This is what happened in travel this week:
- Heathrow urges caution over T2 opening
- Justsunshine launches new programme
- What happened in the nose wheel compartment?
- New chief for Stobart as Brogan moves upstairs.
Former BMI Baby boss Julian Carr is new MD at Stobart/Aer Arann. Former Ryanair commercial director Tim Jeans has also been appointed a non-executive director of Stobart Air. Sean Brogan, interim CEO since 2012, has been named chairman at the airline.
Aer Lingus’s new Chief Revenue Officer Mike Rutter was among the speakers at the launch event for Heathrow Terminal 2, five weeks ahead of its opening on June 4th when United Airlines bring their first flight to the high tech terminal.
Listen here to Mike Rutter’s description of the difference that the terminal move will make for Aer Lingus, the third largest user of Heathrow. Aer Lingus move in on July 9th, ending forever the kilometer-of-pain walk (dash?) to Gates 80-90 in the old Terminal 1 endured by Ireland-bound passengers since 1990. The message from the launch was very different from the confident pre-T5 briefings all those years ago: they don’t expect everything to work. On Wednesday next 2,000 passengers will tramp through the terminal to test it and United, who showcased their lounge to guests on Friday, will bring in a flight full of volunteers on may 30th to check out their systems. When Christian Hein of Germanwings mentioned about Mike Rutter “he is Irish,” Mike replied: “I am now.” Listen here to Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry speaking on RTE”s Morning Ireland about the implications of the opening of Terminal 2. For audio of the other presentations at the launch event from terminal designer Luis Vidal (listen here), from Heathrow development officer John Holland Kaye (listen here), from designer of the signature Slipstream sculpture Richard Wilson (listen here), and a wide ranging discussion with four airline executives (listen here for full panel discussion with Christian Hein of Germanwings, Mike Rutter Chief Revenue Officer of Aer Lingus, Bob Schumacher of United and Justin Erbacci of Star Alliance). On the fringes of the event Christian Hein of Germanwings said his airline was worried about the arrival of Ryanair in Cologne in Hamburg and had no plans for further expansion in the Irish market.
Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry took a new journey on an old road, the famous Route 66 and retraced some of the original nine-foot wide track. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. He went on horseback and sampled some of the world’s best beef on a trek through Kansas and Oklahoma. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
- A 16-year-old boy left medical and aviation experts perplexed and divided when he apparently survived unscathed after a five-hour flight from California to Hawaii after stowing away in the nose-wheel compartment of a passenger jet and surviving a five hour flight in the wheel of a plane. Lucy Kinder explained how he may have managed it.
- London City airport CEO Declan Collier said Flybe will bring an immediate uplift of up to half a million new passengers to the airportafter itunveiled new routes from London City Airport almost a year after it announced it was withdrawing from the capital. Flybe is to offer flights from London City Airport to Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Inverness and Exeter from October 27 in opposition to recently sold Cityjet. The London Independent suggested this signalled an autumn fares war against rival airlines and even train operators.
- Air Canada Rouge launches its daily widebody flights (Boeing 767-300ER) service from Dublin to Toronto next Friday. Their aircraft feature a two-cabin configuration, with 18 recliner seats with 37 inch pitch in premium, and 232 standard seats with 30-inch pitch in economy. Flights offer streamed wireless in-flight entertainment with new seats, and the ability to earn and redeem Aeroplan miles. Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry, eagarthóir, Travel Extra ag caint ar fás ar líon na n-eitiltí go Ceanada. Cruinneog, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Dé Satharn, 11rn.
- Emirates said there was significant demand for their second daily non-stop flight between Dublin and Dubai which launches from September 1st. Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will add 5,000 seats a week, 22,000 seats each month in both directions, connecting to 140 destinations across the globe. The second daily service will feature 360 seats in a three-class configuration – eight seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 310 in Economy Class. Flight EK164 will depart Dublin at 2220hrs, and will arrive in Dubai at 0855hrs the next day. The return flight EK163 will leave Dubai at 1600hrs to reach Dublin at 2050hrs. Fares start at €569 Dublin-Dubai return,
- The IAA reported that 70 companies and 130 entries were submitted to the inaugural Aviation Industry Awards on June 10th at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Nominees include Emirates (Aircraft Operator category), Avolon (Leasing Achievement category), Dublin Aerospace (MRO of the Year), Shannon Airport Authority (Aviation Sustainability and Environment category), University of Limerick (Aviation R&D category) and GECAS (People Development category).
- It was reported that fraudsters are using fake or stolen credit cards to book air flights on the internet for accomplices involved in international organised crime.
- A pilot who asked “can you smell roast chicken?” left passengers bemused after flying into a flock of seagulls over the South Wales coast. A pilot was criticised for uttering the words “watery grave” to passengers, London Telegraph readers shared their tales of terrifying inflight announcements.
- A man who gave up on his dream of being a pilot has spent the last 15 years building a replica cockpit in his terraced home.
- As Heathrow Express staff vote to strike, The London Telegraph asked whether the £34 (£1.40-per-mile) service is worthwhile.
- South African airways outsourced its domestic network services and its desktop and associated server support services to SITA for five more years
- Watch a video report on Boeing‘s first-quarter results for 2014 which showed profits above estimates. United Airlines reported a $489m first-quarter 2014 loss excluding special items.
- Air Transat will be first to offer RAVE Wireless, Zodiac Inflight Innovations content streaming technology. Zodiac has also been selected to provide the Economy Class seats and IFE system for Gulf Air’s refurbishment of its A330 fleet.
- Aer Lingus sale (pay just the taxes and charges on flights to Britain) ends today April 27.
- London City Airport had the most flights on time of all England’s airports during the last quarter of 2013.
- Etihad is offering personalised travel tips to social media users on #EtihadSuggests.
- KLM will resume seasonal (5w, 332 operated) Amsterdam service to Dallas as of May 2.
- Airberlin launched their facility for users of their iPhone app to send a digital boarding pass to their Pebble or Pebble Steel Smartwatch.
- BA Ireland extended their world (non-USA) sale to April 30th and the travel Period to December 12th.
- Paddy Clancy reported that frustrated passengers jokingly volunteered their credit cards to pay for refuelling a diverted Aer Lingus flight in Spain.
- Lufthansa flight LH410 Munich-JFK diverted into Dublin on Thursday. It was mid way across Ireland when the crew turned around due to a disruptive passenger. Dublin airport fire service were deployed as the aircraft would have been “heavy” for the landing. View Michael Kelly’s pictures here.
Ben Bouldin Sales Director of Royal Caribbean‘s London office pictured in Cobh with Derek McKnight, executive chef from Allure of the Seas, who lives in Cork, and his family. Derek gave an update to all visitors of the dining options that royal and the new concept of dynamic dining coming to Quantum class ships, which will see the main dining room be replaced by five complimentary dining rooms. Allure will be coming to Barcelona for summer 2015. Jenny Rafter and Jennifer Callister hosted 92 trade and consumers on board legend of the Seas in Cobh.
MSC are promoting the launch of New Experiences by giving agents a chance to win an overnight for 2 at the 5* Destination Spa Monart with Dinner and Spa treatments included, if they make a booking on MSC Orchestra from Dubai this winter and send the reference to email@example.com.
- Celebrity Cruises announced its for 2015-16 Caribbean programme. Seven ships will be sailing to 27 destinations with itineraries ranging from four to fourteen nights.
- The Thomson Spirit Ship will dock on May 8th in Dublin Port and a ship visit is being organised.
- Norwegian Epic is to sail from Southampton in autumn 2015.
- Brittany Ferries have an all inclusive discount offer of 15pc.
- Hotel prices have increased significantly month-on-month across Europe, based on the 50 most popular destinations on trivago.ie. One night in April will cost an average of €119 – up 9pc from €109 in March. The most significant increases can be found in Seville (up 47pc to an average of €116 per night), Prague (up 43pc to €116), Florence (up 41pc to €165), Rome (up 39pc to €169) and Venice (up 38pc to €226). In Ireland, prices have increased by 6pc month-on-month, from an average of €91 per night in March to €97 in April. The largest price hikes can be found in Donegal (up 20pc to an average of €150 per night), Sligo (up 12pc to €94) and Limerick and Derry (both up 11pc to €83 and €90 respectively). Following St Patrick’s Day, hotel prices in Dublin have fallen by 9pc month-on-month to an average of €103 per night.
- The St Regis Chengdu is scheduled to open in July this year beside Tianfu Square and the Chun Xi Road upscale retail area.
- Powerscourt are organising a guided walk on Sunday May 4th at 4.30am for International dawn chorus day.
- Worldhotels launched its global loyalty programme Worldhotels Peakpoints.
Justsunshine launched their programme of charter flights to the Irish trade, using a weekly Tunis Air charter service to Monastir from June 21 to September 27. Picture shows Matin Skelly President of the ITAA and Sami Trosse of the Tunisia Tourist Board making a presentation at the launch in Marcel’s Restaurant Dublin. Listen here to presentation on behalf of Justsunshine by Can Deniz (listen here), presentation on behalf of Tunisian Tourist Board by Sami Trosse (listen here), presentation on behalf of Justsunshine’s Irish operation by John Grehan (listen here), John Grehan’s hilarious comments on how launches used to work (listen here) and Martin Skelly’s reply on behalf of the Irish Travel Agents Association (listen here).. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Falcon Holidays and the Spanish Tourist Board hosted an evening for agents. Picture shows Kathryn McDonnell of the Spanish Tourist Board with Antoinette Young and Leila McCabe of Falcon at the Falcon Holidays and Spanish Tourist Board event in 4 Dame Lane Dublin. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Pictured on the Turkish Airlines and Bedsonline fam trip to Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur: Jackie Doran of Marble City travel, Helen O’Flaherty of World Travel Center, Michelle Mallon of Club World Travel, Dominic Burke of Travel Centres, Bugu Karatas of Do&Co Catering company and Thomas McNally of Bedsonline. Front row: Onur Gul of Turkish Airlines, Lorraine Power of Harvey Travel, Aisling O’Connor of Orient Travel, Lisa Warren of Killiney Travel, Brian William Chapman of Atlas Travel and Gohop, David Ho of Sino Irish travel, Louise Mc Cormack of Curragh Travel/Tullys, Lauren Shorthall of Malahide Travel, Yvonne Cronin of Travelagent.ie, Lorraine Power of Harvey Travel, Ciara Mooney of Freedom Travel.
Picture shows Gerry Bergin of Budget School Groups and Tours, Kathryn McDonnell of the Spanish Tourist Board, Arte de Cocina, chef of Antequera, Ciara Sweeney of Corrib Travel, Irene McCaffrey of Travel Department, Linda O’Donovan of J Barter, Kathy Cashe of Sunway and Natalia Boveda of Costa del Sol Tourism Office on the Spanish Tourist Board Costa del Sol fam trip.
- TravelAgent.ie joined Travelsavers.
- Worldchoice Ireland fronted by Don Shearer (pictured) centralised all membership administration, communication, marketing and commercial activity under one roof and will be unveiling their new Website to all members and trade partners over the next week.
- Sunway is offering agents the chance to win a luxury all inclusive holiday to Mexico if they book the AM Resorts from April 14 to May 31. Agents receive one point for every night booked in Zoetry Wellness Resort, Secrets Resort & Spa, Dreams Resort & Spa, Now Resort & Spa & Sunscape Resort & Spa and 2 points for every night you book to the 5* Dreams Tulum Resort. Email your confirmed bookings to firstname.lastname@example.org and the agent with the most points wins the prize.
- Virgin launched a trade wide booking incentive in conjunction with the Las Vegas CVA throughout May for agents in win a space on a Vegas Fam Trip in October.
- Mercury Direct announced the appointment of Abbey Travel as their GSA in Ireland.
- Travel Counsellors awarded the English Queen’s award for Enterprise in recognition of overseas expansion, now has 1,300 agents in eight countries.
- Belleair Holidays Ireland offered 10pc discount on all accommodation only bookings for the Summer.
- Air China signed up for Travelport Rich Content and Branding technology. Travelport’ signed a partnership agreement with Al Tayyar Travel Group, one of the largest travel companies in the Middle East and Africa.
- Q102 broadcaster Rebecca Lee (pictured) has joined Gerry Benson’s Travelbiz.
- Julie Hanna formerly of the Thomas Cook cruise division has joined Travelbroker’s cruise department.
- Donna Gibbons of Blackpool Travel, Cork & Liana O’Shea of East Cork Travel, Midleton were the first 2 winners of Bookabed’s €100 a day prize offer between April 15th and May 15th in conjunction with the website revamp to include TripAdvisor reviews and attraction tickets
- Travelugo invited Irish travel agents to sign-up for an account via Travelugo.ie, enabling agents to view net rates for products alongside suggested consumer selling rates. All rates will be available in Euros. The default mark-up between the Agent net rate and suggested
- Amadeus appointed Garry Brown as its European Cruise Line Sales Manager
- Sunway launched a sale until Thursday next for all their summer destinations departing during June, July & August from Dublin, Cork, Shannon & Knock: Tunisia, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Algarve, Fuerteventura, Sicily, Lisbon Coast, Fuerteventura, Bulgaria, Sorrento & Costa del Sol with prices from €369. Sunway are offering a 15-day Everest base camp trip on Oct 3rd from €2119pps.
- Clickandgo.com launched a sale for Algarve departures in May.
- Disneyland Paris offer 25pc off and free half board on bookings before April 29 through their sales agents Abbey Travel and Neenan Travel.
- GTA is seeking new partnerships with European suppliers of ‘in destination’ services for fully independent travellers.
- Tourism Ireland is injecting €200,000 into its promotional campaign in China, targeting four regions: Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and Guangzhou.
- Burren Geopark was placed on the shortlist for the 2014 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards alongsideBonito in Brazil, Temes South Africa and winners Costa Navarino from Greece for “showing commitment to supporting and delivering sustainable tourism best practices in their destinations.”
- Paul Simon unveiled a monument to Seamus Heaney at Dublin airport
- The National Library of Ireland added 10,000 more photographs to the digital archive. Picture shows Minister Jimmy Deenihan and Andrew Murphy O’Donovan posing for photographs at the National Library of Ireland digitisation project. Listen here to Sara Smyth speaking about the digitisation project. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
- Airfield Estate urban farm and food gardens experience in Dublin reopened following an €11m redevelopment, and is dedicating each of the four seasons to a different animal. Spring is dedicated to the sheep reflected in a programme of May bank holiday weekend activities of shearing, sheep dog trials, farmyard adventures and Woolapalooza Sheep Festival.
- Tourism Ireland’s Jump into Ireland sales blitz, led by Minister Michael Ring visited Fort Worth, Houston and Austin.
- Tripadvisor listed Ireland in the top three dream destinations for Americans – that’s according to a new survey .
- Fáilte Ireland opened the competition for Ireland’s tourism towns.
Canadian travel bloggers Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil spent the week in Ireland having arrived on last week’s inaugural Aer Lingus Toronto to Dublin flight, as guests of Tourism Ireland to feature the Wild Atlantic Way on their blog The Planet D.
- Cavan Walking Festival is offering guided walks over 10 days in may throughout the county, hosting over 25 walks of varying distances and grades.
- The line up for the Immrama Travel Writing festival on June 12-15 will include Tim Butcher, Charlie Bird, Diana Gleadhill, Alana Murphy, Michael McMonagle and Paul Clements, Alannah Hopkins, Manchan Magan, Michael Fewer, Mark Graham, Michael Whelan and Mícheál de Barra.
- Andrei Popov from Russia won the 5th International Travel Cartoon Competition, to which 705 works from a total of 57 countries were entered.
- Europe’s snow resorts reported excellent skiing in the last week of winter operations for many resorts. A metre of fresh snow is forecast for parts of Austria, France, Italy, and Switzerland. Many Colorado resorts will be open for their final weekend this weekend.
- Europe’s Tour Operators reported that last year the number of European city breaks matched the number of beach holidays for the first time, mirroring the global trend toward city-break holidays.
- Arguably the world’s costliest restaurant, Ibiza’s Hard Rock Hotel restaurant Sublimotion is to charge £1,235 for a 20-course meal and a multisensory experience.
- A female tourist was arrested and threatened with deportation after Sri Lankan authorities took offence to her tattoo. The London Telegraph listed other odd cases of tourists being deported.
- A television advert for Center Parcs was banned because it was accused by two listeners of encouraged parents to take children away during term-time.
- The chief executive of English Heritage says attraction of worship as much as historical treasures helps cathedrals draw 12m visitors a year.
- Channel 4 news highlighted tours of Kibera “the friendliest slum in the world” and interviewed organizer James Asudi.
- Shortly before Russia annexed Crimea, the Bakhchisaray museum, north of Sevastopol, lent some valuable artefacts to an exhibition in the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam. The question as to which country these (and other objects from Crimean museums) should return is creating a diplomatic conundrum.
- The John Muir Way opened in Scotland. The London Telegraph showcased 15 more great walking trails from around the world.
- A new Florida Keys operator Largo Looker launched high-speed glass bottom boat tours.
- The Bannockburn 700th anniversary will feature crown making to puppetry, medieval fashion to singing, archaeology to eagles – children of all ages will be encouraged to immerse themselves in 1314.
- VisitEngland announced some obvious and not-so-obvious winners in its Hall of Fame awards: Shakespeare,Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Robin Hood, graffiti artist Banksy, founder of the National Trust, Octavia Hill, the Bakewell Pudding, England’s oldest working gin distillery in Plymouth, the afternoon tea sandwich at Woburn Abbey, the world’s first operational steam locomotive at Blists Hill Victorian Town in Ironbridge, Shropshire, Isaac Newton’s family home at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, Clifton Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain passenger steamship in Bristol, Capability Brown’s gardens at Northumberland’s Kirkharle Lake and Highclere Castle in, Hampshire the real-life location of ITV’s hugely successful Downton Abbey.
- New Orleans achieved 9.28m visitors in 2013.
- New York city’s rainbow room atop 30 Rockefeller plaza is set to reopen in autumn 2014.
- TravelSim launched an offer of free incoming calls and SMS messages from 66 countries.
- Topflight featured its Thailand Programme on TV3 with Thailand Tourism and Turkish Airlines as partners.