My taxi will be waiting for a LONG time. That, apparently was the main thought going through the mind of English holiday maker Lamenda Kingdon from Plymouth when she was sent to Grenada instead of Granada by accident on a booking she made with her Avios miles. As she sipped her gin and tonic at 30,000ft, Lamenda Kingdon chatted to a fellow passenger about how much she was looking forward to visiting Spain. She was aghast when her neighbour replied: ‘Not on this plane, you won’t.’ Mrs Kingdon made it to the preferred Granada, after a two day delay, and Avios gave her enough points to travel to the next destination on her bucket list: New Zealand. The London Telegraph listed other infamous holiday mix-ups, including the Lisburn/Lisbon classic.
For the third month in a row, Ryanair carried eight million passengers in a single month, the only European airline to ever do so, up 2pc on October 2012 with load factor up 1pc from 82 to 83. But all the focus this week was on Ryanair’s customer experience revolution. Ryanair dropped the repulsive recaptcha from its website on Tuesday, two days earlier than expected, and gave customers a 24-hour grace period to allow customers to fix minor errors, such as spelling or pet names (Peggy, Paddy) in bookings. That facility is now in place, with more to come:
- The number of clicks needed to book to be reduced from 20 (they say 17) to five from Nov 30, thanks to the removal of opt-outs,
- An intuitive booking flow, which helps identify the cheapest fares from Nov 30.
- My Ryanair, which allows customers to securely store their details so they can save time when making repeat bookings from Dec 31.
- A facility to download boarding passes to smart phones from Feb 28.
- A revamped mobile app available for smart phones and tablets to allow your phone act as boarding pass from May.
- A share the fare option to allow users to share low fares on social networks from Mar 31.
- A fare finder feature, from April 30.
- Tailored language websites in all its major EU markets starting April 2014.
Michael Cawley gave a succinct and energetic description of Ryanair’s business model to the IATA Passenger Symposium in Dublin. It sounded pretty straightforward, Ryanair is run for the benefit of shareholders. Other airlines are not (listen to his account here). Cawley told the IATA symposium that Ryanair are unlikely to deal with travel agents or have third party distribution: “Michael O’Leary was misquoted, or so he told me.” (listen here). O’Leary told Travel Weekly that his comments on dealing with OTA’s were misreported. “We have accepted that you can’t get rid of or block out a lot of the OTAs. We license some where they are giving people the price comparison websites where they send people through to make the booking. But we continue to oppose the likes of eDreams and other screen scrapers where they engage in misleading customers to believe they are booking Ryanair when they are booking with eDreams. They don’t give us the email address so we can’t communicate with those passengers.” The passenger symposium also gathered the views of Michael Cawley and Stephen Kavanagh on the feasibility of trans-Atlantic low-cost (listen here), which offered some riposte to Michael O’Leary’s talk of ten-buck trans-Atlantic fares at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress a month ago.
The end of paper airline tickets is scheduled for April 2016, Tony Tyler the CEO of IATA said in Dublin this week, a true revolution to mark the centenary of Aiseirí na Cásca. Mr Tyler was speaking at a stormy IATA Passenger Symposium in Dublin, which brought together 703 delegates, 80 speakers and 50 exhibitors. The conference propagated a new word (screenagers), some great stats (2.5m cups of tea served on Aer Lingus flights, and the 38 different websites visited by average holiday maker before they make a booking), a few choice quotes (Michael Cawley: “the idea of Air France buying Alitalia is a joke, it is like two drunks holding each other up”), and not a little wisdom: (“how come theme parks like Disney are better able to construct customer offers than airlines” from Bryan Wilson and “put aside the idea that your intermediaries are your customer, the consumer is king,” from Anne Coughlan).
Three letters dominate proceedings. By day two most of us were nostalgic for the days when NDC meant National Dairy Council and were reaching for the Kerrygold.
Both Christoph Mueller and Alexandre de Juniac, CEO of Air France (pictured with Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry), made the point that the investment required for NDC was not high compared with the cost of aircraft. It costs more than €500m, the cost of NDC, to purchase two A330 aircraft. It was clear that nobody can match the investment potential of the airlines. Conor Brophy pointed out that Datalex’s entire cap funding, by comparison, was €40m.
Clare Dunne, President of the Irish Travel Agents Association was among a record 50 agents at the conference and she voiced the concerns about IATA’s New Distribution Capability: “We want something that delivers value, if we don’t do that, we won’t be in business.” Clare Dunne spoke on:
- what NDC means to ITAA members (listen here),
- how agents have not yet seen a solution (listen here),
- that the initial message about NDC had been confused and confrontational (listen here),
- a lot more clarity is required (listen here),
IATA reassured delegates that they did NOT plan world domination, at the cost of agents and GDS’s. NDC is not a channel, it is “channel-agnostic” (another buzzword of the conference), Yanik Hoyles of IATA repeated more than once. IATA’s message was somewhat conflicted, Tony Tyler CEO of IATA had commented in his opening remarks that travel agents technology is “built on pre-internet standards” and also said in response to a question from Travel Extra at the press conference that airlines needed more data about their customers to “help enhance their experience.” (listen here). Picture show Valerie Metcalfe of FCm, Clare Dunne of Travelbroker and Sinead Reilly of Travelport.
See highlights of Day 1 and Day 2 on the IATA website and the IATA release on improving the passenger experience. The Association premiered their video of the passenger of the future (watch here). Listen here to Tony Tyler’s opening remarks.
Instead of buying somebody else’s research as airlines do nowadays, Aer Lingus is going to rebuild its own technology and offer it for sale to other airlines. Christoph Mueller’s opening remarks to the symposium (listen here) talked about rebuilding the creaking Astral system (“older than most of the people in the room,” Gordon Wilson, of Travelport remarked). He elaborated further on this during the press conference (listen here) and Aer Lingus’s plan to sell IT systems to other airlines was reported by John Mulligan. Christoph Mueller said “the cost of deploying advanced PSS systems might still be an entry barrier to smaller airlines and that it “might be very useful” for them to team up with Aer Lingus. At its peak Astral had 20 airline clients around the world.
“Ancillary revenue is now a non-word,” Christoph said in his opening address (listen here), “we are changing the phrase to added value. We want our ancillary revenue to be edible, to be consumable, to be enjoyable.” Listen to responses by Christoph Mueller to questions at the press conference about customer experience, about ancillary charges, about airline regulation and about the threat of industrial action. Vincent Harrison of DAA told delegates that 80pc of DAA car park customers now pay online.
Prompted by mention of Germanwings, Michael Cawley spoke about the dismal record of those low cost carriers run by legacy carriers (listen here). Cawley compared Ryanair to other LCCs (for full audio listen here), mentioning the disadvantages of Chapter 11 to the airline sector in the USA (listen here) and made some interesting points on misconceptions about ticket prices and the demographics of low cost airlines, (listen here). Stephen Kavanagh of Aer Lingus told how customers determine the Aer Lingus business model (listen here), spoke about aspects of the LCC model (listen here) and pointed out how all European carriers have a problem (listen here). Picture shows the body language between Michael Cawley and Stephen Kavanagh during the session. See more pictures here from the IATA passenger symposium or connect with the album on Facebook.
Brian Stapleton, who did more than anyone in bringing this and other major aviation conferences to Dublin this year, was acknowledged at the IATA gala dinner in the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham. Anúna was the headline entertainment. The conference strategy is part of a programme to reflect Ireland’s leadership in the aviation industry reflected in a growing number of aviation conferences to be held here. There are two more before year’s end. See more pictures here of the Gala dinner or connect with the album on Facebook.
“There’s no grand transformation,” Michael O’Leary told the Irish Independent about the changes to Ryanair’s customer service model. He told the Daily Mail: “I’m not going soft. I don’t see any sign of me going soft, but it’s time to change the go to hell plan. I am an a***hole. But they still love me.” In a succinct comment piece: Oh really, O’Leary, the Economist mourned that, sadly, the appointment of a new marketing spokesman means the public will be seeing less of Mr O’Leary. “The world will be less cheerful without his readiness to pull a silly face, or don a leprechaun hat and matching pants, to publicise his airline. Or teasingly to suggest that his planes may charge for using the toilet or offer discounts for passengers prepared to stand up. Surely he was joking?” For a business “with a reputation for treating customers with an indifference bordering on hostility, Ryanair has done rather well,” the magazine concluded (in that deliciously smug under-graduate debate tone it uses).
Ryanair continued their termination of the €3 tax tour. After the surprises among eight new Ryanair routes from Shannon last week (anyone for Berlin?), this week they announced three more routes from Knock, Glasgow, Eindhoven and (a surprise) Kaunas in Lithuania. They will increase frequency on the Knock to Stansted routes from 16 to 18 flights pw, and now have 16 routes from Ireland West Airport Knock.
A company that will send a commission to the local agent if they take a direct booking? Welcome to Ifonly, which Martin Penrose, Debbie Black and Brendan Graham launched in Ireland this week hosting agents in Dublin and Cork. The trio explained how they will never sell directly and if they do get a direct sale will send a commission to the agent (listen here). Martin Penrose introduced the ifonly brand and philosophy (listen here), the role of ifonly business development manager (listen here) and the ifonly brochures & team (listen here). Picture shows Debbie Black, Martin Penrose, and Brendan Graham with event sponsors Karen Maloney of Etihad and of Michelle Pollock of JA resorts. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Alan Sparling, Country Manager for SAS Ireland (GSA) pictured with the flight captain of SE-DIR, scheduled to be the last MD-80 into Dublin, Captain Michael Tornberg (SE-DIR was scheduled to operate the flight initially but SAS changed the aircraft before the flight). The SAS morning service will continue to be operated by SAS’s subsidiary Blue1 using B717 (an MD-80 series development with the Boeing label) and the evening service will be an A320. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. See three pictures of the final MD80 flight from Mike Kelly here, here and here.
Carolyn Feimster came to Dublin to publicise a shopping revolution, a new outlet eight minutes the Outlets at Assembly, just eight minutes from Boston City, due to open in May. Kathy Anderson from America’s Premier Shopping Places highlighted the developments in the group’s 26 properties. Carolyn and Kathy are pictured with Polly Bond of Tour America, a prize winner at their showcase event in the Residence. Apparently they have patented the word “streetmosphere” in Las Vegas. Good job nobody told Con Houlihan. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
The tourism team from San Francisco came to Dublin to whip up support for Aer Lingus’s new daily service to commence in April. They hosted travel media in Fade Street social. New developments in the city of Alcatraz, Haythe, Sonoma/NAPA and 9,000 restaurants include the new SFJAZZ Center in the Heart of the city, built specifically for jazz music and audiences, the Exploratorium move to the Embarcadero Pier 15, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Retrofit and the Fisherman’s Wharf makeover and upgrade Picture shows Joe D’Allesandro, President/CEO of San Francisco Tourism, Kandace Bender, Deputy Airport Director, SFO Airport, Tom Kiely, Exec VP San Francisco Tourism, Angela Jackson, Director, Media Relations, International and Hubertus Funke, Director, International Tourism, Europe (see more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook). They hosted the trade in the wonderfully Hallowe’en style surroundings in the Crypt in Christchurch. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
- Video of the week shows the moment a paragliding instructor orders his tourist student to pray as they get lost in thick cloud above Rio de Janeiro.
The industry declared that winter had arrived. The winter season kicked off with 250 new air routes worldwide in the first two weeks (including Dublin-Newcastle). Listen to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry talking winter travel with Brenda Donoghue on RTE One radio on Monday, the voice disintegrating with each listener’s question.
- There was further coverage of the book Lethal Allles by Travel Extra’s Anne Cadwallader, which was launched in Derry and Dublin this week. Listen to the piece on RTE’s Morning Ireland.
- Pressure is on Europe after the US aviation regulator lifted the ban on use of e-books and tablets on flights. JetBlue and Delta were first to let passengers use gadgets during takeoff and landing.
- Aer Lingus offered a discount of 50pc off checked baggage for travel between April and Sept 2014. Book by Nov 3.
- Aer Lingus announced summer 2014 schedule, increased capacity routes from Dublin include Alicante (lead in fares from €73.99), Bilbao (€56.99), Bordeaux (€56.99), Corfu (€116.99), Lanzarote (€116.99), Nice (€63.99) and Santiago de Compostela (€63.99), Shannon to New York and Boston (€229 each way including taxes and charges, almost doubling the schedule and operating year-round), and Cork to Barcelona and London Heathrow. New routes to San Francisco and Toronto from Dublin, announced with much fanfare earlier this year, will also begin next April.
- Aer Lingus Regional said they are to use four extra aircraft on routes from Dublin to Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff.
- Venezuela is to introduce a tourist exchange rate in an effort to tackle black market trading.
- A boy from Montpellier fell under a boat at the end of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disney Paris, he fell into the water and got caught between the wall and the boat,
- LAX gunman Paul Anthony Ciancia had a grudge against TSA, according to Dublin journalist Rory Carroll’s report in the Guardian.
- There were attempted bomb explosions in Monastir and Sousse in Tunisia. The DFA advice remains: visitors and residents should exercise caution and follow the advice given by the local authorities.
- Etihad suspended the Tripoli service for “safety and operational challenges” it has observed in recent months at the Libyan capital’s airport.
- The Ryanair Pilots Group Press Conference in Brussels announced officially the formation and aims of the RPG.
- The LRC was called in on the Aer Lingus-IMPACT Shannon row.
- London Sleep Centre research showed the value of an extra inch of wriggle room, a seat 18 inches wide improves quality of sleep by 53pc above a seat 17 inches wide, Airbus called on airlines to implement an 18 inch minimum (both Aer Lingus and Ryanair use seats that are 17 inches wide) The London Telegraph pondered are airline seats getting smaller or are we getting bigger?
- Ethiopian Airlines takes delivery of the first of its four Boeing 777-300ERs next weekend. The B777-300ER will be the largest aircraft in the airline’s fleet with 400 passengers seating capacity.
- Cardholders of all Oneworld member airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will receive double mileage points over a two-and-a-half month period when flying with Qatar Airways to celebrate the airline’s joining Oneworld.
- Air France is to launch a daily A380 service to SFO in March for the summer 2013 season.
- Emirates is to expand the Dubai-Hong Kong service operated by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft before being upgraded to a larger Boeing 777-300ER later in the year
- Heathrow cancelled 20 times more flights than Gatwick during last weekend’s storms.
- Dubai’s newest airport, which could be the world’s busiest within ten years, received its first commercial passenger aircraft.
- Qantas offered sneak peak of upcoming lounges in Hong Kong and Los Angeles
- Etihad adding eight live TV channels to its inflight entertainment, BBC World News, BBC Arabic, Euronews and Sport 24. Further channels will then be added
- Passengers took to Twitter after a fellow passenger sneaked a snake on board an Easyjet flight.
- Ryanair announced low cost transfers from 31 airports in partnership with Plus Group, including troublesome transfer spots such as Girona and Memmingen.
Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry visited the new visitor centre in Eyjafjallajökull on his trip to Iceland. For a place that caused so much havoc it looks serene – one of the only airports left open in Europe in April 2010 was Keflavik, because the ash was blowing away in the other direction. Éist le cúntas ar an Íoslainn ar Raidio na Gaeltachta.
- Amadeus said that London has maintained its position as the world’s largest LCC city by capacity.
- Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse has launched at Terminal 4 at JFK The airside space is double the size of Virgin Atlantic’s previous Clubhouse.
- British Airways sale sees reductions of up to 41pc on long haul destinations worldwide.
- IAG chief executive Willie Walsh dismissed Norwegian’s low fare US plans and warned the airline will face “huge challenges” to keep its transatlantic costs as low as it has advertised. Last week he appeared on stage with Michael O’Leary at the Airport Operators Association in London.
- Pre-tax profits at Shannon-based duty-free operator Aer Rianta International almost halved last year to €18.9m.
- Iran Air, which has been severely hampered by the international sanctions against the country it represents, has one of the most eye-catching logos of all, Skit;.com compiled the 30 Best-Looking Airlines Logos in The World
- Stena Line introduced a special offer of five meals for under £5 each.
- This week sees the end of the Brittany Ferries 2013 departures until March 15th 2014. The ferry company says the season ended with a buzz for French midterms and good numbers of passenger on these last two sailings numbering 4500 passengers and 1100 cars, mostly French.
Wendy Aitken has been newly appointed as Head of Recruitment and Training for Holiday Experts, the new homeworking division of Jeff Collins’ Best 4 Travel. Wendy was previously General Manager for Thomas Cook retail in Ireland.
- Amadeus announced an agreement with dnata, one of the world’s largest combined air services providers
- ITAA president Clare Dunne sets off for the World Summit of Presidents of Association of Travel agencies in Cordoba after WTM this week.
- Lowcosttravelgroup launched new business and consumer websites in the US, New Zealand and South Korea. The Lowcost headquarters is moving to Spain, where CEO Paul Evans and marketing manager Alex Gisbert are based. Clem Walshe will continue to head up the Irish operation.
- ITIC concluded from the latest CSO figures: overseas tourism is having one of its best years since 2007, with arrivals for the first 9 months up 6.4pc. Visits from North America are at an all-time high, while arrivals from mainland Europe continue to grow, although more modestly, and visitors from Britain appear to be on the turn after many years of dismal performances.
- Innstant Travel launched its new product “Sports Tickets Online”.
- Sunway’s new Florida, USA Cities and Canada 2014 brochure features Orlando from €579, New York from €680 and Las Vegas from €675.
- Trailfinders launched their 2014 Caribbean brochure to be followed by Islands of the Indian Ocean 2014 (Nov 12), a dedicated brochure on Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman 2014 (Nov 18, on the back of Etihad’s and Emirates direct flights to the area) Africa and The Middle East (Dec 7), all orderable on http://www.trailfinders.ie/brochures (you can order up to 3 brochures before 4pm each day and they’ll be posted out that same day).
- Insight Vacations launched their Europe Brochure 2014.
- Bookabed released details of their prizes on a Fam Trip to Chicago in December. US. Hotels booked before Nov 22 will earn 5 Bookabed Points, any USA direct Aer Lingus flight or a Kimpton property will receive 5 extra bonus points, USA Attractions through the call centre will receive 5 bonus points.
- Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises announced improvements to their res system and a two month agent training and sales blitz, link here.
- New York’s Ellis Island reopened to the public one year after Hurricane Sandy forced its closure. NYC & company is focusing on Long Island City in Queens as part of the neighbourhood x neighbourhood. Details of new year celebrations in all five boroughs were released.
- The 40 members of Hotels & Preference, a chain of 150 chic luxury hotels, are offering a 15pc commission rate to travel agencies for reservations made until Feb 28 2014.
- Jim Vaughan’s Justsplit.com has appointed Frank McCaffrey, formerly of SAS, as Sales and Marketing Manager.
Tourism Ireland sent their largest ever trade mission to China. Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar (centre) and Philip Grant, Irish Consul General for western US (left) are pictured with Irish tourism enterprises and Tourism Ireland staff, during Tourism Ireland’s Jump into Ireland event in San Diego. The Digital Tourism Brand Index said Tourism Ireland leads Europe in digital marketing. The Digital Tourism Brand Index rewarded Tourism Ireland for its use of Facebook (the organisation has more than 1.7m fans worldwide.
Waterford Castle Hotel and Golf Resort celebrated the launch of its new Ferry Service but the ferry needs a name. Derek Coyne, Waterford Castle’s General Manager and Waterford model, Amy Ahearne launched the “Name the Ferry” competition inviting entries to the hotel Facebook page.
Ireland’s first Welcome Ambassadors graduated in Kilkenny. Pictured are: Aidan Pender and Amanda Horan, Fáilte Ireland with British ambassador to Ireland, Dominick Chilcot, Kilkenny’s Lord Mayor Martin Brett, Dermot Gaynor, Destination Kilkenny and members of Kilkenny Town Council.
The Loop at Dublin and Cork airports won Marketing Campaign of the Year at the Frontier Awards in Cannes for its Christmas campaign, The Joy of Giving. Picture shows Cathy Burke, Nicola Wells and Sue Kelly of DAA receiving the award.
- Dromoland Castle will open for Christmas and New Year after a break of 10 years as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, rates begin at €2220 for 2 adults and 2 children.
- South African Tourism’s Ubuntu Awards will be re-launched during this year’s WTM on the Monday evening Nov 4th.
- Many of the 10,000 attendees in Dublin for Web Summit 2013 were hosted on tours by Fáilte Ireland.
- Europarc Federation’s annual conference and general assembly will take place in Killarney September 28th to October 1st 2014. The organisation represents Europe’s Protected Areas with 400 members in 35 countries.
- Turner Prize 2013 is coming to Derry, the first time the award has ever been held outside England. The 2013 exhibition is being staged at Ebrington and is running until January 5 featuring work by the four nominated artists.
- P&O Cruises and Cunard have scrapped their Vantage and Getaway fares after criticism from agents and from customers.
- Conde Nast Traveler readers awards listed eight Irish properties in its top 20 of European resorts: the Lodge At Doonbeg at number one, Dromoland Castle at number four, Sheen Falls at number seven, Adare Manor at number eight, Ashford Castle at number nine, Mount Juliet at number 14, Killarney Royal Hotel, at number17 and Galway Bay Hotel at number 18 in Europe.
- Travelodge the most visited chain in Britain, with 500 hotels, had an overall score of 50pc in a survey by Which magazine. The top six hotels customer satisfaction score were Q hotels 78pc, Radisson Blu Edwardian 77pc, Premier Inn 76pc, Sofitel 74pc, DoubleTree by Hilton 71pc, Park Plaza 71pc. The bottom six: Britannia Hotels 36pc, Travelodge 50pc Ramada 51pc, PH Hotels 51pc, De Vere Village 51pc, Shearings Hotels 52pc.Bookings made between now and November 3, for travel between April 1 and September 30, will get 50pc off the cost of any checked baggage.
- Trinidad and Riga were surprise inclusions in Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities for 2014, 1 Paris, 2 Trinidad, Cuba, 3 Cape Town, 4 Rīga, 5 Zürich, 6 Shanghai, 7 Vancouver, 8 Chicago, 9 Adelaide, 10 Auckland. Lonely Planet listed their 10 best countries to visit in 2014: 1 Brazil, 2 Antarctica, 3 Scotland, 4 Sweden, 5 Malawi, 6 Mexico, 7 Seychelles, 8 Belgium, 9 Macedonia, 10 Malaysia, Other Lonely Planet lists released the week (not all made sense) included best value destinations (including Portugal, Greek Islands and Italy’s heel, best adventure travel (including stand-up paddleboarding in Dominican Republic), best family destinations (including Iceland, New York and Thailand), best honeymoon destinations (Cappadocia at the top), ten best small islands (some of them not very small), top ten regions (Majorca, Texas, Yorkshire) and ten best destinations for feline fanatics (including Hemingway’s cats in Key West),
- Brits are petitioning the Whitehall Department for Education to overturn a ban on family holidays during term-time. The London Telegraph offered tips on how to keep travel costs down during the school holidays.
- Plans for a Venetian theme park were unveiled, featuring a 55-metre Ferris wheel and rollercoaster.
- Tamir Kobrin, General Manager of New Delhi’s top ranked property Leela Palace, said that the most important marketing mechanism for his guests who have stayed, had a positive experience, and gone on to talk about it.
- The Teeling Whiskey Company released a new bottling of Single Grain Irish Whiskey – one of only a handful of such expressions in the world.
- Findery presented a convincing case to visit Australia.
- Brazilians are the biggest spenders in Ireland according to Hotels.com Hotel Price Index
- Gateway Singapore uploaded an excellent guide to moving abroad and getting things safely there.
- The scare stories have started before Scotland’s vote for freedom, London Telegraph were told a passport may be required to enter Scotland (is there any road border in Europe where a passport is required?).
- Inadequate insurance could cost cruise passengers thousands in medical bills, the consumer magazine Which Travel warned.
- Tour operator Thomas Cook was criticised for imposing mark-ups of up to 325pc on hotel accommodation for travelling football fans
- The Alitalia bailout from Italian Post Office found another critic in the Economist: How not to rescue an airline.
- The London Telegraph listed low-cost airlines destinations that deposit you miles from your destination.
- The London Independent asked if there is still, ahem, a place for the independent (no relation) travel agent.
- The African Queen used in the 1951 Hollywood classic film is to sail again on commercial cruises up Uganda‘s Nile in the coming weeks. (Another boat claiming to be an original from the film is now in Florida, also having been restored, running daily cruises).
- Donall O’Keeffe of the Licensed Vintners’ Association claimed pubs are pivotal to society in Ireland.
- Aer Lingus Regional is to increase its seats by 10pc from Cork. The Southern Star served up a hilarious critique of Cork airport.