Preparations for the Vinegar Hill re-enactment.
HEADLINES – AVIATION – AFLOAT – FOOD & WINE – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – TRAVEL TRADE
The headlines this week:
*Upbeat Quarters for Lingus and Ryanair
*Texas Next for Aer Lingus?
*Footstepping Arthur Guinness
*Inbound Tourists to Ireland up 10.3pc
*Club Travel Wins Back Irish Government Travel Account
Travel Extra TV
Our video of the week comes from glasnevertrust.ie. Using a drone camera, director Peter Martin captured beautiful, swooping shots of Glasnevin Cemetery and the National Botanic Gardens. The footage is complemented with a gorgeous soundtrack by Kíla.
- Using a GoPro camera, YouTube user Kenneth Pagh shot footage of a huge school of jellyfish near Langeland Island, Denmark. Watch here.
- Digital Agenda EU posted an animated video explaining the new roaming price caps introduced at the start of the month. Watch here.
- Aer Lingus posted a digital showcase of its new business class service, which will be launched in March 2015. Watch here.
Ryanair and Aer Lingus reported upbeat quarterly results. Average Ryanair fares rose 6pc and Aer Lingus 5.5pc, but are set to fall again 6pc in winter. Ryanair said the earlier launch of the summer schedule and rise in forward bookings saw load factor rise 4pc to 86pc and “enabled us to better manage close-in yields”. Ryanair’s Q1 profit was €197m, up 152pc, revenue up 11pc, traffic up 4pc, fare up 9pc but they say the “result was distorted by the timing of a very strong Easter”. The airline expects full year traffic to grow by 5pc to 86m. Michael O’Leary said he was considering going to Airbus and looking to the A320 to compete with 200-seat Max for the next Ryanair order. O’Leary told the Ryanair results presentation: “We had a very strong Q1 and we’re headed for a strong H1. This being nice to people is working a treat! IKEA, Aldi, Lidl have shown how to be softer in communications. We went too far down the road of the Millwall strategy.”
Despite the €10m impact of strike action, Aer Lingus’ Q2 2014 operating profit of €38.7m million was its best reported second quarter result for at five years, 33pc up on 2013. Operating loss for the first half of the year was 9.9pc. All the talk at the Aer Lingus results was of new transatlantic routes for 2015, with United’s hub in Houston or American’s hubs in Dallas and Miami the likely targets. “I will not mention any destinations but we have very concrete plans, there is more good news to come and that will happen while I am still here,” Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller said. Transfer traffic on Aer Lingus services was up 33pc. New routes will be underpinned by gateway to gateway traffic which have constituted about 50pc of Aer Lingus transatlantic sales up to June, with 20pc fed into North American Gateways (fuelled by United, JetBlue and Air Canada) and 30pc feeding the Irish Gateways. The Aer Lingus brand share of passengers at Dublin, Cork and Shannon for H1 was 45pc. The Aer Lingus share of direct transatlantic passengers was 53pc.
The airline reported its product improvements: re-designed lie-flat Business Class seats/beds, service attuned to time of day (including quiet night time services), food, entertainment, lounge and amenity upgrades, a website and app re-launch, the move to Heathrow T2 and the extension of pre-clearance to afternoon flights to the USA. See results here and presentation here. There was much comment on the labour relations strategy.
Hurtigruten Ireland and Britain manager Maxine Dunsdon and Daniel Giles Hurtgiruten’s Regional Sales Manager Ireland (pictured), along with Ron Carlisle Groups Co-ordinator for Hurtgirutnen, hosted the travel trade at the Shackleton Exhibition at Dun Laoghaire ferry port and a barbecue afterwards at the Royal St George yacht club to launch their winter and 2015 programme. The Nordnodgre will be returning to the Svalbard/Spitzbergen run for the summer in 2015. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Hurtigruten have a new Dublin charter direct to Tromsø on Feb 16 for a 5 day Arctic Highlights tour from €1,237pp. News for winter 2014-15 includes a new transfer option at Kirkenes airport to the Snow Hotel, clients can now transfer by dog sleigh and a new 8 day Arctic Explorer itinerary and join a new whale watching excursion. The 2015 Norwegian voyages programme has added a new experience of sleeping out on deck on all coastal ships under the midnight sun. Voyage of the Vikings will depart in September 2015 with dedicated lectures. The Explorer voyages programme will feature kayaking, fishing with the officers, sleeping out on deck and overnight camping.
Patrick Loueiro, who was born on an Aer Lingus flight 39 years ago, was reunited this week with the cabin crew that helped deliver him. He was delivered by cabin crew member Jackie Ryan, a former nurse, and assisted by a doctor who was travelling on board a Mozambique-Portugal flight on June 11, 1975. He was the only baby to be born on board an Aer Lingus flight. RTÉ 2FM researcher Dave Sherry decided to track down Patrick after reading about his story in an issue of Cara magazine. Here’s the strange bit: it turned out that Dave’s mother, Anne, was a member of cabin crew on that very flight. Patrick (named after the 747 aircraft, St Patrick) flew in from Portugal to Dublin on Tuesday to have a reunion lunch with 12 members of the original crew to celebrate the anniversary of the mid-air birth. Picture shows Jackie Ryan with Patrick. Listen to Patrick on the Ryan Tubrity show this week.
Fáilte Ireland noted that Ireland is set for the best tourism season since the downturn began after the CSO’s half time report show number of tourists inbound to Ireland are up 10.3pc for the first half of 2014 (324,400 additional visitors), Britain is up 14pc (slightly higher than anticipated and indicating increased market share), North America up 11pc, Europe up 6pc (Germany up 18pc, Spain up 22pc and Italy up 4pc), Australia and long-haul up 14pc. France and Italy remain sluggish.
Liam Lonergan’s Club Travel has won back the Government of Ireland’s travel account it lost to Carlson Wagonlit Travel in 2012. The account covers about 30,000 flights a year and is believed to be worth about €6m, down from a peak of €12m in the glory days of the Celtic Tiger. Yvonne Nolan who was responsible for the government travel account at CWT recently joined Etihad.
The Travel Corporation team hosted 68 members of the trade in the Clarion Hotel in Cork. Picture shows Rosanna Leary, Sharon Jordan, Donna Kenny and Carole Carmody. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. The agents were updated at a training event on the TTC portfolio of products. Contiki‘s new 2015-2016 programme is now on sale with 22 itineraries. Insight Vacations has launched its 2015/16 USA & Canada including Hawaii and Alaska programme, featuring 16 premium and nine Gold Luxury escorted journeys. Contiki launched its 2015-2016 USA programme with great early booking discounts of up to €710pp. Uniworld has introduced of their all-inclusive packages in Europe, a new Super Ship Catherine and new itineraries in France.
British Airways said that all Ireland Group Sales are to be transferred to the airline’s Group Sales office in Manchester. New contact details will be in place from this date. Details of the groups’ terms and conditions can be found on batraveltrade.com. For all new and existing bookings, Irish travel agents can call: +3531-5319039 Monday to Friday 08.30—17.00. The airline thanked Michelle, Carol and Sally for all their help and support in the past.
Lowcostbeds, in association with the Maltese Tourist board, are hosting a Fam trip to Malta from October 6. Agents who make a booking to Malta before August 8 could win a place on the trip. Send your name with bookings to Grainne Caffrrey before August 11. Another Lowcost Beds trade competition offers agents who make a booking to Blue Sea properties before August 31 the chance to win one week’s accommodation at Blue Sea Los Fiscos Apartments.
- Sabre is to offer GDS limo bookings.
- Travelport has now signed up 50 airlines to participate in its Rich Content and Branding Technology.
- The ITAA Affiliate Programme reported its 70th member, flybe.
- Drew Duggan’s Adventure Holidays‘ top-selling products this year include self-guided leisure cycling and walking holidays, particularly with the over 50s market to destinations with short transit times and where clients can arrive on any day of the week and this way we can get great value airfares. Biggest long haul adventure/active holiday trip is the Lycian Way with good connections with Turkish allowing us to include a stopover in Istanbul. Adventure Holidays pioneered holidays in Puglia on the new Ryanair service to Bari, as well as walking holidays in Andalucia, particularly the Las Alpujarras, a low level walking holiday and hour and a half from Malaga. It is priced at €600pp including private transfers, accommodation on HB, route notes & maps and luggage transfers. Beyond the French Rivera self-guided walking tours and Lake Constance cycling holidays are selling well.
- Travelport has increased its stake in eNett International, their joint payments venture with PSP International from 57pc to 73pc.
- BookaBed has signed a deal with the Freedom Travel Group and Co-operative Personal Travel Advisors, strengthening the company’s presence in the English market.
- GTI new tours on sale include Chasing the Northern Lights, travelling Winter 2014 & Spring 2015, battlefield tours with additional dates for 2014 and May 2015, Corfu, Sardinia and Majorca tours are back for Autumn 2014.
- Patrick Lukan, ex-Travelport and CWT, has been appointed Chief Commercial Officer at CityJet to lead the newly independent airline’s commercial team. Cityjet confirmed that John Donohue is to join Patrick on the team as Sales and Relationship Manager Ireland & Britain. John Donohue says it is an exciting time to be joining Cityjet with its newfound freedom from Air France ownership and his specialist field will be working with the trade and with corporates, the lifeblood for a primarily business oriented airline. John Donohue’s long career in the travel industry includes spells at JWT, British Midland and Maersk air before joining Bournemouth airport. He founded aereps in 2006 and it gained prominence with the addition of high profile accounts form Las Vegas in 2007 and NYC&Co in 2008. He says aereps will be wound down over the coming months “to everybody’s satisfaction”. Frances O’Reilly and Gary Byrne are the company’s other full time employees.
- Travel Counsellors will have a group of 55 coming to the Travel Trade Fun day on August 24.
- Adventure travel specialist Explore reported a 25pc increase in cycling holiday sales year on year, over the last 10-week period.
- Pictures shows Karen Hogan of Justsplit who won The Travel Corporation summer agent incentive, €1,000 home and garden make-over pictured with Jim Vaughan of Justsplit.
- Fionnuala Carter’s skillsnet programme for the ITAA has brought the training scheme to a new level: Travel Law Webinar 3 with Anne Dolan features E-Commerce – Compliance Matters on Wed, August 13, 8:30am—10am. Cost is €25. Sign up and pay for one participant and receive additional free places for your company on request.
- Emirates appointed Filippo Rocchi to the corporate sales team in Ireland, supporting Sales Manager, Anita Thomas. His experience includes Alitalia, Malev Hungarian Airlines and Ryanair, and travel agents including FCM Travel solutions and BCD travel.
- This week’s offers from ITAA: 7 nights at Du Parc Hotel, Lake Garda, from €719pp, travel August 9; 14 nights at Kaseria Hotel Apartments, Gumbet, from €579pp, travel August 15; 10-night Orlando and Caribbean Cruise, from €1,199, travel August 28.
A Small Luxury Hotels of the World survey of 13,000 customers worldwide named Italy as the number one luxury holiday destination, Chanel as the top luxury brand, and the Nespresso coffee machine favourite in-room amenity. Free Wi-Fi was favoured over free breakfast and a Michelin star restaurant favoured over a rooftop bar.
- The K Club has applied for permission to build another 70 rooms, bring the total to 139. Asked about the significance of the application, GM Michael Davern said that the golf business is not performing as it used to and the hotel business is performing better than it used to. He said that having only 69 rooms was a handicap for the K Club as it tried to compete for corporate business in the five-star sector.
- HRS says that Dublin’s average room rate has increased by 6pc in the last two years, rising from €88 to €102 per night. With an increase of more than 10pc on last year, London has stolen the top spot from Copenhagen which now is on a par with Paris, both averaging €149 per room per night.
- Hotel room taxes in Rome are to increase on September 1 as follows: €7 on five star hotels, €6 on four star hotels, €4 on three star hotels, €3 on two star hotels. The taxes are charged up to 10 nights.
- Lonely Planet listed 10 hidden hotels you can’t reach by road. The list features Pilatus-Kulm, Lucerne, Switzerland accessible only by cogwheel railway; Hotel Annapurna, Samar Village, Upper Mustang, Nepal accessible only by foot or horseback; Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, accessible only by speedboat; Estancia Ricanor, Piedra del Fraile, Patagonia, accessible only by foot; Tree Hotel, Harads, Norbotten, Sweden, Berkeley River Lodge; The Kimberley, accessible only by by private aircraft, boat or helicopter; Burgh Island Hotel, Devon, accessible only by by sea-tractor; Refugio El Padrino, Puerto Williams, Isla Navarino, Chile accessible only by ferry through the Beagle Channel; Jules’ Undersea Lodge, Key Largo, Florida, accessible only by scuba dive; and (inevitably) a novelty, the Soyuz spacecraft.
- Hotelwifitest.com is a new website that allows guests search for hotels with the fastest (and slowest) internet speeds and check whether free WiFi is available before they book. So far there are 150 Dublin reviews, 45 for Galway and 30 for Cork: hotelwifitest.com/hotels/ie/.
- Businessman Edward Heaton received plenty of social media sympathy this week after he was charged £75 for three small bottles of water in London’s Wellesley Hotel.
- Trivago.ie listed its top 10 hotel water slides in the world. Atlantis at The Palm resort in Dubai claimed the top spot, followed by Hard Rock Bali in Kuta and Ersan Resort & Spa in Bodrum. See the full list here.
Patrick Lencioni will be keynote speaker at Virtuoso travel week place in Bellagio next week, August 9-15, talking about overcoming issues that sabotage long-term client loyalty. Irish luxury hotels traditionally attend the event which hosts some of the most important buyers of luxury travel.
- Tourism Ireland signed up as a partner for ExploreGB, Visit Britain’s new showcase event which will debt at Ascot Racecourse in February 2015. 250 international travel buyers from more than 37 countries are expected to attend and over 150 suppliers have registered.
- The European Commission estimates that 20pc of holiday makers now opt for new packages, they might book their flights and a hotel from one operator and rent their car via another website. The Commission’s reforms have been stalled for a year and this week the Commission issued a reminder that member States have still not passed proposals made 12 months ago to reforms to meet these trends and to include additional cancellation rights, including immaterial damage, such as for a spoilt holiday, and ensuring that national insolvency protection schemes are recognised across borders.
- According to a survey by AA Insurance, Irish holidaymakers are more likely to be robbed in Spain than any other tourist destination.
- VisitScotland launched a survival guide for the Edinburgh Festivals. Visitors are also being encouraged to explore nearby regions including Perthshire, the Scottish Borders, Fife, Stirling and the Lothians in the ‘Exploring Further Afield’ section.
- Two Irish climbers died when they fell 200m in the Dent du Geant area of the French Alps.
- A 20-year-old man was killed after he was struck by lightning on LA’s Venice Beach. Twelve others were injured. The man’s death is the 15th fatal strike in the US so far this year, down significantly from 35 the same period last year.
- Magaluf’s infamous Carnage nightclub – where video footage of an 18-year-old performing sex acts on a number of men was shot – was ordered to close down for 12 months.
- The English Guardian listed 11 spectacular swimming pools on its Swimming Blog. A violin-shaped pool, the bathing ship on Berlin’s Spree River and the infinity pool at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands hotel are among those listed.
- August 25 is the start date of the Rathfarnham TV presenter Bazil Ashmawy’s intriguing new bucket-list TV series, ‘Fifty Ways to Kill Your Mammy’ on Sky. Wicklow based Baz start his travel TV career with RTÉ’s ‘How Low Can You Go’.
- Wildlife charity Care for the Wild International called for tourists to stop taking selfies with tigers and other protected animals. The charity is pushing its No Photos, Please! campaign into Thailand next month. The charity’s campaigns and communications manager Chris Pitt told The English Guardian: “In Thailand it’s very popular to have a photo with a slow loris – people are encouraged to think they’re cute and good for a photo but these are nocturnal animals from the jungle being dragged around neon-lit resorts, with their teeth and claws clipped, having cameras flashed in their eyes.”
- Heathrow-car-rental.co.uk faced criticism this week for describing cyclists as a “hazard” and saying that they “become most indignant if you hit them”. The car hire firm said the advice aimed at foreign visitors to Britain was intended to be light-hearted and apologised for the remarks.
- More pressure on Seaworld; Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld will end their long term marketing partnership later this year with both blaming the mutual decision on “shifting priorities”. Three aircraft in SeaWorld livery will be repainted in traditional Southwest colors. SeaWorld has described criticism from animal rights activists as “inaccurate and misleading”. Criticism has increased since the release of the Blackfish documentary last year.
- US health officials are urging against non-essential travel to West Africa, as the Ebola outbreak worsens in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The DFA updated its website but reassured visitors the risk that they have been exposed to the Ebola virus is extremely low.
- Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Board voted $18 million in tax breaks for the controversial Christian theme park project.
- Baltimore, Anaheim and San Antonio entered a unique convention partnership and agreed to promote each other for conventions.
- Eighty-five Silverseas passengers were told they couldn’t disembark when Silver Discoverer’s docked in the former military port of Provideniya in the far northeast of Russia because they didn’t have the correct paperwork.
- A cancelled project to build high speed trains links has now been reinstated by Thailand’s military government.
- VisitBritain appointed Sally Balcombe, ex TUI, Opodo, Travelport and British Airways Holidays, as chief executive officer. Britain attracted a record 22,813,000 visitors in 2013 and is now the eighth most popular tourist destination for international visitors, behind France, USA, China, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Germany. Ireland is the fourth biggest source market for Britain with 2,395,000 visitors, 7pc of all visits and the seventh biggest in terms of spend. England is Ireland’s favourite international destination, sending 1.8m visitors, spending £594m. Ireland is the biggest source destination for Wales with 132,000 spending £25m. Ireland sent 107,000 visitors to Scotland, substantially down over the past three years from 156,000.
Food & Wine
A taste of our own medicine: a New York publican landed in hot water this week for displaying a sign that banned drunken Irish. After receiving backlash from the Irish-American community, the Dock Bar & Grill doctored its “No Irish drunks” sign to read “No Sensitive Drunks”. This was following the viral image of a sign banning “loud American’s [sic]” from Peter’s Place café in Waterville. As social media controversy rumbled on before eventually fizzling out, chairman of Waterville Business Association Albert Walsh had the last word by countering Fitzgerald’s ban with a fitting soundbite: “There is a loud welcome in Waterville for all loud American visitors and friends.”
Come Dine With Me (with a twist) comes to Westport Food Festival, September 5—7: Punters are invited to purchase a €35 ticket for a five-course dinner…the catch is that they won’t know where they will be dining until a pre-dinner lottery at a drinks reception in the Clock Tavern. Fifteen restaurants are taking part in the event, which will mark the end of the festival.
John and Sally McKenna of guides,ie tweeted this last week. Is Ireland now part of the United Kingdom?
— John & Sally McKenna (@McKennasGuides) July 31, 2014
Ryanair announced a Six Nations flight between Shannon and Cardiff for Wales v Ireland, departing 14.30 on Friday March 13 and returning from Cardiff on Sunday March 15 at 18.15. Two flights from Dublin depart at 10.55 and 14.05 on Friday 13 and return from Cardiff on Sunday 15 at 14.20 and 15.35.
- It was reported in Turkey that Ryanair is preparing to fly there and that Ryanair is looking to expand into the Middle East. After Michael O’Leary commented that Ryanair could offer cheap flights to Moscow and the Middle East, The London Telegraph listed 7 destinations Ryanair could hypothetically service using its current fleet of 737-800s (which has a maximum range of 5,765km): Tel Aviv, Amman and Bahrain are among those listed. Skift reported 3 failing strategies behind European legacy airlines’ battle with Ryanair. Management Today compared Ryanair and Easyjet, how the numbers stack up.
- With 134 direct return flights a week to North America, Dublin was ranked 7th in Europe as a hub for transatlantic passengers ahead of Istanbul, Brussels and Gatwick, and behind Heathrow, Paris Charles De Gaulle, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Madrid and Rome. The London Telegraph asked if Dublin Airport is eating Heathrow’s lunch?
- Skyteam launched its new Go Round Asia and Southwest Pacific Pass, providing access to 26 countries.
- Transavia.com joined the Flying Blue programme. Flying Blue members can now use their Flying Blue Miles to book transavia.com flights departing from Dutch airports.
- American Airlines is to suspend the Dublin to JFK route between October 25 and March 29.
- Christoph Mueller of Aer Lingus expressed his opposition to the opening of Ireland-US operations to non-EU carriers, as proposed in the Minister for Transport’s draft Aviation Policy. He noted that only two non-EU fifth freedom transatlantic operations remain and that they derive from rights given 20 years ago which would not be given today. The proposed Ethiopian Addis-Dublin-LAX route clearly has some way to go.
- Revenue at the Lufthansa-owned Shannon Aerospace Ltd increased in 2013 by 27pc to €71.69m. The numbers employed decreased marginally from 487 to 484.
- WTM insights asked whether airline and hotel operators should be offering in-destination services, such as attraction tickets, on their mobile apps, with the rise of discounted data roaming deals.
- Picture shows Aodhan Keenan (7) and his sister, Aoibheann (6) at the launch of the National Geographic store in Terminal 1, Dublin Airport. The 300 gate area has been transformed into a brighter area for passengers in T1 and a major retail development on the Street will be ready next year. Butlers have been moved down on the opposite side of the street opposite WH Smith.
- London City Airport say 72 snow globes were confiscated from the hand luggage of passengers departing from London City, making it the most confiscated non-food related item (jams and preserves topping that poll). The findings have prompted the airport to issue a reminder to passengers that liquids over 100ml cannot be carried in hand luggage – no matter how kitsch the container. All liquids carried in hand luggage must be under 100ml and placed in one, sealed, clear plastic bag. The top 10 confiscated items from January to June at London City Airport were: 1 Jams and preserves (including lots of lemon curd), 2 Snow globes, 3 wine, 4 vodka, 5 body lotion/hand cream, 6 whiskey, 7 Tennis racquets, 8 scissors, 9 footballs, 10 champagne, 11 Handcuffs (4 pairs).
- SITA launched smartphone check-in technology claiming that wearable tech offers big potential.
- Virgin plans to provide passengers with stand-up comedy, with comics to perform live mid-flight.
- Thomson said the Dreamliner will operate all their long-haul flights.
- BA was accused of misleading customers with ‘direct flight’ marketing.
- Air France-KLM announced a new growth plan.
- Aer Lingus offered 25pc off fares to Europe and Britain; book by Tuesday.
- The Aer Lingus Gold Circle lounge at Heathrow T2 opened last weekend.
- Boeing forecast a shortage of pilots over next two decades.
- Swords based Air Contractors are wet-leasing an Icelandic B737 freighter.
- Cork Airport has updated its app by adding live bus and coach departure timetables.
- An easyJet aircraft flying from Bristol to Barcelona was forced to make an emergency landing after it was struck by a bolt of lightning. During the week bad weather caused delays at Luton after a diversion was put in place for London Gatwick due to CB activity.
- Aer Lingus’s director of product and brand development, Michael Gannon, sought a High Court injunction this week preventing his removal.
- British Airways extended its hand baggage only fares to include all short-haul flights from Gatwick, Heathrow and London City airports.
- Emirates will host cabin crew recruitment drives in three locations this month. The events will take place at Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road in Galway City on August 23; Clarion Hotel, Lapps Quay, Cork City, August 28; Hilton Dublin, Charelemont Place, Dublin 2 August 30.
- Passenger numbers on international routes from English airports were up 4.5pc in the period January to June 2014m with Ireland the sixth more important pairing up with 4.95m passengers (+8.9pc), behind Spain (11m), US (8.3m), Germany (5.9m), Italy (5.4m) and France (5.05m).
- Malaysia Airlines’ commercial directory Hugh Dunleavy suggested in a London Sunday Telegraph article that the airline may change its name following a strategic review.
- Gatwick drafted in extra staff this weekend to make sure there isn’t a repeat of last weekend’s baggage chaos.
- Dublin Airport expects 310,000 passengers (up 5pc) this August Bank Holiday weekend, see also Cork Airport, also Knock airport (ip 20pc) and Shannon airport (up 20pc).
- Lufthansa’s profit fell due to strikes and excess capacity. See the Merrion capital analysis here.
- The London Telegraph reported that Ryanair customers were in the dark over prepaid card refunds.
- Virgin Atlantic announced that it intends to go public, but the number of shares and price range has yet to be disclosed.
- Vancouver based Jetlines is aiming to start scheduled services from next spring.
- IAG which owns BA, Iberia and Vueling, reported a half-year operating profit of €23m, compared with a loss of €33m in the same period last year. Willie Walsh said capacity will be trimmed 3pc for winter.
- Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is to install eight state-of-the-art queue management queue-card kiosks over the next couple of weeks.
- Qantas will reduce the size of the lavatories on its 737 fleet. The new interior, which also includes an enhanced IFES, will not begin until the middle of 2015 and is expected to take around a year to complete, The London Telegraph reported.
- As a result of the MH17 tragedy, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, KLM and Air France diverted flights using Iraqi airspace.
- Michael O’Leary received a 37pc pay increase in the 12 months to the end of March 2014.
- The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation said it will form an airline safety task force in response to the downing of MH17.
- KLM Airlines announced that it will offer round the clock customer service via LinkedIn. The airline, which has 70,000 followers on the social media service, claims to be the first airline to offer customer service on LinkedIn.
- Thomson Airways announced it will use the 787 Dreamliner on all its long-haul flights for the rest of the summer.
- Ryanair won a temporary injunction against online travel agent eDreams for “misleading advertising.”German website, eDreams.de, will not be able to advertise that it offers the “guaranteed best price on all its flights”. Ryanair said the website, and other similar screenscrapers, “fail/refuse to pass on vital information to both passengers and Ryanair regarding issues such as flight changes, web check-in, special needs assistance and contact details, which has resulted in missed flights and repeated problems for customers”.
- Aer Lingus said it is looking to end the industrial dispute once and for all by establishing an internal resolution body.
- BA is to be sued for damages over claims that one of its pilots – First Officer Simon Wood, who died after being struck by a train last year – sexually abused children in African schools and orphanages while on stopovers.
- A blunder by a United Airlines customer care manager went viral this week. The manager forgot to fill in the variables (including ‘CUSTOMER NAME’) in an apology letter addressed to a customer who filed a complaint to the airline.
- Another gaffe, this time from Qantas subsidiary Jetstar: The airline apologised after a crew member advised travellers returning from a music festival near Byron Bay to flush drugs down the toilet before landing in Sydney.
- A Thomson flight heading from Enfidha to Edinburgh had to be diverted to Gatwick after a female passenger threw her prosthetic leg and food at cabin crew and shouted abuse at them.
- Businesspost.ie reported that the NCA took 115 enforcement actions against businesses last year, including Aer Lingus and Ryanair for failing to provide an email contact address for consumers on their website.
- Swedish law firm Liman and Partners said it will be taking legal action on behalf of passengers affected by delays on Norwegian’s long haul routes. Lawyer Stephan Eriksson claimed that around 35,000 passengers have been affected by delays.
Jo Rzymowska of Celebrity Cruises hosted the trade at the Marie Keating foundation event the K Club. Picture shows Jo and Mary McKenna of Tour America, See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Celebrity Cruises launched Up, Up and Away, a range of offers including a booking incentive for agents along with a raft of customer offers to entice holiday bookings this August and September. Agents will also receive a €20 Love2Shop voucher for all Celebrity Cruises automated bookings made during August Offers for clients such as free ocean view to balcony upgrades, reduced flights from just €199 per person. Celebrity Cruises launched a new portfolio of materials to aid agents, Xtra trade pack for independent partners and consortia, allowing them to produce individually branded website banners and posters/ Agents can request the Celebrity Xtra toolkit via cruisingpower.ie.
- Greystones Harbour Marina has surpassing the planned 3,000 visitors it had expected in 2014.
- Celebrity Cruises says Celebrity Eclipse, still a favourite with Irish guests, will emerge from dry dock in May 2015 following its refurb. The ship is being fitted with the Gastrobar premium craft beer and comfort food venue and Slush poolside refreshments and stylish frozen drinks bar. This refurbishment will coincide with the launch of Celebrity Cruises’ new Suite Class offering following the addition of the Canyon Ranch Spa Club.
- Norwegian reported a revenue increase of 18.9pc to $765.9m.
- A poll by Stena Line found that Mrs Brown is the preferred sat nav voice for holidaymakers. The foul-mouthed Mrs Brown beat off the likes of Stephen Fry and Morgan Freeman.
Kildare ambassadors Gay Byrne and Yvonne Keating (pictured) officially launched a 16km towpath trail, Arthur’s Way, which will bring walkers and eventually cyclists through the landscape of Arthur Guinness’s childhood in Leixlip, Celbridge and Ardclough. Listen here to Yvonne’s speech. A descendant of the founder of the brewing dynasty, Patrick Guinness (pictured) spoke about his ancestor’s beginnings as sheep farmers on the foothills of Kildare’s north-eastern border (listen here), councillor Pádraig McEvoy outlined the work that had gone into developing the trail (listen here), chair of Kildare Council Fiona O’Loughlin talked about the potential of tourism in the county (listen here), as did chair of Kildare Fáilte John Osborne of the National, and keynote speaker Gay Byrne warned the guests from local tidy town, historical tourism and commercial groups that the real work was about to begin (listen here). Listen here to a taster from the audio guide introduction to Arthur’s Way also narrated by Patrick Guinness. The audio guide to the trail is also co-narrated by Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra who has written extensively about the history of the area. Patrick Guinness revealed that the last time he was at the Village at Lyons was for a birthday party for aviation pioneer Tony Ryan, at which the special guest was a strip tease called Deeta von Teese. Now that’s tourism potential if Travel Extra heard it right. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
- Sky Sports covered the World Feeder Fishing Championships at Inniscarra Reservoir, near Coachford. Pictures shows Rob Hughes and Andy Forde, both Sky Sports presenters; with cameraman Jason O’Reilly, covering the World Feeder Fishing Championships at Inniscarra Reservoir, near Coachford.
- Much attention was paid to the two mile exclusion zone imposed on Skellig Michael for the filming of Star Wars: Episode VII. Minister Paschal Donohoe declared a two-mile exclusion zone, which was patrolled by a naval vessel.
- Preparations underway for third annual reenactment of the Battle of Vinegar Hill Enniscorthy this bank holiday weekend, Saturday and Sunday, August 2 and 3. Organisers say “it will be the busiest battlefield to date”. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
- Claíomh Living History Group will showcase events from four different time periods including a display of 13th century Anglo-Norman drill and a hand-to-hand combat demonstration as part of Craggaunowen Lughnasa festival on Sunday, August 3 and Monday August 4 from 11.00am to 5.00pm each day.
- Author Jennifer Johnston launched a World War I “Lives Remembered” monument and exhibition at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, to remain open for the next four years. There are nearly 200 plaques and monuments throughout the Cathedral. At the centre of the new exhibition is a new monument called the ‘Tree of Remembrance’, on which members of the public are invited to tie their own messages of remembrance. View video on the ‘Tree of Remembrance’ here or see the website.
- Dublin Ghostbus Tour will launch on August 21 featuring Christchurch crypt, a grave robbing lesson, and more.
Picture shows Anne Speers, Finn Valley Cottages, Co Tyrone; Ann Phelan, Trailwalkers Ireland; Sam Andrews, Loughs Agency; Ellie Glennie, Belle Isle Estate, Co Fermanagh; Brendan Winters, River Mournes Guides (angling guide service), Co Tyrone; Margaret Mellor, Tourism Ireland; Stephen Moates, Loughs Agency; Maura Mullins, Trailwalkers Ireland; Lionel Knobbs, Loughs Agency; and Larry Swire, Loughs Agency, at the Tourism Ireland stand during this year’s CLA (Country Land Association) Game Fair in Oxfordshire, England.
- The Shannon Group Bill was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins on Sunday. It will combine Shannon Airport with the property ownership and management activities of Shannon Commercial Enterprises Limited, Shannon Heritage and the International Aviation Services Centre.
- Holiday Inn Belfast have joined with City Tours Belfast to offer 2 nights B&B and 1 dinner in the Holiday Inn Belfast & a Game of Thrones locations tour to Carrick-a-Rede, Ballintoy Harbour and the Giant’s Causeway. Walk into the Cushendun caves where Melisandre gave birth to her ‘shadow assassin’, and experience the Dark Hedges where Arya Stark escaped King’s Landing.
- Belfast Titanic centre has been short-listed for the 2014 British Travel Awards.
- A special one-off print run of an Irish edition of The Flanders Fields Post has been published to commemorate the centenary of the start of WW1. Over 30,000 Irish died in the war. See here.
Princess Charlene of Monaco was presented with a Certificate of Irish Heritage by Irish Ambassador to France, Rory Montgomery, Princess Charlene’s ancestors can be traced back to the 1520s and a prominent Dublin family called the Fagans. Picture shows Albert II Prince of Monaco; Princess Charlene; Finola O’Mahony, Tourism Ireland; HE Rory Montgomery, Irish Ambassador to France; and Fiona Fitzsimons, Eneclann.
- View Anne Fitzsimmons and Catherine Karnow’s ‘Best of Dublin’ photo gallery on National Geographic here.
- Swimming was banned at Front Strand in Youghal due to excess E.coli.
- Waterford Treasure museum’s Architects, Artists and Armymen exhibition celebrating 300 years of the Roberts family in Waterford is open now until the end of November. The Treasure of Poland exhibition is open until September 4.
- Last week to the see Russborough House’s garden sculpture exhibition: the free exhibition (€3 parking/walkway donation) closes next Sunday (August 10). Meanwhile the Celtic Tenors will perform an evening concert in Russborough Hippodrome on August 16. Tickets €25.
- Kylemore Abbey’s scheduled summer hikes continue until the end of August. Participants have the option of booking a 1-hour hike (€16pp) or a 3-hour hike (€19pp) on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the month. Group hikes are also available: 1-hour hike €45 per guide plus €8pp entrance fee to Kylemore estate; 3-hour hike €65 per guide plus €8pp entrance fee. Tours available in English, Dutch, French and German on request. Tours of Kylemore’s walled gardens are also available daily at 2:30pm till the end of the month; no booking required.
- Dan Dooley of the car hire company said income from the Army-Navy US football game in Dublin last year helped boost revenues and the group is expecting to increase revenues this year by 8pc-10pc to over €20m.
- Today is the final day in Killruddery’s summer programme. Today is Bee Day, so visitors are invited to meet the Killruddery beekeepers between 11am and 4pm today, and walk and talk with gardening author Alys Fowler at 12pm and 2pm. Regular admission fees apply (€11 adults, €3 children, family of two adults and two children €22).
- National Maritime Museum of Ireland’s The War to End All Wars lecture series will be held at the Eblana Club on August 31, 12pm—8pm. The series will include discussions, debates and musical performances.
- Navan Centre & Fort in Armagh will host a Warrior Sunday on August 17, 11am—5pm. Children aged 6—12 years are invited to come and learn the skills required to become a heroic Celtic warrior. They will learn how to use a spear, sword and shield, and will be taught how to master the sling like Cú Chulainn. Booking is essential, £10 charge for participation.
- The Celtic Tenors will perform in concert at St Mary’s Collegiate Church in Youghal on August 9 at 9pm. Tickets €20. Book online at themallartscentre.com or by phone 087 9593276. Tickets available to buy at Creed Card Shop and at the door on the night. Youghal will also host the 8th annual Youghal Medieval Festival at St Mary’s Medieval Gardens on August 24 from 12pm. Battle enactments, court jesters, Youghal pipe bands and children’s crafts are included in the programme.
- Belvedere House will host the fifth annual Midlands Home & Garden Festival from August 15 to 17, 10am—6pm. There will be a food and garden products market and children’s entertainment by the lake. Entrance fee for adults is €10, accompanying children go free. Free parking available.
- John Wynne, John McEvoy, Rachel Garvey and Ruairi McGorman will perform at Strokestown Park House on August 28, 8pm. Call Roscommon Arts Centre on 090 66 25824 for bookings.
- Powerscourt Gardens appeared was listed at number 3 on National Geographic’s Top 10 Gardens.
- A review of the NITB and the North’s tourism structures by former Stormont Finance Department Permanent Secretary John Hunter is open for comment until September 22.
- Guildhall in Derry saw 370,826 visitors since its £10m refurbishment in June 2013.
- Wax Museum is offering visitors a discount rate for midweek rentals of Michael Jackson’s former Irish country home, Bishopstown House. Wax Museum visitors are able to rent the house Tuesdays—Thursdays for €600 per night. To book, phone 090 643 6175, email email@example.com or visit www.grouselodge.com. The property boasts a private bar, spa, Jacuzzi and swimming pool, as well as a gym at Grouse Lodge Recording Studios. Outdoor activities including horse riding, pigeon shooting and hiking are on offer.
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