Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Westjet send a 737 eastward

The wide Atlantic doesn’t seem as wide as it once did. Friday’s announcement of Westjet’s new daily direct service from Dublin to St John’s to launch June 15 2014 was as much newfoundplan as Newfoundland. Eugene Corcoran and Clem Walshe brought a 737 across the Atlantic in their Budget Travel days, a charter to the Dominican Republic that had a fuel stop at St John’s.

Gregg Saretsky

The idea popped up again at the Routes conference in Las Vegas, especially as Gregg Saretsky‘s (pictured) Boeing next-gen 737-700s are capable of a maximum range of about 6300km. St John’s to Dublin is Westjet’s first Transatlantic venture and offers 136 seats (in 18-118 configuration) with a deceptively short five hour flight time, an hour shorter than Westjet’s Vancouver to Honolulu service. The season will run from June 14 to October 5, flights departing Dublin at 8.20am and St John’s at 11.15pm.

cormac o'connell routes 001 copyThe aircraft will then continue on to Toronto to bring us our third daily flight to a city that had just a seasonal service until recently, and the airline is stressing the daily connections it offers between Dublin and Halifax, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and other cities across WestJet’s network. Canada is the big story for 2014. We will now have 25 flights a week to Toronto with Aer Lingus (Boeing 757) and Air Canada Rouge’s daily flights (Boeing 767-300ER), Air Transat and Westjet. Picture shows Cormac O’Connell presenting Tom Ruth of Halifax Airport with a rare 21-year old Teeling whiskey at Routes 2013 in Las Vegas.

The distance to St John’s is 2,051 miles (3,300 km) shorter than Ryanair’s longest route, Billund to Tenerife Sur (2,298 miles, 3,699km, 5 hr 20 min) using a Boeing 737-800 and not that much longer than Dublin to Tenerife (1828 miles). Norwegian Air Shuttle use a 737-800 to fly Oslo to Dubai (3,208 miles 5,133km, 7 hours). Copa Airlines brings a 737-700 from Montevideo to Panama City (3,385 miles, 5,446km, 07 hr 30 min). Would Ryanair be tempted?

Kevin Toland’s press release said that “new routes and expansions for next year already announced by customers such as WestJet, Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Norwegian and Air Canada Rouge will continue and strengthen our recent growth phase.” Norwegian? Does he know something we don’t?michael o'leary enda kenny copy

There was a touch of double vision about the other big announcement of the week, Ryanair’s nine new Dublin routes announced on Thursday: Almeria (2w), Bari (2w), Basel (3w), Bucharest (4w), Chania (Crete 2w), Comiso (Sicily 2w), Lisbon (7w), Marrakesh (2w) and Prague (5w), from April 2014 bringing the number of Dublin routes to 85. The number of flights was doubled by counting in both directions for each of the nine new (and renewed) destinations named in Ryanair’s press release, as were the 100 extra flights promised by Michael O’Leary, on existing routes to Birmingham (+7w), Bristol (+7w), Edinburgh (+14w), Madrid (+2w), Manchester (+7w), Nice (+1w), Prestwick (+7w) and Stansted (+7w).

Michael O’Leary was joined for the first time at a routes announcement by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Kevin Toland of the DAA and ministers Leo Varadkar and Michael Ring. The announcement was carefully choreographed, The conference started at 9am, The Ryanair press release landed at 9.03am, Department of Transport press release at 9.15, Tourism Ireland press release at 9.28 and DAA press release at 9.31. Politicians have been slow to acknowledge the tourism potential of flights to Italy and Spain in the past, which were regarded as outbound sun services. Even at that, the promise of 700,000 extra passengers looks a tad optimistic.

The press conference was a jolly affair. An Taoiseach simulated a Ryanair trumpet sound for his rare on-time arrival. Enda Kenny remarked Ryanair had put their money where their mouth was. The hospitality sector has a real opportunity here, with up to am extra people coming to our country.”

Kevin Toland said the number of travellers using Dublin airport to connect to other destinations is up 43pc year-on-year,

O’Leary was as quotable as ever: “I’ve become incredibly sensitive to families travelling abroad now that I’m one of the families travelling abroad” and “we’ll also be announcing significant discounts for anyone who wants to accompany my wife and children whenever they next travel abroad.” Michael Ring went so far as to describe him as cuddly.

O’Leary then went on to tell the Chartered Accountants Leinster Society that new Ryanair fare structures will allow business passengers to alter flight times and dates as part of their ticket price in the event that their schedule changes, flexi-fares and fast-track security and the airline is developing a product specifically for families travelling with children under the age of 16 with discounted child fares and all-in bundles with allocated seating and check-in baggage. See video here.

O’Leary was equally loquacious in Limerick at the weekend where cited Peppa Pig and commenting that the economies that discourage women to the workplace, are doomed to failure“, and telling the accountants: “When the market tells you they want more customer service, I will customer service the s*** out of the market” and commenting at the press conference: “I’m newly attuned to a market I had absolutely no concept of before, which was mothers travelling with their children, dragging the fathers along behind.”ryanair's new look nov 2013 copy

The following day the Ryanair website got a new look, with a smiling parent and a happy child. There was coverage of the new destinations in the Irish Independent and Irish Times. Even as the news was being reported the Moroccan Government announced they are to introduce a €9 air tax on departing passengers from April 2014. Could Marrakech come to a halt before it starts?

US Airways is to use a larger aircraft on its Philadelphia to Dublin service, an Airbus A330-200 with 252 seats, between March 29 and October 24 next year. It will have 20 Envoy Suite lie-flat seats and 232 seats in economy. US Airways are the second airline to introduce lie-flat seats on the north Atlantic routes from Ireland after Delta.

United Airlines has launched its all-new mobile application  for the iOS 7 platform, offering customers new features, better functionality and improved touch-friendly design that enables travellers to access information more quickly and easily. The new mobile app, which United designed specifically for iOS 7 and is fully functional on earlier iOS versions, updates its most-popular mobile tasks and introduces new features, including: travel cards for mobile boarding passes. United will launch a similar all-new app for the new Android operating platform, KitKat, in the coming months.

Lufthansa Technik Airmotive employees in Rathcoole were told that its German parent company wants to shut the plant because of a downturn in business. It has given staff 30 days to help turn it around, but union the TEEU believes it will be an “insurmountable task”. Airmotive Ireland was set up by Aer Lingus in 1980 with Lufthansa Technik taking a 60pc shareholding in 1997 and full ownership in 1999.

Agreement proposals emerged concerning the Aer Lingus Shannon base at 5am on Friday morning, include plans to retain the Shannon based crew while work on the new routes will be conducted by Aer Lingus employees, The initial flights from January 6 will operate with five cabin crew where possible to facilitate training on new aircraft. From March, the flights would have four cabin crew, under the terms of documents produced by LRC director of conciliation Kevin Foley. Christoph Mueller told an audience in London prior to the talks: “We wanted to fly that route with our own crew because of our legendary service, particularly from our base in Shannon, and unfortunately the union did not agree with the crewing level” (listen here).

Even by the torrid standards of Aer Lingus industrial relations, last week’s meeting on the pension deficit was remarkable. Unions claimed that the airline representatives walked out, he airline said this was not the case, although allegations were made against one of the negotiators or “matters that were unrelated to the pension issue were introduced in a manner that was unacceptable to Aer Lingus. The environment was therefore not conducive to appropriately discussing the pension matter. Elsewhere the pensions board queried a planned investment in credit default swaps CDSs.

Thomas Cook Airlines Group is requesting proposals from airports via the Route Exchange, the online platform for air service development, to support its plans for expansion. TCAG has a responsibility for a fleet of around 90 aircraft. The majority of these are short-haul jets, but the combined airline partners have a wide-bodied fleet number 20 aircraft, comprising 15 Boeing 767-300s and five Airbus A330-200s. “It will allow them to source data and information in line with their chosen criteria and target markets,” said Declan Maguire, Business Development Manager, Route Exchange. Dublin-Cancun is among the routes considered.Pic 1

Star Alliance organised a networking event with Fingal Chamber in the Radisson Blu hotel. Picture shows Brian Hughes of United Airlines, Joanne Burgess of Air Canada, Alan Sparling of SAS, Nizam Bulut of Turkish Airlines and Helen Fyfe of Lufthansa Group. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.DBurke SWilliams JRafter DShearer DOGrady MKing

Royal Caribbean hosted agents at Bang restaurant. Picture shows Dominic Burke of Travel Centres, Steve Williams of Royal Caribbean, Jenny Rafter of Royal Caribbean, Don Shearer of Worldchoice, David O’Grady of etravel and Mary King of Travelsavers at the Royal Caribbean event hosted by Steve Williams in Bang restaurant. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.photo 2

Volker Lorenz of Amadeus and John Galligan of JGT are pictured at the Turkish Open where a group of Irish agents were hosted by Murat Balandi of Turkish Airlines. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

DoSomethingDifferent announced a 3-for-2 on Florida’s attractions, the 3-Park SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens. The tickets cost €106 for adults and €100 for children and include free coach transportation to Busch Gardens from Orlando on the Busch Gardens Shuttle Express. The ticket is, for a limited period only, the same price as the 2-Park Tickets: SeaWorld and Busch Gardens and SeaWorld and Aquatica. The three park ticket allows unlimited admission to all three parks for up to 14 days and at the moment, costs less than two single day admission tickets.group Vitosha Nature Park 001

Bulgaria’s tourist board hosted a group of international travel writers to showcase the picturesque Rhodope mountains, fortresses, villages, caves and lakes, all far removed from the boisterous Black Sea resorts usually visited by Irish tourists. Picture shows international travel writers and their hosts pictured at the stunningly autumnal Vitosha Nature Park just half an hour from Sofia: Velina Moneva, Lucy Segal, Anthony Lydekker, Valeri Grigorov, Yulia Mihaylova, Ricky Ghosh, Janette Griffiths, Desislava Gyurova, Snejano Petrova, Vasile Szakacs, Yulian Antonov. Front row: Debbie Stowe, Oliver Segal, Eoghan Corry and Annie Haralambieva.TOURISM IRELAND LEADS LARGEST EVER SALES MISSION TO CHINA

A delegation of 13 Irish tourism companies embarked on a sales mission to travel agents and tour operators in Johannesburg and Cape Town with Tourism Ireland this week, in a bid to grow Ireland’s share of this emerging tourism market.msc rebecca and ceo

Giles Hawke is the new Ireland & UK Managing Director of MSC Cruises. He is pictured with Gianni Onorato new Chief Executive Officer of MSC Cruises and Rebecca Kelly of MSC Ireland.

Emirates Group recorded a 13pc increase in revenues to AED 42.3bn (US$ 11.5bn), and 4pc increase in net profits to AED 2.2bn (US$ 600m). Emirates carried 21.5m passengers (up 15pc), added 10 new aircraft (16pc increase in capacity), held seat load factor steady at 79.2pc, and returned a net profit of AED 1.7bn (US$ 475m)

Ryanair announced that 91pc of their 51,000 flights in October arrived on-time and there was less than 1 complaint per 1,000 passengers and less than 1 bag complaint per 2,000 passengers, while 99pc of complaints were answered within 7 days.

Total flights in Irish-controlled airspace in October increased by 4.4pc when compared with the same month last year. There was an average of 1,512 daily flights during October 2013, with the busiest day being 11th October with 1,718 flights. The figures for commercial terminal traffic for the three State airports for October are as follows:

  • Dublin up 4.3pc with an average of 466 daily movements.
  • Cork down 5.4pc, with an average of 56 daily movements.
  • Shannon up 1.5pc with an average of 51 daily movements.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation has granted licences to Boyce Coach Travel and Manasik Tours. Up to date licence details for travel agents and tour operators with both current and expired licences can be seen here.worldchoice

Shaping Our Future is the theme of the Worldchoice Ireland conference November 30th in the Pillo hotel. Ashbourne. Picture shows Joe Tully, Garry Zancarano, Michael Doorley and Don Shearer of Worldchoice.

Aer Lingus BIA Menu #7136E4Aer Lingus new onboard menu on short-haul flights was collaborated with chef and restaurateur Clodagh McKenna. Clodagh’s Kitchen for Bia, includes a carrot cake muffin and a butter fruit scone, baked fresh daily, the Irish Croque Monsieur known as a ‘Cheesy Mister’, a Caprese Panini and Chicken Caesar Wrap, all priced at €5.00.  Afternoon options include a finger sandwich selection, smoked salmon & cream cheese, egg & cress and a ploughman’s. Clodagh has developed two signature dishes for the Aer Lingus Bia menu, a pastrami and pickle sandwich and a cheese board featuring Gubbeen Irish farmhouse cheese and Ditty’s artisan oat cakes priced at €4.50. New additions to the drinks menu include a craft beer by Creans Irish Lager, brewed in Dingle, Co Kerry. The menu will change twice yearly, with the second menu due to be introduced in June 2014. Clodagh is also developing a selection of pre-order meals which will launch for sale on aerlingus.com in the coming weeks. Picture shows Clodagh McKenna with Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller and cabin crew members Claire Sutton and Leanne Donnelly. Elsewhere, Ballivor chef Richard Corrigan is to create the in-flight menu for premium passengers on Air Malaysia’s London to Kuala Lumpur route. British Airways said they were tackling the challenge of flavourless airline food with a unique ingredient.

  • Just over 17.3m passengers travelled through Dublin Airport in the year to October up 5pc, with October’s figure of 1.8m passengers also up 5pc on last year. England was up 5pc to over 642,000, Europe routes up 2pc to 930,000, Transatlantic up 13pc to 160,000, other international (mainly Middle East) up 11pc to 43,000 and domestic up 19pc to 6,000.
  • Peter Walton - Chief Executive, IAGTO, Marian Muro - General Director of Tourism Catalunya, Josep Poblet - President of the Assembly of Tarragona, Mark Walsh - Portfolio Director, Reed Exhibitions, Calle Carlsson -EIBTM opened in Barcelona. Costa Daurada and LUMINE Mediterránea Beach & Golf Community hosted the International Golf Travel Market. Picture shows Peter Walton, Marian Muro of Tourism Catalunya, Josep Poblet of the Assembly of Tarragona, Mark Walsh of Reed Exhibitions, Calle Carlsson of LUMINE Golf & Beach Community, Gloria Penafiel of Turespana, and Angel Llopis, President of Costa Daurada Golf Association.
  • New York State launched new outdoor adventure & heritage workshops for agents.
  • Incredible India announced a new luxury train journey – the Indian Odyssey, featuring cave temple architecture, the lakes and palaces of Udaipur, trails of tigers and the Taj Mahal.
  • Carlos Alonso, the newly-appointed President of the Tenerife Island Government hosted guests at an “Evening under the Stars at WTM. They also launched the video “The Island of Hidden Volcanoes”. The island’s new focus is based on nature, especially on the island’s volcanic heritage and stargazing.
  • Aer Lingus was recognised in the 2013 Guardian, Observer and guardian.co.uk Travel Awards. The airline came third in the best Economy Class Airline category, following Emirates and Singapore airlines, making it the highest ranking European airline in the category.
  • Sunway launched their Florida, USA Cities and Canada 2014 brochure with offers of Orlando from €579. New York from €680 and Las Vegas from €675.
  • palacio de la mecredClare Dunne represented the ITAA at the the first World Summit of Presidents of Travel Agents Associations which was held in the Palazzio de la Merced (pictured) in Cordoba. Predictably, IATA’s new NDC dominated the agenda.
  • Westminster put forward proposals to raise cash at England’s border posts by charging for “premium fast-track processing.” Others disagreed with the idea. VisitEngland launched a new video mapping out what it thinks will shape holiday decisions to visit the country in 2014: it predicts that “poshtels”, the arts and lycra will all play a part in English holidays next year. Stoke-on-Trent Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Mercia features in a new exhibition. Work has just started on England’s first Civil War museum, which will open in the Nottinghamshire town of Newark in September next year. England’s National Trust has launched a new literary award for books about the countryside.
  • Research carried out by the Food Safety Professionals Association revealed that 20pc of people in Ireland don’t wash their hands after using the toilet. The hospitality sector scored lowest across the 4 types of toilet facilities surveyed, with just 71pc washing their hands. The Conference on Tuesday  November 19th in The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin Shifting Plates: Influencing Ireland’s food choices at home and abroad will be addressed by Tourism minister Leo Varadkar.
  • Flybe announced it is to cut 500 jobs in a profit drive, of which 52 jobs are to be lost at Belfast. Flybe has not said whether its Irish operations will be affected by a route review. Six bases are to close. The Irish Independent ponder this could adversely impact Ryanair’s appeal as there would be even less competition in the Irish market. Flybe shares fell after the embattled airline’s majority shareholder sold his entire 48.1pc stake.
  • john fitzJohn Fitzpatrick (pictured) was elected chair of the American Hotel & Lodging Association representing 52,000 properties, 4.9m bedrooms, 1.8m hotel property employees, and annual revenue of $155.5bn.
  • American and US Airways reached a settlement agreement with the American Department of Justice and State Attorneys General, as well as a separate agreement with the Department of Transportation, which will allow the final steps in creating the new American Airlines. American Airlines and US Airways will divest slots and gates to “low-cost” airlines in order to enhance system-wide competition. American has agreed to maintain its hubs in Charlotte, New York (Kennedy), Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago (O’Hare), Philadelphia, and Phoenix for three years.  The new American Airlines will trade under symbol ‘AAL’ on Nasdaq. Virgin America argued for barriers to entry to be lowered in the industry.
  • The Merrion Square Innovation Network will run ‘Christmas on the Square’ again this year with an expanded programme for 2013. Last year 37 stakeholders came together to unlock the potential of the Square and a number of successful events, including Christmas on the Square, transpired as a result.
  • DoSomethingDifferent.com is offering pre-booked special priority rate tickets for Disney’s NEW theatrical musical comedy, Aladdin before they officially go on sale to the public after Dec 1st.
  • Milla Jovovich, Desiree Bollier, Eva Padberg_10 Jahre Wertheim Village_Chic Outlet Shopping_5Chic Outlet Shopping hosted travel writers from around Europe, including Travel Extra, as they celebrated ten years of Wertheim Village an hour outside Frankfurt and launched four products for the MICE market and aims to host 800 events across the collection of villages in Europe during 2014, the Collection of nine luxury outlet shopping Villages across Europe that are developed and operated by Value Retail, is aiming to more than double the number of MICE events it will host in the Villages during 2014. The company hopes its new group and events strategy and launch of four distinct products will ensure the Villages prove enticing as a unique place for MICE events and bring 800 events to the Collection of Villages next year. Journalists were hosted in a wonderful hotel in Frankfurt, Villa Kennedy. In the week a painting by Kildare born artist Francis Bacon fetched a record price, Villa Kennedy has one of his paintings on display. Pictures shows Milla Jovovich the Chic outlet shopping ambassador, Desiree Bollier the CEO of Value Retail and Eva Padberg during the Q&A to commemorate ten years of Wertheim Village.
  • Abbey Travel is promoting free half board meals for the family at Disneyland Paris and up to 15pc on your hotel and park tickets.
  • Cavan received an EDEN trophy at a ceremony in Brussels, a European Destinations of Excellence award for its efforts to promote accessible tourism in Cavan town
  • Club Travel have been appointed official Ireland OTA for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which will have a number of matches taking place around England.
  • From this week seats can be reserved in advance when flying US Airways Shuttle.
  • Universal Orlando Resort  is offering a chance to meet The Grinch at Grinchmas between December 7th and January 4th, or watch larger-than-life balloons float through the streets during the Macy’s Holiday Parade and hear Christmas music sensation, Mannheim Steamroller.
  • Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, won the best City Break on a Budget category at the inaugural Amadeus and WTM Travel Experience Awards.
  • Inchicore College of Further Education is organising their own Gathering Event, by hosting a Tourism Reunion in the College on November 21, 2013. The college has been educating and training students for employment in the travel and tourism industry for over 25 years.
  • Air Serbia customer services have been boosted by the Etihad takeover, sadly Travel Extra’s favourite čeeše sandvič (Pig in cheddar!) has been removed from the menu.
  • Turkish Airlines recorded a 705m TRY net profit in the third quarter of 2013.
  • TGV have an offer on train tickets for winter travel between 15 November and 19 December.
  • Etihad Airways will increase its Abu Dhabi-Munich services from seven flights per week to a double daily schedule from February 1 2014.
  • Representatives of 80 businesses attended a Failte Ireland breakfast seminar to get some tips on increasing revenue and building sales in the hospitality sector. Failte Ireland have organized a free webinar on Facebook analytics with Carole Smith on Wednesday, 20 November at 11.00am.
  • The Slieve Donard Resort unveiled its new sculpture Wind and Sea by Paddy Campbell.
  • A security guard at Dublin Airport Deirdre Moore (39) told a court that she suffered a lower back injury trying to move a carry-on bag containing engine parts through the X-ray conveyor belt.
  • Dromoland Castle Hotel hosted the 4th annual Tourism Policy Workshop of County Clare. Speakers included John Moran (Secretary General, Department of Finance). Adrian Cummins (Chief Executive, Restaurant Association of Ireland). Jim Miley (Gathering Ireland 2013 Project),   Tim Fenn (Chief Executive, Irish Hotels Federation), Ruth Andrews (Chief Executive, Irish Tour Operators Association), Eamonn McKeon (Chief Executive, Irish Tourist Industry Confederation), Mary Mulvey (CEO, Ecotourism Ireland), Caeman Wall (Head of Research and Evaluation, Failte Ireland) and Lisa O’ Malley (Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick).
  • Visit Florida celebrated the completion of a four-month-long beach walk that gathered panoramic, step-by-step footage of Florida’s beaches, to be published by Google Maps in spring 2014.
  • Oman Celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Ireland and UK tourism office and announced their 2014 roadshow dates.
  • Sunway are offering 10pc off their 2014 escorted tours for bookings before November 29.
  • International Airlines Group reported pre-tax profits of €103m for the first nine months and cast doubt on some of the market conditions reported by rival Ryanair. IAG increased its profit target for 2015, citing the recovery of Spanish airline Iberia and increased transatlantic traffic for British Airways. At the London Telegraph Festival of Business: Willie Walsh, said Ryanair irritated its customers for no benefit and seemed to take pleasure in it. “Because you go to fly with Ryanair, you don’t expect anything. Absolutely nothing. And that’s exactly what you get.” See video here.
  • Trivago’s hotel price index for November reported that European hotel prices have fallen across Europe in comparison to last month, according to the Trivago Hotel Price Index reported monthly by hotel comparison website http://www.trivago.ie. One night in November will cost an average of €107, based on the 50 most popular European cities on Trivago. This is a 12pc decrease from an average of €122 per night during October. The most significant decreases this month can be found in the Italian cities of Venice (down 46pc to an average of €136 per night), Rome (down 32pc to €110) and Florence (also down 32pc to €112). Average price for Irish hotels was €92 down 6pc month on month and 2pcyear on year. The average Irish hotel prices were: Dublin €99, Galway City €94, Killarney €97, Cork €87, Kilkenny €94, Limerick €79, Waterford €80, Sligo €91, Donegal €111, Tralee €85, Belfast €99, Derry €85,
  • Tenerife’s Teide National Park was awarded the “Starlight Tourist Destination” and “Starlight Reserve” certificates by the Starlight Foundation.
  • Mayor Nutter Greg EvansPhiladelphia mayor Michael Nutter launched several tourism initiatives on his visit to London. Philadelphia is running a competition in conjunction with London taxis during November 2013. Mayor Nutter is pictured with Greg Evans who represents Philadelphia in Ireland and Britain. In an interview with Travel Extra Mayor Nutter stressed that Philadelphia is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world (listen here), outlined his tourism goals (listen here), the importance of international travel to Philadelphia (listen here). tourism developments in Philadelphia (listen here), the changing tourism product (listen here) and the importance of education and technology to his tenure (listen here).
  • Delta and Virgin Atlantic outlined a new joint venture flight schedule beginning summer 2014, aligning services on both sides of the Atlantic. Delta will move its arrival and departure terminal for several business markets to join Virgin Atlantic in Heathrow T3 beginning April 2  2014.
  • Amadeus signed of a strategic partnership with California-based Couchbase, provider of open-source and NoSQL database technologies.
  • IMG_7080Christoph Mueller told an audience in London that European carriers would be forced to cease their Asian services within 24 months if Gulf carriers are able to secure more liberal traffic rights (listen here). He commented on the transformation of Aer Arann (listen here), on Aer Lingus new brand as a value carrier (listen here), on the “marble halls” constructed by airports (listen here), on how Ryanair saved Aer Lingus (listen here), on competing with Ryanair (listen here), on lack of growth opportunities (listen here), on the removal of the 3 tax (listen here), on state aid (listen here) and on the prospects for 2014 (listen here).
  • The Philippines urged tourists to keep coming as the tourist board detailed damage to islands and hotels. Destruction in the beach town of Santa Fe, where all but one hotel has been destroyed,  reflects the damage done to tourism in the Philippines.
  • A woman jumped from a Princess cruise ship and is missing, presumed dead.
  • A strike due at Finnair this weekend was averted but only after 130 flights had been cancelled.
  • Thailand’s Tourist Authority rushed to reassure tour operators after news emerged of the politically led protests in Bangkok. Thailand is open for business as usual and that the tourism industry in Bangkok remains unaffected by the political protests. Sofia was engulfed in protests during the week that slowed some transfers to the airport but has not impacted on tourism.
  • Ryanair have requested 26 daily slots at Amsterdam Schiphol airport for summer 2014.
  • Galway’s Christmas Market runs from November 22nd to December 22nd with 70 stalls with arts, crafts, gifts a Santa’s grotto and entertainment centre.
  • Lethal AlliesThe book Lethal Allies by Travel Extra’s Anne Cadwallader (Mercier Press) has gone to a third edition. 100 Years Later: The Legacy Of The 1913 Lockout. (Seven Towers Publishing) edited by Travel Extra’s Ida Milne and Mary Muldowney sold out its first run.
  • America’s TSA called the airport screening program useless and claimed $1bn has been spent on the illusion of security.
  • Cuba Cruise prepared the Louis Cristal Ship for its Atlantic Crossing.
  • Biman Bangladesh Airlines is planning to launch twice-weekly 777-300 operations from its Dhaka hub to Birmingham in the UK, before transiting on to New York JFK.
  • Aer Lingus announced three new appointments to its board.
  • Cork city council is to repair Shandon clock which hasn’t been working for almost three weeks and is stuck at a time of 6.50.
  • Stephen Hanley told the Irish Independent the Shelbourne Hotel has employed 100 new staff bringing the total to 400 people.
  • Ryanair plans to recruit new pilots, cabin crew, customer service staff and software developers next year, creating a total of 300 jobs in Ireland. Euronews uploaded a video report of their latest profit warning.
  • CSO figures showed that Irish people took fewer foreign holidays in the first six months of the year, they increased spend on holidays abroad by €47m,
  • Peter Walsh agreed to retract allegations he made under a pseudonym against Ryanair on the pprune forum.
  • The Racing Post reported that the Turf Club is investigating the frequency of late changes by Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown stud regarding announcing non-runners and related late jockey changes.
  • Two men escaped unscathed after being forced to make an emergency landing on Lough Erne when the light aircraft they were flying got into difficulty.
  • Insight Vacations is sponsoring luxury 40-seater coaches for the ECTAA biennial meeting in Ballsbridge on November 28-29. The European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association represents the national associations of travel agents and tour operators (both outgoing and incoming) of 25 EU Member States, of two EU accession countries as well Switzerland and Norway thus representing some 70,000 companies with more than 500,000 direct employees in the travel business.
  • Knock Airport experienced its busiest ever October with 62,000 passengers [46,000 England, 16,000 Continental Europe and Canaries).
  • Siobhan Danaher’s Travel Photography Exhibition will be opened at Shannon Airport on Friday 22nd November 2013 @3pm. The exhibition will run into the New Year 2014, which will see Limerick become the National City Of Culture.
  • Cormac Rabbit of NUI Galway briefed Dublin City councilors on an alternative Dublin metro proposal, which would incorporate and extend Metro North and Dart underground.
  • Former web travel techie Aaron Winery pleaded guilty to impersonating a Topflight agent and selling bogus holiday packages to New York, Las Vegas and Cape Town worth €27,000, saying he planned to refund money. One man paid €3,200 for four nights for four people in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, while the other had paid €550 for a two night stay in New York.
  • The man who caused chaos by sneaking a snake onto an easyJet flight claimed it was all a “misunderstanding
  • Research by Gocompare showed that almost half of motorists are not covered for damage while their car is in valet marking,
  • Wingsabroad_7688The Supplier of the year award at the Travel Centres awards in Naas was won by Wings Abroad (pictured) for the second successive year. Other winners: Accommodation: Blackpool Travel, Summer Sun: Ace Travel, W-Wide/US/Niche :O’Callaghan Travel, Summer Sun: Newbridge Travel, Cruising: Lee Travel, Transfers: King Travel, Disneyland Paris: Newbridge Travel, Accommodation: O’Hanrahan Travel, Attractions: Marble City Travel, Cruising: Marble City Travel, Ski/Board: Lee Travel, Cruising: Killiney Travel, Lakes & Mountains: Killiney Travel, Airlines: CTM, Long Haul: 1Stop Travel, Ferries: Bowe Travel, Cruising Platinum Travel, Summer Sun: O’Callaghan Travel, Niche, Touring & Cruising: Cavan Travel, Attractions: O’Hanrahan Travel, Accommodation: TravelAgent.ie, Consolidators: Roscrea Travel, Travel Insurance: Creation Travel, Sheila Treacy from Ace Travel in Newcastle West Co. Limerick won a cabin aboard the inaugural sailing of Quantum of the Seas, courtesy of Royal Caribbean whilst Susan Culligan of Travelworld in Dublin and Andrew Lynch of Travel Advisors in Ratoath both won Google Nexus 7 tablets, courtesy of Travel Centres. The Travel Centres Gala Dinner raffle raised €2,000 for the Travel Funday chosen charities of the Irish Cancer Society and Pieta House. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • Galway Airport in Carnmore closed on November 9, except for based club aircraft.
  • The Ice Hotel in Swedish Lapland has been instructed to install a fire alarm has to install fire alarms to comply with local building regulations
  • A design firm has devised an aircraft seat which it says would allow airlines to charge fliers according to how much room they require
  • Whistler ski resort is to open 13 days early, restarting five lifts this weekend thanks to cold weather, snowmaking and heavy snowfall
  • Google Street View sent employees around Venice with giant cameras on their backs
  • The London Telegraph listed strange visa applications, odd questions, and bizarre excuses for overstaying visa terms, the Peruvian man who applied for a European visa to work as an ‘alpaca shearer’ during ‘shearing season’ and the man who thought he had a three year visa and not three months.
  • Eirtech has won a contract to paint Qatar Airways’ fleet at a number of its operational bases including Shannon, Dublin and Rome.
  • A lorry with a raised container tore into the roof of a Sydney tunnel, causing significant damage and long delays during the city’s morning rush hour
  • Next month will provide the best chance to see the northern lights in more than a decade. The London Telegraph listed the best northern lights tours.
  • EasyJet flew an aircraft through an artificial ash cloud as part of efforts to avoid a repeat of the chaos that followed the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull.
  • Frenchman Kevin Chenais was ruled too heavy to travel on British Airways flight from Chicago and instead will head home by ship from New York.
  • Sweden and Switzerland have launched a joint awareness campaign to help Chinese tourists tell the two countries apart
  • Lovehomeswap devised an ultimate bucket list that features 100 of the world’s greatest travel experiences – feasible in 255 days – and costing €60,000. The London Telegraph listed the world’s most lavish holidays.
  • Dubai saw a 7.5pc increase in Irish Visitors for Q3.
  • Skiers were warned over the cost of piste rescue.
  • Egypt issued an international alert for the return of an exquisite statuette of Tutankhamun’s sister, stolen with hundreds of other exhibits when Mallawi City Museum was looted amid clashes between police and Islamists this summer. As King Tut’s fake tomb opened in Egypt, the London Telegraph listed faux and restored sights that aren’t what they seem. There are no Irish entries, which is a relief for Newgrange lovers.
  • The Irish Times looked back on the development of the Ryanair brand, which has survived two Gulf wars, 9/11 aftershocks, the 2008 crash and soaring fuel prices.
  • The Dreamliner suffered new battery problems.
  • Flights were reported to be cheaper at the last minute.
  • You can spend Christmas in an old stable in the little Welsh town of Bethlehem, Carmarthenshire. Y Stabl has geo-thermal and solar heating and aspect windows overlooking an old Roman Fort (watch out for Herod!) with a fabulous pulpit above the dining room. It costs £2,036 for seven nights over Christmas and is still available for Christmas week. Cardiff has an open air ice rink and ice café, which serves tasty mulled wine and an array of seasonal Welsh produce for Christmas which starts on November 14 and continues to January 5.
  • The London Telegraph fashion desk dispensed a few tips on how to pack (“Shoes are perhaps the trickiest item to get right when packing. More than five pairs is moving into excess baggage territory but any less seems a bit mean”).

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