Dublin welcomed its millionth cruise passenger on Friday. A big fuss was made when Diane Taylor, from Newfoundland, stepped off Carnival Legend with her husband, Doug. She was presented with flowers and champagne and they were brought off to the Guinness Strehouse for VIp treatment. The next passenger off the ship had cause to be very grumpy indeed. According to cruise director John Heald, Mr Ayers of Iowa would have been the millionth passenger if only his wife had not paused at the top of the gangway “to sort her purse out.” Carnival Legend was the 100th cruise ship to visit the city this year and is now heading for New York on a 14-night sailing via Dublin, Glasgow, Belfast, Reykjavik, Qaqortoq and St John’s, Newfoundland. Cruise passenger numbers to Dublin have tripled in a decade and are expected to quadruple during the next 10 years.
The cruise ship business is to get a new biggest ever cruise ship. The steel cutting ceremony was held this week for the third ship in the Oasis class, temporarily known as A34 to the St Nazaire shipyard and Oasis 3. The ship to be delivered in mid 2016 will be slightly bigger and have 38 more cabins than Oasis or Allure. At 362.15 metres it will be 2.15m longer, 2,718 more gross tonnage, a maximum capacity of 6,360 passengers, 42 more than Allure. It is the 13th Royal Caribbean Ship to be built by STX at St Nazaire and marks a return to the yards from the STX yard in Turku. A giant new crane, ordered two years ago but to be used for the first time on Oasis 3, will enable Oasis 3 to be constructed in 90 individual blocks, whereas the earlier two ships were made up of 160 blocks. Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain said he would not be revealing the details of Oasis 3’s features until mid-2014. the steel was cut to Vangelis’s theme music for the film 1492: Conquest of Paradise in a construction shed. The first piece, a silhouette of the ship, was signed by (pictured, left to right) Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain, STX operations director Jean Yves Jaouen, Royal Caribbean president Adam Goldstein, Royal Caribbean vice-president Harri Kulovaara and STX CEO Laurent Castaing at the steel-cutting ceremony for Oasis 3 in St Nazaire, September 23 2013.
- Listen to an interview with Richard Fain CEO of Royal Caribbean cruises in St Nazaire where he talks up the likelihood of the mini-season of Oasis of the Seas in Europe next September being repeated when Allure of the seas comes to dry dock.
- Listen to an interview with Adam Goldstein CEO of Royal Caribbean International in St Nazaire: “we didn’t set out to build the biggest cruise ship in the world.”
Royal Caribbean has an option to order a fourth Oasis-class vessel in the next 12 months. It is also building three slightly smaller Quantum-class ships at the Meyer-Werft yard in Papenburg, Germany.
Air France unveiled their new economy and premium economy long haul product to international media in Paris, including Travel Extra (Eoghan is pictured trying out the seat). The features include an extra inch in seat pitch for economy passengers, to be fitted on 32 aircraft by end 2015, new lighter seats, new trays and a €500m revamp of the product, to chase the standards set by Emirates and Etihad. A new business class seat will be due in January and a full cabin revamp in April 2015. Air France CEO Alexandre de Juniac told Travel Extra: “Others have raised the bar but we will catch up.” IN response to questions from Travel Extra, Air France is committed to maintaining its strong support for the Travel Trade amid its restructuring and cost-cutting. Air France promised new products and “a new attitude of crew,” and reminded the 200 invited media from around the world that they are only airline to serve complimentary champagne in economy class long haul.
Etihad hosted 200 guests at the replay of the All ireland hurling final and 190 other tickets were distributed to grateful travel contacts. Pictures shows Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh and Dave Walsh of Etihad, and on right, the Cork delegation: Roz Walsh of Travelfox, Declan O’Connell of Lee Travel, Cathy Burke of Travel Counsellors. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Ryanair extended their campaign to attract more business travellers. They announced a new acceptance agreement with American Express, although cards will be subjected to a 2pc charge. Ryanair announced its first two Polish routes from Warsaw Modlin to Gdansk and Wroclaw. Ryanair returns to Warsaw Modlin Airport on tomorrow Monday. Ryanair alleged unfair procedure in last month’s ruling by the London Competition Commission chaired by Simon Polito (pictured) directing them to reduce their Aer Lingus shareholding from 29.82pc to 5pc. Their appeal says that Polito’s case relied upon evidence and allegations “that have been kept secret from Ryanair.” It was reported that another English legal case is examining the hiring of pilots by Ryanair through third party company, Brookfield. Ryanair employs an estimated 2,300 pilots through hundreds of joint stock companies, something that has begun to exercise the minds of tax authorities in Germany. An analysis of the Ryanair by airscoop said the 2013 – 2014 period will definitely be a pivotal year for Ryanair: “the three pillars on which Ryanair stands (legal strategy, financial optimization, communication), albeit composing a relevant model, might fall victims to the winds of change that have been blowing all over Europe.” The Centre for Aviation Policy noted Ryanair’s share of summer capacity at Stansted increased from 60pc in 2007 to 74pc in 2013. Listen to an analysis of the price war between Ryanair and Aer Lingus here, (contributors include Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry), on RTÉ’s Today programme with Sean O’Rourke.
Amadeus hosted their biggest golf day for the travel trade to date at the Heritage in Killenard, 14 teams and 56 golfers (up from 48 last year), with some spa guests as well. Picture shows the Amadeus team of Trish O’Leary, Volker Lorenz and Olwen McKinney and, on right, Volker posing with the overall winners Jonathan Adair of Northern Ireland Travel News and Yvonne Lennox of World Travel Centre. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Listen here to the speech by Clare Dunne, President of the ITAA, at the prize giving.
The Irish Tour Operators Federation AGM takes place in Palma today, unfortunately down John Kinane of Thomas Cook and ITOF CEO Flan Clune. Remarkably this is the first no-show in ITOF history since Eugene Corcoran of Budget Travel in 2007. Con Howard, Pat Dawson and Clare Dunne lead an ITAA delegation which will meet ITOF as part of the Camp Gonzalo peace accord organised by Gonzalo Ceballos. Guests and media flew out last (Saturday) evening,
Castleknock Hotel & Country Club won the AA Hotel of the year award, Tankardstown House won Guest Accommodation of the year, Hotel Westport the AA Courtesy and care award, Dolores Jordan of Red River Lodge Ballina the Bean an Ti of the Year, Shelbourne Hotel the AA Red Star award, Cliff House Waterford the AA 4 rosettes for culinary excellence. Gravetye Manor in West Sussex, Cringletie House in Peeblesshire, Llangoed Hall in Powys, and DUKES in London, were named among England’s best hotels. Slieve Donard in Down was the overall winner and the K Club in Straffan won the five star award in the Hotel & Catering Review Gold Medal Awards in Dublin.
The CSO monthly data showed US and Canada inbound figures were up 19.9pc. Leo Varadkar claimed that 300,000 visitors came for the Gathering, within 25,000 of his target. Kavanagh Fennell reported that 118 companies in the hospitality industry went to the wall so far this year, The IHF said 63pc of Irish hoteliers saw business from the UK either stall or decline during the summer period.
German, Czech, Belgian and Dutch holidaymakers were given the green light to return to Egypt’s Red Sea resorts by their country’s governments. Irish advice was still unchanged and advising against travel to Red Sea at the time of publication. The Belfast Wednesday charter continues. The turmoil in Egypt has once again hit package holidays to the Red Sea, Thomas Cook and TUI Travel warned.
The bonding system as we know it may be about to come to an end. The European Commission requested that Ireland respect the principle of free movement of services as regards travel agents and tour operators (Article 56 TFEU, Article 16 Services Directive, Article 3 e-commerce Directive). The directives criticised Ireland’s legislation and administrative practice which requires that tour operators and travel agencies from other Member States, intending to provide services in Ireland, “obtain an Irish authorisation, subscribe to an Irish bond, have a minimum capital required by Irish law and indicate a postal address in Ireland. These provisions do not take into account the fact that such service providers are entitled to provide services in other Member States and are already subject to insolvency protection requirements in their Member State of establishment, according to the Package Travel Directive.”
Tourism Ireland and a group of airlines, ferry companies, tour operators, regions and attractions promoted Ireland in the crucial French market at the IFTM Top Resa tourism trade fair in Paris from Monday to Thursday. Picture shows Marie Paul Arnold of Joe O’Reilly Tours and Huda Said of Tourism Ireland on the stand and Marc Faivre of Tourism Ireland talking to a trade buyer. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
The Michelin Star restaurants for 2013 included two newcomers. Garrett Byrne’s Campagne in Kilkenny and Ken Harker’s Lady Helen in Mount Juliet are additions to Ireland’s now nine Michelin Star restaurants: Aniar House in Galway (where Ultan Cooke replaced Enda McEvoy this year), Oliver Dunne’s Bon Appétit in Malahide, Adriaan Bartels and Martijn Kajuiter’s Cliff House in Ardmore and four in Dublin Patrick Guilbaud (2 stars), Ross Lewis and Martin Corbett’s Chapter One, SallyAnn and Derry Clarke’s L’Ecrivain and Kevin Thornton’s. Another 11 restaurants in Ireland appear in its Bib Gourmands section: Deasy’s in Co Cork; Sha Roe Bistro in Co Carlow; Chart House, Co Kerry; Courthouse, Co Monaghan; Aldridge Lodge, Co Wexford; Fishy Fishy Cafe, Co Cork, the Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna, and four in Dublin: Pig’s Ear, Pichet, Downstairs and Brasserie at Bon Appétit.
The city of Glasgow hosts 130 events a week nowadays, and is about to get a new 12,000 seat entertainment centre, Minty Woolgar of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau told us this week when she stopped by to visit Dublin and promote the city’s vibrant arts and music scene. Minty is pictured with Glasgow comedy festival director Sarah Watson, comedian Gary Little and Laura Vass of Glasgow attractions who hosted Irish travel writers at Chapter One restaurant in Dublin. Listen here to comedian Gary Little performing at the event.
Pictured on the Dubai Tourism and Etihad airways fam trip at Fairmont The Palm: Kathryn Vaughan of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Michelle Anderson of Sunway, Jill Rankin of Clubworld Travel, Michaela Piehl of Dubai Tourism, Elaine O’Hagan of Travel Counsellors, Jonathan Ritchie of Oasis Travel. Front row: Carla May of Dubai Tourism, Jacqueline Sheehan of Tropical Sky, Mary Downes of John Cassidy Travel, Fiona Lawless of Etihad Airways and Joanne McCabe of Atlas GoHop, See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Pictured on the Lowcost Beds agent trip to Costa Blanca in Spain: Suzanne Furlong of JustSplit.com, Brenda Quirke of Cassidy Travel, Borja Bedoya of the Spanish Tourist office, Grainne Caffrey of lowcostbeds.com, Aisling Crowe of Bowe Travel, Sarah Slattery of Skytours, Andrea Dixon of Cassidy Travel, Jean Cusack of Icon Travel and Emma Kilkelly of Kilkelly Travel.
The four week Facebook promotion by One Stop Travel Shop yielded its final prizewinners this week, Liberty Travel in Letterkenny. The Dawson Travel group are pictured receiving their Facebook Friday goodies from One Stop Travel Shop: Marlen Webelholz, Michela Borrello, Gaulia Vaira, Cecilia Battaiola, Dana Amthor, Marketa Brochazkoba and (front) Judy Coughlan. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Spain reported record tourism figures, 8.3m foreign tourists in all with English, French and German holidaymakers leading the charge. Irish visits was up 3.1pc to 148,700 according to the Frontur monthly report on foreigners movement at Spanish frontiers, “quite remarkable considering the fantastic weather here” according to Gonzalo Ceballos, director of the Spanish Tourism Office in Dublin. The cumulative figures for 2013 (January-August) reflect a total 925,790 Irish tourists visiting Spain, 8.3pc up on the same period in 2012. In the period January-September inclusive, there have been 1,099,635 passengers of every nationality on direct flights from Ireland to Spanish airports, up 6.22pc. Air capacity was up 5.9pc.
- Sydney was Dublin Airport’s biggest long haul airport for connecting passengers for the period Jul 2012-Jun 2013 The long haul top ten was: 1 Sydney, 2 New York, 3 Orlando, 4 San Francisco, 5 Los Angeles, 6 Melbourne, 7 Johannesburg, 8 Singapore, 9 Toronto, 10 Perth. The short-haul top 10 was 1 Helsinki, 2 Moscow, 3 Luxembourg, 4 Gothenburg, 5 Hamburg, 6 Hanover, 7 Nuremberg, 8 Oslo, 9 Bucharest and 10 Stockholm.
- Blue Insurance founder Ciaran Mulligan has bought out his co-founder Rowan Devereux. The two founded Blue Insurances in October 2003 with just one brand and zero customers. It has since grown to become a major international brand.
- Delta and Virgin were granted approval by the US authorities to coordinate fares and schedules on flights across the Atlantic.
- The Australian authorities are pursuing a Corkman for deportation costs of €20,000 after overstaying his visa by 30 months.
- A Readers Digest experiment involving 16 destinations and 192 mislaid wallets revealed Helsinki is the world’s most honest city and surprisingly Lisbon was least honest. Nearly half, 47pc, of the wallets were returned. The ranking was: 1 Helsinki (11 out of 12 returned), 2 Mumbai (9 out of 12 returned), 3 Budapest and New York (8 out of 12 returned), 5 Amsterdam and Moscow (7 out of 12 returned), 7 Berlin and Lubjiana (6 out of 12 returned), 9 London and Warsaw (5 out of 12 returned), 11 Bucharest, Rio de Janeiro and Zurich (4 out of 12 returned), 14 Prague (3 out of 12 returned), 15 Madrid (2 out of 12 returned), 16 Lisbon (1 out of 12 returned),
- Tour America’s trade fair next week in Moran’s Red Cow was previewed in the Irish Independent.
- Worldchoice ireland will announce the name of their new CEO this week as the start of a strategy to grow their members sales with new technology and marketing initiatives.
- Travel Counsellors Ireland now has 52 counsellors.
- A Consensus Research Group poll of 1,200 overseas travellers to the US found that 44pc would not visit again in the next five years because of the country’s hostile entry process.
- It was a bad week for techies. Aer Lingus reservations system failed and was down for an hour. A Heathrow Terminal 5 IT glitch grounded British Airways passengers, customers with bags for check-in were told they were unable to board planes until the computer error was fixed. Alaskans were sent on to a runway at Fairbanks International Airport by a glitch in the Apple Maps app on newer iPhones and iPads guides, instead of sending them on the proper route to the terminal.
- We saw a new island created by an earthquake which caused tragic loss of life in Pakistan.
- Catherine Mwabi, the former Kenyan ambassador to Ireland, was a great friend of the travel industry. There were tributes to Catherine Mwabi’s son Mbugua and his fiancée Rosemary Wahito who died in the Al Shabaab shootings in Nairobi’s Westgate Mall. Holidaymakers were urged not to be put off visiting Kenya, despite the Al Shabaab attack. Kenya tourism authorities sought to reassure travellers about Kenya’s safety, despite the attack in Nairobi.
- Ryanair confirmed it is in talks with Boeing to remove the rear toilets from its aircraft to allow for more seating. Brendan O’Connor noted that Ryanair’s giving consumers the two fingers and “openly trying to catch us out for more money is how all corporations operate but most of them tend to be more subtle about it. Ryanair was the only one that was honest. That refreshing honesty is gone now.” The Irish Indo noted that, nine days since it registered its Twitter account, Ryanair has amassed just a little more than 7,200 followers. Tony Ryan‘s biographer Richard Aldous commented that Ryan once said cheap and cheerful doesn’t have to mean shite. Denis O’Brien (surprise, surprise) contradicted Vincent Browne’s critique of Tony Ryan: “Tony Ryan was a man who had taken a very public humiliation but got back into the cockpit and headed skywards again.” Browne’s review of the Richard Aldous book claimed that Tony Ryan, while driven and ingenious, “was reckless and avaricious, and that intimidation was part of his management armoury.”
- Thomas Cook said winter trading had started more slowly across most markets due to warm weather across Europe. TUI increased the profit outlook it gave only seven weeks ago due to strong demand in Britain and the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden for summer holiday.
- A tiny exotic snake was found on a Qantas flight, leading to 370 passengers being delayed in Sydney overnight.
- Etihad unveiled its new European headquarters in Berlin.
- Protesters dived into Venice’s Giudecca canal to delay a procession of cruise ships, claiming they threaten foundations of city as they tower over rooftops and drown city in tourism.
- Siobhain Danaher’s photography Exhibition has opened in Terminal 1 of Dublin Airport (upstairs by the food hall.
- It was reported that passengers travelling through Heathrow could face an extra charge of up to €8.30 for using the airport from next April.
- There was continued reaction to the news that Michael Noonan plans to end the temporary reduction on VAT rates for the hospitality industry. Conor Brady noted that when the Sarkozy government cut the tax rates for the tourism sector from 19.6pc to 5.5pc, people started going out.
- Dublin’s Hilton Hotel went on sale with a guide price of €22 million. Pat McCann’s Dalata hotel group is planning further expansion beyond its 34 properties, following strong sales growth in 2012. Two hotels are up for sale in Limerick CBRE quoting €3 million for the three-star, 151-bedroom Jurys Inn, DTZ Sherry FitzGerald quoting €4 million for the 154-bedroom Radisson Blu Hotel on the Limerick-Shannon Road.
- Galway city plans to become the most pedestrianised town in Ireland. Prof Kevin Leyden from NUI Galway said the goal should be to have 85pc of all trips on foot, cycle or public transport by 2040.
- Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and Loop Head Peninsula are the Irish entrants in this year’s 10th annual 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards.
- Michael Ring opened the new €1.5m maritime section of the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum at The Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum, which expects 40,000 visitors this year, Michael Ring insisted the Gathering was a success and thanked all the “famous personalities” who knocked the initiative. Dublin’s Christchurch Cathedral and Charleville Forest Castle in Tullamore, Co Offaly. Ashford Castle in Cong, Co Mayo all feature in the Irish-made TV series ‘Reign, based on Mary Stuart to be broadcast on US Cable channel CW.
- Royal Caribbean launched Ocean Voyages, a collection of revised onboard programmes and new shore excursion packages on sailings between Europe and the Americas. All Royal Caribbean International ships to sail Ocean Voyages will also have completed revitalisation by early 2014.
- The ferry between Waterford Castle Island Resort and the mainland was halted by a two-hour stoppage on Friday, after a dispute between ferry operator and Waterford Castle hotel management.The hotel went into receivership a few months ago but is still operating.
- Lufthansa have pointed out in response to last week’s news item on that all seat reservations in advance are free on long-haul routes and changes relate to mid-price and lower fares on short/medium-haul routes only.
- Willie Walsh talked up BA’s China Links on the inaugural to Chengdu this week, and told guests on the flight that peripheral airlines may close and talked of Alitalia troubles. He said the Irish-British visa regime unwelcoming and bureaucratic.” Willie Walsh said the visa system showed David Cameron and George Osborne “lacked vision” in how to grow the English economy. IAG claimed that Heathrow boss Colin Matthews should be forced to step down if he refuses to invest £3bn to improve facilities over the next five years. Matthews launched an unprecedented attack on rival airport Gatwick issuing a list of services that have been withdrawn from Gatwick since 2008 as tempers flair in the debate over where to build new runways in the south-east of England. A local council outside London argued that Stansted should not build a second runway.
- Lloyd’s List, claimed as the shipping industry bible, one of the oldest newspapers in the world, abandoned print after 279 years to go on-line only.
- A tour operator launched snorkelling trips to Antarctica. Air New Zealand announced plans charter flights for scientists to land on an ice runway on Antarctica but has no plans for commercial trips.
- EasyJet got ready to select its 23rd base at Hamburg Airport,
- Authorities declared a state of emergency in Sochi due to flooding less than five months before the Russian city hosts the Winter Olympics.
- Two airline pilots confessed to being asleep in the cockpit at the same time during a long-haul flight. A survey claimed that one in three pilots said they have woken to find their co-pilot also asleep, and over half admit to on the flight deck.
- Liberty Travel in Letterkenny were the winners of the fourth and final week in the ISTS Facebook competition.
- The Irish Independent took stock of London City airport plans to add an extra 50,000 flights each year.
- Rory McDyer Travel in Clontarf are back in the office they had to vacate after a fire in July.
- Taleen Avaklan won the Multitrip.com FM104 prize of a trip to Australia.
- An appeal was made to Maldives resort staff to go on strike should elections scheduled for Saturday not take place by Mohamed Nasheed, the former president who was overthrown in an alleged coup last year. Tourists have been urged to avoid Botswana in protest at the alleged mistreatment of the country’s Bushmen.
- Diageo says the debate about Arthur’s Day means the festival is up for review. Watch Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry defending Arthur’s Day here on TV3’s Tonight with Vincent Browne (32 minutes into show).
- The English post office reported that a steep fall in the value of the South African rand has made holidays in Cape Town among the cheapest for those seeking winter sun,
- Ryanair announced arrangements with three car rental companies Hertz the premium brand (speed, service and flexibility), Thrifty (affordable value) and FireFly (no frills car rental).
- The London Telegraph praised the artist Paul Cox for bringing to life places and people.
- A survey claimed travel is more important than owning a home, getting married or having children.
- Falcon Holidays named the Falcon family: Anne White of Celbridge, Co Kildare together with her husband Elton and children, Katie aged 10 and Heather who will turn 6 while on holidays in Rhodes, travel for a holiday to remember to Falcon’s new destination for 2013, Rhodes. Pictured on the Falcon Holidays fam trip to Rhodes last week: Samantha O’Reilly of Falcon Clondalkin, Roisin Hamill of Thomson Lisburn, Emma Mcdermott of Falcon Tallaght, Olivia Flanagan of Best4Travel, Catherine Cinnamond of Falcon Limerick, Lisa Warren of Killiney Travel, Clare Hoog of Falcon, Clive Field of Falcon, Jana Adamkova of Falcon, Gary Byrne of Falcon, Aaron Fletcher of Oasis Travel, Mary Murphy of Skytours, Dave Smith of Falcon, Ita Hendrick of Travelworld and Loren Brown of Thomson Newtownards.
- A year ahead of the next Ryder Cup, Nick Trend suggested the best way to play the revamped course that will host the tournament.
- Butlers Chocolate Café is to open in Dublin airport Terminal 2 Oct 21.
- Cambodia offers the best value accommodation for backpackers, a survey has suggested, while Brazil and Australia among the most expensive destinations.
- German journalists pictured in Cork on a trip hosted by Tourism Ireland: Alexander Duethorn of Playgolf & Lifestyle magazine, Anna Maria Atzinger of Porsche Club magazine, Rudi Reiner ofchiliGOLF.de online golf publication, Cornelia Adam of Myself magazine. Cathleen Scheiner of Mitteldeutsche Zeitung newspaper; Frank Gindler of Porsch Club magazine, Helma Scheffler of Helma Scheffler PR and Reuben Bogatsu, hotel duty manager who welcomed the journalists to Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa.
- Princess cancelled a cruise after power failure and flew passengers home from Naples. P&O Cruises revealed the name of its eighth ship, which will be its biggest cruise ship. The £500m Britannia enters service next spring. It was a quiet national cruise week.
- The media circus that is the trial of Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino continued as the captain claimed that the ship’s watertight doors did not function properly. Schettino also argued that Indonesian helmsman Jacob Rusli Bin’s failure to understand his command to turn away from the rocks led to the crash.
- There was a mini-debate about Lufthansa’s use of Oktoberfest drindls in a staff promotion.
- It was reported that the yacht industry has enjoyed its best year since 2008, in further evidence the economy is bouncing back.
- A United Airlines pilot died after suffering a heart attack while flying from Houston to Seattle, forcing crew members to make an emergency landing in Idaho.
- The great plane robbery: Air France filed a complaint with French prosecutors after gold bars worth around €1.6m were stolen from a plane bound for Zurich from Paris.
- A hundred travel and tourism bloggers from over 15 countries will attend TBEX Europe 2013 conference next week in the Burlington Hotel Dublin, Oct 3-4.
- Chessington World of Adventures zookeepers in England said fake leopard print and tiger stripes was causing confusion or fear among their animals
- The London Telegraph said the time for sneering at Los Angeles is over – California’s most eccentric city deserves to be loved. Chris Stone took a trip on board British Airways’ new Airbus A380 “superjumbo” ahead of its inaugural flight to Los Angeles.
- Berlin will be illuminated from October 9-20 during the Festival of Lights, when 70 buildings and landmarks will be highlighted by multi-coloured lights from 7-11pm each night.
- Virgin Little Red cut fares to £88 return between Heathrow and Edinburgh, one of the routes operated by Aer Lingus. Tax and airport charges amount to £66.
- Rinne Iolar a chéad thuras go hÁrainn.
- The Falkensteiner Vienna has opened with 195 rooms blending period furniture with bright wallpaper.
- Huglr has launched a free app to share holiday photographs to view by invitation only.
- London-based Kilburn Gaels won the Aer LIngus hurling gathering in Galway, Australia beat New York in the Shield Final.
- Oliver Smith in the London Telegraph said that the chemtrails conspiracy theory, the belief that jet airliners are spraying mysterious chemicals as they fly over the country, to a US Air Force research paper about weather modification, and listed some other popular aviation-related conspiracy theories.
- The £2,500 Dolman Travel Book Award was shared by two authors: Kathleen Jamie, for Sightlines (Sort of Books) and Robert MacFarlane, for The Old Ways (Penguin).