TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: 10 airports join the queue for pre-clearance



AJ Vicioso guiding guests to the IPW event at Universal Orlando, June 3 2015

AJ Vicioso guiding guests to the IPW event at Universal Orlando, June 3 2015

The headlines this week:

  • The intercontinental queue for US immigration
  • Dublin airport’s new routes
  • Busiest year ever for Orlando’s IPW
  • Connect comes to atherineerry
  • Air Contractors to become ASL Airlines Ireland
  • Thailand Tourist Market kicks off in Bangkok

Travel Extra TV

video of the week June 7Our video of the week shows the Broadway casts of The Lion King and Aladdin in a sing-off at LaGuardia Airport. The footage has been viewed 2m times since it was uploaded. Watch here.

  • Here’s a breakdown of IPW‘s future host cities, from 2016 to 2024. Watch here.
  • This is what it’s like to swim with the inhabitants of Jellyfish Lake, Palau. Watch here.
  • Nudity sells: Hostelworld looks to attract adventure travellers with its Meet The World campaign. Watch here.
  • Travel Extra’s Conor McMahon went stand-up paddle boarding with Jamie Knox Watersports in Castlegregory, Co Kerry. Celebrating 25 years in business, this video showcases some of Jamie’s products. Watch here.
  • Vic Kleman, 82-years-old, has ridden the Jack Rabbit rollercoaster at Kennywood, Pennsylvania a record 5,000 times. Watch here.
  • See Cork Airport’s WAW promo. Watch here.
  • Footage from the A350 XWB’s demo visits to Taipei and Manilla. Watch here.
  • Love hurts. See footage of city council workers removing Paris’s love locks. Watch here.


US immigration queueIt happens. The queue for US immigration can elongate in an instant. That is what happened this week, except on an inter-continental scale. Dublin’s pre-clearance facilities, unique in Europe, are to be replicated in major hubs, Amsterdam, Heathrow, Istanbul and Madrid, as well as Brussels, Manchester, Oslo, and Stockholm and airports in Japan and Dominican Republic. It will take two or three years to install these facilities, especially at the hubs but it is only a matter of time before this happens. Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry pointed out on the News at One (listen here) that pre-clearance is adding €35 to the cost of a ticket so it may be defraying one of Lingus’s other advantages, a cost base 20-30pc below its competitors. One immigration queue at JFK on Thursday of last week, May 28, took six hours to process.

Kevin TolandCEO of Dublin Airport Kevin Toland said recently he is ready to take out the pick and shovel and build the parallel runway at Dublin airport. The land is ready and the funds set aside, so is this time to move?

Merlin said Alton Towers is expected to reopen in the next few days. The Smiler at Alton Towers will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The group closed the smilerpark, shut down Saw at Thorpe Park, and Dragon’s Fury and Rattlesnake at Chessington World of Adventures following the mystery crash on Smiler. Vicky Balch,19, is still in critical condition in hospital following the accident on Tuesday which also left three others seriously injured: Daniel Thorpe, 27 from Buxton in Derbyshire, Joe Pugh, 18, and Leah Washington, 17 who were on their first date, both from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, when a carriage with 16 passengers ran into an empty carriage which had become stuck halfway round a loop. The stricken carriage hung at a 45 degree angle for four hours until occupants were rescued. The closure of Alton Towers is costing Merlin €600,000 a day. An app game in which players have to prevent The Smiler rollercoaster from crashing has been withdrawn by Merlin.

Bob SchumacherUnited’s new Dublin-Chicago service and Wow Air’s new Keflavik service were the signature route launches of the week at Dublin airport. Bob Schumacher arrived from London for the launch of the seasonal daily 09.50 flight UA153 that will run until August 18 using a 169 seat Boeing 757-200 in 16-45-108 configuration. Flight times will be eight hours 25 minutes westbound and seven hours 30 minutes eastbound. United also reintroduced its seasonal second daily Boeing 757-200 nonstop service between Dublin and New York/Newark at 12:55pm. WOW air fly 3w to Keflavik at 12.10 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays using Airbus A320 and A319 aircraft. Flights will operate. Aer Lingus Regional launched their service to Doncaster Sheffield last weekend.

Poland could be added to the list of visa waiver countries in the next 12 months, if US Tourism lobby gets its way. Alongside Brazil, Croatia and Israel, Poland is just outside the visa waiver requirement of 3pc refusals for visa requests. Roger Dow said the US government has the authority to raise that figure to 10pc and he would be pressing them to do so. He said the name of the visa waiver programme should change because it creates the wrong impression, “visa waiver means more security not less.”

Secretary Pritzker opens ipwOrlando’s IPW (formerly known as Pow Wow) was the busiest ever, with 6,543 delegates, 1,352 booths and 537 media from 74 countries. Ireland is USA’s 19th most important overseas market with 395,037, 40,000 ahead of non-visa waiver Israel. The delegations from Britain and China were the biggest ever. Ciaran Carraher was a notable absentee and the result of the election of chair of Visit USA Europe was not available at the time of going to press.


Tuesday’s press conference was one of the more accomplished performances of Roger Dow, CEO of the US Travel Association (pictured). He became unusually animated on the subject of the fracas between the big US carriers in the face of Open Skies, telling his airline colleagues they were wrong and the average air fare is 30pc lower if destination is covered by open skies agreement. “Backing away from Open skies would be especially damaging for the USA.” See the next print edition of Travel Extra for more on this fraught subject.

chris thompsonBrand USA showcased activities in the past twelve months (watch here) and Chris Thompson (pictured) gave a preview of the America Wild giant screen film commissioned to commemorated the centenary of the US National parks service (watch here). New Orleans held out the prospect of the next IPW 2016 (“free alligator rides”). Stephen Spender told Travel Extra why the city was so successful in attracting conventions like IPW: the city has 38,000 beds and 22,000 of them are within walking distances of the convention centre.

NYC & Co showcased its 47 second elevator ride at One World Observatory in the new World Trade Centre which recreates a visual history of Manhattan, if a tad expensively, admission is $32. Fred Dixon said New York has the most active hotel pipeline in the USA, 113,000 in 2015 Kenneth Svendsen124,000 by 2018, and has built 40,000 new hotel rooms since 2007: “more than an entire city.” Kenneth Svendsen of Disney (pictured) hosted a dinner in the boathouse on the organisation’s resort and said the development of Disney Springs, the former Disney Downtown would transform the visitor experience there, bringing the number of dining restaurant seats up to 10,000 from 7,000 and ending the situations where families were waiting for up to two hours for a seat at peak times.

caroline betetaCaroline Beteta of Visit California reported airlift at LAX was up 11pc and congratulated Ethiopian Airlines on their new service form Addis to LAX vi Dublin. The airport is planning a gate event on June 20th, the first for a new airport CEO. Cathy Domanico, Vice President of Tourism choose Chicago said the airport expected 55m visitors by 2020. Universal gave more details of their plans to bring Harry Potter to their Hollywood Studios park.

Four cities were added to the programme of upcoming IPW’s: 2016 New Orleans June 4-8; 2017 Washington DC June 3-7; 2018 Denver May 19-23; 2019 Anaheim June 1-5; 2020 Las Vegas May 30 –June 3; 2021 Chicago April 24-28; 2022 Orlando June 4-8; 2023 San Antonio, Texas May 20-23; 2024 Los Angeles May 4-8.

ipwThe social scene at IPW is the pride of the circuit. Disney opened 19 of their rides for Sunday’s opening, highlighting the new Fantasyland Expansonthe lrgest expansion in the 42 year history of Magic Kingdom, Seaworld’s event on Monday was inundated and the showcase Manta roller coaster had to be closed due to thunder storms after a short time and the blue ponchos provided to guests made the event look like a convention of Smurfs while people tried to recognise each other in the dark downpour (“you can’t miss me, I’m the one in the blue poncho” was a popular text on the night). Tuesday culminated with the San Francisco party, less risqué than the famously over the top Chicago event, and Universal brought visitors to both ends of Hogmseade Express for the closing event on Tuesday. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook.

DSC_0005A big moment for Kerry Airport this week when it became the first Irish airport to host the Connect International Aviation Forum. The event took place in Killarney’s INEC Convention Centre and was attended by 450 delegates from 50 airlines and 150 airports. Speaking to Travel Extra’s Conor McMahon, Basil Sheerin, the airport’s CFO (pictured), said the conference gave Kerry the chance to show that “we have a product, we’re not just an airport”. We wanted to showcase the region, the facilities and how we know our business down here. It helps to have the “right people here” — route developers. Another German route is on Basil’s wish list, as well as a route to the Midlands in England, particularly Birmingham. There are hopes for a French route further down the line.

killarney discoveryKerry Airport and Cork Airport co-hosted The Killarney Discovery Night with support from Fáilte Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way, giving Connect delegates the opportunity to mingle with the locals and sample the town’s pub scene. The Rebels provided the currency for the night, and one with a fair exchange rate: One Cork Airport note equaled one beer or cocktail, enough to give delegates the courage to join in on the Irish dancing in Courtney’s bar, where they started pulling pints in 1891 and haven’t stopped since (watch video here). Picture shows DAA CEO Kevin Toland with Bill Daly of Cork Airport. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

taytoparkAn Irish roller coaster at last: The inverted wooden Cú Chulainn rollercoaster opened at Tayto Park in Ashbourne. Tayto Park was Ireland’s tenth most visited attraction with 483,000 visitors in 2014.

Air Contractors is to become ASL Airlines Ireland under a rebrand announced by Hugh Flynn’s ASL Aviation Group, as part of its
hugh flynnstrategy for continued growth in passenger and cargo operations. Colin Grant, CEO of Air Contractors, will become CEO of the new European Airline’s division and will be based in Dublin. Dave Andrew, CEO of Safair, will become CEO of the new Rest of the World Airlines and Leasing Division and will be based between Johannesburg and Dublin.

asl new livery 300ASL’s 4 European airlines are to be renamed under the new ASL Airlines brand and there will be four airline operations ‘centres of excellence’ in Ireland, France, Switzerland and Hungary. ASL Group, which employs 1,500 globally, will continue to be based in Swords. Some of these aircraft will be painted in airline customer colours while the rest will soon start to become visible in Europe’s airports in the new ASL Airlines livery (pictured).

  • Europe Airpost will become ASL Airlines France
  • Farnair Switzerland  will become ASL Airlines Switzerland
  • Farnair Hungary will become ASL Airlines Hungary

Thailand Tourist Market kicked off in Bangkok with the announcement of plans to increase the capacity of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport to 80m (are direct routes to Ireland in the plans? Oslo has a daily service). Phuket is doubling its capacity to 12.5m passengers by 2016. A high speed rail link between Bangkok and Chiang Mai will open within three years followed by three further routes better connecting the north east, east coast and south. IN the absence of an army curfew this year TTM attracted 374 Thai sellers, of which 21pc are first time exhibitors at the show and 362 buyers from 50 countries with the biggest delegations from China, Britain, Australia, India, South Africa and USA. Thailand’s marketing in 2016 is to concentrate on five categories have been announced for 2015-16: wellness and spa, sports, honeymoon and wedding, green tourism, and culinary travel, with an emphasis on 12 hidden gem destinations including Lampang in the north, Trat in the north east, Trang and Nakhin Si Thammarat (Khanom) in the south. Thailand attracted 62,727 visits from Ireland in 2014 and 2015 figures are just over 2pc ahead of last year.

paulo tulio 900Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry spoke to Myles Dungan on RTÉ Radio’s The History Show about recent trends in history holiday tours. Listen here.

Travel Extra was sad to hear that legendary food and travel writer Paolo Tullio died.

Travel Trade

europe-airpost Canadian embassySuzanne L Cormie and the Canadian Embassy hosted a reception for the travel trade and press in the Ambassador’s residence to celebrate Europe Airpost’s route from Dublin to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The service, which starts in Paris CDG, will operate weekly from July 9 to September 11, departing Dublin on Thursdays. Flight time is 6 hours and 20 mins. Prices start at €314 one way and ATTS is the airline’s GSA in Ireland. See what’s new in Nova Scotia. Picture shows Michele McKenzie of The Halifax Partnership, Eric Vincent of Europe Airpost, Suzanne L Cormie chargé d’affaires Embassy of Canada and Joyce Carter of Halifax International Airport Authority at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Lufthansa Group will introduce a charge of €16 for every ticket issued by travel agents via GDSs from Sept 1. Jens Bischof of Lufthansa said revenue generated from the sale of flight tickets by airlines has decreased while other service and system partners in the value chain are recording increasing margins and returns, even though we are the actual providers of flight services.

sarah clarke innstant travelDarryl Ismail’s Innstant Travel appointed Sarah Clarke (pictured) and Rebekah Taylor to the customer support team.

Travel Counsellor Mandy Walsh won a Mrs2Be Brides‘ choice wedding award.

The Turkish Culture and Tourism Office launched its new interactive online training tool for travel agents.

Travel Counsellors Ireland are seeking a sales executive.

Jonathan Millar of Bryan Somers Travel, Tom O’Donohoe of Strand Travel and Jonathan Adair of Northern Ireland Travel News, played on the winning Emirates team at the pro am for the Irish Open.

katherine lawreyKatherine Lawrey of TTG was a popular winner of the best travel article worldwide award presented by the US Travel Association at IPW each year.

Breckenridge Tourism Office appointed McCluskey International to its PR account.

Tour America Social Media Award Winners 2015 (2)Tour America won the Best Use of Social Media award, SME category, for the third year in a row. Aer Lingus won the medium business Facebook award, while Dublin Zoo won the use of Facebook by a non-profit award, best integrated SM campaign and the Grand Prix award.

Amadeus, BLUE, Lowcostbeds and MSC Cruises invite agents to their upcoming partner roadshow, presentations start at 6pm followed by dinner: Wednesday July 8, Glasshouse Hotel, Sligo. Tuesday July 14, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk. Thursday July 16, Dooley’s Hotel, Waterford. Starts at 5.30pm, meal and training free of charge. Contact or for more details

Skal’s next lunch takes place in The Merrion Hotel this Tuesday, June 9, 12.30pm. Price €30 for members, €35pp for guests.

Travel Professionals Skillnet is holding a WordPress class on June 24, 9am-5pm in New Horizons, Strand Street, Dublin 2. Price €150. More info/bookings.

Topflight’s 5 day Italian sale starts today. See Deal Watch for more.

Thai Fam Trip at Elephant HillsCorrection from last week’s supplement: Here is the group picture from the Topflight/Emirates fam trip to Dubai and Thailand. Picture shows Caroline McDermott of O’Hanrahans Travel, Denise Winters of Garda Holiday & Travel Club, Jennifer Litchfield of O’Callaghan Travel, Maria FInnerty of Gail Ennis Travel, Delia Aston of Clubworld Travel, Gillian Purser of Marble City Travel, Sarah-Jane Wall of Globe Travel and Jayne O’Shea of Limerick Travel. Leah Parmeshwar of Topflight led the 6-day trip. Highlights included a desert safari in Dubai and a visit to Elephant Hills in Khao Sok. Connect with the album on Facebook.


  • The Heritage Killenard in Co Laois celebrates its 10th birthday this month. See Deal Watch for June birthday packages. The 5* resort hosted Ban Ki-Moon on his visit to Ireland.
  • The 5* Shanghri-La Hotel Ulaanbaatar opened in Mongolia.
  • Hilton’s Curio brand celebrates its first anniversary this month. Hilton Worldwide announced that The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Anselmo Buenos Aires, the Hoodoo Moab, The Partridge Inn Augusta and Redmont Hotel Birmingham will be added to the Curio portfolio.
  • Dubai is predicted to see a whopping 28,000 new hotel rooms by 2018.
  • Hilton Worldwide relaunched the Double Your HHonors promotion until August 31.
  • South Korea’s Lotte Group acquired the New York Palace Hotel for $805m.


The battle between uber and the French authorities took another turn on Thursday when the interior and foreign ministers said police controls of “unauthorised taxi drivers” during the Cannes Film Festival last month would be extended. The ministers also announced fixed rates for official taxi rides between Paris and its main airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly.

  • Canada is to introduce biometric screening for visitors.
  • Dora the Explorer will spearhead New York City’s bilingual family tourism campaign, appealing to both English and Spanish-speaking families, it was announced at IPW in Orlando.
  • Cape Town Tourism launched the Official Guide to Cape Town mobile app, free to download for IOS and Android devices.
  • Travel distributor GTA launched its 2015 Select Hotel Collection at IPW. The brochure features 240 hotels in North and South America.
  • Online agent Bravofly claims customers can book flights on mobile in 30 seconds using a passport and credit card scanner built into its app.
  • Frozen Summer Fun opened at Disneyland Paris.
  • Universal Studios Hollywood will upgrade the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with a HD 3D ride when it opens in spring.
  • As part of its bid to clean up its image, Magaluf will impose fines of up to €3,000 on rowdy tourists who urinate in public, get naked in the street or jump from hotel balconies.
  • Visit Orlando launched a new marketing campaign, Orlando — The Never Ending Story.
  • Taiwan rolled out an interpretation hotline for taxi drivers to communicate with foreign travellers.
  • The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbour reopened to visitors followed repairs.
  • 11 people were killed and eight missing after Mount Kinabalu on Borneo island, Malaysia experienced a 6.0 magnitude earthquake.
  • Three people were killed after tour bus carrying Italian tourists collided with a trailer in Pennsylvania.
  • MetGlobal announced a VANs partnership with eNett International for supplier payments.
  • Travelport renewed agreements with Clarity Travel Management and Elegant Resorts.
  • Tickets for China’s replica of the Titanic are on sale June 15. The attraction is expected to open in 2017.  Guests can experience the original menu served on the 1912 voyage, ballroom dancing and other entertainment. Controversially, they will also experience what has been dubbed an “iceberg collision simulation”. To downplay any criticism in light of the recent Yangtze River disaster, a charitable fund aiding people affected by maritime disasters was set up.
  • Music events in Italy: Maggio Musical Fiorentino Festival, Teatro Comunale, Florence, until June 27. Ravello Concerts, Ravello, Amalfi Coast, until October 30. Ravenna Festival, May 29-July 27. Umbria Jazz, Umbria, July 10-19. More events.

Food & Wine

In a break out from IPW in Orlando Travel Extra experienced the famously offhand service at Last Resort Dick’s restaurant based in Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets, where waiters specialise in being rude to customers. Highlights included “here’s your drinks, sort it out,” and “how was your meal, I don’t really care but I am required to ask.” How many waiters always wanted to say that?

Dunbrody Chef Kevin prepares plateKevin Dundon, Rachel Allen, and Neven Maguire will headline Taste of Cavan, which attracted 35,000 visitors in 2014, and returns August 7-8 at its new home in Cavan Equestrian Centre.

The annual world’s 50 Best from Restaurant Magazine is always controversial and this year saw a surprise shakeup at the top. Noma, Rene Redzepi’s avant garde Copenhagen restaurant, voted as the best restaurant in the world for four of the past five years, dropped all the way to third this year. El Cellar de Can Roca, the modernist Spanish restaurant that last took the top spot in 2013, is back on top. An Italian restaurant, Osteria Francescana of Modena, came in second.

Nine previous top-50 restaurants fell to the secondary 51-100 list, including The Fat Duck, Coi, Daniel, Geranium, Hof Van Cleve, De Librije, Martín Berasategui, Vila Joya and Waku Ghin. The list is voted on by food writers, well-traveled gastronomes and chefs, came under fire this year from critics alleging vote buying, sexism and Euro-centrism. The 2015 list: 1 El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain; 2 Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy; 3 Noma, Copenhagen; 4 Central, Lima; 5 Eleven Madison Park, New York; 6 Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain; 7 Dinner, London; 8 Narisawa, Tokyo; 9 DOM, São Paulo; 10 Gaggan, Bangkok; 11 Mirazur, Menton, France; 12  L’Arpège, Paris; 13 Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain; 14 Astrid y Gaston, Lima; 15 Steirereck, Vienna; 16 Pujol, Mexico City; 17 Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain; 18 Le Bernardin, New York; 19 Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain; 20 The Ledbury, London; 21 Le Chateaubriand, Paris; 22 Nahm, Bangkok; 23 White Rabbit, Moscow; 24 Ultra Violet, Shanghai; 25 Faviken, Jarpen, Sweden; 26 Alinea, Chicago; 27 Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy; 28 The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa; 29 RyuGin, Tokyo; 30 Vend”me, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany; 31 Restaurant Frantzén, Stockholm; 32 Attica, Melbourne; 33 Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany; 34 Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy; 35 Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico; 36 L’Astrance, Paris; 37 Restaurante Biko, Polanco, Mexico; 38 Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong; 39 QuiqueDacosta, Denia, Spain; 40 Per Se, New York; 41 Mani, São Paulo; 42 Borago, Santiago, Chile and Tickets, Barcelona (tied); 44 Maido, Lima; 45 Relae, Copenhagen; 46 Restaurant Andre, Singapore; 47 Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris; 48 Schloss Schauenstein in Furstenau, Switzerland; 49 Blue Hill at Stone Barns, New York; 50 The French Laundry, Yountville, US.

Private jet catering company On Air Dining unveiled the €825 Kopi Luwak coffee coconut gold dessert made from the world’s most expensive coffee, civet, which is famously made from beans digested and excreted by civet cats in Indonesia.


Ryanair May traffic up 16pc to 9.5m passengers. Load factor up 7 percentage points to 92pc. Rolling annual traffic grew 13pc to 93.1m passengers.

wow-airWOW air launched its Dublin-Reykjavik flight on Tuesday. The flights will operate Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Picture by Mike Kelly.

Shannon Airport will host an air display, the first in 25 years, on July 18 to mark the 70th anniversary of the first commercial transatlantic flight at the airport. The event is expected to attract 40,000 people.

Dublin had the fourth highest growth of group 2 airports according to European airport trade body, ACI Europe:

  • GROUP 1: Madrid (+8.9pc ), Rome FCO (+7.9pc ), Frankfurt (+7.5pc), Istanbul IST (+6.2pc) and Munich (+6.1pc)
  • GROUP 2: Athens (+21.2pc ), Istanbul SAW (+14.6pc ), London STN (+10.7pc), Dublin (+10.5pc) and Lisbon (+10.3pc)
  • GROUP 3: Milan BGY (+18.2pc), Glasgow (+15.3pc), Porto (+15.0pc), Bucharest OTP (+13.4pc) and Budapest (+10.8pc)
  • GROUP 4: Santorini/Thira JTR (+62.9pc), Chisinau (+34.8pc ), Cluj (+33.5pc), Sibiu (+29.7pc) and Porto Delgada (+28.2pc)

Avolon delivered a B737-800 to Malindo Air and an A320-200 to Pegasus Airlines.

boutique launchAer Lingus added new products to its Boutique in-flight shopping range. New products include Egyptian Magic skin cream, Sheer Glo from Irish brand BUFF make-up, Dermalogica Skin Set and Talika Eyebrow Lipocils. PIcture shows Nik Robinson and Lydia Worrel at the launch.

Ryanair abandoned its plans to acquire a Cypriot AOC.

It was like old times when the aviation story of the week was about a student changed his name by deed poll because it was cheaper than paying a Ryanair fee to correct a booking error.

Stephen Perry told IPW 2015 that New Orleans is very close to signing up its first European non stop flight a 7w to operate early 2016.

Swiss 12535I copySWISS Airlines start their 4w service from Dublin to Geneva from June 26 for €45 one-way.

Etihad are adjusting the number of miles being award on the Etihad Guest programme. Five fare classes will offer more miles and two guest classes will offer fewer miles.

Basil Sheerin, CFO of Kerry Airport, said that the recent dip in the airport’s passenger numbers (down 3.3pc in 2014) was not because of a shortage in demand, but because of airline consolidation. Traffic is up 10pc YOY, January-April, and the airport projects 300,000 pax in 2015.

  • The head of the USA’s Transportation Security Administration was replaced on Monday after the success of 67 of 70 attempts by undercover agents to sneak fake explosives and other banned items and weapons past TSA screeners.
  • Southwest’s website crashed for two days during a fare sale.
  • Goshawk Aviation appointed Ruth Kelly as CEO, Peter Watson as COO, Andy Carlisle as COO and Adnand Ramachandran as head of corporate finance.
  • Heathrow airport’s air traffic control system, Time-Based Separation, claims to decrease the occurrence of delays by 88,000 minutes.
  • Virgin announced that it is ending its codeshare with South African Airways on September 27.
  • Alitalia launched its redesigned brand, livery and IFE products at an event in Fiumicino Airport.
  • Delta is trying out a system where hand luggage is preloaded above passengers’ allocated seats before boarding begins.
  • Etihad Airways launched a Twitter account for users of frequent flyer programme Etihad Guest.
  • British Airways relaunched its On Business SME loyalty scheme, offering companies the chance to earn triple points on their first six flights with BA or on select routes with participating partner airlines.
  • South Africa clarified that the new rules for travellers with children does not apply to passengers in transit.
  • Pilots at Virgin America voted to unionise.
  • Scandinavian carrier SAS is trying out an on-board three-drink cap in order to curb flight disturbances caused by alcohol consumption.
  • Airbus won orders for 247 aircraft in the first five months of 2015 and delivered 243 jets.
  • Boeing reported six orders including four B737s, one B747 and one B737 VIP. B737 net orders were reduced by four.
  • IATA announced that airlines will begin testing a tracking system that pings flights every 15 minutes.
  • The US is in talks to expand pre-clearance in 10 airports in 9 countries: Belgium, Dominican Republic, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and Britain.
  • Etihad Airways launched a daily B787 Dreamliner service from Brisbane to Abu Dhabi.
  • Jet2 issued a lifetime ban to a passenger after his behaviour causes a Leeds-Alicante flight to divert to Toulouse.
  •  Flybe’s new service to Cardiff took off from Cork Airport yesterday, June 6.
  • Seventeen Air India flight attendants were suspended for allegedly delaying flights.
  • Etihad launched its A380 services to Sydney.
  • United Airlines and Air China expanded their codeshare agreement to include 22 new routes.
  • A Victoria’s Secret lingerie store will open at Helsinki airport later this summer.
  • Low cost carrier Frontier Airlines is expanding its fleet with 12 Airbus single aisle jets.
  • Flybe continues its on-board charity collection with month for Cancer Research.
  • Malaysia Airlines will remain as an international full-fledged service carrier and not a regional carrier.
  • Australia’s competition commission reauthorised Virgin Australia’s transpacific alliance with Delta.
  • Monarch imposed a lifetime ban on six passengers after a distrubance on board caused a flight from Birmingham to Dalaman to divert to Sophia.
  • In a bid to return to a profit, Malaysia Airlines will cut 6,000 jobs and review aircraft purchases.
  • Honolulu International Airport was granted $16.5m for upgrades.
  • Mexican regional carrier TAR Airlines now accepts Bitcoin payments for flight bookings.
  • Etihad launched a cargo service in conjunction with the World Cargo Alliance.
  • The first 7-Eleven store inside a US airport will open at LAX.
  • India’s Kadapa airport opens today, June 7.
  • Irish aviator Norman Surplus resumed his attempt to fly around the world in a gyrocopter this week. His route will see him fly across 26 countries, three continents and 43,000km, 7,200km of which are over water.


  • Silversea will operate voyages from Ushuaia to Antartica in November 2015 and January, February and December 2016 to mark the centenary of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition on The Endurance.
  • Azamara Club Cruises will revamp two ships with changes to staterooms, restaurants and spas.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line launched the Freestyle Choice campaign, available until July 31 on cruises of five to 16 nights departing October 1.
  • Carnival launched a volunteer tourism cruise brand, Fathom.
  • Celebrity Cruises is to participate in this year’s Taste of Dublin food festival in partnership with Champagne Taittinger in Iveagh Gardens on June 11-14.

Deal Watch

  • Topflight 5-day Italian sale, starting today: 7 nights 4* Bella Italia, Peschiera, Lake Garda from €1,596 for two adults and two children, depart Cork or Dublin June 13. 7 nights 3* Hotel Eden, B&B Torbole, Lake Garda from €399pps, depart Cork or Dublin June 13. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Miami, Lido Di Jesolo from €429pps, depart Cork or Dublin June 20. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Madison, Cattolica from €699pps, depart Dublin July 4. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €869pps, depart Dublin June 14. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Sabbie D’oro, Sicily from €499pps, depart Dublin June 14. All prices include return resort transfers, luggage allowance, taxes, rep service and online discount. See for more.
  • ITAA Father’s Day offers: 4 nights B&B 2* Hotel Miravali, Lake Garda from €295pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and transfers, depart June 13. 2 nights 4* NH Brussels City Centre from €229pp incl. flights and taxes, depart June 20. 2 nights B&B 2* Royal National Hotel, London from €299pp incl. tickets to 4 Emirates Cup games, depart July 25.
  • Lowcostbeds offers to Greece based on 2 sharing, 7 nights: All inclusive 5* Lindos Imperial Resort & Spa, Rhodes from €58pppn from June 13 to July 7. Half board 5* Kontokali Bay Resort & Spa, Corfu from €96pppn, stay in July. Half board 4* Venus Beach Hotel & Spa, Santorini from €77pppn, stay in August. All inclusive 4* Keir Village by Zante Plaza, Zante from €30pppn, stay in October. Half board 4* Belvedere Hotel Skiathos from €32pppn, stay in June or September.
  • Click and Go is offering 3 nights B&B 3* City Partner Hotel Apartments from €299pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, travel in August. 7 nights B&B 5* Real Marina Hotel & Spa, Olhao, the Algarve from €299pp incl. transfers and return flights ex Dublin, travel in November. 7 nights half board 3* Casablanca Inn Hotel, the Algarve from €369pp incl. transfers and return flights ex Dublin, travel in October. 7 nights self catering 3* Veramar I Aparthotel from €279pp incl. transfers and return flights ex Dublin, travel in October. 3 nights 5* Rea Palacio Hotel, Lisbon from €295pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in September.
  • Falcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive Holiday Village, Turkey from €2,049 for two adults and one child and from €2,529 for two adults and two children, depart June 15. 7 nights self catering Portofino Sorrento, Santa Ponsa, Majorca from €409pp, depart Cork June 16. 7 nights all inclusive Holiday Village Ibiza from €2,273 for two adults and one child and from €2,469 for two adults and two children, depart Dublin August 26. 7 nights self catering San Marcia, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €629pp, depart Dublin November 5. 7 nights all inclusive Hovima, Costa Adeje, Tenerife from €889pp, depart Dublin November 14. See or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Sunway cruise offers: 7 nights Norwegian Epic winter Med cruise from Barcelona from €595pp incl. return flights, $50 on board spend and bottle of wine, depart November 8. 7 nights on board Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas western Med cruise from Barcelona from €995pp incl. return flights, depart August 30. 7 nights P&O Azura Norwegian Fjords cruise from Southampton from €699pp, depart June 13. 10 nights Norwegian Star Baltic cruise from Copenhagen from €1,199pp incl. 1 night pre-stay in Copenhagen and return flights, depart August 27. See
  • Thomson offers: 7 nights full board Thomson Spirit, Dalaman from €769pps, depart Dublin June 15. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Helios, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €759pp, depart Dublin June 15. 7 nights half board Bahia Princess Hotel, Tenerife form €939pps, depart Dublin November 14. 7 nights all inclusive Tropicana Jasmine Club, Sharm El Sheikh from €789pps, depart Dublin November 8.
  • Travel Department offers: 7 nights half board Dubrovnik from €659pp incl. taxes, excursions, transfers and return flights ex Dublin, travel on select dates in July and October. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Montaigne Spa, Cannes from €899pp incl. taxes, transfer on arrival, excursions and return flights ex Dublin, depart July 9. 7 nights Lake Garda, Venice and Verona from €669pp incl. taxes, transfers, excursions and return flights ex Dublin, travel on selected dates from June to October. 7 nights half board 4* Grand Hotel Plaza & Locanda Maggiore, Montecatini from €899pp incl. taxes, transfer on arrival, excursions and return flights ex Dublin, depart July 28. 3 nights B&B 4* Hotel Clarion Congress, Prague from €399pp incl. taxes, transfer on arrival, return flights ex Dublin and walking tour, depart July 31. See for more.
  • Irish Ferries Oakwood Theme Park offer: 2 nights B&B 3* Malin House Hotel from €621 for two adults and two children incl. return car ferry crossing and one fully day pass to Oakwood Theme Park, travel until July 2. Call 0818 300 400 to book.
  • Insight Vacations Best of Germany tour from €1,835pp incl. return flights, transfers and selection of meals, depart October 9, book before June 30. See for more or call 01 775 3803.
  • Uniworld River Boutique Cruises is offering 8 days all inclusive river cruise to Burgundy from €2,245pps incl. return flights, port tax, gratuities and transfers, depart November 1, book by June 30. See for more or call 01 775 3803.
  • Stena Line is promoting its Kids Go Free offer: no restrictions on dates including mid-term breaks, bank holiday weekends and summer. Stena Line is also offering 3 bedroom holiday home for the price of 2 at Haven Holiday Parks in England, book by June 30.
  • Contiki is offering 8 days Turkish sailing form €555 incl. 7 nights accommodation on a gullet boat, 20 meals and tour of the Byzantine ruins of Kisbuku, depart June 13. See for more or call 01 775 3803.
  • Lowcostholidays offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Rio Apartments, Algarve from €279pp, depart September 16. 7 nights self catering 3* Central Park Apartments, Ibiza from €329pp, depart September 18. 7 nights B&B 3* Deevana Patong Resort, Phuket from €798pp, depart September 19. 7 nights 3* Halcyon Palm, Barbados from €995pp, depart September 19. 2 nights B&B 3* Hotel Ca Formenta, Venice from €379pp.  2 nights B&B 3* Hotel Amstel Botel, Amsterdam from €261pp, depart September 19. More offers here.
  • Classic Resorts Mexico offers, book by June 17, travel August 26 to October 16: 7 nights all inclusive 5* Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa from €1,435pps. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Now Jade Riviera Cancun from €1,515pps. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun from €1,729pps. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Zoetry Paraiso De La Bonita from €2,185pps. See or call 01 874 5000.
  • Sunway June offers to Algarve, Friday flight added June 19 to August 21: Seat only from 249pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Bayside Salgados Apartments from €399pp. 7 nights self catering 4* Estrela Do Vau Apartments from €449pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Tivoli Carvoerio Hotel. Offers for August 29 departure: Seat only €329pp, 7 nights self catering 2* Presidente Aparthotel from €529pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Luna Miramar Apartments from €769pp. All prices include return airport transfers, taxes, charges, 20kg checked in baggage pp and Sunway rep service. See
  • The Heritage Killenard June birthday specials: 1 night B&B from €193pps or 2 nights B&B from €258pps incl. chocolate covered strawberries on arrival, evening meal in the Arlington Restaurant, glass of Prosecco, 25-minute spa treatment, 2 hour Heritage Spa Experiance, €10 resort credit pp and late check out.
  • Tourism NI offers of the week: 3 nights Lavender Cottage, Bushmills weekend break from £150, available until June 21, call 07834 812 647 to book. 2 nights B&B Manor House Country Hotel, Enniskillen from £109pp incl. dinner in Belleek Restaurant, complimentary access to leisure facilities. Available June 11 and 25, call 028 6862 2200 to book.


kerry-pressThe lesson to learn from Kerry: Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine. Travel Extra’s Conor McMahon visited the Kingdom to sample some of the county’s tourism products this week. The trade in the area has worked together over the last three decades to create a seamless experience for visitors. Budding tourism co-ops should spend some time here and see how a combination of perseverance, risk-taking and creativity can really pay off in the long run.

Miriam FerriterAccommodation was provided by Ballygarry House Hotel & Spa in Tralee, which offers a high end four-star experience. A country hotel with a modern twist, Ballygarry appeals to mostly the leisure market, but also offers family packages. Crucially, the hotel is managed by the third generation proprietor, Padraig McGillicuddy, so the history of the house is retained throughout each revamp. And there are a lot: Every year, 15 rooms are refurbished, often following a relevant trend — for example, the superior suite decor is inspired by WAW. Contact revenue manager Marie Galvin for FIT and group rates: 066 712 3322. Picture shows Miriam Ferriter, Sales and Weddings Manager.

Jamie KnoxConor went stand up paddle boarding with Jamie Knox Watersports, which is celebrating 25 years in business this year.  Working closely with a team of six instructors, Jamie’s water safari product is suitable for both the famously uncoordinated and those with a little more skill. Paddle boarding is particularly appealing for families because it’s easy to get the hang of. The jumbo board option works well for families, corporates groups or school tours because it is capable of carrying up to eight adults.

Dingle distilleryOther activities included the Dingle Distillery tour with Eamon Dowd and Gillian Sheehy. Visitors are brought right on to the production line and given a concise tour that concludes with a glass of delicious Dingle Gin (the first batch of whisky will be available later in the year — it takes three years to mature). Conor’s tip: Spare the tonic and have it neat. Very drinkable and goes down really well.

grainne kavanaghGráinne Kavanagh of The Coach House brought Conor on a sample tour of the Kerry Craft Trail, with visits to Holden Leather Goods, Fiadh Handwoven Design, Abi Dillon’s Glass Studio, Dingle Crystal, Kathleen McAuliffe Millinery, Dingle Artworks, Swinky Doo Designs, Dingle Candles and Niamh Utsch goldsmiths. There is a diverse range of products and artwork on the trail, all of which are distinctly Dingle. Each piece comes with a unique story.

The trip concluded with a visit to Fungie the dolphin with Jimmy and Bridget Flannery of Dingle Dolphin Tours.  Fungie has resided in Dingle harbour for three decades. What’s kept him there for so long? Nobody knows. Jimmy and Bridget never imagined that they would be in business for so long. Fungie even works after hours: He made an appearance for Travel Extra after the last boat tour had finished up. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.



A group of French journalists visited Ireland this week as guests of Tourism Ireland and Brittany Ferries. The group’s itinerary, designed by Tourism NI, included the Game of Thrones tour, visits to Tollymore Forest Park, Inch Abbey, Castle Ward, Belfast, Causeway Coastal Route, Titanic Belfast and SS nomadic. The group had lunch in Harry’s Shack on Portstweard Strand before heading to Derry. Picture shows the group on Portstewart Strand, with Anne Zemmour of Tourism Ireland.

BarometerFáilte Ireland’s Tourism Barometer found that 77pc of businesses are expecting growth this year, particularly in the hotels sector with eight in ten expecting increased business in 2015. 60pc of all paid serviced accommodation providers reported that business is up this year to date. 67pc in the domestic market 69pc in the overseas markets expect growth. 68pc said they expect growth from the British market and 67pc expect more business from North America.

Aer Lingus College Football Classic will take place in Dublin in September 2016.

Car sharing company GoCar now has 100 vehicles in Dublin city. Picture shows broadcaster Darren Kennedy, one of GoCar’s 4,000 members.

The new pier in Doolin will be officially opened by Minister Brendan Howlin on Friday, June 19.

The Learn from the Best in Tourism Conference takes place in Ballygarry House Hotel & Spa, Tralee on Thursday, June 11.


Giant’s Causeway features in the latest issue of Canadian men’s lifestyle magazine Sharp.

The Burren launched the Free Cup of Tea if You Cycle to Me initiative on Tuesday, inviting visitors to cycle to participating businesses in exchange for a free cup of tea.

Upcoming events in Limerick: Tres Court International Film Festival, June 12. DruidShakespeare, June 23, 24, 26 and 27. Limerick Sings International Choral Festival, June 26-29. Twilight racing series, June and July. Make a Move Hip Hop Festival, July 2-5.

Email to have your say or it is @TravelExtraIre on Twitter if that’s your bag.


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