Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Carousel Christmas & a Stopover Ferry to Gijon in the Stocking,

westjet santaSuitably seasonal video of the week was Westjet’s airport Santa, dressed in blue, who enabled the airline to deliver presents to the carousel on arrival for children travelling from Toronto to Hamilton. Check out the guy who asked for underwear and socks.

The first round of bookings on Westjet’s new Dublin-St John’s route are among the strongest in the history of the network. Westjet say while they have no plans to extend the season at this stage they constantly monitor route performance and adjust schedules as necessary. There are no penalties for stopping over in St. John’s en route to/from Toronto.

Aer Lingus changed its baggage charge policy for intra-European flights. Passengers can now opt to select how much weight they want to carry in their luggage and pay the appropriate charge 15kg, 20kg, 25kg or 40kg (two bags). Within Europe passengers who booked bags before 12th December, can download baggage fees and info here (pdf).

Airlines and other travel operators will be banned from using premium rate numbers for customer helplines from next year.
 Ryanair charges €0.95 per minute for callers to its 1550 92 70 30 number. The Aer Lingus number 0818 365044 is also a premium line. Carriers including Air France, Aer Lingus, Ryanair, National From next June, these calls will be charged at the same rate as dialing a standard-rate number following the introduction of a new EU consumer rights directive.

Embarquement004LD Lines announced a new ferry service from Rosslare to St Nazaire and onward to Gijon in Spain, described by the ferry company as really a hassle free landbridge. Southbound there is a three hour stopover en route to Gijon. Northbound there is a 10 hour stopover and LD plans to make it possible for passengers to take a visit to La Baule. Rosslare to Gijón departs Fridays 21:00 via St-Nazaire. Gijón to Rosslare departs Tuesdays 22:00 via St-Nazaire. St-Nazaire to Rosslare departs Wednesdays 23:59. The service will use LD vessels Norman Asturias and Scintu, built in 2008/2009 by the Visentini Italian shipyard, each have capacity for up to 500 passengers and 200 cars and on board facilities include 120 cabins, bar and restaurant. LD say a range of passenger entertainment is being developed and introduced in the months ahead. Rosslare-Gijón fares start from €579 for a car and two passengers including cabin. Rosslare-St Nazaire fares start from €249 for a car and two passengers including cabin (€199 without cabin).

Europe’s Aviation Safety Agency has eased regulations allowing smartphones, tablets and e-readers to stay switched on. Each airline must seek permission from its national regulator before devices can be switched on. The relaxation will not extend to mobile phones.

Travel Counsellors Int conference 2013 irish group loresAt the Travel Counsellors conference in Wolverhampton David Speakman said corporate travel now accounts for 28pc of the homeworking company’ business. Sales in its Travel Management division over the past 12 months are up 19pc and in 2013, 500 new corporate accounts were opened. Picture shows the Irish delegates at the conference: Ciara MacConnell from Cork Head Office, Siobhan Power, Rosemary Chawke, Sue Cahill, Sharon Kavanagh, Kathy O’Sullivan, Cathy Burke the Irish GM, Donna Olohan, Bernie Whelan from Cork Head Office, Mandy Walsh, Jennifer O’Brien and Andre Bedford.

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Patrick Ryan told the Hotel Property Conference in the Doubletree (Burlington) Dublin that NAMA will bring “several prime Dublin hotels” to the market shortly after Christmas. Nama controls 10,900 hotel rooms, which is close to a fifth of the country’s entire stock. David Byrne said Great National hopes to have 50 hotels by the end of 2014, and to double that number by the end of 2015. Hugh Taylor said he plans to assemble ireland’s biggest group of hotels out of Ulster Banks’ indebted hotel stock, starting with Citywest. Other speakers and panelists included Naoise Cosgrove of Crowe Horwath, David Collins of Great National, Paul Collins of CBRE, Graham Dodd of Hilton Worldwide, Niall Kelly of Starwood, Peter Malone of Jurys, Pat McCann of Dalata, Michael McLoughlin of Amarach David Monks GM of the Doubletree, Nikki O’Donnell of NODA (how the new owners of the Morrison Elena Baturina used the hotel’s rock n’ roll heritage to drive sales), Michael Regner of Martinez, Charlie Sheil GM of the Marker (How Dublin’s newest 5 Star Hotel came out of cold storage to become an instant hit), Owen Travers of AIB and Rob van der Beek of Worldhotels. Picture shows David Collins of Great National, Peter Malone, former chairman of Jurys PLC and David Byrne of Great National. A hotel suite at Grand Canal Hotel, Dublin sold for €62,000 in the Allsop Space auction. Woodlands Golf Club sold for €650,000.

presentationThe Spanish Tourist Board launched a new group of specialist Spanish operators in the travel trade, to be known as ITOS (the name may change, chairman Con Horgan of Abbey Travel, a former President of the ITAA has proposed IFOS – Irish Friends of Spain). New confederation of Spanish destination specialists will be known as ITOS. Spain recorded its highest visitor numbers to date in the first half of 2013.
Passenger numbers from Ireland to the end of November were 1,449,960 (from 1,761,131 available airline seats) suggesting figures overall will be up around 4.5pc and seats up 6.1pc. Load factor declined spectacularly in every month since June (September most steeply of all, over 7pc), reflecting in the red numbers the experience of the travel trade when the sun came out last summer. Picture shows Gonzalo Ceballos (on right nearest camera) making a presentation to the group from clockwise: John Kinane of Thomas Cook, George Barter of George Barter Travel, Paul Hackett of Clickandgo, Clare Dunne of Travelbroker President of the ITAA, Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA, Marian Benton of Map Travel, Anita Kelly of Sunway, Mary Denton Of Sunway, Dominic Burke of Travel Centres, Brendan Breen of Travel Department, Jeff Collins of Globe Hotels, Con Horgan of Abbey Travel, Kathryn McDonnell of Spanish Tourist Board, and Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook,

murat balandiFurther details have emerged of Turkish Airlines plans to launch a direct service from Istanbul to Sydney, due to launch April 2014 according to some reports. Turkish have four weekly slots and most of the necessary permissions are in place, but the service depends on the delivery of new craft. The 777ER service will become the world’s longest scheduled route to Sydney from Istanbul the distance of 14,956 kilometres is only 389 kilometres shorter than the 15,345 kilometres flown until recently from Singapore to New York. Turkish will increase their Dublin to Istanbul service from 10 weekly to 12 weekly from April 1st. The B737 service will be double daily except Tuesday and Wednesday, one in the morning 11:10 one in the afternoon 16:50. While passenger numbers have increased significantly on the Dublin route, yield is slightly down. Murat Balandi of Turkish airlines says that he hopes that Dublin will get an allocated craft in the new year. At present the type and size of craft can vary between the 737-900 and older 737-800 at short notice.DSC_3128

Turkish Airlines trending video is their commercial of the selfie shootout between Kobe and. Messi (115m views and counting). Turkish Airlines added Kano (Nigeria) as its 242nd and N’djamena (Chad) as the 243rd destination. Borussia Dortmund and Turkish Airlines celebrated the opening of the Turkish Airlines Lounge in the club’s stadium. At home, Turkish airlines hosted the trade at their Santa Experience event last weekend. Picture shows Dave Hayeems of Trailfinders and his family. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook,

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IMG_0422Star Alliance hosted the trade at their Christmas event in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. Alan Sparling is pictured with ITAA president Clare Dunne and speaking at the event to the 41 guests (listen here). He outlined the growth of Star Alliance’s six airlines in the Irish market led by Air Canada (75,000 more seats), Turkish Airlines (10 to 12 weekly) and United (90 extra flights with extended season from Shannon to Chicago), the opening in June of Terminal 2 in Heathrow, and the continuity of service from member airlines such as Lufthansa (42 years) and SAS (38 years). Clare Dunne told guests (listen here) that travel agents were anxious to be part of the value chain, and to sell ancillary aviation products as partners of the airlines. “Partnership is a two way street, and we need to survive as well. Travel agents will sell anything. We will sell your empty seats. We will sell your meals. We will sell your upgrades. We will sell everything. We are ready, willing and able to support you and help you, but as a partner.” See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook,

IMG_0268Clem Walshe told media guests of Lowcostbeds in Dobbin’s restaurant in Dublin (listen here) that the tour operator/bedbank currently has 109,000 fans on their Irish Facebook page and 50,000 customers are currently signed up to receive the weekly e-newsletter. Picture shows Claire Howson, Clem Walshe and Kat Pouer of Lowcostbeds at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook,

IMG_0116Eithne Fitzpatrick and Skål club of Dublin President Denis Kane hosted guests at the president’s Christmas Lunch in Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel, Killiney. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook,

Ryanair halved its excess baggage fee as part of its reinvention. So far, Ryanair has:

  • Reduced the fee for reissuing a boarding card at the airport to €15 from €70.
  • Reduced the cost of checking in a bag at the airport from €60 to €30 from January 5.
  • Allowed passengers to make ticket changes for free within 24 hours of booking.
  • Permitted passengers to have one additional carry-on bag large enough for a bottle of wine.
  • Introduced ‘quiet flights’ in the morning and evening, with dimmed lights and in-flight safety announcements only.
  • Revamped its website to make it easier to book flights.
  • Promised fully allocated seating from February,

Passengers will not be able to claim compensation after technical problems caused a fifth of all flights cancelled at London airports Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted to be cancelled last weekend. Airlines are seeking compensation after the NATS internal phone system failed in southern England. “Why there was no contingency in place,” asked Ryanair’s head of communications Robin Kiely.

The Irish Travel Industry Awards on Thursday January 24 next in the Mansion House is closed for further bookings with 485 guests already booked. There were over 300 in attendance at last week’s Irish Travel Trade News awards at the Dublin’s Doubletree Hilton Hotel, still known to many as the Burlington. The prestige long haul airline award was won by Etihad and the unofficial award for last man/woman standing at the end of the night was also hotly contested. This is the fourth event in a crowded awards season. After the Northern Ireland Travel Trade news, Travel Centres, Worldchoice Ireland and ITTN awards the series comes to a climax with the Irish Travel Industry Awards at the Mansion House in January. There ware still 47 weeks in the year which do NOT have a travel industry award ceremony, but that may change such is the industry’s appetite for social occasions. Spare a thought for whoever has to dust Tony Collins trophy cabinet. Topflight won the ski award for the 20th year in a row having already won the NITTN ski award for the 10th year in a row.

Cork to Lisbon will be back for 2014 after all, following its consternation-causing absence off the Aer LIngus schedule last month. Changes in the management structure of Cork Airport were announced this week, as plans to give Cork more autonomy under the DAA, as recently explained by Minister Leo Varadkar (listen here). Cork will get a new stakeholders forum and become more autonomous (listen here).

Tom Wagner

  • sleeping passenger, Tom Wagner from Louisiana (pictured), was locked in an empty aircraft in Houston after United Express staff failed to see him. He was due to make a connection to California.
  • Lufthansa will operate additional Dublin-Munich service in Summer 2014. It will operate 4 times a week May to Oct on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Lufthansa are to launch premium economy next November.
  • Luthansa say that they have requested to move the galley and the lavatory further back in the Airbus A320 family and they are not considering fitting additional rows of seats in the newly created space. Lufthansa say that while Airbus has recently approved the use of the aft part of the cabin near to the pressure bulkhead and this is a possibility in terms of planning, no decision on this has yet been made.
  • Titanic Belfast is preparing to welcome its 100,000th visitor from North America as it prepares to celebrate its second year as Northern Ireland’s top visitor attraction. Titanic Belfast has uploaded its 2013 Christmas video on YouTube.
  • The Irish Aviation Authority said flights between Europe and US were up 4.4pc in November 2013. For the full year 2013, air traffic growth in these areas will be largely flat against 2012. Dublin terminal movements were up 6pc year-on-year, Shannon up 1.8pc and Cork down 6.6pc.
  • The merged US Airways-AA overtook Delta as the world’s biggest airline on Monday: The Chicago Tribune noted that four airlines, American, United, Delta and Southwest, now control 85pct of the US market. The London Telegraph listed seven things to know about the merger.

Cityjet Christine OurmièresChristine Ourmières, CEO of CityJet, has been appointed vice president of the European Regions Airline Association. Ourmières joins the prestigious ranks of the association’s two serving vice presidents Carlos Bertomeu, CEO Air Nostrum, and Martin Isler, executive vice president of airline, Luxair and ERA’s president Boet Kreiken, managing director, KLM Cityhopper.IMG_4322

Etihad Airways has appointed Corporate Sales Manager, Alan Glover, as the airline’s new Manager Sales Victoria, in Australia. Alan relocates to Melbourne from Dublin and will replace Craig Thomas who will move to Bangkok to take the position of Vice President Asia Pacific North and Indian Subcontinent. Fiona Lawless has been appointed Sales Account Manager Queensland. Picture shows Etihad’s Europe manager Beatrice Cosgrove with Fiona Lawless and Alan Glover at the Etihad skyline in Croke Park.

  • Etihad is adding a fourth Australian city to its network, Perth. The daily service to Perth will start July 15 and will initially be served by an Airbus A330-200 with 22 seats in business class and 240 in economy. Outward flight EY486 will depart Abu Dhabi at 2210 and arrive in Perth at 1310 the following day, while return service EY487 will leave Perth at 1555 and land in Abu Dhabi at 2325. It brings to 35 the number of weekly flights run by Etihad and its Virgin Australia alliance partner between Abu Dhabi and Australia. CEO James Hogan says 32pc of all Irish visitors are choosing Perth as their gateway to Australia. Etihad will also launch a three-times weekly service to Dallas next year. One Irish newspaper confusingly announced flights were now available from Dublin to Perth.
  • Etihad has expanded Indian operations following the approval of an historic 24pc investment in Jet Airways, doubling the number of flights and tripled the number of seats on offer between Abu Dhabi and the Indian cities of Mumbai and New Delhi,
  • Flybe said it is to end its Belfast City flights to Gatwick and Paris CDG as part of a further round of route-cutting. Shannon to Glasgow will end on January 5th and seasonal routes from Belfast City to Jersey and Knock to Edinburgh will not return in 2015.

helen caron 150TUI Travel said winter 2013/14 is trading in line with its expectations, with 60pc of the programme sold across its European markets. The group which owns Falcon Holidays in Ireland (headed up by Helen Caron, pictured) reported pre-tax profits up 21pc to £493m for the year ended 30 September compared to £390m last year, crediting its ‘unique’ holidays, direct distribution and the economies of scale.. Higher-margin ‘unique’ holidays now account for 69pc of mainstream holidays.

A survey by Global Business Travel Association showed taxes on hotel accommodation, car rental and restaurant meals amount to $41.04 per day for a traveller in Chicago, followed by New York ($38.65), Minneapolis ($36.70), Kansas City ($36.61) and Indianapolis ($36) with Cleveland, Boston, Seattle, Nashville and Houston all charging over $34. GBTA says the money generated is regularly used to fund local projects unrelated to tourism and business travel. The Florida cities of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach had the lowest taxes.

K Duffy, J Callister W WalshCelebrity Cruises hosted the trade tat Keith Duffy’s 7th Annual Masquerade Ball in aid of Irish Autism Action at the Powerscourt Hotel. Michael English the Celebrity Cruises head of sales for Ireland & UK joined Jennifer Callister, account manager Ireland to host a table with agents including Eimer Miley from Tour America, Will Walsh of Travel Broker, Kevin Miley, Michael Plunkett and Ger Hurley of Cassidy Travel and Leila Mamane and Roie Mamanae from Trailfinders and their partners. Picture shows Keith Duffy, Jennifer Callister of Celebrity Cruises and Will Walsh of Travel Broker. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook,

  • After a successful tour of North Korea last August, Alan Lynch’s Citiescapes are planning further tours in May and September of next year. The tour operator is seeking an increased allocation of visas because of increased interest in visiting the country.

fred dixon 150

  • George Fertitta, chief executive and president of NYC & Company, has resigned effective January 1. Fred Dixon (pictured) will step in as the interim chief executive. New York reported 54.3m tourists in 2013, a new all-time high. The figure is an increase of nearly 20m on 2002 figures. Since 2002, overall tourism here has grown more than 50pc, while international visitation has increased more than 100pc.
  • Readers of American travel magazine Global Traveler selected Ireland as “best tourism destination” for the second successive year.
  • Delta’s schedule for next year’s summer seasonal service between Shannon and New York-JFK which will feature the full flat-bed product for the first time.
  • Cork based IT security company Smart-tech said that they were able to exploit security flaws on the wifi networks to access guests’ web traffic and sensitive information in visits to ten hotels.
  • Aer Lingus threatened to take legal action against SIPTU if it proceeds with a ballot for industrial action in a row over the pension scheme.
  • Ryanair agreed to pay €50,000 to a child who was injured when a piece of luggage fell out of an overhead locker on a flight in 2010.
  • Steve Endacott CEO of the On Holiday Group, headed up in Ireland by Brendan Mallon, said problems in Egypt was putting pressure on the Canary Islands where prices have risen.

Richard Twynam

  • Richard Twynam has been appointed managing director in the Ireland & UK for boutique cruise line Azamara Club Cruises completing the lineup under RCCL’s new trifurcated structure. Stuart Leven will be MD of Royal Caribbean in Addlestone and Jo Rzymowska MD of Celebrity Cruises. Celebrity Cruises has appointed Toby Shaw in the newly-created role of director of marketing and PR for the UK and Ireland. Shaw will lead an 11-strong marketing and PR team dedicated to the brand.
  • Cardiff Airport unveiled plans to revamp its terminal building in a bid to boost passenger numbers.
  • Thomas Cook launched their summer 2015 sale early in England, two weeks ahead of the traditional St Stephen’s Day launch. The Irish sale traditionally starts a week later than England on January 2.

Emirates Cork Lunch with agents

  • Emirates and Dubai TCM hosted a lunch for ten of their top agents at Flemings restaurant in Cork to thank them for their support during 2013. Pictures shows Ingrid Aagesen of Dubai TCM, Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA and Margaret Shannon Ireland manager of Emirates.
  • Seat capacity between Darwin and Asia has expanded by about 40pc over the last year as three foreign carriers – Indonesia AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and Philippines Airlines entered with Garuda Indonesia to follow after Jetstar closed its Darwin base.
  • Saga cancelled a month-long cruise to the Caribbean after one of the Ruby’s generators failed after it left Southampton.

Eoghan Mountain bar_7880

  • Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry tested some of the best ski conditions in Europe at the moment in Zell am Zee and Kirchberg in Tirol (pictured). Austria had moderate snowfall last week, but the snow elsewhere in the Alps has started to become hard-packed in many resorts after more than two weeks without new snow. La Plagne and Les Arcs open this weekend. North America continues to receive regular snowfall with some of the best skiing on the east coast. A survey claimed Italy and Austria are best for budget skiing.
  • Ryanair is expected to open a base at Bratislava next year after Michael O’Leary met Slovak Ambassador to Ireland Dušan Matulay in Dublin. WelcomeCentre
  • The new Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, at Donegall Square North in Belfast City Centre, was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir and Stormont Tourism Minister Arlene Foster.
  • Air France to launch Tokyo Haneda on March 30, twice-daily in conjunction with the carrier’s existing daily run to Tokyo Narita airport.
  • British Airways will fly an A380 service to Washington, DC and fly B787s to Hyderabad, Chengdu, Philadelphia and Calgary next year.
  • Pic du Midi in the French Alps has opened new freerider terrain.
  • Brian Melican cited the demise of the Paris-Madrid overnight service as a symptom of a wider malaise in the European rail system.
  • Amadeus Ireland concluded 2013 with 14 customer renewals and 5 new client wins including Douglas Travel and Adventure Holidays. Amadeus has signed a three-year exclusive technology agreement with Advantage Focus Partnership.

Colm and Breeda McLoughlin with Gerald and Neasa Lawless

  • Colm McLoughlin, the Ballinasloe-born Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, was presented with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Editor’s Choice Award’ at the inaugural Condé Nast Traveller ME Awards in recognition of his contribution to the travel retail industry. Pictures shows Colm and Breeda McLoughlin with Gerald and Neasa Lawless.

french cafe menu

  • A French café said it was going to charge rude customers more. If customers at La Petite Syrah in Nice bluntly ask for “un café” it’s €7, then €4.25 for “un café, s’il vous plait” and it’s knocked down to a bairganous €1.40 if you add a “bonjour”. The owner explained his decision by saying that customers can be “just as rude as staff”.
  • Scotland said it would reduce air passenger duty after independence.
  • Samoa Air‘s chief executive Chris Langton which last year began charging passengers according to their weight, hailed the policy a success. The airline plans to reduce the number of seats in its aircraft to make them better suited to the pay-by-weight system.
  • Holidaymakers in the Canary Islands were told to stay in their hotels due to a severe weather warning as gale force winds and heavy rain.
  • Several travel companies came under fire for exploiting the Nelson Mandela funeral to sell holidays in South Africa.
  • Starwood is integrating content from photo-sharing site Instagram on all of its websites for its more than 1,500 properties worldwide.
  • Ryanair is suing IALPA official Evan Cullen over criticism of the airline’s safety.

michael o'leary david o'brien

patrick guinness padraig mcevoyPhil Donnelly of Kildare Fáilte and Padraig McEvoy from Kildare County Council hosted 40 local business and community groups to introduce Arthur’s Trail, a 5km cycle and walkway from Ardclough to Leixlip taking in parts of the Grand Canal towpath and Castletown grounds. There were 3,509 at Castletown winter last weekend, the most successful winter market since the concept was introduced four years ago. Patrick Guinness gave an introductory lecture to the concept of the trail and the life of the man who created Ireland’s most famous brand, and Padraig McEvoy accompanied a bus tour to some of the key sites on the trail.

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  • Pictures show Patrick Guinness and Padraig McEvoy, and members of Kildare Failte arriving at the graveyard in Oughterard where Arthur Guinness is buried.
  • Separately, TV chef and ex-wife of Ronan Keating, Yvonne Keating, from Straffan was named tourism ambassador for Co Kildare.
  • Delegates at the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum were told Abu Dhabi is moving closer to having a permanent cruise terminal at Mina Zayed. 
  • Carnival cruise line is to introduce Dr Seuss family programming across its fleet over the next 18 months. 
  • Kuwait International Airport’s 7m annual passengers will have access to new self-service check-in kiosks in a deal with SITA part of SITA’s AirportConnect Open passenger processing platform. SITA is headquartered in Geneva and has a large operation in Letterkenny.
  • Social travel start-up Friends of Friends Travel, which launched earlier this year say Kathmandu and Machu Picchu top their new Bucketlist and Footprints facility.
  • Megabus have introduced a shipside coach service, Holyhead Port-Manchester-London Victoria in connection with the Irish Ferries 20.55 ex Dublin & 02.40 ex Holyhead sailings.
  • Spanish ‘ghost airport’ Ciudad Real was put up for sale
  • Saudi Arabia announced plans to develop a €7bn beach resort at Al-Uqair, leading to some coverage of Saudi Arabia’s travel highlights.
  • National Geographic celebrated 125 years.
  • Carlson Wagonlit Travel released a board-game themed infographic and complementary video inviting travel managers to “tick all the boxes” to discover winning strategies and new ways of maximizing their travel programmes.
  • Texas Tourism has launched a mobile app to highlight the wide variety of activities available across the state
  • Royal Caribbean is offering agents the chance to win one of 16 places at the 2014 BRIT Awards.
  • Cork is to get an artificial all-weather public ski slope at the Glen Resource centre, 30m long and costing €20,000.
  • The Tourism Authority of Thailand says tourist attractions and activities in Bangkok are open and operating as per normal, but tourists are advised to be vigilant and avoid areas where crowds may gather. It should be stressed that tourists have not been targeted in the ongoing political demonstrations. Éist le Eoghan Corry ag caint faoin Téalann ar Cruinneog, Raidio na Gaeltachta.
  • Ferrovial is considering a purchase of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports.
  • The parent company of Monarch Airlines and Cosmos holidays said all divisions are now back in profit.
  • Priority Pass added 12 lounges to its network in China, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Dublin airport relaunched their app to include gate numbers, check in numbers, baggage belt and time to clear security.
  • British Airways removed the “same address spend rule” for Executive Club members with a Household Account. Members can now spend their household Avios on up to five relatives or friends that do not live at the same address.
  • KLM has launched a new gifting service, KLM Wannagives letting people surprise their friends and family with a gift on board their KLM flight.
  • Flights were later diverted from Stansted Airport after an arriving Gulfstream G550 aircraft damaged to the airport’s landing system.

Universal CityWalk - The Cowfish and Italian Kitchen Concept Rendering

  • The Universal Orlando CityWalk shopping area will undergo an expansion during 2014 during a season that will include the opening of the destination’s largest hotel – Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley.
  • Disneyland Paris will have a new Ratatouille-themed attraction In 2014 in Walt Disney Studios Park. Walt Disney World in Orlando will have a new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train In spring 2014. Disney Cruise Line will offer guest experiences with Marvel characters in 2014 the first time Super Hero icons from the Marvel Universe have been introduced on a Disney Cruise Line ship.

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  • Picture shows Hertz International Group President Michel Taride and Ryanair’s Chief Operating Officer & Deputy Chief Executive, Michael Cawley, signing a new partnership agreement, which will run until 2020.
  • AirPlus and Amadeus have partnered to offer travel agencies the Amadeus AirPlus Travel Agency Card.
  • A new Gold award for holiday parks assessed by Quality in Tourism has been launched by VisitEngland.
  • The Irish government conducting a survey of SME’s and entrepreneurs in order to gauge the current levels of awareness around government funded supports for business development. They are inviting feedback, via the link below, before noon on Tuesday 17th December. To participate please click here.
  • The Cruise Shipping Miami 2014 Conference will feature four thematic tracks Ship and Ship Operations, Global Geography of Cruise Tourism, Market Segments, and Cruise Product Development.
  • Oregon has got a new train dubbed the Portland Express.
  • Bus Éireann Eurolines is running additional coach and ferry services from Dublin to Birmingham and London and return for the Christmas season.
  • European aerospace company and maker of Airbus planes EADS is to cut 5,800 jobs and sell its Paris HQ.

Lisa Whelan Headshot

  • Lisa Whelan is leaving CWT to take up a new opportunity with Car Trawler, which previously recruited Brian Ingarfield, formerly of Tour America.
  • Cindy Landlust is to head up travel trade sales and marketing for Samoa in Europe.
  • Druids Glen in Newtownmountkennedy has appointed Edward Stephenson as the new Chief Executive Officer.
  • Britsh Airways launched a lawsuit against its pension trustees.
  • An investigation showed that San Francisco air crash victim 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan was alive when she was run over by two rescue vehicles.
  • America’s Transportation Security Administration will continue to guard exit lanes at airports, under the budget deal approved on Thursday. Fees rise from $2.50 per leg of a connecting flight to a flat $5.60 each way on a trip.
  • Qantas rating was relegated to junk status after a loss warning.
  • Austin’s new $18m, 40,000 sq foot children’s museum has opened for under 11-year-olds
  • High Life is offering half-price lift passes for bookings of 2 or more guests (worth €138.50 per person) departing to Chalet Carine on January 19.down 6.6pc
  • American Sky say they are offering savings up to €170 per person on a New York City Breaks and a self-drive west coast tours. 
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