and Canyon Ranch launched sleep-themed spa treatments.
  • Tropical storm Harvey affected Caribbean cruise itineraries.
  • Saga cruises revised dining and beverage options on Spirit of Discovery.
  • Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth revealed the hosting details of QE2 fiftieth anniversary celebrations.
  • Bonnie Tyler is to perform during the solar eclipse on oasis of the seas cruise.
  • Crystal River cruises named German soprano vocalist Ana Maria Kaufmann as godmother to its first ‘Rhine Class’ river ship in Rüdesheim.
  • American Duchess river cruise ship was named in New Orleans.


Picture shows Paul Carty of the Guinness Storehouse wiith a selection of the 2017 Rose of Tralee contestants. The festival returns next week.

Thirty invasive Pacific pink salmon have been caught since the end of June along the west and northwest coast. IFI wants anglers to report any catches of the invasive species to it by calling 1890 347 424. The fish are present in Norwegian rivers as a result of stocking in Russia.

  • The most popular travel TV show in Italy, Kilimangiaro, which has 1.2m viewers, is filming in Ireland’s Ancient East this week.
  • Kathryn Thomas is running another one day detox with her team in the Radisson Blu Hotel Galway Sunday September 24th
  • Tourism Ireland launched a quiz on their website, where Game of Thrones fans can answer questions connecting scenes in the Game of Thrones tapestry with real life filming locations in Ireland.
  • Overnight visits to the six counties from the 26 counties are up 35pc to end March 17.
  • A Cork Chamber of Commerce survey indicated 77pc support for a call for a €12m annual fund to minimise the Brexit effect on tourism

A railway bridge in Carrick-on-Suir was struck by vehicles 41 times from 2009 until February last when it was replaced with a higher bridge according to Irish Rail’s report, there were 92 rail bridge strikes last year up from 85 in 2015 but down from 200 per year in the mid noughties.

There are 1,700 events planned for Heritage Week in 2017. See full list here. Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days, a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union in which forty countries participate each year. Water heritage day is scheduled for August 27. Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry is leading/guiding a heritage walk up Lyons Hill in Co Kildare tomorrow 2pm, visiting 14th century church, 12th century castle, and ancient royal site, all welcome, free of charge, converge at gate of UCD Lyons farm at 1.50pm just outside Newcastle Co Dublin on Lyons Rd. Also for heritage week, a talk on the origins of Clane and Kildare GAA at 8pm in Clane GAA club on Tuesday night.

Deal Watch

Playa del Ingles

Falcon offers: Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights all inclusive, 3* Catalonia Punta del Rey, Las Caletillas, from €549, depart September. Shannon to Lanzarote, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Lanzasur Splash Resort, Playa Blanca, from €849, depart September 11. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self catering 3* Villa Del Mar, Patalavaca, from €429, depart October 12. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 2* Puerto Plata , Puerto Rico, from €679pps, depart December 21. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 3* Tabaiba Apartments, Costa Teguise, from €519, depart January 7, 2018. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Monte Feliz, Bahia Feliz, from  €479, depart January 11, 2018. Dublin to Majorca, 14 nights self-catering 3* Sea Club,  Alcudia, from €869, depart August 22. Dublin to to Majorca, 7 nights self-catering 3* Sea Club, Alcudia, from €669, depart September 29., call 1850 45 35 45

Thomson offers: Dublin to Gran Canaria, 14 nights self-catering 4* TUI Family Life Playa Feliz, Bahia Feliz, from €759, depart September 7. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights all inclusive 4* Abora Catarina By Lopesan, Playa Del Ingles, from €989, depart December 21. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Rocamar, Puerto Rico, from €559, depart January 11. Dublin to Kos, 7 nights half board, 5* Grecotel Kos Imperial Thalasso, Psalidi, from €919, depart September 9. Cork to Algarve, 7 nights self-catering 3* Cerro Mar Colina, Albufeira, from €589, depart September 17. Dublin to Crete, 7 nights self-catering 2* Ourania Apartments, Gouves, from €469pp, depart October 1. Dublin to Fuerteventura, 7 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel Barceló Fuerteventura Thalasso Spa, Costa Caleta, from €989, depart December 5., Call 1850 45 35 45

Sunway offers: Dublin to Turkey, 7 nights self-catering 3* Esat Hotel, from €399, depart September 16. Dublin to the Algarve, 7 nights free upgrade to half board, from €999, 5* Tivoli Carvoeiro Hotel, depart September 2. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights all inclusive at 3* Kamarina, from €805, depart September 9. Dublin to New York, 3 nights at Fitzpatrick’s Grand Central Hotel, with free extra bag and 20pc off at Macy’s, from €915. Dublin to South Africa for the Southern Kings v Leinster, 3 nights Cape Town and two nights Port Elizabeth, from €1349, depart September 16. Match tickets not included.

Topflight offers: Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights self-catering 4* Bella Italia, from €499, depart August 26. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Riva, from €669, depart August 26. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights half board, 4* Hotel Savoy Palace, from €999, depart August 26. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Hermitage, from €799, depart September 3. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4* plus Hotel Bristol, from €1069, depart August 27. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, from €799, depart August 26. Dublin to the
Adriatic Riviera, 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel de France, from €599, depart August 26. Dublin to Madeira, 7 nights self-catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, from €399, depart August 24. Call Topflight on 01 240 1700, visit
Finnair published seat sale from Ireland to Japan, return economy fares from Dublin to Tokyo from €599, Premium Economy from €999 and Business from €2,399 sale from Aug 22nd – Oct 14th travel period OCT 29–May 31
Uniworld offers: The two-for-one deal has been extended until September 30. All inclusive cruise trips include Enchanting Danube, 8 days from Passau to Budapest, was €3899pps, now €1949pps, depart November 12; Bordeaux, vineyards and chateaux, 8 days from Bordeaux and back, was €2799pps now €1399pps, depart November 12; Castles along the Rhine, 8 days from Amsterdam to Basel, was €2519pps, now €1259pps, depart November 8; and Delightful Danube, 8 days from Nuremberg to Budapest, was €2799pps, now €1399pps, depart November 8. Call 1800 98 98 98.

What we learned.

Dublin Airport handled as many passengers in July 2017 as in the whole of 1986.


TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Fasten your seatbelts for busiest ever airport weekend


Climb on Kitzbuehlerhorn by Irish travel trade, walking group leaders and travel media hosted by the St Johann in Tirol and Brixental Tourist Boards, July 31 2017

Things to know about travel this week.

  • Ryanair pushes load factor to record 97pc
  • 400,000 through Dublin airport
  • Where exactly are those four hour passport queues? 
  • Aercap up to 1,539 aircraft, Avolon up to 921
  • Ryanair’s biggest month ever, 12.6m
  • Seamus Conlon heads up Europe’s biggest cruise agency
  • DFA advises against all but essential travel to Venezuela

Travel Extra TV.

The €200m-plus player Neymar wasn’t on board but Emirates had a video of the other Paris St Germain stars onboard during the pre-season tour.

Etihad Manchester City LA challenge

It’s football everywhere – and Etihad had a video shoot of Manchester City players touring the sites of Hollywood and LA

How do you wash a massive passenger plane? A KLM intern finds out here.

Woman torpedoes down water slide at Mexican water park and slams into two girls who were stuck midway down

Horrifying footage shows moment deadly creature jumps onboard a fishing boat

Behind the Headlines

It is hot out there. Eleven European countries have issued a heat warning as summer temperatures in Europe reach their hottest level since 2003 in a heatwave nicknamed Lucifer (when did heatwaves get hurricane-style pet-names?). Costa del Sol and Majorca are set to reach 43C this weekend, Parts of the Balkans and Italy are set to hit 46 degrees. In Florence, the Uffizi art gallery was temporarily closed on Friday when the air-conditioning system broke down. Receding glaciers in the Alps are revealing the bodies of climbers and farmers who have been missing for decades. Temperatures are in many places as much as 10-15C higher than normal. Europe’s record-breaking 2003 heatwave resulted in more than 20,000 heat-related deaths.

Dublin airport has survived the first two days of its busiest ever bank holiday weekend, 400,000 plus without too much trauma and also without breaking the record of 107,500 passengers in a single day set in June. Paul O’Kane tweeted on Friday a thank you to Aer Lingus for urging passengers to turn up three hours in advance and posted a picture of a virtually empty check in Terminal 2.  IALPA’s letter to a Dublin newspaper blaming DAA for delays led to a pretty conclusive spat between Brendan O’Dowd and Paul O’Kane on the Sean O’Rourke Show on RTE One. Listen here.

So where exactly were the four-hour airport queues? The claim by lobby group Airlines For Europe, led the Michael O’Leary, Willie Walsh and friends, generated widespread publicity. Ryanair asked customers by email to check in two hours early, the ITAA said three. Aer Lingus advised two and a half check-in at European airports and three hours for transatlantic flights at Dublin. The DAA said 90 minutes for European flights at Dublin. The outcome was virtually no queues. Picture shows Cormac O’Connell and Barry Barker of DAA in the refurbished Terminal 1 on Friday with the new ceiling.

Compulsory scanning of Schenghen passports has been around since April (as first reported by Travel Extra), so what has changed? See here Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry on RTE One Sean O’Rourke show. Three things, more of us are travelling, regional airports in sun destinations are disproportionately affected, and there have been confusing upscaling of security requirements at affected airports to coincide with the passport requirement.  The answer, as Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry proposed in the Irish Independent (read here)  is to join Schenghen, a desire once expressed by Leo Varadkar, should circumstances allow, when he was minister for Transport (over to you Leo). The response to the article was overwhelmingly positive. Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry, eagarthóir Travel Extra ar Adhmhaidin ar Raidio na Gaeltachta.

Austria’s star attractions, its mountains, are as attractive for hiking in winter as for skiing in summer and this week a brave team of Irish travel trade, walking group leaders and travel media, including Travel Extra, went uphill to investigate. Watch here the story of the trip through then eyes of the participants. The Kirchberg and St Johann regions were showcasing hiking trails such as the new six-part KAT trail and the free Westendorf bus access for mountain pass holders. The rock celebrity stars were all glistening in the sunlight, the Ranggenalm Runde opposite the Wilderkaiser with Fritz Minard (watch here), the Kitzbühelerhorn (watch here), Hahnenkamm with seven-peak Mountaineer Paul Koller, the Hohe Salve with Cissi’s signature church atop and the emperor of Austrian Alpine encounters Hinterer Goinger Halt peak on the Wilderkaiser. Apart from the celebrity mountains they went mountain carting on Kitzbühelerhorn (watch here), E biking through Kitzbühel and Schwarzsee (watch here). People they met included Christoph Stöeckl of Kirchberg Tourism (watch here), Gernot Reidel (watch here), Stephan Bannach (watch here), the mountain lover Mathaeus Gartner (watch here) and hill-climbing Hibernophile Fritz Minard of Active World Holidays (watch here). In Salzburg they called to see Thomas Neckar of Stiegl Brewery (watch here), followed by some beer tasting with Thomas Neckar (watch here), and sampling of the signature Gmahde Wiesn (watch here), and a visit to Erber Schnapps Distillery (watch here). They also met some bell-dangling cows (watch here) and gallopsome goats (watch here), Picture shows Blathnait Ni Mhurchu travel writer, Frank Lynch of Independent Organised Trips, Rita de Brun travel writer, John Barrett of Ski Club of Ireland, Jim Gallagher travel writer, Sean Cotter of Bishopstown Walking Club, Aileen Eglington of AE Consulting, Jessica Keeffe of UL Outdoor Pursuits Club, Michael Oberleithner and Thomas Neckar of Stieglbrauerei, Ruth Whelan of Mountaineering Ireland, Catherine Murphy travel writer, Ailbhe Roche of Extreme Ireland, Harry Dillane of Bishopstown Walking Club, Dan King travel writer and Patricia Duffy of The Roving Soles Walking Club at the Stiegl brewery in Salsburg. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. And yes the parting glass was sung.

Travel Trade

Picture shows Andy Harmer of CLIA who joined Irish travel agents on board Holland America. Watch here interview with Andy Harmer as he notes trend in the cruise industry towards luxury and lauds the arrival of Celebrity Eclipse in Dublin next year for the first mini-season by a major cruise line out of Dublin port.

John Galligan’s submission for the CAR’s Strategic Plan 2017-2019 points out the current regime on travel agent and tour operator regulation oversees mainly Irish based micro-enterprises (with less than 10 staff each), while ignoring much larger foreign online vendors, bed banks, airlines and other vendors. The result is that less than 15pc of the travelling public are protected by the efforts of the CAR team.

The acquisition of Eamon Flanagan’s Premair by Aviareps was officially confirmed with Jens Bachmann to become General Manager of the new operation representing Ethiopian Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Japan Airlines, and Royal Jordanian, as well as GSA for Japan Rail Pass.

Registration is open for members and trade partners for Worldchoice annual conference. at the 4 Star Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway on Saturday November 18th on

The Centre of Portugal is hosting a post ITAA Conference FAM trip on October 15th – 17th  participants will need to book themselves on the Aer Lingus flight EI 487 from Lisbon to Dublin on Tuesday October 17th.

Qatar Airways are running a trade offer of flights and accommodation to Doha of €109 return plus taxes, booking and travel: August 8th -September 8th.

Janette Kearns from Cassidy Travel in Swords was the final winner in Topflight’s win a holiday travel agent incentive, winning a holiday in Sicily. Abbey Travel on Abbey Street won the weekly spot prizes: picture shows Marc Lynch, Lisa Keating, Rebekah Wright and  Joanna Corrigan. A new travel agent incentive promotion will be launched on Tuesday August 8th.

The ETOA described the response to Schenghen checks by an unnamed London Government minister proposing “British-only lanes in English airports” as “self mutiliation.”

Sabre Corporation cut 900 jobs.

SKAL’s cruise ship lunch takes place on Holland America’s Prinsendam on Thursday August 10th, cost is €30 per person for both members and guests.

The average emergency medical assistance expense claim made by Irish holidaymakers is €4482   – and €19049 for claims in the US, according to Allianz Insurance.

FBD launched its own travel insurance product – with the help of Rio Olympic silver medalists Gary and Paul O’Donovan. They told Travel Extra that there’s no preferential treatment when they fly abroad, and it’s rare to see the sights of a foreign country when on rowing duty.


Strange world

Passengers were stuck at the apex of ‘Oblivion’ roller coaster at Alton Towers.

  • Fifty passengers were overbooked on an Air India flight after an IT glitch
  • Overbooked Virgin Atlantic removed an unaccompanied minor from a flight that had too many unaccompanied children.
  • The British Museum revealed that it lost a £750,000 diamond ring in 2011.
  • An airport employee punched a passenger in the face at Nice Airport.
  • Magaluf hoteliers said 94pc of hotel guests kicked out for drunkenness are English.


The Department of Foreign Affairs advised against all but essential travel to Venezuela.

  • Volcano Bay waterpark new virtual queue technology continues to cause problems. Reviewers in May said “One ride had a 410 minute wait.”
  • A survey by Enterprise Rent-A-Car showed 65pc of Irish people driving abroad this summer are likely to rent a vehicle compared to the European average of just 48pc. Irish holidaymakers abroad are twice more likely to rent a car than German (30pc), French (38pc) motorists, Spanish (55pc) and English (60pc) motorists.
  • The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opened in the Swiss Alps
  • Four masked anti-mass tourism protestors attacked a sightseeing bus carrying English visitors outside Barcelona Football Club’s Camp Nou stadium.
  • The city of Madrid has asked Spain’s anti-trust watchdog to investigate whether Uber’s new airport transport service violates fair competition laws.
  • Officials with Montana’s Glacier National Park say a visitor who was taking photographs of the scenery fell into a creek, was swept into a culvert and plunged off a steep cliff to his death.
  • Vatican fountains were turned off during the Italian drought.
  • Second generation Donegal man and world surfing champion Mick Fanning is to retire from the sport.

Food & Beverage

Accumulated profits at the firm that operates Michelin-starred Dublin restaurant Chapter One dropped from €316,762 to €285,269 during the year to the end of February 2017.

  • Paul Kelly of The Great Irish Bake Off, Chef Kevin Dundon, Chef Margaret Roche & Mike O’Connor of DIT are to re-enact the 1963 JFK tea party at the Kennedy summer school in New Ross this September
  • The five winners of the 2017 Euro-Toques Food Awards were Stefan Griesbachof Gannet Fishmongers; Eavaun Carmody of Dundrum Dexter Irish beef, Mimi and Owen Crawford for their herd of Shorthorn heifers, Becky and Charlie Cole for their promotion of kid goat meat; and Marita and Peter Collier for Drummond House Garlic.
  • Bulmers is to open a €5m visitor centre in Clonmel with a target of 100,000 visitors each year.
  • Ireland has the highest percentage of on-trade versus off-trade beer sales (66pc) in the EU according to the Irish Brewers Association annual report. Beer production declined 1pc. Beer remains Ireland’s most popular alcoholic drink, with a 46.2pc market share. Lager market share rose slightly from 60.4pc in 2015 to 60.9pc in 2016. Craft beer rose to 3.4pc market share in 2016, up from 2.5pc in 2015. Irish beer exports are worth €280m, 40pc of beer produced and up 23pc in two years.
  • A new café specializing in coffee and toasties opened for business in a shipping container on Bull Island beside Dollymount beach.
  • Fitzers Catering opened Browne’s Bar and the Gandon Room Restaurant in Slane Castle.


US magazine Travel & Leisure has named three Irish venues among its Top 15 Resort Hotels in Europe. Ballyfin was ranked fourth; Ashford Castle was sixth; and Sheen Falls Lodge was 11th.

  • An Bord Pleanála approved planning permission for a €35m 103 bedrooms extension to the Radisson Blu hotel on Dublin’s Golden Lane.
  • A planning appeal for Johnny Ronan’s Aqua Vetro tower in Dublin was told that the capital will see only one new hotel opening this year. Johnny Ronan suffered a fresh planning blow as his plans for a €50m sports hotel were turned down.
  • Fire officers reported no emergency at Isaac’s Hostel in Dublin’s north inner city as 200 guests were evacuated after smoke was spotted in the building.
  • Dalata announces plans to redevelop Tara Towers hotel in Dublin
  • Arrivals by Travel Extra’s hard working team of writers this week included Zieplof in Tirol (watch here) and Hotel Post in Westendorf (watch here),


Ryanair hit a world record 97pc load factor for the first time in July. The airline also set a monthly record of 12.6m passengers, up 11pc, with 125.1m passengers.  Ryanair says it is the first European airline to carry over 12m passengers in a single month and the first EU airline to carry over abn passengers.

Ryanair launched Alexa voice recognition under year four of its so-called always getting better programme. Ryanair celebrated carrying its one billionth passenger since its first flight took off from Waterford to London Gatwick, in July 1985.

Gus Kelly headed AerCap reported a portfolio of 1,539 aircraft, 2017 Q2 net income of US$282.9m and total revenues up 2pc to $1.26bn, with $9bn in available liquidity and. Average age of the fleet was 7.3 years and the average remaining lease term 6.4 years.

Donmhal Slattery headed Avolon reported its portfolio of owned and managed aircraft doubled to 574 (921 including orders) in Q2 2017, up from 227 a year ago. The company has 347 aircraft orders and commitments and financial liquidity of US$4.1bn. Average age is 4.9 years and average remaining lease term 6.8 years.  Avolon’s customer base has grown to 151 airlines in 64 countries. Avolon completed its $10.4bn acquisition of CIT Aviation during Q2, making it the world’s third largest aircraft lessor after GECAS and AerCap.

Ralph Anker’s reported Ryanair has most international passengers in the world for international travel and is also the fastest-growing of the top 10 airlines (+11.2pc). You have to go down to 13th largest, Wizz Air, to find a faster-growing airline (+21.7pc). Others growing international capacity by more than 20pc are Eurowings and Saudi Arabian Airlines. Aer Lingus ranks 33rd in international sets and shows +4.5pc in summer 17. England leads the US, Germany, Spain and China for international seat capacity in summer17 based on OAG schedules. Six of the top 10 countries for international seat capacity are in Europe with the UAE and Japan the other non-European countries alongside the US and China.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation continues to have difficulties re publishing audited accounts with its annual report. The IAA’s submission for the CAR’s Strategic Plan 2017-2019 points out a lack of aviation sector expertise within the CAR. This has led to an over-reliance on external consultants, some of whom do not understand legacy or constraining issues at Dublin airport and whose recommendations have been overly academic. It should be a key focus for the CAR to increase its aviation sector expertise in the coming years in order to improve confidence in its decision making.

  • Aer Lingus load factor in July was 88.4, passenger traffic in July was up 10.7pc.
  • Stobart Group said its aircraft leasing business, Propius Ltd, has signed an agreement to purchase three Embraer E195 jet aircraft with a special purpose company managed by German Operating Aircraft Leasing.
  • The north’s Air Ambulance completed its first mission on ahead of its official launch date.
  • Comsuisse AG successfully passed the Site Acceptance Test for its Shannon ATC Centre Voice Communication Control System Main Enroute Operational System for the IAA at Ballycasey.
  • Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh said his immediate priority is a new positive relationship with DAA to deliver on guest needs.
  • Work is to start in September on a dedicated detention centre at Dublin Airport for people due to be deported. DAA’s Dublin Airport Central building was short-listed in the Sustainable Buildings Excellence in Environment category for the 2017 Chambers Ireland Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.
  • Wow Air suspended the Cork to Reykjavik route, launched in May as a year-round service which offered onward flights to the US. The airline cancelled a small number of flights from Cork in September and early October.
  • Norwegian Air said all flights on its Cork transatlantic route are sold out for the first three weeks of August, less than a month after they began.
  • Cork airport passenger numbers are up 6pc, attributed to a strong summer schedule.
  • Conor McMahon reports that Shannon Airport is looking for advice on how it can “improve overall competitiveness” and become a “challenger brand” to rival airports in Ireland
  • Waterford Airport detailed cutbacks.
  • Ryanair expanded its euro bond programme to €5bn from €3bn
  • British Airways Mixed Fleet cabin crew will strike again for two weeks beginning August 16, affecting Belfast but not Dublin.
  • Loganair is in discussion with British Airways on an expanded codeshare agreement.
  • Alitalia is to have its license renewed by ENAC when it expires in Nov 2017. Commissioners who issued a new invitation to tender that will lead to the sale of the carrier as a unit, possibly with ground handling unit separated.
  • SAS is to fly from Shannon to Stockholm between now and the end of September. Full story here.
  • Former Congressman James T Walsh – of the Walsh visa and the peace process – is lobbying for Syracuse Airport in upstate New York to get a direct connection with Ireland. The airport’s Christina Callahan says talks are ‘beyond the preliminary stage’.
  • Ireland West Airport is also aiming to join Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast as a transatlantic gateway. Airport marketing manager Donal Healy said 120,000 people from the catchment area travelled to the US last year alone.
  • British Airways apologised to passengers after an IT failure at Heathrow and Gatwick that caused ‘total chaos‘. BA said it has ‘some issues‘ at check-in.


Cruise Co headed by Tipperary man Seamus Conlon is to create Europe’s largest cruise travel agency with the purchase of a German operator. Full story here.

  • Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic new ship Quest made its inaugural sailing.
  • Crystal Bach was delivered to Crystal River Cruises.
  • Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises and Cunard Line are to offer same-sex marriages at sea.
  • Thomson cruises revealed details on entertainment line up for new ships
  • Royal Caribbean changed the NextCruise future cruise programme.
  • Costa neoClassica is to leave the Costa Cruises’ fleet in March 2018.
  • Nick Jonas is to perform on Carnival’s Live Cruise Concert Series in the autumn.
  • Holland America Line introduced its after-dinner chocolate parade across the fleet.
  • Crystal Cruises are offering 17 shorter ocean and river sailings, Crystal Getaways, for the remainder of 2017
  • Lindblad Expeditions partnered with lifestyle brand Exhale for wellbeing cruises.
  • Grammy-nominated musician Nick Jonas will perform on two Carnival cruise ships in the Bahamas this autumn.
  • Victoria’s Secret model Petra Nemcova has been selected as the “guardian angel” for U by Uniworld, a new cruise line aimed at the 21-45 age group.


The first fully guided pilgrim walk was launched in Ireland.

CSO plans to use mobile phones to increase the accuracy of measurement of the number of visitors to Ireland have been opposed by data commissioner Helen Dixon.

South Dublin council submitted plans for the controversial €15m Hell Fire Club development Visitor centre and cafe under Failte Ireland’s capital grants scheme.

Failte Ireland is continuing to gear up for the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup in Dublin and Belfast, seeing off the US women’s team in Washington DC.

Tourism Ireland has joined forces with British Airways as part of a new campaign to promote flights to Belfast and Dublin from London’s Heathrow Airport. The campaign will also highlight driving holidays for tourists here – such as those along the Wild Atlantic Way, the Causeway Coastal Route and in Ireland’s Ancient East.

Two new trails of Dublin’s Northside have been developed by Fáilte Ireland in conjunction with Dublin City Council and Dublin’s Northside Attractions encompassing Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, James Joyce Centre, The GPO Witness History, EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum and Croke Park.


Deal Watch

Dublin to Bulgaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Poseidon Apartments, Sunny Beach, from €699pp, depart August 28. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 2* Apts Costa Volcan, from €559, depart August 28. Dublin to Algarve, 7 nights B&B 4* Pestana Vila Sol, Vilamoura, from €689pp, depart August 27. Dublin to Gran Canaria, Jardin Atlantico, 7 nights self-catering 2* Playa Del Ingles, from €489pp, depart August 31. Dublin to Ibiza, 7 nights all inclusive 4* Sirenis Hotel Club Siesta, Santa Eulalia, from €699pp, depart August 31. Cork to Costa Dorada, 7 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou, from €679pp, depart August 29. Shannon to Lanzarote, 7 nights B&B 3* Hyde Park Lane, Puerto Del Carmen, from €559pp, depart September 4. Dublin to Portugal, 7 nights self-catering 3* Vilabranca, Lagos, from €559pp, depart September 17. Visit, or 1850 45 35 45

Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 4*, Colon II, Playa De Las Americas, from €479pp, depart September 22. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 2* Puerto Plata, Puerto Rico, from €599pp, depart August 24. Shannon to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 3* Morromar Apartments,Matagorda, from €439pp, depart September 25. Dublin to Zakynthos, 7 all inclusive 3* Hotel Roseland, Kalamaki, from €769pp, depart August 29. Dublin to Costa Dorada, 7 nights self-catering 3* Sunclub Apts,Cap De Salou from €639pp, depart August 29. Dublin to Rhodes, 7 nights self-catering 4* Lindia Thalassa Studios & Apartments, Pefkos, from €699pp, depart August 30. Cork to Majorca, 7 nights self-catering 3* Protur Bahaia Azul Apartments, Cala Bona, from €419pp, depart August 29. Dublin to Croatia, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Mediteran, Porec, from €699pp, depart September 12. Visit, or 1850 45 35 45

Dublin to Turkey, 7 nights self-catering 3* Esat Hotel, from €599, depart August 12. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights self-catering 2* Carmen Miosotis Apts, from €499, depart August 12. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 2* Los Mocanes Apts, from €659, depart August 12. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 B&B 3* Londra Hotel, from €699, depart August 12. Dublin to Menorca, 7 nights self-catering 2* Los Lentiscos Apts, from €649, depart August 13. Dublin to Canada with Rocky Mountaineer train, 1 night in Calgary and Banff, 2 days/one night on the Rocky Mountaineer Silverleaf overnight in Kamloops and 3 Nights Vancouver, from €1999, April 2018 departures. Book online at

Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights self-catering 4* Bella Italia, was €739 now €549pps, depart August 26. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Splendid Palace, was €929 now €799pps, depart September 30. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Villa Maria, was €1201 now €949pps, depart August 12. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Villa Esperia, was €1205 now €899pps, depart August 12. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4* plus Hotel Bristol, was €1429 now €1149pp, depart August 13. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights B&B 4*Hotel Conca Park, was €1129 now €949pp, depart August 20. Dublin to Tuscany, 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Croce di Malta, was €1049 now €749pps, depart August 11. Dublin to Venetian Riviera, 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Bolivar, was €902 now €699pp, depart August 19. Dublin to Adriatic Riviera, 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel de France, was €969 now €799pps, depart August 19. Dublin to Madeira, 7 nights B&B 4* Jardin D’Ajuda Suite Hotel, was €799 now €599pp, depart August 17. Call Topflight on 01 240 1700, or visit

ITAA offers: Portugal Atlantic cycling tour, 7 nights hotel accommodation and 8-day guided bike tour with Lee Travel, from €879pp.

Camino di Santiago, 7 nights accommodation in private hotels / pensions, daily baggage transfers, Walking Notes Pilgrim Passport and emergency support in the event of a problem, with, from €495pps. For more information on this deal available from

Uniworld offers: Castles along the Rhine, early booking offer if booked by September 30. Departures April 30. All inclusive voyage was €2977, now €2519. Bordeaux, vineyards and chateaux, all inclusive cruise, was €2499, now €2249. Book with Uniworld on 01-7753803

What we learned.

Portmarnock is the only links course within a city boundary.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair predicts average fare will drop to €37


Dermot Lee, Jenny Raffter and Yvonne Muldoon of Aer Lingus who hosted 106 agents at the Aer Lingus Miami event in House, Leeson St, Dublin, July 24 2017

  • Things 

Things to know about travel this week.

  • Ryanair predicts average fare will drop to €37
  • Irish tourism growth beats Tourism Ireland predictions
  • Falling like a stone, British visitors down by 200,000 this year
  • Michael O’Leary sitting pretty on €3.2m pay pot last year
  • Aer Lingus brings some Miami cool to Dublin
  • Celebrity Silhouette hosts the capital’s business chiefs
  • Distillery boom continues with Pearse Lyons opening
  • Fidelma is latest winner in Topflight competition
  • Travel Extra TV.

Glimpse inside The First Wing ,the new exclusive check-in area for British Airways’ First, Gold Executive Club and Oneworld Emerald customers at Heathrow Terminal 5, leading directly into the Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room.

Pilots can be anoraks too – and four from Arsenal partner airline Emirates were happy to fly their English Premier League heroes. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Latest CSO figures reinforce the view that Brexit (Breat-imeacht) is already having  a huge detrimental impact – in inbound tourism. The headline figures will tell you that Ireland’s visitor numbers grew 4.2pc in January-June, double Tourism Ireland‘s growth guidance. But that’s only part of the story, with US growth (up 20.9pc to 629,000, Europe up 10.1 and Germany up 9pc masking the fact that Ireland’s largest inbound market is in decline. Visitor numbers from Britain fell 6.4pc to 949,000 and are likely to be down by 200,000 in 2017, and this follows recent dire warnings from DAA CEO Kevin Toland that British numbers are “falling like a stone”. Watch here  

Tourism Ireland boss Niall Gibbons conceded that  “the currency challenge for Irish tourism is very real and the drop in British visitor numbers (-6.4%) for the January to June period reflects that”, while Failte Ireland boss Paul Kelly was more gloomy, saying: “This growth of 4.2pc is to be welcomed and it has certainly been buoyed up by a very impressive North American performance. That performance is masking a worrying trend downwards in the British market as a weakening sterling makes Ireland more expensive for British visitors.”

How do you know you’re doing well? When your share price slips, ever so slightly. Just ask Apple, Facebook, Amazon – or our own Ryanair. Making hundreds of millions each year isn’t enough to quench the thirst of the Wolves of Wall Street. Ryanair shares dropped during the week, when CEO Michael O’Leary revealed that the average fare will drop to €37 this summer. Despite the knee-jerk reaction on the markets, the airline’s latest bottom line is looking more than healthy, with passenger numbers hitting 35m in the first quarter of the year, costs down and load factor up 2pc to 96pc. O’Leary continued his wake up about Brexit campaign, saying if there’s no clarity on Open Skies, “we may be forced to cancel flights and move some, or all, of our UK-based aircraft to Continental Europe from April ’19 onwards.  We have contingency plans in place and will, as always, adapt to changed circumstances in the best interests of our customers and shareholders.” Read the full report here. 

Travel Trade

Dublin’s House venue turned South Beach as Yvonne Muldoon, Jenny Rafter and friends launched the latest Aer Lingus destination in North America – Miami. Many of the passengers will be tying in with cruise departures from the city, and the route has already attracted many non-Irish passengers, who’ll be connecting from British cities, plus many through Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, Picture shows Jenny Rafter, Yvonne Muldoon and Dermot Lee of Aer Lingus. See more pictures here or connect with the album on FacebookWatch here the prize winners on the night. Watch here video of the event. Watch here speech by Yvonne Muldoon. Watch here speech by Seb Sarassin of Miami CVB.

Fidelma Brady from Travel Counsellors is the latest winner in Topflight’s ‘Win a Holiday’ Travel Agent Incentive. She joins Eva Jancichova from Cassidy Travel & Judith Hall from Thompson Travel who were the first two winners. Fidelma wins a holiday for 2 to the stylish 4* Grand Hotel Croce di Malta in Montecatini Terme, Tuscany. The final winner will be announced on Friday 4th August, and the draw will take place live on Topflight’s facebook page at 3pm on Friday 4th August. The final holiday in the ‘Win a holiday’ travel agent giveaway is a holiday for two to Sicily. The winner and their guest will stay in the Hotel Delle Palme in the resort of Letojanni. Agents who

Agents who book a Topflight last minute holiday (departure within 14 days of booking) and e-mail your booking reference to There are also numerous spot prizes. Shauna Kelly is about and doing deliveries, so keep booking and watch out for Topflight calling to your door.

The Aer Lingus discount offer for delegates travelling to the ITAA conference expires on July 31st and that there are a limited number of seats being held on the Ryanair flight Porto to Dublin on October 15.

  • Qatar Airways have a premium business class competition to the trade effective from Monday, July 31st . Agents who sell a premium  ticket, first/business before August 9 for travel before March 31 2018 are elgible to win a business class ticket themselves and a prize.
  • Austria expert Aileen Eglington hosted travel trade, media and walking group leaders to showcase Austria’s hiking and cycling product. Picture shows  John Barrett of Ski Club of Ireland, Patricia Duffy of The Roving Soles Walking Club, Ruth Whelan of Moutaineering Ireland, Jessica Keeffe of Limerick Climbing Club, Harry Dillane of Bishopstown Walking Club, Ailbhe Roche of Extreme Ireland, Catherine Murphy travel writer, Jim Gallagher travel writer, Blathnait Ni Murchu travel writer, Dan King travel writer,, Front Frank Lynch of Independent Organised Trips, , Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland, and tour guide Johnny Hagsteiner. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • Celebrity Cruise Line hosted busies leaders and travel agents at separate events on board Celebrity Silhouette in Dublin port. Picture shows Declan Curtin, Chartered Land; Lorraine Quinn, Ireland Sales Manager, Celebrity Cruises; and Mary Rose Burke, Dublin Chamber onboard Celebrity Silhouette, Dublin Port. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • Indonesian tourism hosted Irish travel trade at a golf event in Portmarnock to showcase the country’s 160 world class golf courses. Picture shows John Spollen of Cassidy Travel, Maria Mayabubun Deputy Director of Wonderful Indonesia tourism ministry, Martin Skelly of Navan Travel, Igde Pitana Deputy tourism Minister of Indonesia, Gordon Penney and Philip Airey of Sunway. Watch here interview with Igde Pitana Deputy Tourism Minister of Indonesia. Watch here Igde Pitana speech at the event.  Watch here his comments on the safety of visitors to Indonesia. Watch here speech by Miranda Hough about relations between Indonesia and IrelandSee more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • Blue Insurance boss Ciaran Mulligan‘s, is calling on the EU to regulate car hire companies and the selling of ‘excess’ insurance at car hire desks.  “Holidaymakers are being charged up to €25 a day at the rental desk abroad and they should avoid these last minute rip off charges imposed by going online before they trave,” he says. Ciaran Mulligan’s alarm over the sector was echoed by Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath who expressed his concern regarding the regulation of the car rental sector following reports of dubious practices  on the part of some car hire firms, such as staff being given €4.50 each time they spot ‘damage’
  • Celtic Horizon Tours has been appointed by Manchester City as the sole “Official Supplier of Supporter Travel” in Ireland.
  • Revenues at the Irish arm of Trailfinders in the year to end Feb17 rose by 11.5pc to £75.33m.
  • London’s Foreign Office has changed its advice against travelling to large parts of Tunisia, including Tunis and beach resort Sousse. Sami Tounsi, trade manager for the Tunisian National Tourist Office in Ireland and Britain, said: “We’re overwhelmed by this great news and it represents a great excuse for a big party in Tunisia.” 
  • Overseas trips by Irish residents are up 7.3pc to 2,119,000.

Strange world

A US man stands accused of killing his wife during a Murder Mystery dinner onboard the Emerald Princess Alaska cruise. Video report here.

  • Be careful on those hikes: A brown bear is being hunted in the Italian Alps after biting a hiker’s arm and leg following several other attacks on holidaymakers. The man was saved by his dog, who drew the bear off, allowing him to escape.
  • The twinned towns of Dull (Scotland) and Boring (Oregon) have been joined by Bland (Australia) to form the “League of extraordinary communities” to promote tourism.
  • Switzerland is anticipating an unwanted tourism boom from neighbouring nations after a supermarket chain is now legally selling marijuana cigarettes.


  • Uber’s cheap Madrid airport transfer service has been referred by the city council to the country’s national antitrust watchdog for review, Reuters reported.
  • Venice is to crack down on misbehaving tourists after Belgian holidaymakers were seen swimming in the Grand Canal. Littering, dawdling and jumping in the canals will now invite fines of between €25 and €500. Tourists will also have to cough up if caught picnicking in public places, cycling through pedestrianised areas and flaunting too much flesh.
  • Europcar reported a net loss of €27m due to one-off restructuring costs and ‘transformational’ merger and acquisition-related fees.

Food & Beverage

  • Adare Manor has been granted a new bar licence for the Halfway House bar, between the ninth and 10th holes.

  • The Irish Brewing Association has welcomed cabinet support for the introduction of a new law which will allow craft brewers and distillers to sell their produce onsite to visitors.
  • The distillery tourism business continues to boom with the opening of the Pearse Lyons distillery in Dublin’s Liberties area.
  • The Restaurants Association of Ireland has announced the top 10 finalists in the ‘Foodie Destinations’ competition 2017. They are: Boyne Valley, Cong, Galway’s Westend, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Loop Head Peninsula, Monaghan, Sligo, West Cork and West Waterford.
  • Online sales now make up over 55pc of Domino’s Pizza’s total sales in Ireland, the company reported.


  • Radisson Blu has got the go-ahead for a €35m makeover of its Golden Lane hotel in Dublin.
  • Wicklow County Council refused planning permission for developer Johnny Ronan’s €50m sports-themed hotel with 141 bedrooms at St Valery’s, Enniskerry.

Cork City Council has granted conditional planning permission for Ireland’s first floating hotel on the city’s northern quays. It would allow for the berthing of a 105 metre, three-deck river cruiser with 96 cabins and accommodation for 156 people at Penrose Quay, next to the Michael Collins Bridge.

  • The proposed €50m refurbishment of Cork’s Metropole hotel would feature 400 new bedrooms.


Etihad’s new Irish CEO Ray Gammell says the market is challenging. Although the Abu Dhabi airline carried a record number of passengers, it suffered a loss of $1.87bn due to one-off charges and fuel-hedging costs. Full story here.

  • Delta Air Lines, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic announced plans for a 15-year partnership on routes between Europe and the US and equity deals which will see them take stakes in each other. The joint venture will see the three carriers share their profits on transatlantic routes.
  • British Airways is giving travel agencies an option to avoid the airline’s $10 GDS booking surcharge, to be put in place November 1. The airline has partnered with TPConnects to establish a direct connect to British Airways’ res system. The connection has IATA’s New Distribution Capability standards, giving agents access to ancillary services, rich content like photos and videos, and personalsed preferences.The European Commission, in response to a complaint from Ryanair, found that the exemption for transfer and transit passengers from the defunct Irish air travel tax was in line with EU state aid rules.  The exemption was in line with the underlying logic of the Irish air travel tax which was to tax journeys by air originating from Ireland.
  • A 49-page Labour Court submission by Aer Lingus said short-haul operation is “structurally unsustainable” and has been negatively impacted by Ryanair’s improved customer focus. Aer Lingus is also concerned about the threat it faces on US routes from Norwegian Airlines.  The document says cabin service managers in Aer Lingus earn €63,000, 38pc more than in EasyJet and cabin crew on €38,000 earn 31pc more than EasyJet.

    Powdair virtual airline, based in Ireland, which plans flights from Sion to eight destinations from December, will now partner with the Danish Backbone Aviation to which Powdair will provide 2 Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets. The airline plans to secure an Irish AOC to be able to operate with its own aircraft as from the winter of 2018/2019.

    Ireland West Airport Knock and Stewart International Airport NY established the first Sister Airport Relationship, forming a strategic alliance to facilitate the exchange of information and promote and develop air access between the airports.

    AWAS chief executive David Siegel is stepping down and will not join the lessor’s acquirer Dubai Aerospace Enterprise when the transaction is completed in August

  • IAG is converting three Airbus A330-200 longhaul aircraft options into firm orders for new long-haul low-cost brand Level. 
  • The aviation sector did more than any other to damage its reputation over the last year through poor customer service and increasing complaint levels, a new study by design consultancy Engine found.
  • The US Court of Appeals in Washington has ordered aviation regulators to consider setting minimum standards for the space airlines give passengers. “This is the Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat,” Judge Patricia Ann Millett wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel. “Aircraft seats and the spacing between them have been getting smaller and smaller, while American passengers have been growing in size.”
  • Trade union Unite on Monday said it will fight a temporary lay-off of four staff at Waterford Airport, a move blamed on the delayed launch of Air Southeast services to England.



Cork Port is to build a new terminal to cater for cruise arrivals, with Cork likely to attract a record 100-plus arrivals next year. With 97 ships booked in, over 200,000 passengers are expected to visit the area.

Norwegian Cruise Line are testing a flat-fee surcharge at Margaritaville



  • The push is on to attract high-spending golf tourists to the country. Failte Ireland, in conjunction with Tourism Ireland, invited a team of golf media from a key target market, the US, to play on courses in Dublin and the Ancient East.

The golf media have a combined audience of 20m in the States, and Failte Ireland says 200,000 holidaymakers play the game while visiting the country. The trip is showcasing of some of our courses including Portmarnock Golf Club; Woodenbridge Golf Club, Wicklow; County Louth Golf Club, Baltray and the Royal Dublin Golf Club.

Included in the visiting US golfing media, are representatives from leading online outlets such asSports Illustrated and Yahoo Sports,  TV channels such as Golfing the World and Golf Chicago TV as well as a representative from leading radio station, CBS and their The 19th Hole Show. Full story here.

Guinness Storehouse managing director Paul Carty, who’s also the Chairman of the Association of Visitor Experiences & Attractions, has been appointed to the board of the National Tourism Development Authority, along with Sean Boland of Hertz Ireland.

  • The latest Dublin Economic Monitor showed that the city’s hotel market remained buoyant in Q2 2017 as occupancy rates exceeded 82pc and Average Daily Room Rates reached a new post-recession peak. Click Here for graph
  • It also showed that public transport trips reached a new peak of almost 51 million passenger journeys in Q1 2017 in spite of industrial action in the quarter, reflecting a strong tourism market.Click Here for graph

Deal Watch

Falcon offers: Dublin to Bulgaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Poseidon Apartments, Sunny Beach, from €639, depart August 28. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, from €549, depart August 28. Dublin to  Algarve, 7 nights self-catering 3* Ouratlantico Apts, from €559pp, depart August 27. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Rocamar, Puerto Rico, from €459, depart August 31. Cork to  Costa Dorada, 7 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou, from €499pp, depart August 29. 04-Sep-17, Shannon to  Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 2* San Marcial Apartments, Matagorda, from €439pp, depart September 4. Visit, or 1850 45 35 45

Thomson offers: Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 4* Colon II, Playa De Las Americas, from €479pp, depart September 22. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 2* Puerto Plata, Puerto Rico, from €599, depart August 24. Shannon to  Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 3* Morromar Apartments, Matagorda, from €439pp, depart September 25. Dublin to Zakynthos, 7 nights 3* Hotel Roseland, Kalamaki, from €769pp, depart August 29. Dublin to Costa Dorada, 7 nights self-catering 3* Sunclub Apts, Cap De Salou, from €639, depart August 29. Visit, or 1850 45 35 45

Sunway offers: Dublin to Fuerteventura, 7 night self-catering 2* plus Villa Florida Apts, from €549, depart August 12. Dublin to Sicily, 7 night self-catering 2* Carmen Miosotis Apts, from €549, depart August 12. Dublin to the Algarve, 7 night self-catering 2* plus Bayside Apts, from €449, depart August 11. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 night self-catering 2* Monte Verde Apts, from €549, depart August 12. Dublin to Bulgaria, 7 night B&B 3* Lira Hotel, from €549, depart August 12. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 night B&B 3* Londra Hotel, from €589, depart August 12. Dublin to Vietnam, 10-day private tour from Hanoi to Saigon, including flights and tours, from €1939. Eight-night Miami, Caribbean Fly Cruise & Las Vegas, sailing on Norwegian Sky premium all inclusive, from €1340, depart May 22, 2018. Book online at

Topflight offers: Dublin to Tuscany, 7 nights self-catering 4* Fattoria Castiglionchio, was €877 now €599pps (2 adults & 2 children sharing), depart August 11. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights self-catering 4* Bella Italia Bungalow, was €739 now €599pps (2 adults & 3 children sharing), depart August 26. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights self-catering 4* Camping Cisano & San Vito, was €729 now €569pps (2 adults & 4 children sharing), depart August 12. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, from €969, depart August 12. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4* plus Hotel Bristol, from €1149, depart August 13. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic, from €799, depart August 6. Dublin to Rimini, 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel de France, from €729, depart August 5. Dublin to Lido di Jesolo, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Eden, €799, depart August 5. Dublin to Madeira, 7 nights self-catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, €899, depart August 3. Call Topflight on 01 240 1700, or visit

ITAA offers: Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights half board 4* Majestic Palace, from €899, depart July 29, with The Travel Broker. For more info, check

Dublin to San Giovann, 7 nights B&B, from €945, depart September 3, with Joe Walsh ToursFor more info, click

Click and Go offers: Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Maracaibo Apartments, Puerto Rico, from €399, September departures. Dublin to the Algarve, 7 nights B&B 5* Real Marina Hotel & Spa, from €289, depart November.

Visit or call (01) 539 7777

Cassidy Travel offers: Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 2* Colina Mar, from €1799 for two adults and two children, depart August 23. 8786888.

Uniworld offers: All inclusive Paris to Paris river eight-day cruise onboard the SS Joie de Vivre, was €2709 now €1349, depart December 13. All inclusive 15-day cruise,  Budapest to Amsterdam. Cruise was €7,409, now €3,699, depart September 27. (01) 7753803.

Insight Vacations offers: Nine-day Italian trip, visiting Puglia and the Neapolitan Riviera, was €2075, now €1869, depart September 2. Ten-day Best of Germany tour, was €2025, now €1,819, depart August 18. To book, (01) 7753803.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Are US airlines employing GRANNIES as cabin crew? Akbar says so.



Gala ball to celebrate launch of Qatar Airways’ Dublin-Doha route, July 5 2017

Things to know about travel this week

  • Qatar’s CEO intends to go double daily
  • Justin Trudeau boost for diaspora museum Epic Ireland
  • Aer Lingus celebrates 70 years on Dublin-Amsterdam
  • Another daily record for Dublin Airport, up to 108,000 and counting
  • Etihad commits to Dublin – Abu Dhabi ten years on
  • Ryanair load factor at record 96pc for fourth time, can it go higher?
  • Grannies & American carriers, did he just say that?
  • Brian McFadden wins Turkish Airlines golf prize
  • USA exempts four carriers from laptop ban
  • What is it like to be a winner? Watch our video

Travel Extra TV.

Watch here Air New Zealand‘s hilarious attempt at an Irish accent in their latest ad.

Watch hereDusty the Doolin dolphin was videoed at Inis Oírr pier by Elaine Farrell while leading a Burren, Aran & Connemara tour group. There are concerns about Dusty’s relationship with swimmers.

  • No wonder things get broken. Watch here baggage handler was caught on video by Lewis Marasco throwing luggage several feet onto a conveyor belt at Edinburgh Airport.
  • The most beautiful take-off I’ve ever seen’Watch here flight footage from Carrickfin posted by a US passenger. Donegal was selected as the 7th most beautiful airport approach in the world in a recent survey by Privatefely.
  • Watch here a bloodied and somewhat over-served passenger screaming and being restrained on a Red Wings flight.
  • Watch here seven tourists react as a hot air balloon lands in an alligator-infested pond near Disney World Orlando.
  • Watch here a Vegan Strike Group jumping into a Pamplona bullring to comfort a bull as he lay dying from his wounds
  • Watch here as holidaymakers brawl on Mallorca‘s beach in front of shocked sunbathers.
  • Watch here as salt water crocodile Dominator lunges at a tourist boat in the Adelaide River in Australia’s Northern Territory.
  • Watch here new footage of fatal 2013 Asiana Airlines crash at SFO.

Behind the Headlines

Qatar Airways’ new Dublin-Doha route has already exceeded expectations and airline boss Akbar Al Baker is looking to go double daily. “We have five percentage points higher load factors from Dublin than we envisaged – and we have just started one month ago so we see that there is a very big potential. Our two competitors don’t go to a lot of destinations in the network that we go and there is potential for people to come to Ireland from those destinations. I know that they come double daily each of them and we come single, this is why we see that in a short period of time the business plan that was shown to me is far exceeding the business plan, the loads that we have. We will not go double-daily until we have a constant 85pc load factor for a period of time. We see that the current capacity for Dublin at the moment is the B787. We don’t really want to dump capacity into markets and then undermine ourselves. The A350 has nearly 20pc more capacity. We will initially operate a B787 and, when the market grows, introduce a second B787 and then, as the market grows, convert it into an A350.” Watch here press briefing by Akbar Al Baker. See Travel Extra’s full report hereSee more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.


Ronan Keating. Riverdance and Affiniti were lined up as the star attractions at the Qatar Airlines Gala ball in the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin. But there was no doubting the star pf the show: Akbar Al Baker, the effusive CEO of the airline who is liable to say anything when he gets near a microphone. His speech digressed, as Baker speeches do, into a comment about how the average age of 26 on Qatar airlines compares with their counterparts on US carriers (watch here): “you are served by grandmothers on US carriers.” Qatar’s current conundrum drew barely a mention as he made a plea to support Qatar in standing up to four bullies. Watch here. The Chief Commercial Officer for Ireland has not joined Qatar yet, but Jonathan Harding VP Europe and Glen Mintrim VP northern Europe were on hand to cheer the new operation into life and Patrick McKinney was representing the Irish staff. Picture shows the Qatar Airways Dublin crew, Richard Bradley, Alexandra Dubarry, Alexander Kane, Curtis Smith, Amanda Stokes, Andrei Balla, Barbara Casanova, Patrick McKinney, Denise Dillion, Jenifer Pease, Michelle Gibbons, Jose Villar and Laura Yeates. Watch here video of Qatar Airways Gala Ball. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who enjoyed a rapturous welcome in Ireland and showed his hurling skills were way better than the heir to the English throne, also discovered his Irish ancestry on a visit to the Epic Ireland diaspora museum in the GHQ building on Dublin’s north quays. Epic visitor numbers were short of expectations for its first seven months at 40,000 to end 2016 but it is back on target to exceed 130,000 this year. The founder of the museum, Neville Isdell revealed to Travel Extra his life has been a failure, despite being CEO of one of the biggest world brands, Coca Cola 2004-8 and a multi millionaire: the Downpatrick born businessman and one-time wing forward never fulfilled his father’s dream that he would play rugby for Ireland. Watch here an extensive interview with Neville Isdell by Travel Extra. Picture shows Veille Isdell and Dervla O’Neill of Epic Ireland. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Tryphavana Cross of Las Vegas CVA and six partners hosted 68 agents at an afternoon training session in the Morrison Hotel in Dublin and 16 owner/managers for an evening session, where they heard what was on offer from Base entertainment, Caesars. Cosmopolitan, Graceland wedding chapel, Maverick helicopters, MGM, Papillon and Wynn. Watch here Daniel McCluskey of Tour America (pictured with Tryphavana Cross) winning the agents prize. Watch here a winners’ eye view of the owner/manager’s prize, won by Pamela Brownlee of Flyaway travel in Ballina. Watch here interview with Michael Wareham pf Papillon Helicopters. Watch here interview with Henika Patel of Caesars. Watch here interview with Walter Behre of MGM Resorts. Watch here interview with Tryphavana Cross of Las Vegas CVA. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

An axiom of aviation was that the ideal seat load factor was “fly with one seat empty.” The pointy heads in academia used to argue that this shows you have hit maximum yield and not spilled traffic. So when, on Tuesday, Ryanair reported another industry leading 96pc load factor for June, the fourth in their history, are they spilling? They hit 96pc LF three times before, in July 2016, August 2016 and April 2017 and  95pc LF on seven occasions, July and August 2015, September, October, November 2016, and February and May 2017. Michael O’Leary will say no, as he holds that markets are stimulated by capacity and price. Passenger numbers were up 12pc to 11.8m in June with rolling traffic up 3pc to 123.9m. Press release here. See Travel Extra report here.

Emirates hosted 50 of their finest each day at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Portstewart, Dublin and Cork trade and logistics on Thursday, Belfast Derry and Donegal trade on Friday, and corporate customers on Saturday and Sunday. Picture shows John Spollen of Cassidy Travel, Anita Thomas, Enda Corneille and Jane Masterson of Emirates and Cormac Meehan of Meehan Travel Bundoran, President of the Irish Travel Agents Association, A tip for those on their way today: the best vantage post on the rolling course is at the end of the tenth, overlooking the 8th tee and the 2nd and 7th greens. Watch here Emirates at the Irish Open. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Turkish Airlines had a celebrity winner when they staged the Irish leg of their world cup amateur series in the K Club in Straffan, the former Westlife singer Brian McFadden. Turkish Ireland manager Hasan Mutlu celebrated a victory of his own at the event, he managed to hit the ball. The winner goes forward to Belek from where the manager of the Titanic Hotel had come to Straffan to share the excitement. Picture shows Hasan Mutlu and Brian McFadden. Watch here video of the event with Brian’s winning speech including a musical interjection at the start. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Put a 1 on front of that to make it 14 times weekly, ten years on. “Ten years have gone by in the blink of an eye and we’re looking forward to the next ten,” Beatrice Cosgrove said as she celebrated ten years of Etihad’s service on Dublin-Abu Dhabi with an event for travel and business media at the Shelbourne Hotel. Abu Dhabi’s new terminal would have been due to open Friday but has been delayed until February.  Watch here Beatrice Cosgrove Speech and watch here Beatrice Cosgrove recalling the 10 years of Etihad in Dublin. For a trip down memory lane (runway?), see speech by Etihad CEO James Hogan here, speech by Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey here and speech by Dublin Airport CEO Declan Collier here, all from the inaugural flight on July 2 2007. Etihad showcased Ricky Wilson‘s 48hrs in Abu Dhabi video. Watch here.

The laptop ban is in abeyance at last, leaving the original reason for the ban, and the security measures put in place to combat it, still a mystery. Etihad Airways had curbs lifted last Sunday, aided by the presence of pre-clearance in Abu Dhabi. Dubai-based Emirates and Turkish Airlines of Istanbul were declared free of the measures Wednesday. Saudi Arabia Airlines expects to be free of the restrictions by July 19. Amman-based Royal Jordanian has asked the US Transportation Security Administration to approve its response to the requirement for stricter security scans and checks. Egypt aviation minister Sherif Fathy said his country is taking steps to meet the guidelines, with Cairo airport installing new equipment. England’s ban remains in place, however, and it unclear how long it will remain.

Academic Catherine Kelly is considering legal action after being stopped at Dublin airport by two plain clothes Gardaí and questioned if she had written an article about Minister Regina Doherty and her business dealings. She was told that “a complaint could have been made and she was cautioned not to tweet Minister Doherty and any material relating to her and made sign a statement or she would not be allowed to proceed to the gate.”

Travel Trade

Rebecca Kelly and Erica Oglesby of MSC Cruises hosted 20 agents at the Intercontinental Hotel, which got underway late because Antonio Paradiso London MD and Steve Williams director of sales were delayed by the BA strike. Jenny Rafter and John Keogh were there to launch Aer Lingus’ partnership with MSC with Miami flights for winter 2018. Picture shows Rebecca Kelly and Erica Oglebsy.

Agents who book a Topflight last minute holiday this July will be entered into a weekly draw for one of four free holidays for two persons to Italy to be announced July 14, 21, 28 and August 4. The first weekly winner will stay in Hotel Bolivar in the beach resort of Lido di Jesolo. Topflight’s Shauna Kelly is pictured visiting some of the Cassidy Travel Shops with prosecco and sunflowers to promote the incentive and could be on the way to your agency next. There are also spot prizes. See website or e-mail or call 01 240 1700.

Globe Hotels’ June winners of one of ten places in their 5 star Educational to Crete in October are Jackie Spain of JK Travel and Siobhan McClearn of Kellers Travel. Agents can book accommodation on to enter All bookings are entered into a draw at the end of the month.

Worldchoice Ireland announced a fam trip to Dubai with Turkish Airlines and TravelCube on September 13-17 for 10 winning agents who make a Turkish Airlines or TravelCube booking between July 7 and August 7.

Five Irish Travel Counsellors took part in the charity initiative Pack for a Purpose, as they celebrated their ‘Gold’ status in Jamaica. Cork-based Mary Foyle and Sarah McCarthy, Rosemary Chawke from Tipperary, Jennifer O’Brien from Dublin, and Mandy Walsh from Meath, were among 70 Travel Counsellors (pictured) who celebrated their ‘Gold’ status with an exclusive trip to the five-star Half Moon resort in Jamaica.

Travel Counsellors reported record sales of €620m. Steve Byrne said the company is considering a float as an option for growth. Travel Counsellors Ireland will have 70 counsellors when four new experienced agents start on July 17th. Irish chief Cathy Burke will be returning to Dubai in September.

  • Turkish Airlines hosted a night of Turkish culture in the National concert hall where the Dem Trio performed.
  • Classic Collection Holidays represented in Ireland by Niall McDonnell introduced Live Chat on its Irish site from 9am until 5.30pm Monday to Friday. The call centre is open from 9 am to 10pm seven days a week.
  • The Westminster parliament debated new ATOL legislation designed to protect online as well as agency bookings through a contribution of £2.50 per passenger. The ITAA is lobbying tourism minister Shane Ross to have similar protection introduced in Ireland to replace the 1980s vintage bonding system.
  • Topflight launched their annual Travel Photographer of the Year competition.
  • TUI reported 1,800 holiday sickness cases against it have been dropped after it was revealed claims solicitors had been recruiting holiday makers.
  • English-based tour operator failures increased from 10 to 19 in April 2016-March 2017, affecting 16,500 holidaymakers and requiring £14.7m in refunds.
  • Jet2 cancelled 100 holidays to the Hard Rock Hotel in Tenerife due to a pricing error (and appeared to get away with it).

Strange World

Did you hear the one about the guy who could not remember the name of the woman he was about to marry? Watch here our interview with Brandon Reed of Graceland Wedding Chapel at the Las Vegas trade event in Dublin on Friday.

A Delta flight attendant broke a wine bottle over Florida man Joseph Hudek’s head when he allegedly assaulted two flight attendants and attempted to open a door on a flight from Seattle. Hudek was in first class travelling on a dependent’s pass and declared “do you know who I am?” after being hit over the head. Picture released by the US authorities shows the scene after the altercation .

  • New Jersey governor Chris Christie sunbathed on a beach he closed to public.
  • United Airlines issued an apology after selling a toddler’s seat that had been paid for to a standby passenger
  • A United Airlines flight landed with an engine on fire at Denver airport.
  • Airbnb listed the Bogancloch Treehouse in Scotland for £17-a-night, a three-person 1960s touring caravan and former film prop mounted 12ft 6in up a tree with no mains electricity, no internet and no bathroom facilities.
  • An 18-year-old Watford-based Topgolf employee Amelia-Grace Beard arrived in Greece with with nothing but the clothes she travelled in and two bikinis she had kept in her hand luggage claiming her  suitcase was shredded by the luggage system in Stansted.


There are fears an Irish holidaymaker may be paralysed after falling from balcony of the Hotel Piscis in San Antonio, Ibiza.

  • A crackdown on passports led to 2,000 people being turned away at Irish ports in the first six months of 2017.
  • A 39-year-old Irishman was injured at the Pamplona bull running festival while 10 more were injured, five American, three Spanish and two French.
  • A Bavaria tour bus crash left 17 people unaccounted for.
  • A campaign was launched against Donald Trump’s threat to revoke US national monument status from 27 sites.
  • Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and Grand Canyon are the most instagrammed locations.
  • UNESCO opted against giving the Great Barrier Reef “in danger” status. Israel expresses outrage at Unesco’s declaration that the Old City of Hebron is an endangered site.
  • Amsterdam on steroids, customers queued for three hours as Nevada began legal cannabis sales.
  • Global NGO World Animal Protection reported there has been a 30pc rise in the numbers of captive tourist elephants in Thailand in just five years.
  • A study by villa holidays specialist Oliver’s Travels claimed 42pc of children feel ignored by parents on holiday.
  • Steam engine Loco 5 has this week returned to service with Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Food & Beverage

Subway plans to increase the number of restaurants in Ireland from 270 to 321 by 2020.

JP McMahon and colleagues of Chef Network (pcitured) celebrated the 2,500 member of its online community at an event in Kitchen Culture in Dublin.

  • Supermac’s are to open a restaurant in Drumlonagher in Donegal Town.
  • Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud profits are up €210,458 to €774,989.
  • Teeling Whiskey signed a distribution deal in the US with Bacardi, which has also taken a minority stake in the company.
  • The Johnstown Inn in Co Kildare is for sale. Noel devine’s Castletown Inn in Celbridge was sold for €1.6m to the owners of Gregory’s Tavern in Kilcock..
  • Dave and Stephen Flynn Wicklow-based Happy Pear café/grocery chain intend to open another outlet in Dublin before the end of 2017.
  • ShuckNsuck on Fownes Street in Temple Bar is the latest Dublin pop-up.
  • Bobby Kerr is to sell his stake in Bang to focus on Insomnia expansion in England.
  • C&C group said trading across core markets is satisfactory.
  • Cofco warned of coffee shortages on Colombia and Brazil crops.
  • Carlsberg acquired London Fields brewery.
  • The Irish seafood sector reported growth of 7pc.
  • Musgrave reported a €73m profit in 2016.
  • Starbucks acquired the landmark Ballsbridge kiosk in Dublin.
  • John Muldoon is the new ambassador for the ‘Fresh’ range of Supermac’s Irish beef and chicken products.
  • The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland said that advertising provisions in the Public Health Bill will cost the media industry €20m per year.


Dalata sold Kasterlee, the company which holds the leasehold interest in London’s Croydon Park Hotel.

  • The Skellig Star hotel is to reopen after a €3m refurb.
  • The 60-bedroom Millrace hotel in Bunclody is for sale at €2m .
  • Harcourt developments showcased the £28m Titanic Hotel Belfast in the former Harland & Wolff drawing offices ahead of its public opening in September.
  • Causeway Coast Developments plans a 120-room hotel overlooking Royal Portrush Golf Club.
  • Gleeson’s pub in South Dublin is to add a 16-room boutique hotel.
  • Dublin’s Newmarket Square could see a 239-room hotel and indoor market as part of liberties regeneration scheme
  • German ambassador Matthias Hopfner objected to the Howl at the Moon hotel development.
  • Paddy McKillen plans a second hotel at 36 Harcourt Street.
  • Louvre Hotels group, which operates the Kyriad, Campanile, Première Classe and Golden Tulip hotel chains is following Hilton and Louvre with bluetooth systems to let guests unlock room doors by pressing a button on their mobile phone. It was reported card keys will be obsolete within five years.
  • Johnny Ronan‘s plans for Dublin’s tallest building and hotel were rejected.
  • The InterContinental Dublin launched its ‘Continentally Classic’ Best Dressed Lady Competition, which will take place at the hotel on the evening of August 10 following Ladies’ Day at the 2017 Dublin Horse Show.
  • CBRE predicted €250m in hotel sales after a slow first six months.
  • Targeted Investment Opportunities sought planning for a 165-room aparthotel on Dublin’s Ormond Quay at the former Zanzibar pub site.
  • Airbnb is considering a mansion rental arm, Airbnb Select.
  • Celbridge Manor Hotel celebrated its €1.5m refurbishment by opening its doors for a summer reception, attended by Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan’s dad, Bernard Sr.
  • Monart Destination Spa, Co Wexford, won Overall Spa of the Year award at the Irish Tatler awards.
  • Howard Hastings said one politician was such a regular in his hotel that a suite was named after him.
  • Dublin City Council is investigating 25 suspected cases of homes being illegally used as Airbnb or other holiday rental accommodation.
  • Howard Hastings said one politician was such a regular in his hotel that a suite was named after him.


Aer Lingus celebrated 70 years flying to  Amsterdam, passengers on EI604 and EI605 from Dublin to Amsterdam return received a tulip to mark the occasion.

Aer Southeast said it is still committed to its Waterford routes to Britain but will refund passengers as it works on a licence to operate. Full story here.

As Air Canada mainline takes over the Irish operation from Air Canada Rouge for the winter Aer Lingus has rephrased its claim to be the only 4-star airline connecting Ireland and North America to the only 4-Star airline connecting Ireland and the United States.

Aer Lingus cancelled all its September flights from Belfast to Majorca and Alicante, due to poor seat sales.

The European Court of Justice ruled that prohibiting holders of a pilot’s licence who have attained the age of 65 from acting as pilots of aircraft engaged in commercial air transport does not go beyond what is necessary for achieving safety. The ruling does not prohibit the holder of a pilot’s licence who has attained the age of 65 from acting as a pilot on ferry flights or from working as an instructor.

  • Dublin Airport continues to break daily attendance records with 108,000 through the airport last Sunday
  • Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh told Conor Mcmahon the airline is working hard  to fix problems that some customers have experienced with its controversial AerClub frequent flyer programme.
  • Passengers claimed they were left for “five hours with no information” after one of the first Norwegian flights from Shannon Airport to Providence was grounded due to a technical issue.
  • Applications are invited for the role of Aer Lingus High Value Guest Agent, reporting to the AerClub Customer Lead.
  • Unions served Aer Lingus with a pay and profit-share claim of €80m.
  • Aer Lingus RPK  in June was up 14.5pc with load factor up 0.9 to 86.9pc. Cargo was up 30.0pc. Passenger traffic was up 3.9pc for IAG as a whole, with European routes up 1.1pc, North American routes up 4.6pc.  Load factor was up 0.3 to 84.3pc.
  • Stobart CEO Warwick Brady told John Mulligan he was lined up as CEO for Aer Lingus post-Christoph Mueller until the IAG bid and said foot-dragging and indecisiveness caused CityJet’s Stobart bid to fail and suggested Stobart would be interested in buying Flybe, Brady expects two more franchise agreements by end of summer 2017 with two more on the way.
  • Mike Rutter of Aer Lingus criticised the pace of infrastructural development at Dublin Airport after baggage belt failures in T2 due to the DAA’s uploading of new software to the airport IT infrastructure.
  • The USA is to allow laptops aboard Emirates, Etihad, Turkish and Qatar flights after it said the airlines had tightened security.
  • Ryanair abandoned plans to grow at Eindhoven Airport because it cannot get slots.
  • Ryanair announced four new routes from Weeze to Oradea 3w, Rabat 2w, Tangier 2w and Eilat 2w.
  • Brussels Airlines CEO Bernard Gustin said the wet lease of three Sukhoi Superjet 100s from CityJet is performing within the carrier’s expectations.
  • SAS confirmed London Heathrow and Malaga will be the first bases outside Scandinavia to be used by its Ireland-based subsidiary.
  • TNT parcel delivery group was hit by Tuesday’s global cyber-attacks. A total of 100,000 packages could not be delivered.
  • Sion-based Irish-registered Powdair appointed Sean Pettit as new CFO.
  • DHL Supply Chain opened a 3,700-square-metre, pharmaceutical-grade facility near Dublin Airport. The temperature-controlled, end-to-end supply chain services include storage, pick-and-pack services, and inventory control.
  • Atlantic Aviation in Shannon are recruiting apprentices.
  • Aero Inspection acquired Shannon-based aircraft design organisation Part 21 Design Ireland, which works with leasing companies, and airlines to design, certify, and approve repairs and modifications on large aircraft.
  • Wings Capital Partners CEO Stephen Hannahs is planning a Dublin office.
  • Etihad let passengers bid on ‘neighbour-free’ seats.
  • Airbus commercial sales team will now report directly to group CEO Tom Enders.
  • British Airways is cutting its weekday Belfast City to Heathrow schedule from six to four daily for winter and said frequency would be reviewed ahead of the start of next year’s summer period.  Belfast-London traffic was up 10% in May, Gatwick  up 19pc, Heathrow down 1pc. 42% of traffic used Gatwick, 13% Luton and 14% Stansted (all from Belfast International). 26% used Heathrow and 5% London City.
  • The Westminster government gave last minute approval for the lease by British Airways of some nine Qatar Airways A320 and A321 aircraft to help cover a 16-day strike by mixed cabin crew who are members of Unite on the basis of CAA advice. The Unite union announced a further two week strike from July 19.
  • BA’s Robert Boyle told the Future Travel Experience conference in Dublin that IAG was slow to move to cloud-based operations in the lead-up to the IT shutdown at British Airways.
  • Thomas Cook’s Condor subsidiary is to close long distance flights from Munich to the US, Cuba and Dominican Republic in summer 2018 to concentrate on Frankfurt.
  • Norwegian is to start Paris CDG to Boston from May 2 and to Oakland from April 10,  and Gatwick to Austin, Texas, 3w, and Chicago 4w from March. Frode Foss resigned as CFO in Norwegian.
  • Icelandair is to lay off 115 pilots in autumn 2017.
  • IATA announced that the YY category of multilateral interlinable fares will be rescinded from October 31 2018.
  • Qatar Airways rejected deliveries of four A350-900s after deliveries were delayed by supplier issues.  It still has 28 A350-900s and 37 A350-1000s on order.
  • Oisin McGrath‘s DroneSAR in Donegal is preparing to launch an app which it says will ‘revolutionise the global search and rescue industry’.
  • Aeronet Global Communications Services claims it achieved 1,000 Mbps download and upload speeds while flight-testing datalink technology over Co Kildare. It says it is using telecoms technology to support its high-speed transmissions to and from a specially equipped helicopter.
  • British Airways are to pay strikers’ bonuses to cabin crew who did not join the strike.
  • Airports Commission boss Howard Davies said charging motorists £15 to drive to Heathrow would be popular.


Channel 4 Dispatches, Secrets of your cruise estimated a cruise ship can produce 79,000 litres of sewage a day and dump raw sewage in the sea.

Steel was cut for Carnival‘s third 3,936 passenger vista-class cruise ship designated for Costa’s China fleet and scheduled for delivery in autumn 2019.

Ireland’s cruise tourism numbers declined 8pc in 2016 with Dublin up slightly to 110,000 visitors on board 109 vessels, from 101,400 passengers on 93 ships in 2015 and Cork passenger numbers down 12.4pc to 89,700 on 57 ships (unchanged).

Eight Royal Caribbean ships will be sailing to the Caribbean during the total solar eclipse on 21st August, on itineraries ranging from 3 to 9 nights, Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Empress of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas.

  • MSC cruises launched onboard port information service and new shore excursions.
  • Dún Laoghaire said its large scale cruise ships plan was back on the agenda.
  • Royal Caribbean is to test a new beverage policy on Harmony of the Seas.
  • Thomson Spirit is to remain with Thomson cruises until November 2018.


Killarney House officially reopened after a €7m makeover.

Failte Ireland hosted thirty craft businesses at a workshop from Kilkenny, Carlow, Cork, Kildare, Louth, Monaghan, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow to consider how craft experience can meet the needs of the visitor. Picture shows Jenny de Saulles of Failte Ireland and Brian McGee,

A dispute over a disputed right of way near the Lakes of Killarney heated up as Bord Pleanála ruled that that a gate erected to block public access to the lakeshore near Fossa is not exempt from planning permission requirements.

  • Tourism Ireland boss Niall Gibbons said the organisation will promote the island around the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup in Dublin and Belfast. Full story here.
  • Fáilte Ireland hosted Chinese lifestyle magazine Mogujie, Lonely Planet, San Lian Life Weekly and other online media, and will visit the Wild Atlantic Way and Dublin.
  • Tourism Ireland released a video of great houses, castles & gardens. Watch here
  • Ericsson has succeeded Etihad as title sponsor of Croke Park’s Skyline Tour, in a deal that also sees them being appointed as the GAA’s Official Technology Partner.
  • Sisters Karena and Kasey Te Awa Bird, Masterchef New Zealand 2014 winners are in Ireland to film their new TV series Karena and Kasey’s Foreign Flavours (pictured).
  • Tourism Ireland in France joined forces with SelecTour to promote Ireland on digital screens and in-store displays in 850 travel agencies across France.

Deal Watch

Kos in Greece

Kos in Greece

Falcon offers: Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering, 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, from €549pp, depart August 28. Dublin to Rhodes, 7 nights self-catering, 3* Amfitriti Hotel & Studios, Pefkos, from €439pp, depart August 30. Dublin to Kos, 7 nights self-catering, 2* Emmanouel Studios, Lambi, from €629pp, depart August 26.  Dublin to Crete, 7 nights self-catering, 3* Golden Bay Apartments, Gournes, from €559pp, depart August 27. Dublin to Ibiza, 14 nights self-catering, 3* Casa Luis, Santa Eulalia, from €729p depart August 31. Cork to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering, 2* San Marcial, Matagorda,  from  €549pp, depart September 21. Shannon to Majorca, 7 nights all inclusive, 3* Hotel Haiti, Ca’n Picafort, from €569pp, depart September 2. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering, 3* Labranda Oasis Mango, Los Cristianos, from €469pp, depart September 8. Dublin to Ibiza, 14 nights self-catering, 2* Playa Sol Apartments, Es Cana, from €519pp, depart September 21. Visit or call1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 10pc early booking discount on 2018 trips to the US and Canada. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 9 nights all inclusive in the 5* Riu Lupita with Classic Resort, departure dates August-October.

Sunway offers: Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights B&B 3*-plus Hyde Park Lane Hotel, Puerto del Carmen, from €689pp, depart July 15. Dublin to the Algarve, 7 nights self-catering 2*-plus Bayside Salgados Apartments, Albufeira, from €399pp, depart July 14. Dublin to Las Vegas, 4 nights in the Circus Circus Hotel, from €479pp, departing December 2017. Dublin to New York & Bahamas, 1 night in Fitzpatrick’s and 7-night cruise from €1699pp, depart November 2017. Dublin to Orlando, 5 nights all inclusive at Club Med and 2 nights Cabana Bay, from €1199pp, depart November 2017. Dublin to San Francisco, 4 nights at the Good Hotel, from €729pp, November 2017. Dublin to Miami, 4 nights, Dorchester Hotel, from €899pp, depart September 2017. Dublin to Memphi, 5 nights, Memphis Crowne Plaza, from €959pp. Visit

Thomson offers: Dublin to Majorca, 7 nights self-catering 3* Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cala Bona, from €489pp, depart August 30. Dublin to Majorca, 14 nights self-catering 3* Mariners Club, Alcudia, from €619pp, depart August 30. Dublin to Lanzarote, 14 nights self-catering 3* Morromar Apartments, Matagorda, from €709pp, depart August 31. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 14 nights self-catering 2* Puerto Plata, Puerto Rico, from €709pp, depart August 24. Shannon to Costa Dorada, 14 nights half board 3* Golden Donaire Beach, La Pineda, from €749pp, depart August 25. Dublin to Bulgaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Silver Springs, Sunny Beach, from €449pp, depart September 18. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 4* Colon II, Playa De Las Americas, from €459pp, depart September 29.

Topflight offers: Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights self-catering 4* Belvedere Village, Castelnuovo del Garda, was €749 now €519pp (6 share), depart July 15. Dublin to Italy, 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Bristol, Cattolica, Adriatic Riviera, was €948 now €729pp, depart July 15. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B Hotel Villa Maria, Desenzano, was €1049 now €799pp, depart July 15. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, Giardini Naxos, was €1133 now €899pp, depart July 15. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4*-plus Hotel Bristol, was €1429 now €1199pp. Dublin to Madeira, 7 nights self-catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, Funchal, was €649 now €449pp (4 share), depart July 20. Dublin to Tuscany, 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Croce di Malta, Montecatini, was €1049 now €799pp, July 21. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights half board 4* Majestic Palace, Malcesine, was €849 now €749pp (Based on a family of 2 adults & 2 children), depart August 12. Lake Garda departures also available from Cork.

Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: Dublin to New York on Norwegian, 2 nights hotel and Woodbury Common weekend shopping break from €469pp, depart October 2017. Dublin to Orlando, 7 nights, from €479pp, depart September 14. Dublin to New York, 3 nights hotel, from €629pp, depart August 31. Dublin to Las Vegas. 4 nights, depart October 3. Dublin to Cancun, 7 nights all inclusive at the Now Jade Resort, from €1259pp, depart October 5. Dublin to Miami, 1 night in the city and 11 nights onboard Celebrity Eclipse, sharing an inside stateroom, from €1529, depart December 9. Dublin to Barcelona for 7-night Med cruise onboard MSC Meraviglia, including  €100 onboard spend, from €939pp, depart March 2, 2018. Visit

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 50pc off selected European and Asia itineraries, if booked and paid in full by July 31. Cruises include Enchanting Danube, 8 nights all inclusive, was €4229, now €2099, depart September 24. Visit or call 01 775 3803

What we learned

Why ancient Rome’s marine concrete structures are still standing more than 1,500 years after the last centurion snuffed it, thank you Marie Jackson, a geologist at the University of Utah.

Doha’s Hamad International Airport has “more than Scotch than Scotland” – thank you Akbar Al Baker, its CEO.



TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Get in line, Airport security has just got a whole lot worse


Colm McLoughlin and guests watch the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh, July 1 2017

Things to know about travel this week

  • PremAir has been sold to Aviareps
  • No laptop ban, but security queues will get longer
  • Norwegian takes to the air from Belfast, Cork and Dublin with Shannon to follow 
  • Trips from Ireland up 8.1pc in January-May. 
  • US charge d’affaires Reece Smyth shows irish language skills
  • Michael O’Leary says the future belongs to him
  • Dubai Duty Free hosts the trade on ractrack and golf course
  • Catch a falling teenager, a video tale from Albany
  • ITAA confirm Porto as venue for annual conference on October 13.
  • Travel Extra TIGS@The Castle confirmed for November 23

Travel Extra TV.

  • See Nice from the cockpit of an Emirates A380. Watch here.
  • This clever chimp has a taste for fizzy drinks. Watch here.
  • A group of tourists in Iceland decided to give kayaking a go. They didn’t get off to a great start. Watch here.
  • Reasons to drive 113 mile from Miami to Key West from Aer Lingus. Watch here.
  • Google’s chairman is a fan of the A380. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s introduction to traditional Irish music. Watch here.
  • The Empire State Building was lit up in the colours of Qatar Airways to mark 10 years of flying to the US. Watch here.
  • A group of zoo visitors were surprised to see an antelope tackle a giraffe. Watch here.
  • Watch here as a man catches a teenager who fell about 25 feet from the stopped Six Flags Sky Ride in Queensbury park, about 55 miles north of Albany NY, Saturday night.
  • Watch here a surfer thrown into the air by a wave.

Behind the Headlines

No, it is not just you. The lines are getting longer at Europe’s airports. Airlines emailed prospective passengers to want them to check in earlier. The problem is airport security, which has got a lot worse as the continent’s airports hit peak passenger levels. To make matter worse, the US department of Homeland Security John Kelly demanded increased security measures from airports and airlines in lieu of extending the laptop ban to all flights. He wants more swabbing ion laptops, vetting of airport security staff and sniffer dogs. The summer months are evidently going to have a large Q in them. Listen here to Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry speaking about the new security measures on RTE’s Morning Ireland and listen here to Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry on KFM radio.

The July print edition of Travel Extra examines wintersun options for 2017-8 focussing on the growth of Ireland’s growing holiday exodus to the Canary Islands which reached 465,203 last year.We report from the Paris air show where Irish buyers spent €30bn, the glittering launch of MSC Meraviglia, the cruise line’s largest ever ship, Volcano Bay in Orlando. Destination reviews include Thailand’s honeymoon islands, Doha, the latest direct destination from Dublin, Las Vegas through the eyes of Catherine Murphy who had never previously visited the city and the “fifth Canary” treasure that is La Gomera, We feature the riddle of row 33, Ryanair’s confusing new seat strategy, the prospect of expanded services to Istanbul from Turkish Airlines in 2018, Dublin airport’s record daily numbers, Dublin’s hotel pipeline and whether it will solve the bed shortage in the city, and plans for the third Irish Travel Trade Show in 2018 and the favourite holiday spot of Malaysia Air chief Peter Bellew. See online version here or check out the print editon in your agency.

Is fearr Gaeilge bhriste, ná Béarla cliste. Born in Ohio, raised in Texas, Reece Smyth the charge d’affaires at the US embassy started with an impressive Irish-language introduction to his independence day speech at the US ambassador’s residence in the Phoenix Park on Thursday (watch here). The embassy, awaiting a nominee from the new White House administration since Brian Burns withdrew his nomination, hosted 1,400 guests including many form the travel trade on a rainy Phoenix Park evening. Entertainment was provided by the Swing Cats, two flag parties presented the colours and rousing national anthems were sung by Sibéal Chasaide (watch here) and the Star Spangled Banner by male voice quartet Four in a Bar, (Shane Barriscale, Tristan Caldwell, Eoin Conway and Paul McGough, watch here). United Airlines chef Gerry McLoughlin, originally from Kevin St in Dublin but now resident in Chicago, flew in for the occasion. “I went to America for St Patrick’s Day in 1984, is it over yet? Picture shows the United Airlines team and catering friends at the event, Kevin Lennon of the Irish popcorn company with Clareanne Phillips of United Airlines, Amit Badiani acting Ireland manager of United Airlines, Gerry McLoughlin head chef of United Airlines, Massimo Larini of United Airlines and Beth Macaulay of the Irish popcorn company. Watch here video of event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Colm McLoughlin of Dubai Duty Free began a busy week of sports sponsorship at the Curragh yesterday where he hosted 350 people in the VIP hospitality tent at the Irish Derby. Later this week he will head north to Portstewart where the Irish Open takes place. Picture shows Dermot Mannion, former CEO of Aer Lingus and Royal Brunei with Eoghan Corry at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The Irish Travel Agents Association confirmed Porto as the venue for the annual conference on October 13, as first reported by Travel Extra. Antonio Padeira and Ana Celina Tavares will host the event on behalf of the Portuguese Tourist Board, the first time since 1999 that Portugal has hosted the conference. The 150 delegates have a choice of flights direct to Porto with Ryanair or a discounted Aer Lingus flight to Lisbon with a train journey to Porto. The autumn calendar looks somewhat less strenuous for suppliers and agents than last year’s intensive November, starting with the ITAA conference on October 13, Jonathan Adair’s NI Travel Awards on October 20, Dominc Burke’s Travel Centres conference on November 10, Carol Anne O’Neill’s Worldchoice conference on November 17, Travel Extra TIGS on November 23 and Michael Flood’s Irish Travel Trade News summit and awards on November 24.

The Travel Industry Golf Society AGM and outing at the Castle sponsored by travel Extra has been confirmed for November 23.

Travel Trade

Picture shows Yvonne Watson of Oasis Travel, Lisa Clarkson National Account Manager, Oceania, Tracy McLoughlin of Tour America, Dublin, Karen Kierans of Globe Travel, Drogheda, Deirdre Lehane of Tour America, Cork, and Louise Eaves of aboard the Oceania Insignia from Bordeaux to Dublin.

PremAir has been sold to Aviareps English operation. Eamon Flanagan says it is a positive development for Premair and its staff. Meanwhile it is business as usual

ATTS has been appointed GSA in Ireland for Flexible Autos.

Picture shows Caitriona Toner of American Airlines and leaders from Club Travel at the Robbie Williams concert.

Travelport say the new Travelport Fusion will enable airlines to launch a feature-rich mobile app in weeks and provide a sophisticated yet cost-effective mobile offering, whilst accentuating the airline brand on mobile. The market app solution includes flight search, booking, check-in, boarding, passport scanning and day of travel assistance via mobile. Travelport’s signed an agreement with Right Cars, one of the fastest-growing car rental brands in the industry. Based in Brighton, UK, the company operates in 23 countries, providing car rental services in more than 140 locations including airport terminals.

Sportstours launched a new website.

Belfast International Airport marked Thomas Cook‘s 2017 inaugural flight to Cancun, Mexico

Strange World

An elderly Chinese lady delayed a flight by throwing coins into the engine to ensure a safe flight.

  • A US passenger tried to open the door on Southwest Airlines Flight 4519 mid-flight to Houston.
  • Japanese airline Vanilla Air apologised to wheelchair user Hideto Kijima when he had to pull himself up the stairs after airline staff refused to allow his friends to carry him aboard.
  • Lisa Feinman, the owner of the lobster that went viral when posted by an airport official is not happy about its treatment by airport official
  • United Airlines won an injunction against Canadian Jeremy Cooperstock who runs, a parody of United’s official website. After being irked by a stock reply to a complaint he made in 1997, Cooperstock has collected 31,000 complaints from other United passengers and gives tips on how to complain or sue the airline.
  • A new island appeared off the coast of North Carolina with visitors warned to be wary of circling sharks and stingrays. Watch here.
  • US airport security started telling passengers to remove books from their carry-on bags
  • A Qantas passenger claimed she was asked by a flight attendant to look out the window and check on the engine on board a flight that was forced to turn back.
  • An Australian had the chip from his Opal travel card implanted under his skin
  • A passenger nominated Aegean for the dullest airline meal ever, a vegetarian Oriental option which consisted of a few slices of raw vegetables.


The price of a one-year tourist visa to India is set to change from $100 to $153, with charges for British passport holders up from $162 to $248. Nationals from Canada, Ireland, France, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand will now pay $459 instead of $300 for an employment visa from over a year and up to five years, British passport holder will pay $741 instead of $484.

  • Four Indian tourists and three local residents died when a cable car crashed down from a height of 30 metres in Gulmarg in Kashmir.
  • Söll, famous for the Skiwelt Skiing area has seen a growth of 20pc in summer visitors in the year that the town celebrates its 800th anniversary.
  • Euro Disney and Pierre et Vacances Group revealed their plans for a holiday park to open in August, Villages Nature Paris 5m from Disneyland Paris and 13km from Paris.
  • Riders were stuck hung upside-down for 45 minutes on the Smiler ride at Alton Towers. 
  • Los Angeles greenlit a $1.5bn museum of narrative art funded by star wars creator George Lucas

Food & Beverage

New proposals to restrict advertising and sponsorship will decrease the volume and value of cultural sponsorship by drinks companies, putting these partnerships and local cultural events around the country in jeopardy, according to Alcohol Beverage Federation Ireland

  • Voting is open now on for the fourth annual Irish Pubs Global Awards. The awards ceremony will be in the Mansion House in Dublin on October 10.
  • Salamanca has been bought by a private investor for €2.8m.
  • Dunnes Stores has introduced a Cook with Neven Maguire magazine.
  • Dublin Airport’s Marqette won food hall of the year at the FAB
  • English restaurant company the Ivy Collection is planning to open in Dublin next year.
  • JD Wetherspoon is set to start development work on its new €15 million ‘super pub on Camden St and 98-bedroom hotel in February 2018, with a projected opening date of early 2019.
  • Diageo launched a new Galway Gold beer to help raise funds for the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture programme.
  • The Westbury launched Elle Macpherson’s Super Elixir WelleCo Boosting Berry Smoothie at the Juicery


STR said occupancy rates in Dublin exceeded 90pc January to May 2017 and dropped below 70pc on 35 occasions. STR forecast the average daily rate of Dublin hotel rooms will rise to €150 by 2021, and occupancy rates to hit 85pc.

  • Premier Inn will update investors on Wednesday of their to acquire sites in Dublin 1 and Dublin 2 to build 1,500 new bedrooms.
  • The former Forster Court Hotel at Forster Street in Galway city will reopen at the end of July.
  • Tetrarch Capital is  to buy hotel sites 7-9 Parnell Place and 1-2 Deane Street from Cork City Council.
  • Associated Luxury Hotels International added The K Club, Cameron House in Scotland and The Belfry in England’s West Midlands to the “ALHI Golf Collection”
  • Harvey’s Point invested €1m in a conference centre, named The Garden Suite,, catering for a total of 4,000 delegates.
  • Hard Days Night Hotel Liverpool, has announced Stephen Fearnley as the new General Manager.
  • Hastings Group completed a £10 million renovation programme of six hotels.
  • Galway’s Skeffington Arms highlighted social media as one of the challenges facing business following pre-profit dip from €527,857 to €515,411.


Norwegian inaugural flights took off yesterday from Belfast, Cork and Dublin to Providence Rhode Island and today from Dublin and Shannon to Stewart International in upstate New York..Picture shows Lars Garde Captain, Diana Menzes Cabin Crew,  Robert Bjorkholm Co-pilot and Graham Keddie MD of Belfast International Airport. Norwegian Air International CEO Tore Jenssen said he is considering direct flights between Dublin and Asia if it can secure permission for overflights across Russia

  • Waterford based start-up Aer Southeast was prevented from selling tickets because it does not have a licence from the Commission for Aviation Regulation.
  • Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al Baker, who is due in Dublin this week, said the blockade of Qatar by some of its neighbours was having no adverse affect: In the past seven days, 510,949 passengers have flown from Hamad International Airport on board more than 2,900 flights. During the peak Eid-Al Fitr holiday period, 22-24 June, 49,794 of those passengers were joining flights directly from Doha.
  • It will be a winter of mixed fleet on Amsterdam and Paris routes. Air France are reduce Dublin to CDG from 5 to 4 daily with two flights from Air France, one by Hop and one by Cityjet. As reported last week by Travel Extra KLM are to increase Dublin Amsterdam from 2 to 5 daily with two from KLM and three by City Hopper with the possibility of some of the flights being served by 737.
  • Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary told the 500 delegates from 70 airlines at  Future Travel Experience conference in the RDS we own the future of travel – nobody is going to get remotely bloody close to us‘. He said that Ryanair will reach its limit and ‘tap out’ when it has 40pc of the European short haul market or 350m passengers a year. Other Michael O’Leary observations, Air France-KLM could be the next Alitalia, Ryanair Labs will ultimately dwarf Ryanair. Ryanair could be tempted by Max 10 at  the right price. Listen here to his full presentaiont.
  • VivaColombia became the latest budget carrier to express interest in so-called vertical seating, akin to perching on a bar stool,
  • Aer Lingus was named ninth best ailrine in the world and Ryanair fifth worst by flight delay compensation firm AirHelp. Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Qatar were the top three in the world. Ryanair was fifth worst after Bulgaria Air, Czech carrier SmartWings, Tunisair and England’s Monarch. AirHelp ranked the airlines according to a combination of their on-time performance, quality and service according to their Skytrax rating, and their efficiency in handling compensation claims. Kuwait was rated the world’s worst airport followed by Gatwick and Manchester.
  • Ryanair claimed there is no such thing as journalistic privilege as it sought to name the sources for Channel 4 Dispatches “Secrets from the Cockpit” programme, broadcast in August 2013.
  • Flybe will increase Cork to Cardiff to 3w over winter operating Tue, Thu, Su,
  • Strange goings on at Sion where flights for sale on the Skywork website are offering the same destinations that Powdair is proposing.
  • Bourgas flights were being blamed for data which showed Belfast International had an average delay time of over 20 minutes.
  • The first ever direct flight from Japan to Ireland, a golf charter with 240 Japanese operated by Japan Airlines, has sold out.
  • Avolon delivered a Boeing B737 MAX 8 to Malindo Air. AWAS delivered a Airbus A319 to Germania,
  • Minister Shane Ross is allocating €1.94m under the Regional Airports Programme: Donegal €22,500, Knock €1,109,430, Kerry    €769,537, Waterford €39,330
  • Nine Qatar Airways A320s arrived in Heathrow for use in the event of a planned 16-day strike due to start Saturday by some BA cabin crew.
  • Anna aero analysed the decision by Ryanair to add connecting flights at Milan Bergamo.
  • Belfast International Airport said the decision between the Conservative Party and the DUP to review Air Passenger Duty is a step in the right direction.
  • Pat Byrne said CityJet is actively pursuing two airline acquisitions.
  • Dublin Airport Authority is expecting 3.2m more passengers by 2020. Dublin Airport launched a new community fund
  • EU Internal Market for Aviation was described as the stand out achievement of the EU over last 25 years,
  • Peter Bellew observations this week, there is a future for A380 due to surprising charter demand, Thompson is developing new direct aisle access seat for 737.
  • Kellstrom aerospace group acquired vortex aviation


Norwegian Joy was named in Shanghai

  • Royal Caribbean is to host a third president’s cruise on Harmony of the Seas. Royal Caribbean’s next new ship will likely be called Spectrum of the Seas.
  • Model Lena Gercke named AIDAperla, the twelfth ship in the AIDA fleet in the harbour of Palma de Mallorca
  • Belfast Harbour reported a record £32m profit and plans to invest £105m to enhance its facilities in coming years
  • P&O cruises scrapped their future cruise deposit scheme
  • Hurtigruten unveils coastal USA. and Cnada voyages
  • Variety cruises Callisto motor yacht cancelled summer 2017 sailings because of damage.
  • Viking Ocean introduced a winter northern lights cruises
  • Three more Princess Cruise ships is to feature Carnival ocean medallion technology
  • Celebrity Cruises announced its new 2018/19 brochure for agents.
  • Celebrity Edge will feature a three-deck high Eden Lounge
  • Cruise & Maritime Voyages announced a series of child-friendly sailings from August 2017


From this weekend, all children under 12 will be admitted for free to all Heritage Sites managed by the OPW Heritage Service.

Ireland inbound January-May show Britain down 6.8pc, down on last year by 100,000   more than important source markets such as the Scandinavian countries or Netherlands. Overall figures are up 3pc, N America up 23.6pc.

  • Forty front line tourism representatives from across the city and county were honoured as Dublin Champions at a ceremony in The National Maritime Museum of Ireland.
  • A Cork convent which has undergone a €10m conservation and regeneration project is set to open as a heritage and visitor centre
  • Museum of Free Derry opened on the Bogside.
  • Six German media arrived in Ireland to take part in a press trip along the Wild Atlantic Way. Tour operators Eurotours, Sabtours,  AG Traveltrend, Cotravel and ThobaReisen from Germany, Austria and Switzerland also visited the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. Pictue shows the group at Ferhill House Hotel and Gardens in Clonakilty with Martin Canty, Fáilte Ireland.
  • Kilmainham Courthouse on its Best Conservation/Restoration Building award at the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) 2017 Architecture Awards
  • New artwork was unveiled at Drumglass Park as part of major refurbishment project
  • Keynote address at the Kennedy Sumer School will be by Bob Shrum and RTE’s Washington Correspondent Caitriona Perry.
  • Gobbins Cliff Path reopened as the repair bill rose to £800k
  • Tourism Ireland announced the appointment of Louise Finnegan as Head of Business Partnership
  • Cork City launched a free pocket-sized brochure with a print run of 40,000 highlighting’s top tourist attractions
  • Nasa astronaut Dan Tani rang the Tap Tavern in Kinsale from the ISS
  • Killarney National Park retained reserve status.

Deal Watch

Falcon offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Alzinar Mar, Ca’n Picafort, Majorca from €619pp, depart August 26. 7 nights self catering 3* Casa Luis, Santa Eulalia, Ibiza from €495pp, depart August 31. 14 nights all inclusive Hotel Haiti, Ca’n Picafort, Majorca from €999pp, depart July 19. 7 nights self catering 3* Ola Apartamentos Bouganvillia, Santa Ponsa, Majorca from €499pp, depart September 13. 7 nights self catering 2* Lanzarote Paradise Club, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €499pp, depart Shannon September 25. 7 nights self catering 3* Punta Del Rey, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €449pp, depart September 28. 7 nights B&B 3* Amfitriti Hotel & Syudios, Pefkos, Rhodes from €439pp, depart August 30. 7 nights self catering 2* Emmanouel Studios, Kos Town from €429pp, depart August 26. 14 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou from €759pp, depart Knock July 25. 14 nights half board 3* Hotel Cala Font, Cap De Salou from €849pp, depart Cork August 29.

Visit or call1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 8 days Greece from €2,039pps. Book by July 31, depart August 26. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 7 nights Danube river cruise from €1,999pps, depart November 6. 4 nights 5* Netherlands river cruise on board MS Jane Austen from €1,039pp, depart April 4 2018. 11 days The Douro, Oporto and Salamanca river cruise with Lisbon from €2,418pp, travel October or May to November 2018.

Sunway offers: 9 nights Imperial Highlights tour from €1,409pp, depart September 1. 7 nights full board Danube river cruise from €1,979pp, depart November 6. 8 days Cuba tour from €1,479pp, depart September 30. 7 nights Sandpiper Bay, Florida from €3,980 2+2, depart September 2. 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Hotel, Kusadasi from €359pps, depart June 24 2018. 3 nights Dubai Rugby 7s from €765pp, travel November. 4 nights Las Vegas from €479pp, travel December. 7 nights Western Mediterranean fly-cruise on board Norwegian Epic from €1,355pp, depart October 8. 4 nights Italy & France fly-cruise on board Silver Spirit from €1,350pp, depart November 11. 9 nights Las Vegas, Miami & eastern Caribbean fly-cruise on board Enchantment of the Seas from €1,375pp, depart October 4. Visit

Thomson offers: 14 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou from €699pp, depart Knock July 25. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou from €659pp, depart Shannon August 25. 7 nights half board Hotel Cala Bona, Cala Bona, Majorca from €525pp, depart August 26. 7 nights self catering Pefki Islands Resort, Pefkos, Rhodes from €469pp, depart August 30. 7 nights B&B Roda Oasis, Roda, Corfu from €459pp, depart August 25. 7 nights B&B Katerina Palace Hotel, Argassi, Zakynthos from €499pp, depart August 29. 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cala Bona, Majorca from €569pp, depart Cork August 29. 7 nights half board Hotel Barcelo, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €689pp, depart September 8. 7 nights self catering Driades Apartments, Hersonissos, Crete from €569pp, depart September 3. 7 nights self catering Park Plaza Verudela Apartments, Pula, Croatia from €709pp, depart September 23. 7 nights full board Mediterranean cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €1,039pp, depart August 29.

Topflight offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Eddy, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €599pps, depart July 15. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Principe Palace, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €969pps, depart July 22. 7 nights self catering 4* Villaggio San Francesco, Caorle from €699pps, depart July 15. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Ninfea, Cattolica, The Adriatic Riviera from €669pps, depart July 15. 7 nights half board  4* Hotel Madison, Cattolica, The Adriatic Riviera from €869pps, depart August 5. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel de France from €684pps, depart July 22. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €899pps, depart July 15. 7 nights half board 4* ATAHotel Naxos Beach, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €1,020pps, depart August 5. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Vello d’Oro, Taormina, Sicily from €649pps, depart July 15. Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 5 nights Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €489pp, depart December 2. 7 nights Rosen Inn International Hotel, Orlando from €629pp, depart October 26. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Cancun Hotel, Mexico from €1,189pp, depart November 13. 7 nights Med fly-cruise on board MSC Meraviglia from €829pp, depart January 5 2018. 12 nights Arab Emirates and India fly-cruise on board Celebrity Constellation from €2,299pp, depart March 11 2018. 9 nights fly-cruise Orlando and Caribbean on board Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas from €1,349pp, depart November 9. Visit

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Danube river cruise on board SS Maria Theresa from €2,539pps. Book by July 31, depart September 24. Visit or call 01 775 3803


TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Le $30bn shopping spree, Irish air heads spend big at Paris air show.


Things to know about travel this week

  • Irish aviation’s 30bn spending spree in Paris
  • Dublin airport’s new record, 102,000 passengers in one day
  • KLM to stay 5 daily on Dublin Amsterdam in winter, and use B737
  • Dublin-Southend back on the departure board
  • Delta/AF/KLM BBQ with chicken on the menu and hens among the guests
  • TIGS in Straffan
  • Etihad to end chauffeur service
  • Thailand on show to TTM delegates
  • Komodo dragon turns out to impress travel trade in Bali
  • Qatar best Emirates at Skytrax awards
  • Stuttgart’s finest, Volker Lorenz, will stay in Ireland after leaving Amadeus

Travel Extra TV

  • Here are the highlights from Airbus’s flying display at Paris Air Show. Watch here.
  • Qatar Airways posted highlights from the launch of its Dublin to Doha daily service. Watch here.
  • BA posted a guide to New York with US journalist Dan Rookwood. Watch here.
  • Take a look at Tourism Ireland’s promotion for the Causeway coastal route. Watch here.
  • Etihad celebrated its Skytrax awards. Watch here.
  • These  paddle-boarders got up close and personal with some orcas. Watch here.
  • Have you even seen a squid on a surfboard? Watch here.
  • Grange Stone Circle in Lough Gur, County Limerick played host to a dawn greening for the summer solstice. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Boeing’s new Max 10 was king of the bling unveiled at Paris Air Show, which fired up the engines with characteristic swagger this week. Boeing’s Ray Conner (Tipperary ancestry) celebrated his last air show by topping John Leahy (Kilkenny ancestry) and Airbus for the first time since 2012, order commitments from Boeing were 766 and Airbus 331, excluding 229 order conversions announced during the show, and $58m-$25bn in sales (and re-announcements, some deals were being aired for the second or even third time round, in fact letters of intent and MoUs tend to outweigh actual orders).  Just under half of the buyers were from Ireland with Clare ordering 225 aircraft (ahead of the Munster hurling final) and Dublin 160. The option to convert to the Max 10 was floated by Domhnal Slattery’s Avolon as it ordered 75 single-aisle B737 Max 8 aircraft and options to acquire an additional 50, bringing the fleet to 925. Aengus Kelly’s AerCap ordered another 30 Boeing 787-9 making it the largest customer for the Dreamliner. Gecas placed an order for 100 A320neo bringing its A320 fleet to 600. CDB Aviation, based in St Stephen’s Green, ordered 42 737 MAX 8s, 10 737 MAX 10s and eight 787-9 Dreamliners. Viva Air, founded and backed by Declan Ryan, ordered 50 A320’s for Viva Colombia and Viva Peru. Ryanair used the air show to highlight their purchase of ten Boeing 737 Max 200 jets. John Mulligan estimated the Irish spending spree at the show at $30bn, without the discounts everyone knows they are getting. Watch here Pilots Warm Up for Paris Airshow 2017. Watch here Lockheed Martin’s F-35A Flying Display at Paris. Watch here the new Boeing 737 MAX 10. Watch here new aircraft at the show.

Anyone with an interest in the finer points of the industry can acquaint themselves with a variety of products from “DryCleaning” an aircraft with no water, to a self locking nut. In fact almost every single facet of aviation is covered at the event The majority of visitors come to see the big ticket aircraft types. The Paris (and Farnborough) shows have traditionally launched new aircraft types and the public get to view these new types up close. This year was no exception. Visitors got a chance to see some of the latest new aircraft types up close and personal including Airbus‘s A350-100, A321NEO, Boeing‘s B737 MAX 9, B787-10, Embraer E195E2, Sukhoi SSJ100, and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet 90. Of course it was not all civil aircraft. Noise and excitement was provided by, among others, the new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning flown by company test pilot Billie Flynn. A stunning, albeit very noisy display was flown by the Dassault Rafale C of the French Air Force. If noise, after-burners, steep climbs and fast turns do not excite you, the sight of a small electric plane, the extra 330LE towing a glider and releasing it to soar gracefully in silence above the crowds might just be your cup of tea. As the 2017 show comes to an end, it was time to sit back relax and tend to the sunburn and weary feet.

Volker Lorenz will remain in Ireland after deciding to leave his positon as Amadeus chief in Dublin to look for a new challenge after 12 very successful years with Amadeus. I have recently been involved in the IAG Negotiations for Amadeus and this project has now ended, so it is a good time to look for a new venture. After 23 years in Ireland I have no plans to move anywhere. For the summer he will be taking a bit of time off and will enjoy various beaches and pools around Europe. Volker grew up near Stuttgart and became hooked on Ireland after encountering Irish fans at Euro 88. After joining Lufthansa in global contact centre management he became MD for the main European call centre for Lufthansa located in East Point in Dublin. He joined Amadeus in May 2005, and among his big projects was the launch of m-Power on top of the day job.

Einar Adalsteinsson was the unlikely Déise hero as he introduced a new airline to serve three routes from Waterford to Birmingham 3w, Luton 5w and Manchester 3w. Aer Southeast is, a subsidiary of Slovenia crew training and airworthiness management company Aer Lipican (website). They also intend serving the Irish charter market. Waterford has been without commercial service since now-bankrupt Belgian airline VLM withdrew in mid-2016. it was recently awarded a 1m grant from the Department of Transport for safety and security upgrades. It can also access an additional e870,000 once scheduled services are resumed. Aer Southeast will use Saab 340 S5-BBS 33-34 seater aircraft, of which one was mocked up with a logo for the website. Ticket prices to all destinations will start from €79 one-way.

Qatar Airways regained top spot from Emirates in the annual (and controversial) awards run by Singapore-based ratings company Skytrax (both have won four times). Aer Lingus retained its much flaunted four-star staus, climbing 11 places to 38th at the awards, which took place at Paris air show and placed Qatar ahead of perennial rivals Singapore (three times champions), ANA and Cathay (three times champions). Nine airlines won five star status. The top ten:  1 Qatar, 2 Singapore, 3 ANA, 4 Emirates, 5 Cathay Pacific, 6 EVA Air, 7 Lufthansa, 8 Etihad, 9 Hainan. 10 Garuda Indonesia, Etihad won best first class, Qatar best business class, Thai best economy class, AirAsia best low-cost airline, Bangkok Airways best regional airline, Eva Air the cleanest cabins, Emirates best in flight entertainment and Garuda best cabin crew. Turkish Airlines won best business class airline lounge, best business class onboard catering and best business class lounge dining. Seat awards went to Etihad for first class, Qatar for business class, Qantas for premium economy and Japan Airlines for economy.  Best airline in Europe was Lufthansa.

One year on since Britain voted to exit the EU, Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry spoke to business site about why Michael O’Leary is right to worry that post-Brexit flyers could be back “chasing the boats”. Read here.

Travel Trade

Social highlights of Thailand Travel Market 2017 in Chiang mai included the Centara Event at Khum Phaya (watch here) and the Hmong Hill tribe experience (watch here). A party on Phi Phi island (watch here) and a boat trip to the iconic Maya Bay on Phi Phi (watch here). For the high jinks of the post-TTM Island hopping trip to Phuket by British and Irish travel trade and media watch here. Picture shows Brendan Barry of Discover Travel with Chris Lee of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra at Paradise Koh Yao and Tree House Villas on Koh Yao, Phuket.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

KLM‘s Dublin to Amsterdam service will remain five daily for winter and a B737-800 will replace the Embraer on one of the rotations. The news was delivered by Siobhan Scanlon, country manager for AF/DL/KLM at the airline group’s fifth annual summer barbecue. They hosted 163 agents on Friday night in the Trinity Capital Hotel with chicken on the grill and hens in the audience. The guests included a hen party for one of four brides-to-be currently on the FCM team (pictured) Clair Delaney. Emma McDonnell, Danielle Smyth and Roz Drew. Big prize winners on the night included Rachel McAnespie of American Holidays who won the Delta tickets, Dajana Szekeres of USIT Travel who won the Air France tickets, Reneta Pereira of RCSI who won the KLM prize, Sarah Jane Jones of Cassidy Travel who won the Transavia prize and Deirdre Gunn of American Holidays who won the Platinum Services prize. The event included a series of quiz questions designed to raise awareness of Air France, Delta, KLM and Dublin Airport product. One great unanswered question on the night is how did Lisa and Maureen McAuley of FCM ending up wearing similar tops? Watch here interview with Siobhan ScanlonWatch here speech by Edel Redmond of Dublin airport. Watch here speech by Siobhan Scanlon.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Eimear Farrell and Paul Dawson were the winners from a field of 62 golfers at the TIGS President’s Day outing to the Smurfit Course at the K Club, where Paul shot what Gordon Penney described as an amazing score of 44 points playing off 16. Picture shows the winners with TIGS president Peter O’Hanlon, TIGS captain Martin Skelly and Beatrice Cosgrove, Ireland country manager of sponsors Etihad. Watch here video of the event including another classic Peter O’Hanlon golf joke. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Picture shows Deborah Harris from Belfast International Airport and Michael O’Neill, Station Manager, celebrating the tenth anniversary of Jet2holidays out of Belfast with a cake which was handed out to departing customers. and Jet2holidays also celebrated four route anniversaries from Belfast, the 10th anniversary of its Majorca and Ibiza routes, and fifth anniversary of Alicante and Faro.  The airport has handled 800,000 and Jet2holidays customers.

Picture shows Douglas Hastings and Travel Counsellors Ireland General Manager, Cathy Burke at the Travel Counsellors Ireland mini-conference at Dunboyne Castle, where the company’s latest training resource, TC coach was unveiled. The my TC app 2.1, wil be released in the coming months with personalised information, real time flight information and accommodation reviews. Cathy Burke says Travel Counsellors has invested €4.8m in technology in the past year, Tyrone born Jim Eastwood moderated a panel discussion with Sherry Meagle, Mary Foyle, Sharon Tiernan-Murphy and Brenda Murray-Flynn. The mini-conference was sponsored by MSC Cruises, G Adventures and Emirates Airline with the evening meal and fun quiz sponsored by Turkish Airlines. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel folk aren’t used to being on the menu, but that was the fate facing the European media pack who came face to face with the dreaded Komodo dragon, one of the few lizards that are harmful to humans. After the Bali and Beyond Travel Fair, they were treated to a Garuda flight from Denpasar in Bali to the Komodo International Airport, an hour and a half away on Flores island. They were in the capable hands of the guides from locally based Komodo Tours, who showed them the sights of Flores, including the Mirror Cave, which rose up from under the sea about 1m years ago. Flores is something island – a place that looks more like a Caribbean island than, well, the Caribbean itself. Frederick Horipun from Komodo Tours explained that reggae rules on the tiny island. “No woman, no cry is our anthem,” he told Travel Extra. Indeed, the view from the island’s Paradise Bar is pure Caribbean – think St Lucia, except with the local beer, Bintang, and potent firewater, Arak (think poitin meets grappa).

It was like something from King Kong’s Skull Island as the group took an early-morning boat, complete with Nile-style deck cabins, from Flores to Komodo National Park. The first stop en route was to lonely Padar island, remote and untouristy, and home to the odd dragon. It’s not the kind of place where you’d expect to feet a fellow Irishman, but the Irish do have a tendency to get everywhere.  And it was on top of a mountain where we bumped into Loughrea man Alan McGrath. Taking a career break from the Defence Forces, the nephew of Minister Finian McGrath is packing in as much of Indonesia and the Far East as possible during a two-year career break.

And then on to the dragons themselves, at Komodo island. They look lazy and slow, but they will take a bite out of you, and death from venom and disease could be just hours away. Indeed, the rangers on the island told of the last biting victim – Lon Lee Alle, a 50-year-old Singaporean touris, was attacked by a dragon. He survived,  but his left leg was severely injured. That was in May. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Closing event at the Bali & Beyond trade fair (watch here) and a close encounter with a Komodo dragon (watch here)

  • Intercontinental Hotel GM Nicky Logue will host the annual Skal summer barbecue on Tuesday 11th July. Meet at 18.00 for BBQ at 18.30Hrs, members €30, guests €35.
  • Europcar is to boost its presence in low-cost market with a Goldcar deal
  • The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota is promoting special offers through the trade to celebrate their 25th Anniversary.
  • The Munster travel golf society, STAGS have an outing in Douglas Golf Course Cork on Friday August 11 at 3pm, home club of Noel McAuliffe and Paul Dawson.

Strange World

Julia Buckley decried the new social media travel phase- taking a picture of your exposed rear in a famous place.

  • Five English army guardsmen faint during the trooping of the colour in Buckingham Palace, during England’s hottest day in 40 years.
  • Ocean Conservancy said it removed 1.86m cigarette butts, 56 toilets and a piano from beaches and waterways around the world.
  • Genoa airport lifted the liquids ban for pesto (and only pesto genovese), provided passengers make a donation to a local children’s charity.


Irish tourism numbers to Spain in April were up 44pc on April 2016 to 181.271.  Figures for the first four months of the year were up 17.7pc, according to Spain’s Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica.

Irish Tourism Numbers to Portugal were up 19,5pc in April and bed nights also up 20.6pc making Ireland the third fastest growing market after Brazil and the US, according to Portugal’s Instituto Nacional de Estatisticas. The dominant Algarve market was up 14.2pc and bednights 16.3pc; Porto, where ITAA Conference will be held, up 68.2pc and bednights up 72.8pc; Centro up 27,9pc and bednights 71.9pc; Lisbon up 22.2pc and bednights 24.6pc; Madeira up 20pc and bednights up 25.4pc and Alentejo up 14.2pc and bednights up 16.3pc.

Spanish bullfighter Ivan Fandino was gored to death after tripping on a cape, the second Spanish matador to die in the ring in the past year. After Victor Barrio was killed after being gored by a bull last July.

  • Uber reversed its longstanding policy in allowing tips for drivers as founder Travis Kalanick resigned as chief executive after months of chaos.
  • China based Young Pioneer Tours (“budget trips to destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from”)  is reconsidering sending North America tourists to North Korea following the death of Otto Warmbier,  see statement on website.
  • The passport office said 65,916 outstanding applications are not affecting waiting times of 14 working days for renewals and 20 days (four weeks) for first time applicants. Applications in May are up 7.6pc, British applicants for Irish passports so far this yeat up 55pc.
  • TravelBird’s 2017 beach price index showed suncream is most expensive when bought from beaches in the Seychelles, costing €25.12 for a 200ml bottle.

Food & Beverage

Details were announced of Food On The Edge symposium (website) in Galway on October 9 and 10.

  • Teeling Whiskey Distillery will host the “Spirit of Dublin Summer Craft Fair” on Saturday July 8.
  • English based travel trade organisation ABTA urged the Westminster government to close a legal loophole which allows bogus food poisoning claims against all inclusive resorts by holiday makers, which could lead to a ban on English holiday makers. TUI recorded 15 times more illness claims in 2016 than in previous years.
  • Entries are open until August 1 for the fifth Irish Whiskey Awards in 20 categories at the newly refurbished Jameson Distillery on Thursday October 19.
  • Voting opened here for the Irish street food awards.


Nama is to sell Dublin’s Gibson Hotel for €80m.

Fingal County Council started enforcement action against the owner of a property in Malahide following complaints the house was being used exclusively for short-term lettings on Airbnb.

Hastings Group said the 304-bedroom Belfast Grand Central Hotel will open on the first week of June, 2018.

Daithí Downey of Dublin City Council told the Oireachtas Committee on Housing that 48pc of Airbnb rentals in Dublin city are available more than 90 days a year. There are 5,300 rentals in Dublin city and 6,700 in Dublin county. The average number of days per year that a “highly available” listing is booked for is 132 days, with entire homes being taken for 236 days.

  • Family Vacation Critic named Dromoland Castle the best Hotel for Families in Europe.
  • A £2m refurbishment began at Galgorm Resort and Spa in Co Antrim.
  • Cork City Council are planning a budget hotel and hostel for three buildings it intends to sell at Parnell Place
  • McKeever group purchased Antrim’s Dunadry hotel from the Mooney Group.
  • Marriott joined competitors in extending its cancellation deadline from 24 to 48 hours
  • Skift estimated that TripAdvisor non-hotel revenue could reach a third of the total by 2020.
  • The Residence on Stephen’s Green halved its pre-tax losses in 2015 to €150,030
  • Arrivals by Travel Extra’s hard working team of travel writers this week include Le Coral beyond Phuket (watch here), Holiday Inn Chiang Mai (watch here), the Racha Koh Racha (watch here), Paradise Koh Yao (watch here), Phi Phi Island Village (watch here).


Dubln airport handled a record number of passengers in a single day, 102,000 last Sunday June 18 2017. The airport has four days over 100,000 so far this year and the record is likely to  be broken again in the coming weeks.

Stobart Air’s new Dublin to London Southend Airport route under the Flybe brand with an Embraer 195 leased from Flybe will operate up to three flights per day, commencing October 29, part of a three-year growth strategy which includes a €25m investment, 60 new jobs and the addition of two new Embraer E195s jet aircraft to its fleet. Lead in fares start at €29.99 one way, including taxes and charges.

Ryanair’s purchase of 10 more Boeing 737 Max 200 aircraft, five to deliver in the first half of 2019, and five in the first half of 2020, offers 197 seats per flight compared with 189 at present. The Max will reduce fuel consumption by 16pc and reduce noise emissions by 40pc. The order is on top of the existing firm order for 100 Max 200s (and 100 options), allow Ryanair to grow its traffic to 200m customers by 2024.

Shannon Group’s International Aviation Services Centre and DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs are partnering with Boeing and Datalex to assist new start-up aviation and travel tech companies at Shannon.

  • Heatwave in south-western US causes flight cancellations, limited sales on flights which are still running, and reductions in amount of luggage carried.
  • The Business Travel Coalition urged the EU to block booking fees from BA and Lufthansa.
  • Heathrow Express has partnered with British Airways to launch €15 ticket for British Airways’ day tripper passengers.
  • Everest hotelier conqueror John Burke and his wife Aoibhín led 2,000 runners and walkers at the Bank of Ireland Night Run at Shannon Airport.
  • Norwegian confirmed the first 737 MAX delivery date for June 29. Bjorn Kos said at Paris Air Show Norwegian’s partnerships would be in Paris Charles de Gaulle and Gatwick with Easyjet and in Ireland for Ryanair. He said he expected two hours would be plenty for transfer times.
  • GECAS signed signed a commitment letter to create a US2bn global aircraft financing platform with CDPΩ.
  • Peter Bellew’s Malaysia is nearing an A330Neo Deal
  • Vladislav Masalov of Sukhoi told Flight Global that CityJet’s use of the SuperJet is expected to stir interest among other carriers.
  • Nicholas Davis’s Sion based virtual airline Powdair plans to apply for an Irish air operator’s certificate, operate using two wet-leased Embraer 170 and fly from Dublin to Sion for winter 2017-8.
  • Tony Fernandes said in Paris that AirAsia now has no intention of returning to London or even Europe (he had negotiaed with Dublin airport in the past). We will stick to the 8 to 9 hours. Our focus will be Asia, with the odd route like Hawaii which is actually 8 hours from Japan. We let the full service guys fight it out over Europe. Many of them bleeding so much.
  • Analysis by Ralph Anker’s Anna Aero listed three countries with the highest proportion of international seats provided by home-based carriers  Iceland 80.0%pc, Turkey 78.6%pc and, Ireland 77.7pc.  Towards the other end of the range, 19.5pc of seats to/from Spain, and 13.4pc to/from Italy, are on home-based carriers.
  • Failte Ireland’s new tourism facts release show that 23pc of North American visitors arrive via Britain and 22pc via Mainland Europe, with 53pc arriving on direct trans-Atlantic flights.
  • TrueNoord closed a financing facility for two Embraer E190 aircraft leased by Air Astana
  • Aer Lingus awarded Dublin Aerospace a five year landing gear contract
  • Aergen launched a new website.
  • Bombardier Belfast’s pay dispute ended.
  • is planning a one off Belfast – Newark flight.
  • Catherine Deane of McCann FitzGerald was named Best in Aviation at the European Women in Business Law Awards.
  • Hemmed in? Qatar Airways launched a video: no borders, only horizons (watch here).
  • Icelandair cited research showing four in ten air passengers regard the flight as wasted time and 78pc say cabin crew can make or break their journey. Passengers can now change their boarding pass for an Icelandair stopover pass.
  • Gavin Haines of the English Daily Telegraph declared a ”secret button” underneath the armrest, towards the back of the seat that allows passengers sitting in aisle seats to adjust what appears to be a fixed armrest: about as much use as a wallet full of drachma.
  • Dublin Airport is inviting tenders to research and develop new techniques to keep wildlife off the airfield.
  • Luke Ming Flanagan engaged in twitter banter with Aer Lingus after branding them #chancers.


Avalon Waterways launched its 2018 brochure, and a newly designed website with trade portal, backed by a mainstream TV ad campaign, to raise awareness of the brand.

  • Stena Line is offering savings up to €175 on their summer holiday this June and July with Haven holidays four and seven night breaks.
  • Celebrity Cruises Caribbean shore excursions are offering complimentary cocktails and local delicacies, with the added treat of $300 on-board spending money.
  • CMV announced a series of child-friendly sailings, from August 2017.
  • American cruise lines launched American Constellation.
  • Antarctica XXI ordered a new polar vessel.
  • Ritz-Carlton announced new cruising yachts to launch in 2019
  • Viking Ocean named their cruise ship Viking Sky
  • Emerald Waterways’ newest ship, Emerald Radiance, was named in Portugal
  • Seabourn announced their new 2018-2019 itineraries including cruises to Asia.
  • Celebrity Cruises marked the keel laying of Celebrity Edge
  • Former NBA star Yao Ming and his wife are to name the new Princess cruise ship
  • Tropical storm Cindy affected cruise ship itineraries in the Caribbean.


Bleeperbike is to introduce a stationless bike-sharing scheme in Dublin city centre over the weekend despite a warning by Dublin City council it may remove the bikes from the streets Users log onto an app to find the nearest bike, that has GPS beacons fitted, and lock it up when they’re done.

  • Conor McMahon reported from a bizarre press conference with Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave, who suggested that financial technology conference Moneyconf could some day become a 20,000-person event in Dublin.
  • English pop-rock stars Scouting For Girls have been confirmed to perform at the closing ceremony of the Irish Open at Portswtewart on Sunday July 9.
  • Dingle based Brendan Griffin was appointed new Minister of State for Transport, Tourism & Sport by Taoiseach (and former tourism minister) Leo Varadkar.
  • Shannon Heritage losses doubled to €400,000 in 2016.
  • The warm weather brought out the comedians. Picture is from the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth.

Deal Watch

Falcon offers: 14 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou, Costa Dorada from €789pp, depart Knock July 25. 7 nights half board 3* California Apartments, Salou, Costa Dorada from €579pp, depart Cork September 5. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €649pp, depart August 25. 7 nights B&B 3* Sellas Hotel & Apartments, Sidari, Corfu from €459pp, depart August 25. 7 nights self catering 3* Ambavris I, Kos Town from €419pp, depart August 26. 7 nights self catering 3* Poseidon Apartments, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €429pp, depart August 28. 14 nights B&B 3* Cassablanca Hotel, Santa Ponsa, Majorca from €959pp, depart July 19. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €519pp, depart Shannon September 4. 7 nights self catering 2* Playa Sol Apartments, Es Cana, Ibiza from €419pp, depart September 28. Visit or on 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 10 days Germany tour from €2,369pps. Depart August 18. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 8 nights Sol Principe Hotel, Costa del Sol from €599pp, depart October 9. 7 nights half board Hotel Kaktus Albir, Costa Blanca from €869pp, depart October 16. 3 nights B&B accommodation Iceland from €579pp, depart October 12.

Sunway offers: 8 nights Switzerland tour from €2,150pp, depart September 30. 7 nights full board 5* Danube river cruise from €2,035pp, depart November 1. 10 days Vietnam tour from €1,529pp, depart October 10. 7 nights all inclusive Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from €1,527pp, depart September 4. 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Hotel, Kusadasi from €399pps, depart July 1. 7 nights self catering 2* Monte Verde Apts, Gran Canaria from €549pp, depart July 1. 7 nights self catering 2* Los Mocanes Apts, Gran Canaria from €639pp, depart July 8.  4 nights Las Vegas for Conor McGregor v Mayweather UFC fight from €765pp, travel August. 3 nights Duba Rugby 7 package from €939pp, travel November. 10 nights Western Caribbean cruise and stay on board Oasis of the Seas, depart September 28. 8 nights Fort Lauderdale and Virgin Islands fly-cruise on board Allure of the Seas from €1,325pp, depart October 28. Visit

Thomson offers: 7 nights self catering Mayflower Apartments, Tingaki, Kos from €419pp, depart August 26. 7 nights self catering Cosmos Maris, Lardos, Rhodes from €419pp, depart August 26. 7 nights self catering Cosmos Maris, Lardos, Rhodes rom €419pp, depart August 30. 7 nights self catering Ionian Blue Studios, Kalamaki, Zakynthos from €479pp, depart August 29. 7 nights B&B Jupiter Hotel, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €439pp, depart August 28. 14 nights half board Hotel Son Baulo, Ca’n Picafort, Majorca from €889pp, depart July 26. 7 nights half board H10 Salou Princess, Salou, Costa Dorada from €929pp, depart Knock July 25. 7 nights B&B Hesperia Lanzarote, Puerto Calero, Lanzarote from €709pp, depart Cork August 31. 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cal Bona, Majorca from €549pp, depart Shannon August 26. 7 nights self catering Jardin Del Sol, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €459pp, depart September 28. 7 nights full board Mediterranean cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €929pp, depart July 25.

Topflight offers: 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Senior, Adriatic Riviera, Cattolica from €549pps, depart July 1. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Ninfea, Adriatic Riviera, Cattolica from €569pps, depart July 8. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Villa Linda, Sicily, Giardini Naxos from €599pps, depart July 1. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €599pps, depart July 9. 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Hermitage, Sorrento from €669pps, depart July 2. 7 nights self catering 3* Ambassador Suite Apartments, Lake Garda, Riva from €599pps, depart July 8. 7 nights self catering 4* Belvedere Village, Lake Garda, Castelnuovo from €699pps, depart July 8. 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Riva, Lake Garda from €769pps, depart July 1. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Cambridge, Venetian Riviera, Lido di Jesolo from €863pps, depart July 1. Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 7 nights Orlando from €469pp, travel February 2018. 3 nights New York and 3 nights Las Vegas from €659pp, travel February 2018. 3 nights New York and 7 nights Orlando from €689pp, travel February 2018. 3 nights New York City and 3 nights Boston from €819pp, travel February 2018. 7 nights Baltic Capitals fly-cruise on board MSC Preziosa form €649pp, depart September 22. 12 nights France, Italy and Greek island cruise on board Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas from €1,349pp, depart October 28. 10 nights Dubai and the Emirates fly-cruise from €1,529pp, depart November 27. 9 nights Orlando and Caribbean fly-cruise from €1,059pp, depart February 26 2018. Visit

Travel Department is offering 7 nights B&B 4* accommodation, Sorrento Coast from €699pp, depart July 3. Click here or call 01 637 1600.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering an 8 day Danube river cruise on bard SS Maria Theresa from €2,699pps. Book by June 30, depart October 22. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned

Less than 10pc of world’s population has flown in an aircraft. China has built over 115 new airports over the past twenty-five years, going from 94 airports to over 210.


TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement Dippity Doha, Qatar Airways join Dublin’s burgeoning departures board


Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry Kayaking on the LIttle Blackwater river during the IPW 2017 post-famil to Maryland’s Atalntic Coast and Chesapeake Bay, June 7-11 2017


Things to know about travel this week

  • Dublin-Doha commences with connection options to grow
  • Teflon Thailand continues to grow tourism despite death of king
  • Bali celebrates its hinterland
  • Eamonn Brennan becomes DG of Eurocontrol
  • BA’s £80m IT headache

Travel Extra TV

  • To celebrate Father’s Day, Emirates posted a short video about two brothers that decided to follow in their father’s footsteps and became Boeing 777 pilots. Watch here.
  • Stunning shots of a heavy fog covering the Grampians in Victoria, Australia. Watch here.
  • Can you ‘skimboard’ like this border collie? Watch here.
  • Highlights from Airbus of the first A320neo delivery to Easyjet. Watch here.
  • BA has posted a series of guides to New York City. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s ad for golfing on the island. Watch here.
  • Traditional musicians Daoirí Farrell, Geoff Kinsella and Robbie Walsh entertained passengers with an impromptu session when a flight from Newcastle to Dublin was delayed by two hours. Watch here.
  • A camera on a weather balloon over Newark, NY near Rochester, NY (not Newark NJ) captured footage of DL159 passing just 500 feet above. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Was it coincidence that Qatar Airways inaugural flight from Doha to the Guinness capital had the registration number A7-ALE? Qatar sent senior vice president for Europe Jonathan Harding to shrug off questions about the blockade of the country by its Middle eastern neighbours amid a gate ceremony attended by Niall Gibbons CEO of Tourism Ireland. Picture shows Niall Gibbons, CEO, Tourism Ireland  pictured with Jonathan Harding, Qatar Airways SVP Europe and Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison at the launch of the inaugural Dublin to Doha route at Dublin Airport. Although an A350 was used on the inaugural flight, the route will be served by a 254-seat 787 in 22-232 configuration. Following the Dublin launch, Qatar Airways will be adding flights to two Thai destinations, Chiang Ma and Utapao south east of Bangkok as well as Abidjan on Ivory Coast; Accra in Ghana; Canberra in Australia; Chittagong in Bangladesh and Mombasa in Kenya.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Watch here pictures from gate ceremony for Dublin-Doha inaugural. Watch here takeoff and landing.

What is there to see in Doha when you get there for those who avail of the free 48 hour stopover on offer by the airline? Travel Extra went to find out and will be featuring Qatar in the next print edition. Some of the sites we visited and people we met: the Museum of Islamic Art watch here, Katara Village (watch here), a dhow trip (watch here), Souq Waqif Doha (watch here), adune bashing at Khor Al Adaid (watch here Shangri La Doha (watch here), Four Seasons Hotel Doha (watch here), Nobu Restaurant Doha (watch here), Argan Restaurant Doha (watch here). Watch here interview with Valentina Bambuchova of Argana Restaurant Doha. watch here interview with Jenna (Ji Sun) Li of the Shangri La,

Thailand’s Tourism Authority hosted international travel trade and media, including Brendan Barry of Discover Travel, in Chiang Mai. This was the second successive year that Thailand Travel Market has moved to the provinces from the capital and the fair will be heading to Pattaya next year. Regional connectivity was the big topic of the week with four carriers now serving Phuket over the middle east avoiding a time consuming Bangkok stopover, Etihad, Emirates, Qatar and, form July, Turkish. Chris Lee of Thailand tourism is planning his first fam with Turkish Airlines this autumn. And yes the parting glass was sung. Watch here interview with Seila Hul of Cambodia Tourism. Watch here interview with Krisada Khuiaphai of Hmong Hilltribe Lodge. Watch here the visit of Thailand tourism minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul to the Maiiam Museum Chiang Mai. Watch here the free the frogs campaign. Travel Extra raised the issue of the prospect of a single visa for ASEAN countries (watch here). Picture shows Brendan Barry of Discover Travel el with David Kevan of Chic Locations. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Tourism Authority of Thailand London office director Chris Lee took time to talk to Travel Extra about the prospect of direct Flights to Dublin (watch here, are you listening Norwegian?), air services to regions through the Middle East (watch here), the wisdom of TTM in Chiang Mai (watch here), Teflon Thailand’s ability to continue to grow tourism through a coup and the death of its king (watch here), developments in Phuket and Krabi (watch here), on itineraries Travel Agents Can Sell (watch here), its green tourism initiatives (watch here) and the affinity between Ireland and Thailand (watch here). Picture shows Chris Lee and Pataraporn Sithivanich European Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

While the Thailand Travel Market may dominate the headlines, it’s not the only game in town in terms of Asian tourism fairs. Nearby Indonesia arguably has even more potential to become a major destination. It’s got 18,000 islands – there’s so many they’re still counting them all – with Bali obviously the jewel in the crown for now. The country hosted its fourth annual Bali and Beyond Travel Fair, in Nusa Dua on the island, attracting 230 buyers from 55 countries and 179 sellers from all over Indonesia. The country is hoping that the event will become more international and reckoned this year’s BBTF would create €500m worth of business. Inbound Irish figures are lumped in with Britain, but the latest total is 34,803 – a rise of 35.8pc, so roughly 3,000 Irish visit each year, and the aim is to raise that. And it’s clear that Bali is not that far off the beaten track for the Irish, with the return flight from the capital, Denpasar, to Dubai on Emirates hosting at least a dozen Irish voices.

The Tourism Ministry’s Renata Permadi and her crew hosted the European media – with Travel Extra the only representative from Ireland (or even our neighbours in Britain), along with two journalists from the Netherlands, one from Austria and Russia. See here  as the group visited paddy fields, sun-drenched beaches and historic villages. It was just a taster for what was to come. Discover next week if the press pack survived a man-eating dragon (yes, really) and find out why the Irish are everywhere – even on the top of a mountain on a deserted island.

The 60mph Viking Voyage €8m flume ride opened at Tayto Park. This is a big step up for Ireland’s eighth most visited attraction, they are moving in to position to become the first real theme park in Ireland. Westport House always had a few rides but Tayto’s numbers of 762,000pa is close to giving them critical mass similar to some of the smaller European theme parks.

Travel Trade

Clem Walshe is to host an event to launch Teletext holidays in Ireland.

The Spanish Tourist Board hosted Tapas day with chefs from Lanzarote. Picture shows Yvonne Muldoon of Aer Lingus, Teresa Gancedo, Jenny Rafter of Aer Lingus and Katheryn McDonnell of the Spanish Tourist Board.

Travel Counsellors hosted an Irish conference in Dunboyne Castle. The business was ranked in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 in  164th  place.

Augustin Garcia of the Soanish Tb in London, Katerina Bomstein of Gran Canaria Tourism and Maureen Ledwith.of Business Exhibitions at the Big Event in Templepatrick, Co Down, June 15 2017

Picture shows Augustin Garcia of the Spanish Tourist Board in London, Katerina Bomstein of Gran Canaria Tourism and Maureen Ledwith of Business Exhibitions at the Big Event in Templepatrick, Co Down.

Skal’s postponed cruise ship visit will take place in Dublin on Thursday August 10th. Dublin club’s next function will be the BBQ in the Intercontinental Hotel on July 11th.

Sandals Resorts is to be made available on GDS for first time.

Tui completed the sale of Travelopia for €369m.

Travel Extra‘s post family after IPW in Washington DC included a trip along Maryland‘s Atlantic coast and the plush eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay.  People we met along the way included Angela Crenshaw of the Harriet Tubman Centre who says he learned all she knows about visitor centres from working in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin (watch here), Marci Ross of Visit Maryland who explained how the state originated and why Maryland is smaller than Pennsylvania and Virginia (watch here), Susan Meredith of Blackwater Paddle & Pedal (watch here)  Lloyd Deveigne of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (watch here), Todd Powell of Perry Inn by Belmond St Michael’s (watch here) and Cassandra Banhooser Talbot County Tourism (watch here). Picture shows Back row: Maha Shihabi of Jerusalem Express Travel in Jordan, Susan Seifried of Annapolis Tourism, Marlon Mejia of Arrecife Tours Honduras, Hiba Abualsoud of Jerusalem Travel Express Jordan, Jose Ballesteros of Revista Enfoque Del Café Colombia, Ana Maria Madalina Nicolescu of Panolimpic Tours Romania, Hiba Abualsoud of Jerusalem Travel Express Jordan, Scott Balyo of Captial Region tourism, Henning Ktretschmer of Revista Vivir De Viaje Honduras, Carmen Demetriade of World Travel Romania, Henning Ktretschmer of Revista Vivir De Viaje Honduras, Lucia Ballesteros of Revista Enfoque Del Café Colombia, Beatrix Bourguignon of BAV Events France, Anuj Bang of Rooms SML India, Carsten Andersen of TTO Scandinavia Denmark, Aileen Clemente of Rajah Travel Philippines, Alban Tapin of Senso Day Events France, Nicolae Demetriade of World Travel Romania, Marci Ross of Maryland Tourism, Esther Kalt of Hotelplan Suisse, Front row: Ismail Abusaoud of Jerusalem Travel Express Jordan, Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland, Alena Parobekova of USA Experts Slovakia, Pavel Parobek of USA Experts Slovakia, Alberto Lapenta of Linkviajes Argentina. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Bali & Beyond trade fair (watch here)

Strange World

An AeroMexico flight from Mexico City to Chicago O’Hare was carrying a scorpion which managed to sting a passenger in the elbow two hours before the aircraft reached its destination

  • A brawl broke out between English tourists and Turkish hotel staff after one of its maids allegedly pushed over a female guest. Watch here.
  • Rome starting imposing fines for frolicking at famous landmarks, (the English Guardian called it the Trevi levy).
  • American tourist Tommy Schlather found a kilo of cocaine washed up on a beach near the Minaun Cliffs in Dookinella on Achill Island.
  • A 40 year old woman Louise Borrett flew from Heathrow to Munich on her 14-year-old step daughter’s passport


Helen McGrath told Joe Duffy on RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline that her Marbella hotel ‘had no record of €2,500 five-star holiday booking’ made through website

  • A survey by price comparison site found that 61pc are unaware of the new law to scrap mobile roaming costs around Europe.
  • Days after a post IPW fam visited Ocean City Maryland  the US attorney general Brian Frosh said the resort can legally ban topless women.
  • Daredevil Erendira Wallenda hung by her teeth from a helicopter over Niagara Falls.
  • Gervais Dylan Gatete, 21, of Raleigh, North Carolina suffered severe burns after falling into a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park.
  • The White House released a memorandum saying the effective date of the executive order banning travellers from six Muslim-majority countries “is delayed or tolled” until all relevant court injunctions “are lifted or stayed.”
  • The famous neon sign of a cowgirl on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas has been taken down as part of the construction of a planned casino-resort.

Food & Beverage

Legislation permitting Ireland’s pubs to open on Good Friday from 2018 has been extended to all premises and not just pubs.

  • The Restaurants Association of Ireland claimed a shortage of chefs is forcing restaurants to close on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Osprey Hotel Naas plans a 130 seater restaurant called Herald & Devoy as part of a €3m investment by Prem Group to include a ‘casual chic’ brasserie in the lobby area.
  • Applications are now open for the restaurants Association of Ireland Foodie Destination awards, until Thursday July 13th.
  • The Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy aims to work with distilleries around the South West to attract 190,000 visitors to four locations, Dingle Distillery, the Jameson Experience Midleton, Clonakilty Distillery and West Cork Distillers.
  • Empathy Research claimed 80pc of Irish adults surveyed and 97pc of 18-24 year olds surveyed order take-away food on a regular basis.
  • JD Wetherspoon were granted permission to open a two-story pub in a former Baptist church and an adjoining building on Dublin’s Lower Abbey Street.
  • Louis Fitzgerald pub and hotel group reported pre-tax profits of €7.8m.
  • Paul Byrne, Fiona McHugh and Frank Murphy of Fallon & Byrne say they “feel the group is now very well positioned to take advantage of further opportunities for growth” after growoing turnover to €13.2m.
  • Delphi Resort in Leenane on the Galway Mayo border named Daniel Willimont, formerly of Mount Falcon, as executive head chef.
  • Conor Boyle is chef at the newly opened The Gallery café and bar on Belfast’s Dublin Road.
  • Restaurant magazine named Stephen Harris’s The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent as England’s best restaurant


Dublin finished 23rd in a survey of accommodation costs by campsite online booking platform Campsy which compares the price of accommodation in over 200 cities and regions. Dublin hostels cost €18, one star €300, two star €372, three star €437, four star €527 and five star €861. Peer to peer costs €100 according to the survey.

  • German budget boutique hotel chain Motel One is considering opening in Dublin.
  • Jurys Inn launched a new integrated “Stay Happy” marketing campaign following a £2.9m investment.
  • Lawrence Kenwright said his £80m investment in four new hotels in Belfast will add 500 new bedrooms and create 350 jobs, 150 at the refurbished Crumlin Road courthouse, over 200 at two hotels in Waring Street, one of these themed on George Best, and 80 at the Scottish Mutual Building.
  • The Dylan Hotel showcased its €10m extension as part of a celebration of a decade in business, increasing the number of bedrooms from 44 to 72.
  • Castlemartyr hotel applied to Cork County Council for a wedding-and-conference centre to two-storey gym, a 61-space car park and extensions to the Knight’s Bar, Franchini’s Restaurant, and spa area.
  • Sam Field Corbett is seeking to raise €2m to convert the former Aran Islands ferry Naomh Éanna, into a boutique hotel/hostel, café and restaurant to be berthed beside the CHQ building on Dublin’s north quays.
  • Rajesh Rana of Andras Hotels plans to demolish the Londonderry Hotel building in Portrush and replace it with a 103-bedroom £8m hotel. million.
  • Cork’s Metropole hotel is planning a €50m development to replace the wings of the heritage building running from MacCurtain Street to St. Patrick’s Quay to doubling its room count, adding shops to the ground floor and adding a three-star sister hotel, The M, to be linked by two bridges above Harley Street.
  • Naas’s Osprey Hotel plans to redesign its dining space and lobby, which will hold a new 130-seater restaurant called Herald & Devoy. The owners of the four-star Kildare hotel, The PREM Group, have started the redesign which is part of an overall €3m investment into the Osprey.
  • Ireland’s  Blue Book appointed Shannon Sweeney as Marketing Executive.
  • Connacht Hotel, Galway won The Tourism & Hospitality Category Award at the Gaillimh le Gaeilge Awards, Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh.
  • NH Hotel Group opened the NH Collection Grand Sablon, in Brussels
  • Arrivals by Travel Extra’s hard working team of travel writers this week include Hmong Hilltribe Lodge near Chiang Mai (watch here), La Vela Khao Lak (watch here), the Grand Hyatt Chesapeake Bay (watch here), Perry Inn by Belmond in St Michael’s Maryland (watch here), Robert Morris Inn Oxford Maryland (watch here), Holiday Inn in Ocean Beach (watch here), Phillips Crab house in Ocean beach (watch here), the Waterfront in Annapolis (watch here), the Hilton Washington (watch here) and Atlantic Hotel Berlin Maryland Washington (watch here)


Graham Keddle led Belfast International Airport came under fire for a billboard campaign targeting people in the border counties: “choose BEXIT and enjoy more destinations and greater savings than ever before when you EXIT from Belfast International (Belfast’s airport code is BFS not BE and the majority in the north voted remain)

  • The cost of British Airways IT failure was estimated at €91.5m.
  • Heathrow had a a baggage system failure at terminal 3 and terminal 5.
  • Norwegian names Jonathan Swift and Tom Crean as low-cost airline’s ‘tail fin heroes’
  • Almost three-quarters of dads want a weekend away for Father’s Day, Ryanair said (unsurprisingly) in a survey. Just 11pc wanted match tickets, while a tiny 1pc wanted another child.
  • The hunt is on to replace Eamonn Brennan as head of the Irish Aviation Authority. The Chief Executive is off to Brussels to become Director General of air traffic control giant Eurocontrol.
  • Hong Kong based rankings site AirHelp Score ranked Aer Lingus 9th and Ryanair 83RD of 87 airlines for on-time performance, customer service efficiency and quality of service. Singapore finished top followed by 2 Etihad, 3 Qatar, 4 Austrian, 5 Transat, 6 Dolomiti, 7 BA, 8 Virgin,  and 10 TUI Netherlands.
  • Cork Airport won the ACI Airport of the year in the under 5m passenger’ category. Naples and Aiicante won the other categories.
  • Galway born Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive of the Irish Aviation Authority wil become Director General of Eurocontrol from January 1.
  • Michael Kerkloh, President & CEO of Munich Airport was elected to lead the organisation as President.
  • Turkish Airlines, which operates 14w from Dublin to Istanbul, plans to increase to 17w next year.
  • British Airways expect to maintain full services in the face of a threatened strike by mixed crew from July 1.
  • An Irish company is to maintain Boeing’s Dreamliners
  • Aer Lingus launched an Irish Filmmaker Competition with Irish Film Board
  • Reuters reported that Ryanair is in talks with Boeing about placing an order for its proposed new 737 MAX 10 airliner.
  • The European Union proposed new rules to tackle alleged unfair competitive practices by foreign airlines after complaints about Gulf carriers receiving illegal government subsidies,
  • Qatar Airways closed bookings for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and UAE until October 28 2017.
  • Air Transat will operate charter flights from Dublin to Toronto on December 20, 2017 and return on January 2, 2018.
  • The IDA released a video on Ireland’s influence on the Aviation industry
  • Acceptance at last? Tallaght’s finest aviation prodigy Alan Joyce was named a Companion of the Order of Australia
  • Ryanair appointed Chiara Ravara senior sales and marketing manager.
  • ACI ranked Dublin Airport among the top 20 for airport connectivity.
  • CityJet got its sixth Superjet
  • SMBC Aviation Capital reported profits up 48PC
  • A survey by flight delay compensation company AirHelp rated Kuwait the worst airport of 76 in the world with Gatwick second, Manchester was third and Edinburgh fifth. Sinapore, Munich and Hong Kong are rated the top three.
  • An art exhibition opened in Donegal Airport. It was claimed airline investment could provide positive knock-on effects for Donegal
  • Ferghal O’Connor forecast turbulence ahead for Kevin Toland’s successor as DAA boss
  • JetBlue’s chairman claimed loyalty programs have made airlines ‘lazy’
  • Online travel company eDream said their survey showed one in ten passengers claimed to have had a fling on an aircraft
  • Question and Answer section on Aviation Security at the IATA congress in Cancun watch here
  • Donald Trump’s plans to overhaul US air traffic control, watch here.


P&O Cruises’ 710-passenger adults-only ship Adonia returned to its homeport of Southampton this week following a refit, which includes a new restaurant and new entertainment.

  • In an unusual move, P&O is charging for entry to one of the shows onboard Pacific Explorer. Tickets run from $15 to $29pp for adults-only cabaret Love Riot, but will include a cocktail and souvenir glass ($15 ticket). The dearer ticket is branded as  VIP and includes dinner, a cocktail and souvenir glass.
  • Royal Caribbean floated out the world’s biggest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas
  • English newsreader and Angela Rippon officially named CMV Columbus
  • P&O introduced cover charges for shows on Pacific Explorer.
  • Lindblad Expeditions delayed the launch of first new cruise ship, National Geographic Quest
  • Seabourn cancelled zodiac-only ventures excursions in Alaska
  • Norwegian Cruise Line changed ‘free at sea’ inclusions for passengers in The Haven
  • Pacific Princess emerged from dry dock with new suites and restaurants.
  • Cunard’s Queen Victoria returned to Service after refurbishment
  • Cruisescapes are inviting agents to join them in Dublin to board Port Fred Olsen’s Black Watch on July 12th and Balmoral on August 12th commencing about 10.30 for a presentation, ship tour and lunch ending shortly before 2pm. Details here or contact Cruisescapes on Dublin 01-2941000. Fred Olsen new sales campaign Free On Shore Spending Money & Added Benefits is available for new bookings until June 30, 2017, on cruises of seven nights and more departing from April 3, 2018 until end 2019.
  • Watch here the video of the moment Amanda Lacey won a ticket to board Symphony of the Seas next year during a levitation stunt on South King Street in Dublin’s City Centre by TV Personality, David Meade.


CSO figures for inbound toruism to Ireland show a decline in British visitors in January to March by 7pc, North America is up 13pc, Europe up 65pc and Australia up 16pc. Overall visits are down 1pc.

The OPW expressed concern over the impact of Star Wars was as visitors to Skellig rose from an average of 11,100 to 12,560 in 2015 and 14,678 in 2016.

There was lots of reaction to the claim by Australian academic Michael Hall who told the Tourism and Hospitality Research in Ireland Conference in Sligo that Dublin was a rip-off and questioned Ireland’s dependence on dead writers.

Picture shows Gretel O’Sullivan of Gleneagle Group; Catherine Moylan of Listowel Writers Week; Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Joan O’Shaughnessy Chairman of Tourism Ireland; and Breffni Ingerton of the Gleneagle Group, before the Tourism Ireland board meeting at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel in Killarney.

  • The husband of an American woman who died in a cycling accident while holidaying in Kerry paid tribute to the people of Killarney and local gardaí.
  • Sligo  joined the Amalfi coast, Marbella, Puglia and The Cote d’Azur on the  Vogue magazine list. Of the county it purred: “Think dramatic mountains, glimmering beaches, rolling green hills, magical woodlands and vibrant seaside towns.”
  • Minister Patrick O’Donovan unveiled the Shannon Estuary Drive through 207km through , Limerick City, Kilcornan, Askeaton, Foynes, Tarbert, Killimer, Labasheeda, Killadysert, Ballynacally, Clarecastle, Ennis and Bunratty. Click HERE to view brochure.
  • Terence Doorley of NUI Maynooth is hosting the Historic Houses of Europe conference in Dublin Castle next week. Travel trade are welcome.
  • Cork Convention Bureau expects a 25pc increase in exhibitors at its Keep Cork Meeting event in Devere Hall, UCC on June 21. A picture shows Trade Liaison Officer Anne Cahill, Executive Chairman Seamus Heaney, Cork Convention Bureau, Chloe Isaacs, Vienna Woods Hotel and Business Development Manager Evelyn O’Sullivan, Cork Convention Bureau.
  • Duncannon Village in county Wexford will host Ireland’s first Gourmet Beach Market on August 27.

Deal watch

Click and Go offers:  7 nights self catering Luz y Mar Apartments, Lanzarote from €389pp, travel August. 3 nights B&B 4* Simms Hotel, Vienna, Austria from €289pp, travel December. 7 nights half board  3* Royal Costa Hotel, Costa del Sol from €679pp, travel December. 7 nights half board 4* Regina Gran Hotel, Salou, Spain from €2,369 2+2, travel July. Visit or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Garden Nevis Hotel, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €2,999 2+2, depart July 24. 7 nights self catering 3* Porlamar Apartments, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €559pp, depart July 6. 7 nights all inclusive Zafiris, Sidari, Corfu from €829pp, depart July 7. 7 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou, Costa Dorada, depart Knock August 1. 7 nights all inclusive 3* El Trebol, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €769pp, depart Cork August 24. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Hotel Haiti, Ca’n Picafort, Majorca from €699pp, depart Shannon August 26. 7 nights self catering 2* Emmanouel Studios, Lambi, Kos from €459pp, depart August 26. 7 nights self catering 2* Emerald Studios, Kremasti, Rhodes from €429pp, depart Shannon August 30. Visit or call 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 7 days Switzerland from €2,149pps. Book by August 25, depart November 19. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 21 nights New Zealand tour from €5,859pp. 8 days Warsaw and the Baltic states tour from €1,235pps. 13 days Nepal tour from €2,499pp.

Sunway offers: 9 nights imperial highlights tour from €1,409pp, depart September 1. 7 nights Danube river cruise from €1,979pp, depart November 6. 8 days Cuba tour from €1,479pp, depart September 30. 7 nights Sandpiper Bay, Florida from €3,980 2+2, depart September 2. 7 nights self catering 3* Tamaimo Tropical, Tenerife from €499pp, depart July 5. 7 nights self catering 2* Puertocarmen Apts, Lanzarote from €499pp, depart July 1. 5 nights Memphis Elvis 40th anniversary holiday from €959pp, travel November. 3 nights New York from €539pp, travel February 2018. 12 nights Abu Dhabi & India fly-cruise on board Celebrity Constellation from €1,759pp, depart September 6. 10 nights eastern Caribbean fly, cruise and stay on board Celebrity Equinox from €1,815pp, depart March 14 2018. Visit

Thomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive Bella Vista Beach Club, Sinemorets, Bulgaria from €729pp, depart June 26. 7 nights self catering Jardin Del Sol, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €789pp, depart July 13. 7 nights half board Hotel Platanista, Psaldi, Kos from €899pp, depart July 15. 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cala Bona, Majorca from €789pp, depart July 12. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €839pp, depart Knock August 1. 7 nights self catering 3* Protur Bahia Azul, Cala Bona, Majorca from €539pp, depart Cork August 12. 7 nights self catering Morromar Apartments, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €569pp, depart Shannon August 28. 7 nights self catering Planet Studios & Apartments, Tsilivi, Zakynthos from €489pp, depart August 29.  7 nights B&B Elkomi Malia, Crete from €429pp, depart August 27. 7 nights full board Spanish Delights cruise from €1,019pp, depart July 18.

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, Madeira, Funchal from €349pps, depart June 29. 7 nights B&B 4* Jardins d’Ajuda Suites, Madeira, Funchal from €469pps, depart June 22. 7 nights B&B 4* Four Views Monumental, Madeira, Funchal from €659pps, depart June 29. 7 nights B&B 4* Four Views Monumental, Madeira, Funchal from €659pps, depart June 29. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel D’Annunzio, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €499pps, depart September 16. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Harry’s, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera depart Cork July 15. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Harry’s, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from £517pps, depart Belfast June 24. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Manzoni, Montecatini, Tuscany from €699pps, depart June 23. 7 nights B&B 4* Blu Lake Sirmione, Sirmione, Lake Garda from €849pps, depart Cork June 24. 7 nights half board 4* Majestic Palace, Malcesine, Lake Garda from €869pps, depart Cork June 24. 7 nights half board 4* Grand Hotel Hermitage, Sorrento from €699pps, depart June 25. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Ninfea, Cattolica, Adriatic Riviera from €569pps, depart June 24. Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Travel Department flights-only offers: Dubrovnik Airport, Croatia from €259pp, depart June 26, return July 3.Catania Airport, Sicily from €249pp, depart June 27, return July 4. Palma Airport, Majorca from €239pp, depart June 28, return July 5. Call 01 637 1600.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 10 days highlights of Eastern European cruise on board the River Beatrice from €3,699pps. Book by June 30, depart October 4. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned

You cannot put sunbeds on the beach in two places in Thailand, Khao Lak and Krabi.

Phrase of the week

Between the devil and the DUP.