Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Flowers in our Hair (the reprise)

Aer Lingus will be using the United terminal at San Francisco airport, Terminal 3, rather than the international terminal, Terminal 1 when services resume next April 2nd.

This and other details emerged this week after their much-leaked resumption of the San Francisco route that they last served in 2007-9 was confirmed at a press conference by Minister Leo Varadkar and Aer Lingus CEO Chriustoph Mueller.

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Among the other details:

  • 50pc of the San Francisco flight will be filled by transferring passengers
  • 14 major corporate clients have been signed up by Aer Lingus and signed up deals of up the three years in advance, led by Facebook.
  • Maintenance of the Boeing 787 will be by ASL, meaning Aer Lingus remains an Airbus-only fleet. The pilots will be employed by ASL, the cabin crew Aer Lingus.
  • EI146 Aer Lingus Dublin to San Francisco will commence April 2 2014, five weekly at 12.20 landing 15.20, return 17.20 landing 11,35 following day
  • Aer Lingus Dublin–Toronto daily will commence Apr 21 2014 Boeing 757 in 12-165 configuration.
  • Dublin Airport pointed out they will have 224 flights to and from Dublin and North America per week THIS summer (even in advance of the San Franmcisco launch next year), which is more than either Gatwick or Manchester airports.aer lingus composite
  • Pictures show on left, Claire Dunn President of the iTAA, Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA and Christophe Mueller CEO of Aer Lingus, and on right, Declan Power of Shannon Airport, Jane Reddin of WTC, Lisa Whelan of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Mary McKenna of Tour America, Cormac O’Connell of DAA at the Aer Lingus San Francisco route announcement
  • See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • Listen to Christophe Mueller at the Aer Lingus San Francisco and Toronto announcement
  • Listen to Leo Varadkar at the Aer Lingus San Francisco and Toronto announcement
  • Listen to Hugh Flynn of ASL at the Aer Lingus San Francisco and Toronto announcement
  • Listen to the Press conference Q&A at the Aer Lingus San Francisco and Toronto announcement
  • Click here for the Aer Lingus press release .
  • See also an interview with Christoph Mueller which sees Aer Lingus considering expanding into Turkey.
  • The news was first broken by Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry on RTE’s Morning Ireland on March 22nd,

Abu dhabi day croke park DayEtihad will host an Abu Dhabi day at Croke Park at the Leinster final todaySunday with prizes, falconry display, and Formula 1 race car to showcase the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Previous Abu Dhabi days were held at Manchester City soccer and Harlequins rugby clubs.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has said that Egypt’s Red Sea Resorts are clear for travel but has advised against all but necessary travel to the rest of the country, including Cairo and Luxor. Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry comments on travel to Egypt can be heard on the Marian Finucane show on Saturday morning.

us embassyJohn Hennessey Niland was up early on Wednesday morning, USA Independence Day, with his bicycle pump to make sure there was enough air in not one but FOUR (count them) massive bouncy castles and a giant slide. Over 2,000 people turned out for the event, including the leading tour operators serving the USA from Ireland and members of the Visit USA committee. Sadly, Hennessey Niland, Chief of Mission (Deputy Ambassador), a great supporter of the travel trade in Ireland and one of the most successful administrators in the history of the US embassy in Dublin will be moving on to Islamabad in Pakistan. Pictures shows  Gerald Angley of the office of the Irish EU Presidency with John Hennessey Niland of the US embassy and Oliver Wall of the Department of the Taoiseach at the US embassy event, and, on right, Austin Carrolll and Ciara Foley with Nicole and Jamie. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

maddy morgan_0209 copyVisit California’s Maddy Morgan (above) hosted a large number of the trade at an event in the Dublin Radisson Blue hotel this week. The turnout included leading ITAA officials and the major tour operators.. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

chicago fam trip meal copyUnited hosted a fam trip to Chicago to promote their Shannon to Chicago service. Picture shows: Bernie Roche, HRG/Club Travel; Sarah Junker, Choose Chicago; Bill Schmitt, Choose Chicago; Wendy McCartney, American Holidays; Marena Rohan, Ace Travel; Kate McGillicuddy, Abbey Travel; Aoife Gregg, United; Ciara Donoghue, FCM Travel Solutions; Pat Reede, United; Pamela O’Loughlin, Limerick Travel. See more pictures here.

The World of Chima, based on a new line of Lego toys and a Cartoon Network show, opened Tuesday in Legoland Florida. The new 3-acre area adds 2m lego bricks to the park’s existing 56m. Guests can let loose in an interactive splash-battle water ride, water play area, 12-minute 4-D movie, gift shop and an area for racing mini-cars.

Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn appeared before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications on a week when CSO figures issued Monday for overseas visitors to Ireland for the three-month period March to May 2013 showed 8pc growth in overseas visitors led by North America up 12.8pc, Mainland Europe up 8.5pc with France up 26.3pc, Germany up 6.1pc, the Nordic region up 6pc, and Benelux up 11pc. Britain was up 2.8pc. Shaun’s main points to the Oireachtas were:

  • We are going through a time of very clear transition and challenge for the tourism industry and we are on the verge of a new phase for the sector.
  • The Gathering – the early indications are that The Gathering is delivering on its twin objectives of local collaboration and visitor numbers.
  • Attention is shifting now towards the legacy of the Gathering and it is Fáilte Ireland’s hope that based on the excellent local relationships across all counties, it will identify ways in which all that is good about The Gathering will be sustained locally longer-term.
  • Tourism performance – Key overseas markets like the United States, France and Germany are recovering but the home and British markets, our two largest tourism markets, are not performing as well due to continuing adverse economic circumstances in both markets.
  • Irish tourism firms need to target the more viable overseas markets and will need a more sophisticated understanding of how to access consumers in growing markets such as Germany and France and how to engage with these consumers so as to make and close the sale.
  • Tourism is in the ‘entertainment business’ – this is at the heart of an Irish tourism experience which is essentially about delivering entertainment to the consumer. Ireland needs to ‘up its game’ in this regard and further tourism growth therefore will require us to strengthen our entertainment appeal, and combine it with our existing strengths in hospitality.
  • Fáilte Ireland invested €3.3m across 223 festivals around the country last year.
  • The internet – no more than the newspaper or advertising industries, the digital revolution is changing tourism utterly. Last year, Fáilte Ireland provided digital training and supports to over 3,000 businesses.
  • Capital investment – Fáilte Ireland has allocated €110m across some 70 projects around the country in the last 4 years.
  • In business tourism and conferencing, last year, 237 conferences were hosted with delegate numbers in excess of 100,000 and with associated revenues of €148m. Of the total, Failte Ireland supported 207 with total revenues of €100m. In parallel, our Conference Ambassador Programme contributed a further 138,000 delegates with associated revenues of €180m.

Cirque du Soleil’s latest show, Michael Jackson ONE, opened in Las Vegas with typical Cirque du Soleil fanfare at Mandalay Bay. The show has a custom-built theater complete with a state-of-the-art surround sound system, and features 63 performers who channel Jackson’s spirit and music.

America’s first truly transcontinental road, the Lincoln Highway, commemorated its 100th anniversary, with 272 participants in 140 vehicles departing New York and San Francisco to meet up in Kearney, Nebraska., on June 30. The tour was organised by the Lincoln Highway Association.

Fáilte Ireland have surveyed 10,000 overseas and domestic holidaymakers in eleven holiday areas across the country

  • Hotels are the most popular choice of accommodation in most destinations B&Bs were most popular in Dingle;
  • Hiking/Walking is the most popular activity for visitors to Dingle and the North West
  • Museums and galleries are more popular for visitors to Dublin;
  • Dublin and Galway/Mayo are the most popular choices for 19-24 year olds
  • The Ring of Kerry and West Cork are more popular with visitors over 65;
  • Galway/Mayo, Ring of Kerry, and Dingle are popular with couples
  • Cork and the South East are more popular for those with families.

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Tourism Ireland hosted 37 French journalists, representing a TV station, a radio station and various print and online publications, touring the Cliffs of Moher, the journalists enjoyed a walking tour of the Burren with local tour guide Michael Killeen, followed by dinner and an evening learning traditional Irish step-dancing at Tubridy’s in Cooraclare, fishing in Inchiquin Lake and a cruise from Doolin to Inis Mór, where they visited Dún Aengus and the Seven Churches and enjoyed lunch at Tí Joe Watty’s.Thomas cook wedding journal awards copy

Thomas Cook won the best Honeymoon provider award at the Wedding journal awards

Picture shows Siobhan Buckley and Deirdre Murphy of Thomas Cook Ireland at the wedding magazine awards.


The Irish Travel Agents Association expanded their website with an “offers” section, holiday deals and offers from some of their 100 members across the country. Pat Dawson, Chief Executive of the ITAA got widespread coverage for the venture, saying in the press release that: “some of the best holiday deals around can be found by clicking on, all our customers can be safe in the knowledge that every single one of our members be they Travel Agents or tour operators are fully licensed and bonded. The ITAA offers a smart “Find a Travel Agent” section on its website also, which allows users to search for member agents and operators in their locality.” Pat is pictured with Jose Marie Olazabal at a reception in the Spanish embassy for the Spanish participants in the Irish Open last weekend.

kissimmee_0220 copyKissimmee came to Dublin to remind the trade of their status as one of the closest resorts to Disney Orlando. Pictures shows Claire Doherty of Sunway, Michael Harfield County Commissioner for Osceola County, Liz Wright of Tour America and Dee Burdock of American Holidays. See more pictures here

The Gibson Hotel beside the )2 overlooking the Liffey opened their rooftop bar, the Speedo bar. Adrian McLaughlin; GM of the Gibson Hotel and Rozanne Stevens at the launch of the speedo rooftop bar at the Gibson hotel and (right) Speedo models James Murphy and Caio Thomaselli with Doireann O’Neill; Marketing Executive for the Gibson Hotel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Simon Daly and Graham Bell (pictured in a New York taxi) hosted members of the trade to celebrate the launch of the American Airlines route to New York. Daily flights to JFK depart at 9am, the first trans-Atlantic departure of the morning.

  • Turkish Airlines have appointed Rachel Rock as their new marketing director of the Dublin office. Turkish, who already operate to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh through Istanbul. plan to inaugurate flights to Luxor and Aswan in the autumn.
  • Luxair have announced that they will resume their 4 weekly service to Luxembourg from March 30 2014
  • The road to Dingle is finished at last, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar opened a newly upgraded section of the N86 road outside Annascaul on the main Tralee to Dingle route.
  • CityJet inaugurated its weekly direct service from Dublin Airport to Aeroport Brest Bretagne. Fares start from €96 one way and €189 return, including all taxes and charges.
  • Bus Éireann is providing ISOFIX Attachment Points at selected seats on 53 of the company’s new Expressway and commuter coaches. They say this will allow child safety seats that are ISOFIX compatible to be installed on vehicles by making it easier for families to travel with small children. Bus Éireann offers 420 daily services from 18 direct routes or connections from Busáras via Dublin Bus Airlink. These include late night and early morning services to Galway, Belfast, Donegal, Waterford and Derry. The X20 Galway-Dublin Airport-Dublin city provides the fastest coach service from Galway city to Dublin Airport with a journey time of 2 hours and 50 minutes. From Galway, the X20 serves only Loughrea, Ballinasloe and Athlone, and then goes direct from Athlone to Dublin Airport and Dublin city via the M6 motorway. From Athlone to Dublin Airport the journey time is 1 hour 20 minutes. It has 13 daily services.
  • Ryanair will operate 7 flights to/from London Stansted, London Luton and Knock for the Connacht Final, including two extras, departing Stansted at 11.55am on Sat 20th July and departing Knock at 18.40pm on Mon 22nd July.
  • Vodafone Ireland has launched what it calls a worry-free roaming offer which includes an additional daily allowance of 100MB of data for   €3.99 per day in Europe.
  • Air Canada Rouge began flying from Edinburgh to Toronto yesterday. It is the fourth attempt by Air Canada to launch a low-cost subsidiary, after Jazz, Tango and Zip. Rouge starts services to Dublin year-round from next year.
  • The Statue of Liberty reopened on July 4, America’s Independence Day, months after Superstorm Sandy swamped the little island on which it stands.
  • Anantara opened its fourth property in Abu Dhabi – Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort – the 23rd Anantara.
  • Travel website Holiday Extras has sparked a row after it claimed that nine in ten people detest camping. The site which sells items such as insurance and airport parking, said its survey of 2,000 people showed that 90pc detested camping. Others disagree. The Irish Caravan and Camping parks are expecting one of the busiest years yet. “A caravan and camping holiday isn’t about the weather; it’s about the unique experience that this type of holiday offers. Holiday-makers get to sample Ireland at its best, with plenty to do and see.”
  • Mark Evans and others speculated in the Irish Independent that the economy will enjoy a boost of €20m every day for as long as the sun stays outjose ramos farewell
  • Pictured at the farewell function for Jose Ramos, Bernardo Futscher Pereira, Ambassador of Portugal in Ireland and Filipe Silva, Director of the Portuguese Trade and Tourism Office in London and, since Jose is leaving, also in Ireland.
  • Cambodia and Australia have issued a guide to tourists on how best to enjoy sunsets at Angkor Wat to help preserve the fabled temple.
  • British Airways took delivery of one of Airbus’s A380 super-jumbos at Heathrow on Thursday.
  • Michael Cawley, Ryanair’s Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer has decided to step down from his full-time Executive role in 10 months time at the end of March 2014.
  • Sebastian Schulze is the new head chef of Aghadoe Heights in Killarney.
  • Hilton Worldwide opened its 4,000th hotel, Hilton Shijiazhuang in the Hebei province of China.
  • Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, launched two daily return flights to Manchester from Dublin Airport and aims to fly up to 40,000 extra passengers on the route this year. Aer LIngus now has five daily flights on the route. The Irish Times asked was Aer Lingus expanding at the risk of cannibalisation?
  • Venice’s gondoliers are to take drug and alcohol tests.
  • Celebrities to descend upon Enniskillen for the Beckett Festival August 22 – 26, will include Winona Ryder, Frank Skinner, Clive James, Miranda Richardson, Harriet Walter, Juliet Stevenson, Diana Quick and Adrian Dunbar as part of a programme dominated by Beckett’s short plays and prose which will include international theatre, music, dance, art installations, exhibitions and comedy featuring 17 Irish and UK Premieres and 13 World Premieres.
  • SkyTeam has opened a new lounge at Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport, available to Elite Plus, First and Business Class customers flying from the airport on any of the alliance’s 10 airlines that serve Istanbul. SkyTeam anticipates more than 70,000 visits to the lounge each year.
  • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has unveiled its third luxury hotel in Shanghai on the Puxi side of the Huangpu River.
  • Ryanair are within 100,000 passengers of reaching the 80m passenger milestone in their year-to-year totals, a figure they are likely to achieve in July. Ryanair June traffic grew 170,000, up 2pc meaning 79.9m passengers were carried in the year to June 13 (up 4pc). Aer Lingus passenger numbers for June were up 1.7pc overall and 17.1pc long-haul with a load factor of 81.6pc overall and 94.5pc long haul. The French disruption did not affect passenger numbers.
  • Slovenian airline, Adria Airways has joined the ERA.
  • Irish Ferries, as official travel partners for the Spraoi Festival will assist organisers in attracting participants from overseas by providing transport to all of the acts travelling to Waterford from Britain and France.
  • Eoghan Corry finished his American odyssey on Wildcatter Ranch an hour and a half from Fort Worth, Texas (that’s him on the third horse in the video).
  • Carne Golf Links in County Mayo will open nine new holes this month. Kilmore nine will form an additional loop through the most spectacular dunes on the 280 acre property. The new nine will open to members of the public from August 1st and will only be available as part of a full 27 hole package for the remainder of the year.
  • Dogs and cats that travel on a Virgin Australia domestic flight can now collect points for their owners that can then be used to obtain discounts on future flights.
  • Premier Inn has unveiled a new room concept which allows guests to control lighting and entertainment using a mobile phone app.
  • Guests at 325 Marriott hotels in the USA and Canada will now be able to check-in with their mobile phones after 4 pm the day before their arrival. Once their room is ready, they will get an automatic notification and can pick up their pre-programmed key at the check-in desk at the hotel.
  • Hilton Worldwide has appointed Chris Douglas as general manager at Hilton Dublin Airport.
  • Cork Airport is to get a new four times weekly Ryanair service from Cork to East Midlands, beginning in October.
  • Visitors will be able to explore 18 different gardens and attractions on the Carlow Garden Trail during Carlow Garden Festival from 27th July to 5th
  • Southwest Airlines is letting passengers watch TV for free on their personal devices when they fly on the carrier’s Wi-Fi enabled planes. As part of the “TV Flies Free” offer, satellite TV provider Dish network will offer customers 14 live TV channels and up to 75 on-demand shows on the airline’s 425 Wi-Fi equipped planes, about 75pc of its fleet. Previously, the service cost $5.
  • From Wednesday the Golden Nugget on Fremont Street Las Vegas will has added a $5 Fremont Street Fee per day. The hotel subsidises the Fremont Street Experience, the free nightly sound-and-light show.
  • What Fáilte Ireland describes as a major international promotional push has begun this week to profile Ireland’s first ever long-distance driving route, the Wild Atlantic Way which will be open in March 2014
  • Domaine De Le Baume, Provence, the former residence of French artist, Bernard Buffet opened on Friday to become becomes Maisons & Hotels Sibuet’s ninth property and third in the south of France.
  • Irish Ferries is offering holidaymakers a €100 discount on 7 night package bookings to 7 popular UK Haven Holiday parks
  • On the eve of Paloma, Oliver Smith asked whether bull running has had its day?
  • And for those going to Muslim countires, Ramadan begins Tuesday July 9th.

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