The headlines this week:
- Why we should support Tunisia
- Sunway & Justsunshine Tunisia programmes to continue
- ATM anxiety over my big fat Greek divorce
- French air traffic controllers to strike next week
- NYC & Company come to town
- Melbourne hosts biggest ever ATE
Travel Extra TV
Our video of the week shows the magnificent seals of Phillip Island, showing what they’ve got for Sunday Supplement readers. Watch here.
- Ultra-light aircraft pilots: remember to check for stowaway cats when you’re carrying out your pre-flight checks. This high flying feline hitched a ride on Romain Jantot’s aircraft. Watch here.
- Tourism Ireland launched two online videos promoting Galway International Arts Festival (watch here) and Kilkenny Arts Festival (watch here).
- Last week, we had footage of a tourist being swept away in a military parade. This week, a Queen’s guard couldn’t take one visitor’s shenanigans a moment longer and pulled a gun on him. Watch here.
- This is the story of the Headings family and their journey to the Grand Canyon. Bob Headings, who is paralysed from the waist down, hiked the South Kaibab and Bright Angel trail with his three sons and eight grandsons. Watch here.
- See Northern Irish Connections’ showcase of Ireland’s expat artists. Watch here.
- This video of a couple getting engaged on an Aer Lingus flight received over 3,000 likes and 260 shares on Facebook. Watch here.
The Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel is Sousse has been a favourite with the Irish for years, two kilometres from the marina area, right on the beach, with local shops and restaurants 400 metres away. It was here that Lorna Carty, nee Harlin, from Robinstown, Dunderry Co Meath came with her husband Declan who was recuperating from heart surgery and went for a last walk on the beach before the Friday night charter back to Dublin. It was here that she died at 11.58am local time on Friday, under the Tunisian sun, among 38 victims (and counting) of a gun attack. Travel Extra extends our sympathies to everyone affected by the tragedy, her distraught husband, her son Simon the Meath footballer and Hazel who as on a post Leaving Cert holiday.
The two operators serving the Tunisian market, Sunway, whose customer Lorna was, and Justsunshine, are to continue with their Tunisia programme. Friday night’s flight departed late with 112 deciding to go ahead with the holiday and 59 opting for either a refund or an alternative destination. People who were due to stay at the hotel where the attack took place declined an offer to be moved to another hotel and indicated they would check into the hotel. Last year, 6m tourists visited Tunisia, only a million fewer than in 2010 when the autocratic president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, still ruled. Tourism generates 15pc of GDP and 14pc of total employment. But in March, militants attacked the capital’s Bardo museum, killing 21 foreigners, unsettling tour operators. The attack in Sousse may now doom this summer’s season. Within hours of the attack, Charlie Flanagan has advised “In light of this incident we are changing our travel advice for Tunisia to ’exercise extreme caution’” though he stopped short of advising against visiting the coastal resorts. This is wise. One way for evil to triumph is to allow this and the Bardot museum attacks to kill off Tunisia’s tourist industry. From Ireland 5,674 people visited Tunsia last year, a market that had 24,000 seats from Ireland back in 2002. It is important that they still go, but equally important that the Tunisians can guarantee their safety. Sousse was also the scene of a failed suicide bombing attempt in October 2013, when a man was spotted approaching a hotel in a suicide vest and chased on to the empty beach, where he blew himself up. Anyone who may have concerns about family or friends in Tunisia should contact +3531-4180200.
The attack happened ten years almost to the day since the last Irish victim of a militant bomb attack: post Leaving Cert holiday maker Tara Whelan from Kilmeaden, Co Waterford, who died in the Ladies Beach minibus bombing in Kuşadasıi on July 16, 2005. Political unrest is an unlikely cause of death abroad: just under 200 Irish people die while abroad each year and the major killers are the same things that kill most people at home. Tragic events like road accidents and drownings and routine medical events like heart attacks.
David Scowsill of the World Travel & Tourism Council said in response to the Sousse attack: “Tourism is a force for good in the world with its great economic and social benefits. It is important that travel organisations and travellers continue to support Tunisia, whilst the government takes appropriate measures on security.”
ATM anxiety overtook the tourism industry this week as Greek negotiations seemed to become shipwrecked between Scylla and Charybdis. Holiday makers were warned that credit cards might not work and ATMs would run out of money as Greek exit loomed, then receded, then loomed again. Speaking on RTÉ Radio Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry said the fears were based on the situation in Cyprus in February 2013 when the banking system effectively shut down for 48 hours and there was no cause for alarm in Greece. Those who intended bringing more cash should remember there is typically a cash limit of €250 on travel insurance policies and most policies do not cover disinclination to travel.
French ATC union, Roger Rousseau’s SNCTA intends to strike for four days from Tuesday June 30 to Friday July 3. Ryanair called on the French Government and the EU Commission to allow other EU ATCs to operate French overflights.
Ethiopian Airlines hosted the Irish trade at the Crown Plaza in Santry to commemorate the inaugural Ethiopian services to Addis and to LAX using the airline’s Dreamliner. Similarly an event in Los Angeles was held at Spago, owned by Wolfgang Puck and his wife Gelila whose mother, appropriately, was an Ethiopian airlines flight attendant. Ethiopian report a phenomenal start to the route, with Dublin powering ahead for the first three months of service and in both directions. The airline described it as a most successful start up and Addis Adaba in particular is going great guns. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Queenland’s Gold Coast will host the Australian Tourism Exchange in 2016 (as first reported by Travel Extra). The date has not been confirmed but is likely to be May 15-19. The show saw a 20pc increase in international buyers compared to last year’s admittedly constrained but enjoyable affair in Cairns. Highlights of the event included the announcement of a five-year, A$30m marketing partnership deal between Tourism Australia and Etihad, whose double daily service from Dublin links to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney through Abu Dhabi. The annual event brings together 600 overseas travel buyers from 30 countries to meet with around 1,200 Australian tourism operators. Visits from Ireland are up 2.7pc so far in 2015. Ireland sent 61,800 visitors to Australia in 2014, marginally down on 2013.
Speaking to Travel Extra during the event Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan reiterated the commitment to the trade and said Ireland would be one of the 17 markets where the next phase of the Australia Specialist trade programme would be rolled out. He said Ireland’s high per capita spend and the dispersal rate of the Irish visitors throughout the six Australia states gave this market, the 16th biggest inbound market (and fifth largest European inbound) to Australia, added value for Tou6ism Australia. Despite its population of 6.4m, Ireland has double the inbound visitor numbers of more populous Spain. Denmark, Belgium or Austria.
ATE’s social circuit, back in a big city environment, lived up to its reputation as one of the best on the circuit. Media night on Friday before the opening was at a pop up venue, 220 Spencer Street, about to become a cafe called Higher Ground. The after media marketplace event was at Hilton South Wharf and Monday night’s official welcome event was at Shed 14, Central Pier, where Darryl Ismail of Innstant Travel and Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry led the Irish delegation. Tourism Victoria buyers function on the Wednesday was at the National Gallery Victoria, Great Hall and the farewell function at Cargo Hall, South Wharf. Melbourne is famously the capital of fusion food, a city with 2,000 cafes and 3,600 eateries where 178,320 meals can be served simultaneously, but there were still queues. While Travel Extra was entertained by Bria Lamberton of Art Hotel Group at the supremely chic and cheerful Olsen Hotel, there was a waiting time of 1 hour 45 minutes at Supernatural and a long queue outside Chin Chin although Lucy Lu’s was easier. Zoe Shurgold of Tourism Victoria led a party of musical media to FMs on Burke St. Just as well events in the karaoke bar were left unrecorded and unsubjected to display on the roasted spit of social media.
Etihad’s lounge in Abu Dhabi is a starred restaurant in its own right, complete with shower facilites and a spread of food across the two islands: breaded fish with tartar sauce, chicken a la king, baked macaroni vegetable, white rice, lamb with okraand vegetable biriyani on one island, sandwiches and salads including Moroccan tricolour capsicum salad and baby genoush and lashings of hummus on the other island.
NYC & Company visited Dublin and Belfast this week, showcasing The New New York to the travel trade and press. So what exactly is The New New York? Basically, it is a catch-all for any development that could replenish itineraries and show repeat visitors that the city still has a lot to offer. It encompasses everything from the 10,000 additional hotel rooms slated for this year to the 7 Line subway extension. Not to mention the host of new attractions and experiences open now — One World Observatory, Eliis Island National Museum of Immigration, 9/11 Memorial and Museum — and set to open over the next three years —the New York Wheel, the Super Pier, Empire shopping outlet. Picture shows Tryphavana Cross of Hills Balfour with Reginald Charlot, Christoper C Heywood, Fred Dixon and Mikako Matsuda Healy, all NYC & Company, at NYC & Company’s press lunch in The Residence. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
CEO and President Fred Dixon was in town to tout the initiative. He is hoping to ease Irish visitor numbers up slightly by 1.4pc to 220,000. “We feel good about where [the Irish market] is,” he told Conor McMahon of Travel Extra. “Market fluctuation isn’t necessarily a good thing, so we’re happy to hang on to the market share we have.” New York City is looking to attract 58.1m visitors this year and wants to lure visitors into all five boroughs in order to get them to spend more and stay longer.
The 18-34 years bracket makes up the largest demographic travelling from Ireland. With that in mind, the woman who stood up to Apple and won, pop singer Taylor Swift, makes a suitable global welcome ambassador, adding an optimistic energy to NYC & Company’s campaigns. Fees for her music, her image and her handwritten script have been donated to help fund public schools.
Meanwhile, Dora the Explorer is serving as the city’s family ambassador. She is the first bilingual ambassador since the programme was founded in 2009 (she speaks Spanish). 11pc of Irish visitors travelled with children last year.
Helen Kelly (35 points) and first time winner Aaron Bolt (39 points) were the overall winners of the Travel Industry Golf Society event sponsored by Amadeus at Dun Laoghaire golf club, where 54 golfers were hosted for lunch and a 2.30 pm shotgun start. Aaron travelled down from Belfast where he works with World Travel Centre/Selective Travel. TIGS Treasurer Helen Kelly and TIGS member John Galligan were instrumental in bringing TIGS to Dun Laoghaire. Other winners included Philip Airey (Sunway, Winner Gents Cat 1), Eileen Penrose (Winner Ladies Front 9), Ann Marie Dalton (Turkish Airlines, Winner Ladies Back 9), Graham Aldren (Winner Gents Cat 2), Robbie Smart (Travelport, Winner Nearest the Pin). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
It started as a bet, that you could not grow pinot noir on Mornington Peninsula, so when Tourism Victoria hosted travel writers on a tour of Mornington Travel Extra had to go along to investigate. The group visited Healesville animal sanctuary, stayed at Chateau Yering and Oak Tree Lodge, went truffle hunting with Thomas the springer spaniel in red Hills, visited the Penguin Parade and seals of Phillip Island, and sampled the peninsula wine tasting on horseback experience, dined in Meletos Café, Dominique Portet, Coombe Melba Estate, Cape Kitchen, Foreshore Bar & Restaurant, and Port Phillip Estate. Picture shows travel writers and their hosts in Healesville Sanctuary during a post-famil after Australian Tourism Exchange in Melbourne June 23 2015, Georgia Millard of Zoos Victoria, Guiliana Matamese from Milan, Jackie Loftus-Hills of Tourism Victoria, Ryan Ruchansky of Travelpulse USA, Raras Cahyafitri of the Jakarta Post, Eric Rosen from Los Angeles, Michele Stevenson of Tourism Victoria, Richira Bose from Delhi, Peter Janseon of Tourism Victoria, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra Ireland, Front: Megan Croucher and Mel Baxter from Healesville Sanctuary. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Picture shows travel writers and their hosts in Sri Lanka where the group are touring the west coast of the island: Nalin Perera of Sri Lanka tourism ,Josephine Price of ABTA Magazine, Mary O’Sullivan, Travel Editor of the Sunday Independent, Vivienne Nicoll of the Evening Times Glasgow, Emily Fairbairn of the Sun, Cameron Roberts of Selling Travel, Front: Lynn Houghton from London and Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra, Galle, Sri Lanka. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
All six victims of the Berkeley balcony collapse were laid to rest this week. The J1 community came together at various events across the US to pay their respects and to support each other. The camaraderie on display at home and abroad served as a reminder that the J1 programme is an important cultural institution. It has inspired scores of young travellers for 50 years. It is regretful that it takes a tragedy like this for us to remind us of that fact.
The programme for the Travel Trade Fun Day in Wanderers Rugby Club on August 16 will include rodeo bull, giant puzzles, bungee run, sumo suits, mega slide, bubble ball, five-a-side and BBQ. Charities include Laura Lynn, Harold’s Cross Hospice, Dogs Aid, Enable Ireland and Autism Action Ireland. Sponsors include Aer Lingus, Blue Insurance, Etihad, E-travel, Sunway and Topflight.
Roisin Carberry of Topflight and Helen O’Flaherty of World Travel Centre won trips to New York City at NYC & Company’s agents quiz in The Westbury hotel. Runner up Lisa Coady of Budget Travel won two tickets to Taylor Swift’s sold out gig in the 3Arena. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Bobby Healy’s CarTrawler was profiled by Business and Leadership.
Lowcostbeds trade promotion: Book any Blue Sea property in Malta up to July 31 and earn a €5 One4all voucher.
Zurich-based Kuoni is selling its tour operators, specialists and travel agencies in Britain, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Finland and Benelux to German retailer Rewe, to focus on its core business as a service provider to the global travel industry
As reported by Travel Extra, Dublin born Marc Mulcahy was appointed New Zealand’s Travel Trade Development Consultant, Ireland and Britain. He will join Regional Manager Danielle Genty-Nott in developing and implementing Tourism New Zealand’s trade strategy. Mulcahy was Business Development Manager at Nomad Safaris in Queenstown having previous worked in hotels and ski operations in Scotland and New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Business Studies.
Skal’s annual trip to the Park Hotel Kenmare took place Wednesday.
See Go Gal’s guide to selling Portugal.
Hastings Hotels will invest £30m in Windsor House under the new name, Belfast Grand Central Hotel. The hotel is expected to open in 2018 and will have 200 bedrooms, a restaurant, bar, 18 serviced apartments and offices pending planning permission. Picture shows the Hastings family.
Dalata, which owns 17 hotels in Ireland and leases or manages 29 others, is to invest €27m in its hotel group and rebrand the Bewleys hotels it took over earlier this year with its Clayton Hotels brand.
The Dean hotel featured in Condé Nast’s best new hotels hot list.
Fáilte Ireland awarded Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel in Adare, Co Limerick a four-star rating following a €1m refurbishment.
- The five star Aqua Village Health Resort & Spa opens in Oliveria do Hospital, Portugal on August 1.
- A report by Exceltur tourism association found that private rented holiday homes in Spain outnumber the number of hotel beds.
- Virgin Hotels will open a property in the Design District, Dallas in 2018.
- Hilton Worldwide is to open a Hilton Garden Inn howe in Mbabane, Swaziland.
- Starwood Hotels & Resorts will invest $300m in its Luxury Collection brand in North America.
- DoubleTree by Hilton London Docklands opened on the banks of the Thames.
- Hyatt Regency Makkah opened in Saudi Arabia.
- Tom Cruise’s $59m ski lodge in Telluride, Colorado is up for sale.
- Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts opened a hotel in Hefei, China.
- Prison break, anyone? Check out Trivago’s Orange is the New Black-inspired hotel suggestions here.
A devastating blow for Choose Chicago: As of July 1, it will not receive its statutory mandated funding from Illinois’ hotel tax, which makes up 40pc of its operating budget. The organisation stands to lose $12m. As a result, the summer Chicago Epic campaign has been shorted by two weeks and the winter campaign will be put on hold.
France ordered an outright ban on Uber after a day of nationwide protests by taxi drivers which blocked access to Paris airports. Rockstar Courtney Love claimed that her taxi driver was kidnapped.
Travelport Hotelzon announced a partnership with Cabforce taxi booking service.
Gaffe of the week: A Russian Tourism ad in The New York Times accidentally used a picture of Rundāle Palace in Latvia instead.
Travelport signed up SWISS airline to its Rich Content and Branding and Smartpoint products.
Madame Tussauds New York unveiled its renovated lobby and a wax figure of rock star Pink. The singer is suspended 25ft in the air on silk ropes.
Young Australians are more likely to save for a holiday than a house: 32pc of Australians aged 25 to 34 said they were saving for travel compared to 14pc who said they were saving for a house deposit.
Thailand reported 12.4m visitors from January to May, up 25pc YOY.
Nine lives were lost in a light aircraft crash in Alaska.
Mercury Security Management’s holiday security tips offer much of the same old advice — lock your doors , leave a radio on, ask a neighbour to mind the house, etc. But they also offer tips that holidaymakers might overlook: Be mindful of how many strangers can access your social media content – you don’t want strangers to know that nobody is home. Make sure your house insurance covers you for the entire duration of your break. Use an ultraviolet pen to mark items of value in case they later need to be identified.
- El Capitan cliff face in Yosemite national park is available to see on Google Street View.
- MileHi mobile app was launched. Targeting frequent business travellers, it allows users to message fellow passengers.
- Expedia partnered with Girls Who Code, a non-profit organisation that aims to establish a gender balance in IT.
- A White House poll found that Hillary Clinton is the presidential candidate most Americans would want to travel with this summer. Marco Rubio came in at number two and Jeb Bush was third. Only 0.6pc of the vote said they would like to travel with Jim Web.
- Tampa International Airport’s marketing team saw an opportunity when Hobbes the plush tiger showed up in Lost and Found: They photographed the missing tiger throughout his grand tour of the airport before returning the toy to its owner in Texas.
- You’ll either love or hate Marmite’s PR stunt: For the next month 70g jars of Marmite will be available in supermarkets — small enough for hand luggage.
Food and Wine
- Dublin Airport is to open Marquette, a market-syle dining area, in Terminal 1 this August. The restaurant area will cater for 260 people from 5am to the last flight of the day.
- Mexico City replaced New Delhi as the destination with the most affordable club sandwich in the annual Hotels.com index. Dublin placed 19th of 38 cities (total €39.78) in a price index featuring a burger meal (€17.62), cup of coffee €2.99), glass of house red wine (€6.62), and club sandwich (€12.56).
- The Arch, the new BBQ and Al fresco dining area at Carton House opens on Friday with an appearance by the cocktail specialists of the Dead Rabbit Bar in New York.
IAG gave details of the concessions it is willing to offer to win European Union regulatory approval for its planned acquisition of Aer Lingus. Bloomberg reported IAG has not made any offer to surrender London Heathrow slots but has offered to connect passengers from Ireland with rivals’ long-haul flights. The European Commission extended the deadline for its decision on the bid from July 1 to 15 July, the day before the Aer Lingus EGM. Oddly, the Commission raised concerns related to the Dublin-Chicago route.
Michael Cawley told 350 airport delegates at ACI EUROPE’s Annual Congress in Prague: “Be more like Dubai and integrate tourism and aviation policy – in Europe aviation is seen as a source of taxation, not as an economic stimulus, but it is my experience, as both an airline and now a tourism authority boss, that the downstream tourist spend benefits are 10 times the air fare! The benefits only exist because the airline routes exist.” At the ACI Awards in Prague Cork was placed in the top three in Europe for customer service, facilities, retail, security, community relations and environmental awareness and operations.
Data from the IATA confirmed that Ryanair is the largest airline in the world. Delta has higher overall passenger numbers, but Ryanair carries more passengers in terms of international routes: 86.3m last year, well ahead of easyJet’s 56.3m. Ralph Anker reported Ryanair will account for 39pc of European seat growth over the next five years.
Cityjet plan to operate from Cork to London City from September, to be announced at a press conference at Cork Airport at 11am on Wednesday.
It was rumoured that Flybe plan to move their Knock service from Manchester to Birmingham.
Malaysia Airlines, who offer some of the lowest fares on the Australia run from Ireland is to close Kuala Lumpur-Brisbane (currently daily A330-300) from August 8, reduce Melbourne and Sydney from 3 to 2 daily, and Adelaide from daily to 4w. The airline is considering the sale of two A380s and both of its 747 freighters. The airline is also reassessing its 777 fleet.
Belfast High Court Judge Weatherup ruled in favour of Aer Lingus in its £20m lawsuit by Belfast International Airport over its decision to quit Aldergrove and move to Belfast City Airport in 2012 and said Aer Lingus only had a pricing agreement with BIA for using it as a base. According to Stephen Kavanagh, Aer Lingus lost €44m in the venture.
Gary Montgomery MD of Thompson Aero Seating said the Portadown business wanted to grow sales £40m in the next two years after increasing turnover 90pc to £51m last year. Pre-tax profits increased by £6.1m to £10.6m in the year to March 2015, staff numbers grew from 119 to 223. The firm supplies business calss seating to Aer Lingus and Delta.
The 269 United Airlines passengers on a flight from Rome to Chicago diverted to offload a disruptive passenger last week slept on an airport floor at Belfast International overnight ascrew were out of hours.
RTÉ screened a documentary on Tony Ryan as part of its A Legacy series.
Ryanair is evaluating on board Wi-Fi but are not prepared to move until the pricing is reduced.
Bjoern Kjos said Norwegian Air Shuttle will buy 17 B787s to double its long-haul fleet as soon as US regulators approve flights on its Irish subsidiary. Otherwise it will scrap its B787 order and increase the number of US flights on the parent company’s existing B787s.
Ryanair applied for slots at Paris Orly next winter for daily services to Madrid and Faro.
Kerry Airport chairman Denis Cregan told the airport AGM he is seeking new routes to England and Germany with current partners Ryanair and potential new airlines. Ryanair has an 83pc load target, current load factor on Kerry-Luton is 78pc, and Kerry-Dublin 61pc.
The Belfast Telegraph reported that the Stormont administration has resisted urgings to abolish Air Passenger Duty at Belfast’s two airports and at Derry.
Royal Bruneis is to expand its regional network within Asia-Pacific and increase its fleet form six to nine under a five year business plan by deputy chairman Dermot Mannion. Royal Brunei, which recently restructured its wide body fleet, remains loss-making but “the numbers are improving all the time,” according to Dermot Mannion.
Vietnam approved plans to build a US$16bn airport at Long Thanh near Ho Chi Minh City as a competitor to airline hubs Bangkok and Singapore.
This selfie cost two pilots their jobs with Argentinian Airlines: They breached security laws by posing for a picture with model Victoria Xipolitakis.
Alan Joyce’s speechwriter Lucinda Holdforth warned she would go guerrilla if Qantas tried to block Fighting Words, a book about her time working there, including the controversial grounding of its fleet in 2011.
Dennis A Muilenburg takes over as new CEO of Boeing on Wednesday. Jim McNerney, who held the position for the past 10 years, continues as chairman.
Etihad Airways will once again sponsor on board streaming of the 2015 GAA Championship. Picture shows Beatrice Cosgrove, General Manager Ireland, Etihad Airways, with Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Aogán Ó Fearghail, Noel Quinn, Media Rights Manager GAA, and Dónal Moriarty, Product Leader GAAGO.
Fly Leasing will sell 33 aircraft for US$985m this year as part of its ongoing fleet renewal plan.
Ryanair launched its Christmas season countdown with 3,500 extra flights.
Delta Airlines is discontinuing Los Angeles and Newark-Heathrow B767-300ER services from October 5 2015. The routes will continue to be operated by joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic.
Etihad Flight College signed a purchase agreement for four Embraer Phenom 100E aircraft.
Armagh man Roy Kinnear, formerly of Etihad Airways, was appointed chief executive of Air Seychelles.
AWAS is to place two A321s with VietJet Air on long term lease.
Avolon delivered a B737-800 to Hainan Airlines.
TripAdvisor launched dedicated airport pages offering travelling advice on what to do, where to eat and where to stay at 200 airports listed on the site. Singapore’s Changi Airport is the first to be listed on the site.
An Air Corps CASA CN-235, with members of No 101 Surveillance and Airlift Squadron, joined crews from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway and Sweden to participate in the 2015 Super CEPCO – Coordinated Extended Pollution Control Operation – over the Baltic Sea.
- Transaero unveiled its Siberian Tiger B747-400 livery in a bid to raise awareness of the endangered animal’s struggles.
- British Airways will modify 130 older A320s to reduce noise on final approach to London Gatwick.
- Virgin Atlantic will operate four flights from Belfast International to Orlando next year.
- Four flight attendants are suing Boeing, alleging that they were contaminated with bad cabin air.
- Lufthansa will fit its 100th A320 with noise-reduction vortex generators.
- Singapore Airlines is in talks with Airbus and Boeing to revive its 19-hour flight from Singapore to New York.
- A man was arrested for making a hoax call to Warsaw Modlin Airport saying there was a bomb on a Ryanair flight due to leave the Polish capital for Oslo.
- Lisa Cudrick reflects on her experience of the Aer Lingus cadet pilot programme.
- SITA’s Airline IT Trends Survey predicts that 22pc of airlines will offer downloadable content for flights by 2018 and 66pc will offer WIFI.
- A Turkish Airlines en route to New York made an emergency landing in Copenhagen after an old camera bag caused a bomb scare.
- This week marked the 30th anniversary of the Air India bombing.
- Delta Air Lines signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Chelsea FC.
- Memorial services will be held in Australia, Malaysia and the Netherlands on July 17 to mark the first anniversary of the MH17 tragedy.
- Cathay Pacific failed a water contamination test. Unsafe water was found on 14 out of 22 aircraft.
Southwest Airlines is sponsoring a host of LGBT Pride events in the US while Virgin America will once again sponsor San Francisco’s Pride events.
2,000 participants took part in the Bank of Ireland Runway Night Run at Shannon Airport. Limerick’s James Liddane and Cushia Hehir from Ennis took the top prizes, and former Shannon Airport executive Bill Moloney, aged 86 (pictured), completed the 5km run.
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, flipped a switch to begin cutting steel plates for the first of the two new Seaside class ships, part of a €5.1 billion ($5.7 billion) investment in new ships by the Swiss-based firm, the world’s fourth-largest cruise operator.
- Virgin Cruises selected PortMiami as the home port for its first cruise ship, which will set sail in 2020.
- Carnival Cruise Line‘s newest ship, Carnival Visata, was launched at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
- A Celestyal Cruises ship collided with a tanker off the coast of Gallipoli. Nobody was injured.
- Viking Ocean Cruises announced its second ship, the 930-passenger Viking Sea, was floated out.
- Astronomy Ireland 25th offer from Project Travel: 5 nights B&B in a 4* accommodation in Tromso from €1,875pp incl. city tour and optional excursions. Chairman of Astronomy Ireland, David Moore, will be there to give talks on astronomy and space. Book before July 31, depart November 12. See project-travel.ie or call 01 210 8391.
- Tour America offers: 5 nights Circus Circus Hotel, Las Vegas from €659pp, depart August 26. 7 nights Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €679pp, depart August 27. 7 nights all inclusive Grand Xcaret, Mexico from €1,399pp, depart August 20.
- Stena Line is offering day trips to Oakwood Theme Park from €50pp incl. return by car or from €59pp by foot. Call 01 9075555. Stena Line launched a 10pc off on summer travel from Dublin to Holyhead or Rosslare to Fishguard, book by Tuesday, June 30.
- Travel Department’s Occasions city break offers: 3 nights 5* Hotel Carlton Intercontinental, Cannes from €599pp incl. taxes, charges and return flights ex Dublin. 4 nights 5* Point Hotel Taksim, Istanbul from €659pp incl. taxes, charges and return flights ex Dublin.
- Click and Go MSC Cruise deals: 7 nights full board MSC Magnifca/MSC Poesia cruise to Italy, Greece, Turkey and Croatia from €599pp. 7 nights full board MSC Sinfonia cruise to Russia and the Baltics from €699pp, depart July 10, August 7 or August 21. 7 nights full board MSC Sinfonia cruise to the Norwegian Fjords from €699pp, depart July 3, July 31 or August 28. See clickandgo.com or call 01 637 1699
- Sunway Bodrum July offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Summer Garden Apartments from €539pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Baba Beach Hotel from €499pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Ambrosia Hotel from €599pp. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Sami Beach from €849pp. Prices include flights, transfers, taxes, charges, 20kg checked in baggage pp and Sunway rep service. Seat only from €399pp. See sunway.ie. Other Sunway offers: 7 nights 5* Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real, Corralejo, Fuerteventura €1195pp, depart August 29 or October 17. 7 nights all inclusive AMA Waterway River Cruise on the Rhine from €1,999pp, depart November 2. 7 nights 3 ½* Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal Orlando Resort from €789pp, depart October.
- Lowcostbeds’ Jumeirah, Dubai offers of the week based on 7 nights, 2 sharing, depart from now until September 30 excluding July 18 and 25: 5* Jumeriah Beach Hotel half board from €136ppn. 5* Rixos the Palm Dubai full board from €130pppn. 4* Ramada Palza Jumeirah Beach full board from €84pppn. 4* Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa B&B from €35pppn.
- Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering Holiday Village Algarve, Balaia from €1,439 for two adults and one child or for €1,659 for two adults and two children, depart August 30. 7 nights B&B 3* Sinem, Marmaris, Dalaman from €439pp, depart August 31. 7 nights B&B 2* Nathalie Ixia, Rhodes from €449pp, depart August 25. See falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
- British Airways seat sale, sell before July 14 for travel September 1 – December 11 and December 25 – March 16 2016: Beijing from €200. Bangkok from €250. Mumbai from €259. Delhi from €160. Johannesburg from €300. Hong Kong from €220. Dubai from €194. Cape Town from €400. Lagos from €206. Shanghai from €220. Sydney from €360. Kuala Lumpur from €220. See you GDS for more.
- Cruiseescapes is offering 3 nights full board on board the 4* MS Renoir in Paris from €619pp incl. transfers to and from the port, excursions, taxes and baggage, depart Dublin or Cork October 28. For more see cruisescapes.ie or call 01294 1000.
- Lowcostholidays’s if offering €50 off all holidays booked before midnight, July 5. See here for offers.
- Thomson offers: 7 nights half board 4* Atlantica Princess, Trianda, Rhodes from €899pp, depart July 15. 7 nights self catering 3* Katherina Palace, Argassi, Zakynthos from €459pp, depart August 25. 7 nights self catering Cosmos, Maris, Lardos, Rhodes from €389pp, depart August 26. See thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
- ITAA offers of the week: 3 nights B&B JA Ocean View Hotel, Jumeriah Beach, Dubai from €645pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, private, transfers, airport taxes, complimentary shuffle to shopping mall, kids’ club, depart by June 10. 7 nights Eastern Caribbean Cruise from €569pp, depart October 31.
- Fly Cork offers: 7 nights 3* Hotel Colina Dos Mouros, The Algarve from €445pps, depart July 30. 7 nights 5* Pestana Vila Sol Golf & Resort, The Algarve from €705pps, depart July 28. 7 nights 4* Turim Estrela Do Vau, Portimoa, The Algarve from €555pps, depart July 30. 7 nights half board 3* Las Chapas Palacio del Sol, Costa Del Sol from €410pps, depart July 22.
- Discover Travel offers: 13 nights B&B tour of Sri Lanka from €2,349pp, depart December 19. 16 nights tour of Vietnam and Thailand from €2,749pp, travel February-April 2016 ex Dublin, Cork or Shannon. See discovertravel.ie or call 021 4635440.
- Insight Vacations is offering 10 days Easy Pace Italy escorted tour from €1,999pps incl. flights, transfers, selection of meals and visits to Rome, Vatican City, Tuscany, Pisa, Florence and Venice, depart November 8. See insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.
- Uniworld River Boutique Cruises is offering 8 days all inclusive river cruise on the Rhine from €1,829pps incl. flights, port tax, gratuities and transfers. Book by June 30, depart October 14. See uniworld.ie or call 01 775 3803.
- Contiki offer of the week: 13 day B&B Mediterranean Highlights from €1,391pps incl. accommodation, four dinners and visits to eight World Heritage Sites. See contiki.com or call 01 775 3803.
- Wendy Wu Tours is offering up to €650pp off all inclusive tours in Asia. A China Experience from €2,880pp, depart August 15. Glories of China from €3,000pp, depart September 26. Grand Tour of Indochina from €4,830pp, depart August 22. Vietnam at a Glance from €2,700pp, depart August 21. See wendywutours.ie.
- Tourism NI offers of the week: 1 night B&B Manor House Country Hotel, Irvinestown, Enniskillen from £62pps incl. afternoon tea for two and use of leisure and spa facilities, available until July 7, call 028 6862 2200 to book. 7 nights Spelga House, Newcastle from £495pp, available July 16, call 07720 432 781. 2 nights B&B weekend break from £65pps, available until July 9, call 028 7083 2768 to book. 1 nights B&B The Fitzwilliam Hotel, Belfast from £135pp, available until August 31, call 028 9044 2080. 1 night B&B Whistledown Hotel, Warrenpoint, newly from £37.50pps, valid Sunday-Thursday from July 1 to August 30, call 028 4175 4174.
Railtours Ireland First Class launched hosted rail tours and day excursions for arriving passengers at Shannon Airport.
CSO data shows that the number of inbound visitors to Ireland was up 12.1pc in the first five months of the year.
Clare County Council called on community groups and individuals to submit expressions of interest for cultural festivals and events tod form part of its 2016 County of Culture programme. The county council also said it is seeking tenders to produce a visitor and tourism strategy for Inis Cealtra.
Tourism operators attended Fáilte Ireland’s Ancient East workshops in Tipperary, Dublin and Wexford. The final workshop takes place tomorrow in the Castlemartyr Resort, Cork.
Tourism Ireland attended the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh with four tourism companies. Picture shows Trish Gill, Hamlet Court Hotel, and Linda Duncan, Tourism Ireland.
Six Swiss journalists are visiting Ireland this weekend as guests of Fáilte Ireland. The group arrived on the inaugural SWISS flight from Geneva to Dublin. Their itinerary includes an introduction to the GAA in Portmarnock, a food and fashion tour with Evelyn Coyle, The Little Museum of Dublin, Teelings Whiskey, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Guinness Storehouse, lunch in Howth, tea at the Merrion and music in O’Donoghue’s.
Minister of State for Tourism Michael Ring launched Bus Éireann’s Tourist Travel Pass and summer service to Keem Beach on Achill Island. The pass costs €60 and gives passengers three days unlimited travel out of six consecutive days on Bus Éireann and Expressway’s network. Additional days cost €16.50 per day. Bus Éireann’s 456 Ballina – Westport – Achill summer service costs €10 for an adult day return and €5 return for under 16s. Picture shows Brian Quinn of Failte Ireland, Marie King McGovern of Bus Éireann with Minister Ring at Keem Bay Achill Island.
Dutch blogger and Instagramer Eelco Roos visited Ireland this week as a guest of Tourism Ireland. He posted pictures of Spelga Dam, Silent Valley, the Causeway Coastal Route, GLenarm, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and Mussemden Temple to a blog on KLM’s website.
Gary Dunleavy of Tourism Ireland briefed members of Visit Derry at a meeting in St Columb’s Park House. Picture shows Gary with Helen Henderson, St Columb’s Park House; Richard O’Rawe, chairman, Visit Derry; Maria McDermott, Visit Derry; Odhran Dunne, Visit Derry; Seanna Gillespie, White Horse Hotel, Campsie; and Iain Barr, Waterside Theatre.
Expressway updated its X7 timetable from today, June 28.
The Killarney festival was cancelled. See the apology posted to its website, complete with irritating flashing background.
Twelve travel agents from six markets visited Ireland this week as a reward for scoring high in Tourism Ireland’s Ireland Specialists online training, a programme aimed at operators and agents in Australia. The itinerary — designed by Tourism NI and Fáilte Ireland — included visits to Crumlin Road Gaol, Titanic Belfast, SS Nomadic, Monasterboice, Newbridge Silverware, Russbourough House and Guinness Storehouse. Picture shows Louise O’Mahony of Tourism Ireland and tour guide Min Lin Siew with the group at Monasterboice.
Backers of Shanagolden based Basecamp Action Adventure Park say the park will generate €4m spend for Limerick city and county over next three years.
Cathal McMahon, brother of Conor, attended the Dublin Pride Festival. One day after the historic US Supreme Court ruling and one month after the Irish Marriage Referendum, the crowds had a lot to celebrate. Organisers claimed that this was the biggest festival ever: some 60,000 people attended. Conor spoke to Cathal moments after Ireland legalised same sex marriage. You can listen to the interview here.
What we learned this week
Ramadan regulations on sunrise and sunset apply in the sky. The Etihad captains we travelled with this week carefully advised roasting passengers, when they could start eating and drinking again. Mick O’Reilly of Golf News, formerly Irish Press, joined the ranks of the fasters this week for research potpies. Read his blog here.
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