The headlines this week:
*Drum-roll for double-daily Dublin-Dubai distension
*Winter fares on sale
*Ski brochures straight from the slopes
*Ryanair seeks 200-seaters
*Heaney-boppers head north
*Travel agents avoid the bunkers twice in one week
Our video of the week shows parachutist Colin Curran jumping into Croke Park for the Croke Park Classic last weekend (watch here). The jumper before him wasn’t so lucky: he got caught in a gust of wind and landed on the nearby railway track instead. He did manage to land on Fox News though. Watch here.
- YouTube footage of a Grenadier Guard doing a little dance outside Buckingham Palace was picked up by the English press this week. It was reported that the guardsman – who is seen pirouetting and performing a jig for onlookers – is under investigation by the Ministry of Defence: “Anyone who is found to fall short of the Army’s high standards can expect to face appropriate action,” a spokesperson told The English Daily Mail. Watch here.
- Another week, another GoPro video. And if heights aren’t your thing, look away now: These three friends took the selfie to the next level by capturing an 18-second clip of themselves posing on top of a skyscraper in Hong Kong. Watch here.
- Primark/Penney’s posted their Adventure Awaits promo video which was shot in West Kerry. Watch here.
- Take a look at the view from the European Space Agency’s International Space Station filmed in July. Watch here.
- Watch the Icelandic Met Office’s flyover of the Holuhraun/Bárðarbunga eruption Watch here.
- RT spoke to Sergey Shevchik, a pilot who travelled across Russia with his son in a home-made aircraft. Watch here.
- BBC travelled to Crosshaven, Co Cork to cover the Irish Redhead Convention. Watch here.
- Découvrez Dublin avec Luxair: Luxair posted a video promoting Dublin. Watch here.
- Take a look at YouTube user Scott McCain’s video of two swimmers casually making their way back to shore at Destin beach – with a hammerhead shark only a couple of feet away. Onlookers are heard shouting warnings from Silver Beach Towers resort urging the two to get out of the water. Eventually the swimmers spotted the creature themselves after it attacked a sting ray. Watch here.
Emirates started their double daily Dublin-Dubai flights, using a three class 8-42-310 B777-300ER on both daily flights (a B777-200LR had been originally proposed for the second flight). The new flight EK0164 departs Dublin at 22.20, arriving in Dubai at 08.50. The return EK0163 departs Dubai at 16.00, landing in Dublin at 20.50. Emirates second flight opens connections to 146 destinations worldwide. The airline launched a global sale on Economy return fares from Dublin: Dublin to Dubai is available from €499, Perth from €821, Sydney or Melbourne from €824, Brisbane from €875, Cape Town from €689, Hong Kong from €599, Sri Lanka from €635 and Seychelles from €705. Book before September 18, travel between September 15, 2014, and March 15, 2015. Picture shows Margaret Shannon, outgoing country manager for Ireland who set up the double daily schedule and Enda Corneille, who succeeded her as Ireland country manager from Monday last.
Is that snow on your brochure shelves? Crystal launched their 2014-15 snow brochure and Topflight are to launch theirs in the coming days. As well as the traditional seven-day holidays, the emphasis is on the new chalet offering from Topflight and their weekend ski breaks to European destinations such as Austria, France and in particular Norway. Most of the Austrian and French ski resorts can be selective on the dates on which they will offer a short ski stay, but Norway (especially the town of Lillehammer) offer families and first time ski clients an excellent opportunity for weekend or short stay ski breaks. Italy for 2015 is on sale with Topflight, especially honeymoon requests.
A year after his death, Seamus Heaney’s literary legacy is being matched already by a growing tourism legacy. In advance of the Celebrating Seamus Heaney On Home Ground festival next weekend (Sept 11-14), a packed programme of events will be curated by Marie-Louise Muir. one of the organisers of the festival Eugene Kielt hosted Travel Extra last week for Heaney Country Experience, a tour of the landscape of the Heaney imagination, the river borders, bogs, marshlands and the road on which his younger brother was killed leading to one of the most poignant poems in Irish literary history: Midterm Break. The signpost to the grave has already been erected (before the headstone) and a small archive installed in the Bawn in Bellaghy. A visitor centre is on its way. The best time to sample Heaney’s childhood scenes may be now. The highlight of the trip? Barney Devlin’s forge, his demonstration of the sound of the ancient anvil against the new one, and how the water used for cooling the molten steel was useful for another purpose, curing warts (listen here). Download the Seamus Heaney On Home Ground Programme here.
Buckets of coverage, and no sign of the charity ice bucket challenge craze cooling off. Participants this week included ITAA president Martin Skelly (watch here). The Ice bucket Challenge has raised over €1m for charity in Ireland. The challenge started as a fundraiser for the ALS Association and was directed to the Motor Neurone Disease Association in England and Ireland, while individuals have opted to donate their money from their challenges to other organisations. Among this week’s icily challenged were Martin Skelly (watch here), President of the ITAA, who took the challenge outside his Navan Travel agency and Volker Lorenz of Amadeus who took the challenge at the Travel Industry Golf event in Bray (watch here). He was nominated by Peter O’Hanlon (watch here) who also nominated Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry (watch here): he sung the Parting Ice Bucket for the occasion: good ice and joy be with you all. See our nominee Sharon Jordan take the challenge with her colleagues at TTC (watch here).
Bárðarbunga’s pre–eruption activity is now larger than Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, but there is no threat to aviation. The clouds you see on the webcams are steam and sulphur, not ash. Listen here to Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland speaking about how the approach to ash alerts has changed radically since 2010. There WAS one delay because of Bárðarbunga, but it was intentional: an Icelandair flight took a detour so passengers could get a better view of the eruption site. No complaints from the passengers, if Twitter is anything to go by.
— Icelandair (@Icelandair) September 3, 2014.
The Irish Travel Agents Association is to host a major two-day golf day and trade event around its annual AGM in Citywest, Saggart next April 24-25. The weekend will feature sessions for woner-managers, separate briefings and showcase events focussed on airlines and on technology, an exhibition area with stands from 60 suppliers and will culminate a barbecue and disco for 400 travel trade staff. Transport will be provided from venues around the country. The event was agreed by the board of the ITAA last Wednesday. Picture shows ITAA CEO Pat Dawson and President Martin Skelly.
Reise Service Deutschland’s low price trips to Istanbul have been causing quite a stir through the industry. There have been some suggestions that a new retail-based model for tour operators has been found.
The Emirates mega fam to Dubai cleared for take-off in Dublin Airport. Picture shows: Ciara Cummins of Tully’s Travel, Gillian Purser of Marble City Travel, Emma Leahy of Travelnet, Katerina Landeka of BCD Travel, Carmel Hayes of Strand Travel, Geraldine Leonard of World Travel Centre Dublin, Sharon Sheridan of Navan Travel, Sharon McGillicuddy of Tropical Sky, Sandra Smith of Malahide Travel, Caroline O’Toole of Fahy Travel Marie O’Sullivan of Emirates airport staff Dublin, Siobhan Durkin of Emirates airport staff Dublin, Sarah Duncan of Atlas Travel, Filippo Rocchi of Emirates, Rose Kane of Kanes Travel, Anne Martin of FCM Travel, Jacinta Mullen of Abbey Travel, Nivil Abraham of 747 Travel Jennifer Keith of World Travel Centre Belfast David Gray of Barrhead Travel and Haarish Mithra Bharathan of Club Travel.
It was end of summer sales week for many airlines as they discount their woolier winter inventory, with some more planning to wheel their discount barrows on the the web next week: Aer Lingus (book by Sept 15, travel Oct 1-Mar 1), Air France (book by Sept 30), British Airways (book by Sept 23, travel before June 21), Emirates (book by Sept 18, travel Sept 15-Mar 15), Lufthansa (book by Oct 6, travel Oct 15-Mar 22) and Virgin (book by Sept 23, travel dates vary by destination).
Team South won the United Airlines Cup for the third year in a row by 6-3, captained by John Cassidy and vice captained by Jimmy Lennox. United hosted 36 agents at the annual event, regarded as the most competitive on the travel industry’s golf calendar. Picture shows Pat Reede, Massimo Larini, Yvonne Muldoon and Aoife Gregg of United Airlines with the cup. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Rebecca Kelly, Neal Baldwin, Rose Darby and Sabine Ficek of MSC cruises held an appreciation night for 70 agents in The Residence, Dublin, to thank them for their support in a period of rapid expansion in the Irish market, and transition to their new three tier and their new three-package Bella-Fantastica-Aurea offering and “Serving You” initiative for travel agents. Picture shows Niki Stanford of Clickandgo, Rebecca Kelly of MSC, Dawn Conway of Sunway and Julie Hanna of Travel Broker, all ex Thomas Cook. Listen here to Rebecca Kelly’s speech at the event and listen here to ITAA president Martin Skelly’s reply on behalf of the trade. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
- Lowcostbeds launched their City Break trade promotion: book a city break with lowcostbeds and travel agency staff can earn a €5 one4all voucher for bookings over €250 made before September 30.
- The Travel Industry Golf Society sent 64 golfers into the field for the captain’s prize at Bray Golf Club, hosted by Volker Lorenz of Amadeus. The competition winners were John Spollen and Audrey Headon. Picture shows the team from event sponsors Travelport: Robbie Smart, Joanne Madden and Tara Hynes. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
- Affordable Car Hire is offering €10 per booking in shopping vouchers as part of its free lunch Fridays offer.
Disney GSA’s Neenan Travel and Abbey Travel are offering two extra days and nights free for arrivals from November 13, 2014, right up to November 2, 2015, (excludes 20 December, 2014 – Jan 3, 2015, and March 27-31, 2015). Abbey is offering Aer Lingus flights from Dublin/Cork to Charles De Gaulle in conjunction with the offer; book before September 30, travel October 26, 2014, to June 30, 2015.
- Agents booking their Hertz car hire through Travelport Galileo or Travelport Worldspan can win a €50 one4all voucher each week from now until November 30 with the an overall prize of a 2-night break for two including an evening meal at a hotel of their choice. Paul Manning asked agents to email weekly reservation IDs to him.
- The Commission for Aviation Regulation published its Air Passenger Rights Complaints Report for January- June 2014 (view here). The Commission has granted Irish travel agency licenses to two English-based agencies, all inclusive China specialist Wendy Wu Tours, the Wimbledon based Broadway Travel Services and Blue Sea Holidays and a tour operator licence to Sindaco Ltd trading as Fanfare. The trading name of Mercury Direct was also added to the listing for Sunspot Tours.
- ITAA’s offers this week: 7 nights all inclusive at Occidental Grand Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from €999pps, travel from Sept 15 to Oct 31; 7 nights half-board over 50s holiday at the Sol Principe Hotel, Torremolinos from €469pps; and 7 nights at Koursaros Apartments, Sidari, Corfu from €349pps, travel Sept 24.
- Thomson is offering 7 nights all-inclusive to Kos, Blue Lagoon Village, Kefalos from €2,507 for two adults and one child or €3,166 for two adults and two children. Travel from Dublin on May 26, 2015.
- Oasis Travel opened its fifth agency and cruise centre at Lisburn Road, Belfast, this week. Picture shows Lynsey Joy, Lisa Cherry, Sandra Corkin, Eimear Lenaghan and Michelle Telford, all of Oasis Travel, at the official launch. Belfast Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon was guest of honour.
- Falcon is offering 7 nights self-catering to Lanzarote, Corona Mar Apartments, Puerto del Carmen from €349pp for two-sharing. Travel from Shannon on October 6.
- Travel Department is offering Christmas shopping trips to the US: New York, 4 nights B&B plus guided tour, from €1,199pps, departures November 7 and 11; Boston, 3 nights B&B plus guided tour, from €1,119pps, depart November 20. Travel Department is also offering Christmas shopping breaks on the continent: 3 nights in Vienna from €399pps, depart November 17, 20, 24 or December 15; 3 nights in Prague from €349pps, depart December 1; 4 nights in Krakow from €379pps, depart November 30; 3 nights in a five-star hotel in Budapest from €359pps, depart November 27 or December 4; 5-night cruise tour of Belgium’s Christmas markets, including Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent, includes 3 nights boat accommodations, 2 nights in a four-star in Brussels, guided tours of each city, from €799pps, depart December 2; Lake Garda, Venice and Bolzano markets from €499pps, depart November 27, 29 or December 4. Travel Department is offering 7 nights B&B on the Sorrento Coast from €849pp (incl. evening meals plus trips to Pompeii and Capri island), departing Dublin on October 9, 14 and 16, and 7 nights B&B in Almuñécar, Spain, from €699pp (incl. evening meals), departing Dublin from October 29 to November 5 and Cork on November 6.
- Picture shows Cronins Coaches team Nora Cronin, SKAL Ireland President, and Margaret Cronin, SKAL Dublin President, with their father Dermot at the SKAL function on the Ruby Princess in Dublin Port on Tuesday.
- Celtic Horizon Tours has six places left on their 1-night package to see Man United play against Queens Park Rangers in Old Trafford on September 14. Night coach and ferry offer incl. travel by coach and Irish Ferries, one night B&B and match ticket from €149pps.
- Discover Travel is offering 10-night B&B honeymoon packages to the Anatara Lawana Resort & Spa on Koh Samui Island, Thailand, for €1,399pp. Offer includes Khom Loi Lantern ceremony, bottle of sparkling wine, dinner for two and wine in the hotel’s main restaurant and 15-minute head, neck and shoulder massage for two people. Offer valid for travel in May or June 2015.
- The Holiday.com domain name is to be auctioned at WTM in London on November 5, with offers of seven figures anticipated.
Hotels.com monthly Hotel Price Index estimated that prices sold by the OTA increased by 10pc to an average of €101 per night. The widespread coverage accorded the survey lead to the IHF issuing an unusual caution that these prices applied only to the 8pc of rooms sold by booking.com. The IHF themselves estimate that rooms are increasing by 3.5pc.
- The Doyle Collection appointed Frits Potgieter as General Manager of The Kensington Hotel London. Frits joined The Doyle Collection in 2012 as Manager for The Marylebone Hotel. He has worked in a number of luxury London properties including The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection and The Milestone Hotels & Apartments.
- Tom Kane’s Adare Manor was put up for sale, its 400 acres on offer for €30m.
- Premier Inn announced a distribution agreement with Travelport.
- O’Callaghan Hotels hosted its corporate clients and travel agents at the K Club on Friday. Noel O’Callaghan who was part of the winning team, did not join his colleagues on the podium. O’Callaghan’s have three hotels in the Merrion Square region of Dublin and hotels in Gibraltar and Annapolis.
Picture shows Travel Extra’s Conor McMahon taking a bike tour of Djurgården island, Stockholm, with Ellie McMahon (no relation). The couple spent three months living in the capital of Scandinavia and return home this morning. For the past week, they were hosted by the Stockholm Visitors Board, which provided them with two 72-hour Stockholm Cards. The card provides visitors entry to 80 galleries, unlimited public transport, plus a number of discounts. The highlights of the trip: Moderna Museet, Skansen wildlife park, Djurgården, boat trip to Vaxholm, Sturekatten café, K25 food hall and the Hallwyl Collection to name but a few.
The US Embassy is inviting anyone who ever went on a J1 summer work and travel programme, or any other US exchange programme, to join the J1 Connect event on September 25 at the RDS in Dublin. Register here.
- Tunisia is to introduce a €13 tourist tax from October 1.
- Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, former head of the Toshiba Corporation in Thailand (pictured), has been named Thailand’s latest Minister of Tourism and Sports.
- Next year’s Arabian Travel Market is to focus on the $140bn family travel market.
- Greece is anticipating an increase in visitor numbers to archaeological sites and museums following new burial tomb find in Amfipolis.
- Hernando de Soto and Gaston Acurio were announced as key note speakers at WTTC 2014 Americas Summit in Lima.
- Eurotunnel warned drivers to be on the lookout for stowaways near its Calais terminal after a woman found a man hiding in her car after she checked her dogs at a reception area in Calais.
Security officials at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China caught an eight-year-old boy trying to smuggle his pet turtle onto an aircraft by hiding the reptile in his underwear. A similar story emerged last year when a man was caught trying to bring a turtle on board a flight at Guangzhou Airport by hiding it in a “KFC hamburger” (which the fast food chain doesn’t sell).
Food & Wine
The Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival continues at the RDS today. Picture shows Gerald Costello, Costellos of Gabriel Corcoran of Teelings, Ronan Brennan of Galway Hooker, Alan Wolfe of McGargles and Clementine MacNiece of McIvors launching the event.
- The next Beef Club dinner at The Chophouse Gastropub at Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4, takes place September 24. In the past, the menu has included tartare of Angus with oyster mayonnaise, beef tea with oxtail tortellini, short rib gratin and 45-day dry-aged Porterhouse. Dinner plus two glasses of Bordeaux are available for €55. Membership is free and the club meets around five times a year. Email to join.
- Bavarian bakers threatened strike action during this year’s Oktoberfest in Germany. Punters fear there may be a shortage of the popular Brezn pretzels at this year’s event.
- The Cornstore restaurants in Cork and Limerick are running their seafood festival this month. Specials include an oyster tasting plate with oyster Rockefeller, pickled seaweed and salsa oyster, devils on horseback and natural oyster for €12.95. Saba restaurant in Dublin is having their Lobsterfest on September 18-28. A seafood platter for two with grilled lobster, squid, mussels, prawns and swordfish, serviced with stir fried vegetables and fried rice is available for €49.95. Inishbofin lobster, Carlingford oysters and Roaringwater Bay mussels will be on the menu.
- Scally’s SuperValu in Clonakilty launched an in-store gluten-free bakery and food production facility; the first in Ireland, it claims. Breads, cakes, buns, ready meals, soups and sauces will be available.
A Ryanair order for 100 of Boeing’s new 200-seat B737 MAX 200 jetliners could be finalised within days. Although he is not a big fan of the design of the craft, Michael O’Leary is attracted by the big savings offered by the MAX: 5pc-per-seat, because the craft can accommodate up to 11 more seats per craft than Ryanair’s current workhorse, the 189-seat 737-800, with Ryanair likely to opt for eight. Two extra doors will also make for speedier turnaround. Those extra seats will make a big difference on high frequency routes, he said recently. Ryanair take delivery of the first of 180 new aircraft in the coming days and are planning to release their summer 2015 earlier than ever before. Apart from Charles De Gaulle, Frankfurt and Heathrow, every other airport is now on the cards, O’Leary said. Reuters says the order would mark a new phase in efforts by Boeing and European rival Airbus to appeal to ultra-low cost carriers. Picture shows Michael O’Leary and Ray Conner of Boeing at the announcement of the last major Ryanair order.
The IAA reported an average 1,654 flights in Irish airspace, up 5.2pc from last August. August 14 was the busiest day, with 1,835 flights and 700 flights at Ireland’s main airports. Dublin was up up 2.6pc to an average of 528 daily movements, Shannon was up 26.9pc to 71 and Cork down 3.7pc to 63.
Aer Lingus results for August were even better than July, driven by strong long haul growth from extra routes, but also a high seat load factor. Overall results were up 7pc, driven by long haul (up 22pc, load factor down 0.8pc to 91.4pc), short haul up 3.3pc (load factor up 1.4pc to 83.5pc).This was despite one aircraft less in the short-haul fleet – the aircraft was designated as a stand-by rather than as scheduled.
Impressive traffic results again from Ryanair as they continued to hold their growth rate of 4pc, up to 9.4m for August (Q1 and July both up 4pc), load factor up 4pc to 93pc (Q1 was up 4pc, July was up 3pc), Ryanair may now surpass their target of 86m passengers in 2014 having already raised it from 84.6m for this year and raised the 2015 target from 89m to 90m. Picture shows Marie Macken, Kenny Jacobs and Robin Kiely of Ryanair who briefed the media on social media developments in Dublin on Thursday. Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry eagarthóir Travel Extra ag caint faoi Ryanair ar Údar Cainte ar Raidió na Gaeltachta.
- Aer Lingus Regional’s twice daily 06:50 and 16:25 service to Leeds Bradford to begin October 23 aims to fly 70,000 passengers in first year. EIR said ALL key British business and tourist hubs are now served by Aer Lingus Regional. Stobart Air MD Julian Carr said the company is in talks to expand its white label business beyond its current Aer Lingus and Flybe operations.
- The US Department of Transportation further delayed the application by Dublin-based Norwegian Air International’ for a fifth freedom route from Gatwick to JFK by rejecting an application for certain exemptions “on procedural grounds.” Norwegian stressed the permit refusal is NOT a denial. Norwegian long-haul schedules for next summer show Gatwick as 6w to JFK and 4w to Los Angeles, while 6w Oslo Florida and Bangkok round trips are replaced by 7w California and JFK. Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos says he hopes to utilise his upcoming B737 MAX 8 aircraft on thinner routes such as Boston to Glasgow, Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim. He said there is not a leasing company in the world that has the purchasing conditions we have for the 737 MAX, for which Norwegian have 100 on order. The American Society of Travel Agents is supporting Norwegian’s proposal, as are FedEx, Atlas Air, the Travel Technology Association, the European Low Fares Airlines Association, Washington Airports Task Force, Broward County Aviation Department, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. Documents on file with the USDOT indicate the route’s opponents include Air France/KLM/Delta, American, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS, United, US Airways and American trade unions ALPA, APA, SWAPA, AFL-CIO (TTD), AFA, IAM, TWU and European trade unions ECA, ETWF, Norwegian trade union Parat, and the Air Crew Working Group of the Sectoral Dialogue Committee.
- Passenger numbers at Waterford Airport were up 42.5pc in the eight months to August 31.
- Disruption from air traffic control and airport worker strikes in Italy yesterday was widespread, with Ryanair cancelling 96 flights including Dublin to Milan Bergamo at 10:10 FR9428 and return 9429. Paolo Borsa of Federazione ATM-PP (pictured) was one of two air traffic control unions to call a four hour strike while workers at Ciampino airport also struck for four hours. Read the union statement here (in Italian): Italian air traffic control strike sept 6 2014.
- Ryanair has dropped plans to launch a direct route from Dublin to St Petersburg in 2014.
- Spanish agency Destinia became the first OTA to offer flights on the state-owned airline of North Korea.
- Long tipped as a Ryanair’s potential transatlantic destination, TF Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island, announced its first transatlantic scheduled service by Condor
Airlines from Frankfurt.
- President Enrique Pena Nieto (pictured) confirmed Mexico City is to get $9.23bn towards its new 120m passengers a year airport.
- Michael O’Leary repeated his commitment to stay on for another couple of years and said he is unfazed by the departure of two of his most senior executives. There was a view of Ryanair that we were cheap and nasty; I think that was a byproduct of my personality. GDS bookings are still a very small percentage of Ryanair sales but departing corporate travel and groups co-ordinator Leslie Kane said the airline is getting 300 group enquiries a day, with about 50pc of those coming through the trade. Another recent departure from Ryanair. Howard Millar ruled out any interest in the position of CEO of Aer Lingus after Christoph Mueller‘s departure next April, citing conflict of interest with his membership of Ryanair’s board.
- Aer Lingus is to code share with Flybe between Southend, Southampton and Inverness and the US/Canada.
- Peter Gahan wrote about Tallaght-man Alan Joyce’s task at Qantas: If he manages to pull off his ambitious plans for Qantas, Joyce may quickly go from being one of the most criticised business leaders in the country to one of the most admired. If he cannot do so, then along with the Chairman and other Board members, he will need admit failure and move on.
- Aer Lingus Chairman Colm Barrington was reappointed to the role for another year to September 2015.
- Etihad Airways is to stream today’s All Ireland hurling Final live on its flights. Picture shows Paul Byrnes of RTÉ, Beatrice Cosgrove, Etihad’s country manager for Ireland; Michael Lyster of RTÉ’s Sunday Game and Noel Quinn of the GAA.
- Tarom are to launch a Friday 1w flight Dublin to Iasi on the Moldova border on October 30 using a 737-700, prices from €188 on www.tarom.ro. It gives access to the painted churches of Bukovina.
- Dublin Airport recorded 2.3m passengers in August, 6pc up on last August: 695,000 on English, Scottish and Welsh routes (up 3pc), 1.3m on continental routes (up 6pc), 260,000 on transatlantic routes (up 14pc), 67,000 on other international routes mainly Middle East (up 17pc) and 8,000 on domestic routes (up 8pc).
- Cork Chamber wants an annual €10m grant for Cork Airport to offer the same type of deals that Shannon Airport can to attract new routes.
- Ireland West Airport Knock had its busiest ever month with 102,774 passengers, 20pc up on August 2013. Knock is on target for 700,000 passengers in 2014 for the first time.
- A member of cabin crew onboard an easyJet flight from Gatwick to Naples broke her hip after she hit the roof of the aircraft when it experienced severe turbulence. Two other cabin crew members and several passengers were reportedly injured as well. The flight was diverted to Rome.
- The University of Limerick has launched a post-graduate Diploma course in Aviation Leasing.
- The legroom wars continued this week. The latest battle was between two female passengers on a Delta Air Lines flight from New York to Palm Beach. You know how it goes now: one passenger wanted to push her seat back, the other wanted to rest on the tray table behind, a fight broke out and the flight was forced to make an emergency landing.
- Etihad’s Ireland country manager Beatrice Cosgrove, alongside Dublin born Aubrey Tiedt and Ray Gemmell from the Abu Dhabi headquarters of Etihad will host trade guests at the All Ireland hurling final today. Aubrey is pictured with ITAA President Martin Skelly. For those who need an introduction to hurling look no further than the promotional videos for today’s final by RTÉ with the help of Lily Allen (watch here, it will bring a lump to your throat), or by the GAA: Relive hurling’s ancient rivalry (watch here).
- Virgin Atlantic is to add Heathrow-Detroit (daily) and increase frequencies to JFK (5th daily), Los Angeles (additional daily), Atlanta (additional daily in the summer), San Francisco (additional 5 per week in summer), and (additional) daily Miami in winter). Delta will operate Manchester-JFK (daily). Virgin will take over Delta’s Manchester-Atlanta route and Delta will take one of Virgin’s Heathrow-Newark services as their transatlantic joint venture develops.
Virgin will cease routes Heathrow to Tokyo, Mumbai, Cape Town and Vancouver, at various dates from Feb 2015, but say they will restore them if capacity at Heathrow makes it possible.
- Willie Walsh said Etihad’s bid to win approval to buy minority stakes in several European airlines is being over-scrutinised by Europe, “I have no issue with Etihad investing in these airlines; from a principle point of view I would say I’m fine with it. My view is very simple, I believe ownership and control restrictions should be removed and I think it is nonsense,” Walsh told Arabian Business.
- London Airports Commission chairman Howard Davies said the decision not to shortlist the Isle of Grain as an option for a new London airport (as championed by London mayor Boris Johnson) leaves the city with three choices: lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow, a third runway at Heathrow, and a new runway at Gatwick.
- British Airways will remove four meals from its in-flight menu from October 1: fruit platter, bland meal, Jain meal, seafood meal.
- Reuters published a short photo series documenting the ongoing wait for families of the victims of MH370, six months since the Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared. Earlier in the week, Malaysia Airlines had to rename a promotion asking customers what countries were on their “bucket list”, a term closely associated with death.
- Westjet reported the highest load factor in its 14 year history, 89.3pc.
- Finnair celebrated its 60th birthday this week.
- Lufthansa cancelled around 200 flights on Friday evening due to a strike by pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit at Frankfurt Airport.
- Qatar Airways will launch a non-stop 5w service between Doha and Cape Town on November 3.
- Iberia will launch an online booking tool on Monday, Sept 15, replacing the process whereby agents contact Iberia groups via email for requests. A guide to the new tool is available here.
It is not just Dublin that is enjoying a record number of cruise calls: Cork had three ships in on Thursday August 21, MSC Magnifica with 3,000 passengers, Aida Cara with 1,300 and Sea Cloud 2. Overall 220 cruise ships will have called to Irish ports by season’s end. Galway wants to upgrade its harbour to join the cruise-call party after the Artania called with 1,800 passengers but had to leave early. Picture shows Tryphavana Cross and Alan Lynch on board Celebrity Infinity where Cruisescapes hosted their customers.
- Dublin Bay Cruises have a new sailing schedule from Sept 6.
- Silversea’s Explorer completed its first journey through the Northwest Passage (Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, to Nome, Alaska) on September 1 after a 23-day voyage.
- Tourists are being offered €10 boat tours to the wreck of Costa Concordia as it is demolished in Genoa port.
- Stena Line is offering one night free for families travelling from Dublin Port to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard or Belfast to Cairnryan, and stay in one of ten Haven Parks in Wales, England or Scotland during September and October for a four nights. Fares for two adults and up to four children from €299. Book before September 30.
Tourism Ireland held a briefing for the Irish tourism operators who will participate in the 2014 China sales mission to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, September 15-19. Picture shows Fiona Herald, Guinness Storehouse; Ya Luo, Wiiya International; Alex Li, E G Travel; and Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland.
- The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation’s Budget submission called for greater focus on national competitiveness.
- Fáilte Ireland Director of strategic development Aidan Pender told an Oireachtas All Party Consultation Group on Commemorations an ‘Independence Trail’ planned for Dublin would have to tell the wider story of Ireland’s journey to independence rather than looking solely on the events of the Easter Rising.
- The fast evolving Border Uplands Project showcased the tourism offering in the ICBAN, Fermanagh District Council and the County Councils of Cavan, Leitrim and Sligo. The €3.1m project is funded under the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme and managed by the Special European Union’s Programme Body (SEUPB). Picture shows Paul Kirkpatrick from Leitrim County Council, Martina O’Neill from Fermanagh District Council, Grainne O’Connor from Cavan County Council and Michael Carty from Sligo County Council.
- Today’s All Ireland hurling final will be at the heart of an itinerary for a group of 12 travel writers hosted by Fáilte Ireland: Paulo Mancha from Brazil (pictured), Peter Kyhl Olesen and David Jacobsen Turner from Denmark, Franz Michael Braunschlaeger and Thorsten Keller from Germany, Jaideep Unudurti from India, William Stewart McConnell from Scotland, Jorge Gonzalez from Spain and Pelle Blohm and Mats G Svensson from Sweden who will also be visiting Laytown for the Beach Races, witness hurley making and attend a training session in County Clare, and a visit to Dunboyne Football club for Gaelic Football lessons.
- Thejournal.ie published its 10 favourite panicked Tweets posted by unsuspecting locals who got a land seeing the VERY LOUD F16 fighter jets in Dublin for last weekend’s Croke Park Classic.
- Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohue met with 50 adventure and activity providers in the Brehon Hotel Killarney on Thursday to brief them on the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s World Summit which comes to Killarney on October 6-9. Fáilte Ireland organised the workshop.
- Minister Michael Ring launched a new 52-page visitor guide to West Limerick in the Mustard Seed Hotel & Restaurant in Ballingarry. Over 50 members of the local trade attended. The guide was created by West Limerick Tourism and is available online and in hard copy. It features: Saturday night ballroom dancing at Knockaderry Community Centre, the Garden of Remembrance at St Mary’s Church, Askeaton, plus guides to Abbeyfeale, Adare, Foynes, Rathekeale and other towns.
- Shannon Group plc was established by Paschal Donohue. The company brings together Shannon Airport, Shannon Commercial Enterprises, Shannon Heritage and the International Aviation Services Centre.
- According to the Digital Marketing Institute’s Irish Digital Skills report, the hospitality and leisure sector is the most digitally savvy sector (excluding technology and marketing) in Ireland when it comes to digital marketing with 46pc of professionals surveyed displaying a competent level of digital marketing skills.
- Fáilte Ireland officially launched the Wild Atlantic Way app.