TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: 3 strikes and hundreds of flights are out

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Anantara Si Kao resort, June 13 2016Lone bather in Anantara Si Kao resort, June 13 2016

Things to know about travel this week

  • Ryanair adds virtual premium economy to virtual business class
  • Falcon launch Cancun & Montego Bay & confirm 2017 season
  • Who took a sledgehammer to the worlds’ highest glass bridge?
  • Fiona goes fire dancing on the Krabbi coast
  • Sunway staff celebrate 50 years
  • MSC’s Antonio talks up Cirque and his big ships
  • TRAVEL Extra samples the CityJet superjet
  • New Orleans hosts IPW for first time since 2002

TRAVEL Extra TV

liberte egaliteVideos of the week: The Irish fans at Euro 2016, even by their own legendary standards, are exceeding themselves, serenading a nun, changing a flat tyre for a French couple, helping a cyclist pass through the crowd, helping an old man back to his feet, singing ABBA with Swedish fans, (before telling them “go home to your sexy wives”), interrupting a Hungarian TV presenter, cheering the French Guy who lives above an Irish pub, and organising the funniest protest French police have ever seen. They also have an insane collection of flags.

dad videoSeeing as it’s Father’s Day, is this the most Dad video ever? Evan Griffin writes:” Gave my Dad my GoPro while he was in Las Vegas. I did not, however, instruct him on how to use it. So my dad being my dad, and a culchie, didn’t know which way to point the f**king thing.” The results are spectacular. Watch here.

  • A great marketing stunt by Emirates at LA Dodgers baseball game. Watch here.
  • The makers of a 300m high glass skywalk in Zhangziazie Grand Canyon invited the BBC’s Dan Simmons to repeatedly slam it with a sledgehammer to prove its safety. It is scheduled to open for tourists, including bungee jumping, in July.
  • Would YOU have spotted her? A lifeguard dived in and rescued a three-year-old girl about to drown in a wave-pool in South Carolina. Watch here.
  • A passenger who ‘tried to break into the cockpit’ on a Chinese Southern Airlines flight from Wuhan to Harbin was tied to his seat mid-flight by cabin crew and other flyers. Watch here.
  • Watch here the implosion of the Riviera Hotel and Casino, the Las Vegas Strip’s first high-rise, once famous for its ties to organised crime early Tuesday with a cinematic implosion, complete with fireworks.
  • A seagull swipes an iPhone from a beach in England. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Roz Purcell with RYANAIR LAUNCH NEW LEISURE PLUS FARE & IMPROVED BUSINESS PLUS OFFERINGHaving introduced a virtual business class, without a bigger seat or a curtain, Ryanair has now introduced virtual premium economy. This latest development on the unrelenting march of PE was announced on Thursday by Kenny Jacobs with the help of model Roz Purcell. Leisure passengers (Ryanair does not have economy and business class) can purchase a bundle of travel extras that includes priority boarding, a reserved seat and a 20kg bag for €51.99. Ryanair’s business ticket now has more extensive ticket change facilities having been extended to two days on either side of the day of travel.

Falcon Montego Bay Family copyChris Logan and Charlotte Brenner of Falcon Holidays waved off two of the marque route launches of the summer, the first of six TUI’s rotations to Cancun and Montego Bay, and confirmed the season for 2017. While Mexico has same number of rotations next year,  Jamaica has reduced. Falcon say they are already getting bookings for wedding groups on both for next year. Picture shows Charlotte Brenner, Brian, Mia, Karen and Nahla Carey and Michelle Reilly at the gate ceremony for TUI’s inaugural flight from Dublin to Montego Bay.

Departure board 003Three strikes, and many of us were out. Last weekend 400 SAS pilots walked out in a dispute over pay and conditions on Friday, with 230 flights affected on Monday and 240 on Tuesday, following a failed bid by mediators to end the dispute. Swedish fans bound for the Ireland match in Paris were badly affected by the event but Scandinavian’s sales manager in Ireland Alan Sparling made it (he cheered for Ireland). Air France pilots took part in a four-day strike, with short, medium and long-haul services all affected. French air traffic controllers also renewed their ongoing strike action, much to Michael O’Leary’s chagrin. Dublin lost seven flights to strike action on Tuesday, and, to add to the carnage, United’s Newark flight also went tech and failed to arrive.

Delegates from around the world arrived in New Orleans for IPW 2016. Gossip at the pre-opening round of parties last night (headed by the Washington DC event) concerned the upcoming visa spat between Europe and the USA. TRAVEL Extra will be raising the issue of NAI’s delayed permit application at Tuesday’s Travel Association and Brand USA press conferences and with the State Department representatives at the event.

Akbar Al BakerA surprise route from Dublin from a major network carrier almost got announced on Tuesday. A room was booked in the Shelbourne Hotel. A time was set and a brief statement declared that “one of the world’s major airlines will announce that it is to launch a new daily service from Dublin Airport. In addition to strengthening Dublin and Ireland’s connectivity with important global markets, the route will generate millions of euro in visitor revenue, contributing to the overall Irish economy.” Then it all got cancelled. The route is likely to be announced before the winter slot conference on Tuesday, or on the day. Separately, Dublin-Doha is likely to start May 2017. Akbar Al Baker says that the route would start next year, while Stephen Kavanagh of Aer Lingus says it was a medium-term project: the only question is whose metal will operate on the route.

calle o'reillyFitcuba celebrated Canada and Europe’s importance in tourism to the Caribbean island, just as American carriers were cleared to fly to the island again. Cuban Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero told delegates, “Cuba will never abandon those who have sided with us.”  The feeding frenzy has already started with tour Manuel-Marrero-Cruzoperators finding hotel prices hiked and contracts being renegotiated in mid season. It will not be pretty. Cuban says 2,400 new rooms are coming online each to increase to 5,000 each year after 2019, 126 investment projects and 76 approved contracts from foreign companies include 17 new hotel companies. Marrero reminded delegates that until the US Congress approves the current 12 authorised travel licenses into law, Americans will not be free to travel to Cuba. Cuba is the only country in the world in which a US citizen cannot go with a tour package.

Thailand June 2016 419 copyChris Lee of the Tourism Authority of Thailand entertained members of the trade, including Fiona Dobbyn from Classic Resorts and TRAVEL Extra’s Eoghan Corry in a resort tour of the Krabi Coast. Host venues included Layana Resort, which gets an annual ranking from Tripadvisor as one of the most romantic resorts in the world, represented in Ireland and Britain by the popular Jas Anand. Watch here an interview with Chris Lee of the London Office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. And yes the parting glass was sung.

group layanaPicture shows the group at Layana Resort Andy Bennett of STA/Bridge the World, Gengis Khan of Tropicus Holidays, Chris Lee of Tourism Authority of Thailand, Guy Allison of Destination Asia, David Tan of Lee’s Travel, Nicholas Wilson of Hayes and Jarvis (back, obscured), Eoghan Corry of TRAVEL Extra (front), Alex Wilson of Kenwood Travel, David Kevan of Chic Locations, Rebecca Turner of DNATA, Gavin Dixon of Freedom Asia (back, obscured),  Fiona Dobbyn of Classic Resorts, James Jones of Dial a Flight, Elizabeth Wilkes of Flight Centre, David Carlaw of Premier Holidays, Michael Priest of The Holiday Place, Iain Reaper of If Only (back), Jas Anand of Layana Resort (front), Aaron Little of Secret Escapes and Stefan Heintz of Layana Resort. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

coughlan dignamAnd as delegates gather for IPW, here is John Coughlan and Paddy Dignam from media marketplace the last time the city staged the American inbound event 14 years ago. Good job none of us are getting older. 

mscThe London-based two country MD for MSC cruise ships in Ireland and Britain Antonio Paradiso hosted travel media in Dublin. MSC have expanded their team in Ireland with the appointment of Erica Oglesby to work as support to Rebecca Kelly. Erica previously worked with Sunway and Thomas Cook Antonio Paradiso, the former director of emerging markets at MSC who succeeded Giles Hawke as two-county manager, plans on coming over to Ireland more often: “I plan in coming to Ireland more often, hopefully four times a year.” The West Mediterranean is the most popular destination for the Irish people on MSC Splendida, which is home porting in Rome, and Orchestra which homeports out of Barcelona (as will Meraviglia next year). Antonio says that there is a lot of competition which is good and it is a learning curve for him. Picture shows Erica Oglesby, Rebecca Kelly, Antonio Pradiso and Rose Darby of MSC. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade

Marian Benton and Paul Melinis at the TIGS event in Luttrellstown sponsored by The Travel Corporation, June 15 2016

Paul Melinis from event sponsors The Travel Coroporation had a bountiful trip to Lutrellstown for the TIGS June outing, capturing the overall prize. Marian Benton of MAP Travel was the ladies winner, giving the Travel Industry Golf Society two first-time champions on the same day for the first time in three years. The winners:

  • Overall Men Paul Melinis (19) 41 points;
  • Overall Ladies Marian Benton (35) 39 points;
  • Men: Category 1 Joe Tully (18) 33 points; Category 2 Tom Lonergan (20) 35 points; Category 3 Bill Smith (22) 32 points; Front 9 John Spollen (11) 19 points; Back 9 Dave Smith (23) 19 points; Longest drive: Philip Airey; Nearest pin: Brian Garland and Dave Smith (shared!);
  • Ladies: Category 1 Tanya Airey (23) 35 points; Category 2 Audrey Headon (18) 34 points; Front 9 Miriam Skelly (33) 14 points; Back 9 Yvonne Lennox (15) 14 points; Longest drive: Yvonne Lennox; Nearest pin: none ; Guest Sean Finlay (24) 25 points. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Group mauritius copyPicture shows Irish agents in Mauritius on a fam trip hosted by John McKibbin of Getabed and Onur Gul of Turkish AirlinesWe asked them what they thought of the experience.

CSO figures suggest outbound travel by Irish residents  increased by 13.1pc between January and March, and the average duration of overseas trips made by Irish residents increased from 7.1 nights to 7.2 nights, expenditure by Irish residents overseas increased 22.3pc from €794m  to €971m, when fares are included, total expenditure on overseas trips increased by 20.5pc from €980m to €1,181m.

Tanya SpeechThe Sunway staff celebrated their 50th birthday in style last weekend with a champagne barbecue in the Morgan Hotel in Temple Bar. They travelled by luxury coach with some champagne to help them along the way, watched a big screen slideshow of old staff photos, dined on barbecue with cocktails before partying into the wee hours. Tanya Airey thanked the team for their huge commitment to Sunway throughout the years and toasted another 50 years of success. And check out the Travelagent Sunway Facebook page. Sunway will continue their 50th birthday celebrations with a travel trade lunch on August 10 and a Media and Travel partners event on September 28.

michael doorley in indoMichael Doorley told Sean Gallagher that losing his job was the motivation he needed to start Shandon Travel, because travel is my hobby. I am one of those fortunate people who gets to work at something I truly love.

Kim Bielemberg, writing in the consumer section of the Irish Independent, said that the Pestana Salvor Praia turned out €1,760 more expensive to book direct than through Sunway holidays in August for a family of four. Michael Vaughan and TRAVEL Extra’s Eoghan Corry are quoted in his article: Get a Room: The secret to saving money when booking hotels.

air canada winning team G0695Picture shows the winning Air Canada team in the Irish Canadian Business Association golf outing to Castleknock, Stephen McKenna of Atlas Travel, Derek Keogh of GTI Travel, Joanne Burgess of Premair/Air Canada and Tom Kiernan of Ask Susan. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

paul hackett on harmonyRoyal Caribbean released a statement acknowledging that passengers on the first sailing of Harmony of the Seas were affected by construction work that was still taking place. “We recognise there were simply too many projects being completed during this sailing. We offer our apologies to customers who were affected. To have the opportunity to welcome them again, we are offering each guest a future cruise certificate worth 50pc of the cruise fare paid.” Irish agents on board Harmony of the Seas, we asked them what they thought. As Dominic Burke said:  Who, in their right minds, would accept the keys to an entire town the size of Trim without expecting a few screws to be loose here or there; a patch of wall where the paint still wasn’t dry or (as happened to us) the shower attachment was missing in our bathroom. Picture shows Paul Hackett of Clickandgo trying out the ultimate abyss on board, the Talent water slide at sea.presentation montage copy
As part of Jonathan Adair‘s big event for the travel trade in the north, Star Alliance hosted a breakfast business briefing with travel agents at the Hilton Templepatrick Hotel. Alan Sparling, chairman of Star Alliance in Ireland said Star Alliance Gold Track Security innovation for Star Gold Members has already been implemented in 113 airports worldwide and we wanted to convey this message to the trade.

  • The London advertising standards authority’s Committee of Advertising Practice is to change its rules because travel agents no longer have fixed arrangements with suppliers and that prices available through online systems change at short notice.
  • FCM Travel Solutions Ireland will move to larger offices during the summer.  The new premises at FCM House, formerly Corrigan House, is located on Fenian Street, Dublin 2.

Travel Media

hebdoTRAVEL Extra‘s Conor McMahon was in Vienna this week covering the Global Editors Network Summit.  Virtual reality was one of the big topics at the Summit — even Mozart had his goggles on. As was the rise of platform-driven news from the likes of Facebook and Google. You can read Conor’s posts here. Luiza Puiu’s picture shows Conor interviewing Gérard Biard, editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo.

Strange World

A woman apparently gave birth mid flight over Ireland on board a Saudi Arabian Airlines B777 flight from New York to Jeddah.

alligator_sightedWe get it about Disney. In a state with 1m alligators, theme parks and have a problem, children would be scared of “beware of alligators” signs on the lakeside beside, for example, the Grand Floridian Resort beside Magic Kingdom. It is not what holiday makers with small children want to see. So they put up no swimming signs instead. Would alligator warnings have prevented two year old toddler Lane Graves from Nebraska, being pulled underwater and drowned by an alligator? Probably not, but the gator signs are going up. It was the first alligator attack at Disney since 1986 when a predator bit the legs of an eight-year-old boy, who survived, on Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission gives Disney full autonomy in dealing with gators on its property.

A passenger at the airport in Shenzhen smashed the head of a Juneyao Airlines clerk with a brass plaque.

A shark attacked a five-year-old girl floating in a rubber ring off Pirates Beach in Gavelston, Texas.

social media desecrating rocksCasey Nocket, a San Diego woman who painted and drew on natural rock formations at seven national parks across western USA and shared her work on social media (why?) pleaded guilty to defacing government property

  • Sixty abandoned Hungarian hikers on the Rax mountain range near Venice had to call the emergency rescue service when their over-served guide disappeared after lunch.
  • Two men aboard a Hainan Airlines flight from Datong to Chongqing demanded to be upgraded to business class as their flight was taxiing, then fought with a member of the cabin crew and a passenger who tried to help, and pounded on the cockpit door.
  • Passengers complained that strong light at English railway stations is causing self-service machines to malfunction.
  • Oregon rancher Robert Borba jumped on his hors and lassoed a man who was trying to steal a bicycle in the parking lot of an Eagle Point Walmart, and dragged him to one end of the parking lot.
  • Ready-made Contactless Infusion X5 kits selling for £500 on London’s black market enable criminals to clone up to 15 contactless bank cards a second from victims who are simply standing nearby, and write details onto a blank card
  • A holidaymaker caught by cabin crew ‘smoking in the toilet’ on Ryanair flight from Tenerife to Manchester was escorted off the aircraft by police on landing.
  • A YouGov survey shows that 9pc of car hirers arrive to be told that no cars are available. The survey found that travellers often face a long wait when they arrive to pick up their car and for 20pc the queue is more than half an hour before they are served at the rental desk.

Hotels

A report on tourist accommodation to Dublin carried by Fitzpatrick Associates on behalf of Fáilte Ireland (see here) estimated the contribution to bedstock from Airbnb was equivalent to approximately 780 hotel bedrooms available year-round. Dublin had 148 hotels in 2015, 18,531 bedrooms and 41,816 bedspaces and Fitzpatrick predict a shortfall of 1,700 bedrooms in 2016 and 2,800 in 2017. There are currently plans for just 5,550 new hotel rooms, 3,796 rooms in new hotels and 1,749 in extensions to existing hotels, many of which will not be available until after 2018.

denise-bartlettDublin has seen average hotel prices rise 23pc since June 2015, according to the monthly index from Trivago. The room rate on Trivago’s price index is €183, lifting it to one of the 10 most expensive cities in Europe with prices on the level of European cities such as Milan and Stockholm. Killarney prices are up 20pc, and, from a smaller volume, Athlone prices are up 24pc and Donegal up 23pc.. Trivago lists 32 hotels in Athlone and 38 in Donegal compared with 193 in Killarney and 404 in Dublin. Picture shows Denise Bartlett of Trivago.

  • The EU commission is close to approving the Marriott/Starwood merger.
  • Holiday home rental group Owners Direct introduced a controversial 4pc to 8pc service fee for customers.
  • A judge awarded €18,000 for boy who lacerated his arm on a pull out bed in the Castleknock Hotel & Country Club.
  • Spain’s Riu Hotel Group, Goldman Sachs and private equity firms Apollo and Cerberus are among the bidders for Gresham Hotel with final offers of up to €85m.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest partnered with Club ITC allowing members will be able to redeem their points for nights across 1,300 Starwood properties.
  • Accorhotels are to open the 39-storey Novotel London Canary Wharf in 127-metre-high tower.
  • The hotel group behind Gleneagles is to launch NoCo, a £100 a night budget chain.

International

irish passportsThe Department of Foreign Affairs said people should allow six weeks for new passport applications, Passport Express renewals are taking 13 working days and first-time applications 21 days, 233 additional staff have been drafted, 62 more than last year.

Overseas spending by Irish people with credit cards rose to €1.4bn.

The family of Cork airport employee Paula Healy, who died on holiday in Greece, was hit with a €6,000 bill to release her body from airport storage after her travel insurance company said weight and blood pressure issues had not been disclosed.

Shanghai Disneyland castleAnalysts expect Shanghai Disneyland, which opened this week, to attract between 15m and 50m guests a year, compared with 19.3m at Disney’s flagship park in Orlando in 2014.. After the entrance to the US$5.5bn park in what Disney chairman Bob Iger promised a “distinctly Chinese experience” Main Street USA is renamed Mickey Avenue, the garden leading to the group’s largest castle is a Garden of the Twelve Friends using characters such as Remy from Ratatouille and Tigger from Winnie the Pooh as animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

seaworld hakoSeaWorld Orlando’s new steel hypercoaster ride Mako opened to the public last weekend. The ride mimics the movement of the Mako shark, cruising at 56 kph and accelerating 96.5 kph when pursuing its prey, the ride accelerates to 117kph. Riders drop of 60m and cover 1.6 km. The queue starts in an area called Shark Wreck Reef, which appears to be under a pier, with a shipwreck as the loading station. Creative director Brian Morrow, said, “This is an airtime monster with nine perfect moments of weightlessness.”

Rasha AzaiziEgypt’s Tourism Authority re-launched the Red Sea Riviera logo to include the region’s other leading beach resorts. The initiative will see the logo, first used in 2004, revived by the Egypt Tourism Authority and tour operators in promotional activities and advertising campaigns to help restart tourism to the region and remind holidaymakers of what it describes as “the allure of the Red Sea, thanks to its luxury resorts, clear blue skies and sandy beaches.” The original logo coincided with the rise of the reputation of Sharm El Sheikh. The Egyptian Tourism Authority aims to extend this success to other sun-drenched Red Sea Riviera destinations, such as El Gouna, Hurghada, Sahl Hashish, Makadi Bay, Soma Bay and Marsa Alam. Picture shows Rasha Azaizi, London-based director of the Egyptian Tourism Authority.

 

Atlantic Road NorwayA survey of psychologists by Satnav manufacturers TomTom rated Europe’s best drive: the 8km-long Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway across a series of tiny islands with the sea either side and mountains in the distance. Second was Portugal’s Estoril Ocean Drive, the drive around Lake Como third and Greece’s The Peloponnesus fourth.

  • Dreamland Margate offered free entry in an attempt to revive the park after an £18m renovation.
  • Uber began a helicopter service in Sao Paulo.
  • Willy Wonka-style sideways elevators could be coming to London Underground.
  • Sky News reported a 25pc increase in the number of applications being made for Irish passports in Britain in advance of the Brexit referendum.
  • SurpriseTrips2 launched what they called a unique booking experience, where the destination is only revealed once the traveller gets to their designated departure airport.

Food and Beverage

Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura

Stephan Chomka’s Restaurant magazine’s much criticised selection of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2016 awarded more than two thirds of its accolades to Europe or USA, including first time table-topper Massimo Bottura’s (pictured) Osteria Francescana in Modena where dishes include an amuse bouche of a tomato and mozzarella macaron and a presentation of Parmesan in five different stages of aging. The selection included seven from Spain, six from USA, four from Italy, three from Denmark, England, France, Mexico and Peru, two from China, Germany, Japan, Thailand, one from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland. The awards are based on the votes of 837 “chefs, restaurateurs, critics and fun-loving gourmands.” The full list: 1 Osteria Francescana, Modena, 2 El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, 3 Eleven Madison Park, New York, 4 Central, Lima, 5 Noma, Copenhagen, 6 Mirazur, Menton, 7 Mugaritz, San Sebastian, 8 Narisawa, Tokyo, 9 Steirereck, Vienna, 10 Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, 11 DOM , Sao Paulo, 12 Quintonil, Mexico City, 13 Maido, Lima, 14 The Ledbury, London, 15 Alinea, Chicago, 16 Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, 17 Piazza Duomo, Alba, 18 White Rabbit, Moscow, 19 Arpege, Paris, 20 Amber, Hong Kong, 21 Arzak, San Sebastian, 22 The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, 23 Gaggan, Bangkok, 24 Le Bernardin, New York, 25 Pujol, Mexico City, 26 The Clove Club, London, 27 Saison, San Francisco, 28 Geranium, Copenhagen, 29 Tickets, Barcelona, 30 Astrid y Gaston, Lima, 31 Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, 32 Restaurant Andre, 33 Attica, Melbourne, 34 Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin, 35 Vendome, Bergisch Gladbach, 36 Borago, Santiago, 37 Nahm, Bangkok, 38 De Librije, Zwolle, 39 Le Calandre, Rubano, 40 Relae, Copenhagen, 41 Faviken, Jarpen, 42 Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, 43 Biko, Mexico City, 44 Estela, New York, 45 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, 46 Combal Zero, Rivoli, 47 Schloss Schauenstein, Furstenau, 48 Blue Hill at Stone Barns, New York, 49 Quique Dacosta, Denia, 50 Septime, Paris.

food champions irelandDavid and Stephen Flynn of The Happy Pear will attend the 2016 Cork and Kerry Food Forum in Cork City Hall, Sunday June 26.

Fáilte Ireland added 16 “food champions” to join the Food Tourism Network Development.

Aviation

IAG CEO Willie Walsh told shareholders at the company’s AGM in Madrid that Aer Lingus is helping to bolster IAG’s ambitions.

Test flight of the Cityjet Superjet SSJ100, June 15 2016Media, including TRAVEL Extra‘s Michael Kelly, were hosted on a flight on CItyJet’s new Sukhoi SuperJet. The aircraft will be showcased at Farnborough air show. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Ethiopian Airlines took deliver of its first A350. TRAVEL Extra will be checking out the aircraft in Toulouse.

  • Dubai International Airport closed its airspace for 69 minutes due to unauthorised drone activity.
  • Ryanair called a halt to Shannon- Beauvais.
  • Emirates‘ second daily service between Dubai and Melbourne is to go non-stop from October 30. Previously the second flight was routed via Kuala Lumpur.
  • Egypt said it has spotted and obtained images from the wreckage of the EgyptAir plane that crashed into the Mediterranean last month, killing all 66 people on board.

Bombardier_CS100_CGWXZ_CptAdamMason_DUB_020616_4996Bombardier said aviation authorities in Europe and the United States have now certified its CS100 series passenger planes, demonstrated in Dublin this month, clearing the way for delivery of the aircraft to Swiss International Air Lines by the end of the month

England’s equality watchdog criticised BA for its treatment of disabled passengers after an actor launched legal action against the airline for alleged damage to her wheelchair.

Cork-Cityjet-summer-2016-214-copy-300x200Cityjet launch two direct flights from Cork to France this weekend using a 95-seat Avro RJ85. Inaugural flights depart to La Rochelle on Saturday with flights every Tuesday and Saturday up to August 27, and to Nantes on Sunday continuing weekly until August 28. Picture shows members of the Roarty family with CityJet cabin crew and Daragh Hanratty, head of aviation marketing at Cork Airport.

  • Hainan Airlines regarded as the most likely airline to commence Dublin-Beijing, launched their first British service.
  • America’s TSA claimed that new airport security lanes in Atlanta are 30pc more efficient.
  • A survey by money.co.uk claimed 70pc of delayed passengers do not claim compensation, the equivalent of €11m left unclaimed by Irish passengers.
  • Avolon delivered an A321-200 to Air Berlin.
  • AWAS delivered the second of two planned A320 aircraft to Vietjet.

Afloat

  • Belfast Harbour annual report shows 1.4m used ferry services to Britain. This compares with 1.6m for Dublin and 900,000 for Rosslare. Belfast handles about one fifth of Ireland’s entire seaborne trade. It is spending £100m on infrastructure projects, including a new hotel and the city’s second dedicated film studios at North Foreshore. Almost seven million more tonnes of goods passed through the port in 2015 than in the depths of the recession.
  • Ship captain Joao Simoes pleaded guilty for the failure of a passage plan in breach of regulations for the incident in May 2015 when the Conti Group’s MV Hamburg sailing from Dublin to Hamburg hit rocks near Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. The ship suffered a power outage with 297 passengers and 164 crewmembers on board. An investigation indicate that the crew must also share the blame.
  • ncl news officeNCL relocated the English offices of its three brands, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises to port city Southampton. The three brands will share an office in England for the first time since NCL acquired Prestige Cruise Holdings, parent company of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, in November 2014. Sunway act as GSA for Norwegian Cruise Line in Ireland. Picture shows Christian Boell, Frances Riley, Andy Stuart and Harry Sommer of NCL.
  • NCL announced itineraries for the 2017/18 autumn/winter season. Norwegian Jewel will be based in the Asia Pacific with departures to and from Australia beginning November 2017. San Juan, Puerto Rico returns as a seasonal homeport, with Norwegian Dawn sailing from the Caribbean port, as well as Tampa, Florida, along with a new 14-night Western Caribbean sailing from New York on Norwegian Breakaway.

Ireland

Weaknesses in the Irish public transport system continue to frustrate and deter tourists, a report for the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation concludes. The report notes the growth in non-car tourism and anticipates there could be 5.3m non-car tourists in Ireland by 2020. The report notes Ireland is behind its mainland European competitors in public transport facilities and says rural transport providers need to integrate scheduled services with key tourism facilities. Picture shows Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, CEO of ITIC.

PRESTIGIOUS INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL WRITERS’ CONFERENCE SET TO RETURN TO IRELAND IN 2017Ireland will host the 2017 Travel Classics International writers’ conference. The four-day conference, which will be attended by writers from Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Harper’s Bazaar and other publications, will take place along Ireland’s Ancient East. Fáilte Ireland will be organising pre and post fam trips.

Waterford council spent €1,000 a kilometre to clean up the R680 tourist route, between Kilmeaden and Carrick-on-Suir.

Dublin-based Express Bus Ltd took legal action over the Minister for Transport’s failure to renew its operating licence.

itasA tourist support office for victims of crime who are visiting Dublin has opened in Pearse Street Garda Station by the Irish Tourist Assistance Service. ITAS, which has assisted over 14,000 tourist crime victims since its inception, will operate from the station seven days a week. The service offered is free and confidential and will include emotional support and practical assistance which can include help with obtaining Emergency Travel Documents from embassies, rescheduling travel plans with airlines, accessing funds and complimentary accommodation, meals and transport in emergency situations.

Fáilte Ireland launched its domestic TV campaign to promote Ireland’s Ancient East.

city sightseeing bloomsdayPicture shows the free City Sightseeing Dublin Bloomsday vintage bus tour.

Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland launched the final door in the Door of Thrones promotion at Mary McBride’s, Cushendun, Co Antrim.

bus eireannBus Éireann’s Cork Harbour open top bus tour operates again this summer with a hop-on, hop-off service of Cork city, Fota Wildlife Park and Cobh.

Fáilte Ireland hosted 30 golf tour operators along the Wild Atlantic Way, staying and playing in the Northwest. The event was organised in partnership with the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) and Tourism Ireland.

failte bloggersFáilte Ireland hosted a group of bloggers on a tour of Ireland’s Ancient East. Picture shows the group at Loughcrew Cairns.

Fáilte Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way virtual reality experience can be downloaded via apps and desktop.

Deal Watch

  • Sunway offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Londra Hotel, Sorrento from €619pp, travel July. 7 nights B&B 2* Plisse Hotel, Sorrento from €639pp, travel July. 7 nights B&B 3* Metropole Hotel, Sorrento from €679pp, travel July. 7 nights B&B 3* Zi Teresa Hotel, Sorrento from €729pp, travel July. 7 nights self catering 2* Carmen Apartments, Sicily from €499pp, travel July. 7 nights B&B 3* Villa Linda, Sicily from €569pp, travel July. 7 nights B&B 4* Taormina Park Hotel, Sicily from €939pp, travel July. 7 nights B&B 3* Meridiana Hotel, Lake Garda from €749pp, travel July. 7 nights B&B 3* Mavino Hotel, Lake Garda from €799pp, travel July. 7 nights B&B 4* Portici Hotel, Lake Garda from €799pp, travel July. 7 nights self catering 2* Monte Verde Apartments, Gran Canaria from €499pp, depart July 9. 7 nights 2* Villa Florida Apartments, Fuerteventura from €549pp, depart July 9. 7 nights self catering 2* Bayside Apartments, the Algarve from €599pp, depart July 15. 7 nights self catering 2* Puerto Carment Aparthotel, Lanzarote from €649pp, depart August 6. 7 nights self catering 2* Vista Blanes Apartments, Menorca from €379pp, depart September 11. 7 nights 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, Kusadasi from €399pp, depart October 15. 7 nights self catering 2* Carmen Apartments, Sicily from €499pp, depart July 9. 7 nights B&B 3* Londra Hotel, Sorrento from €599pp, depart August 27. 7 nights B&B 3* Meridiana Hotel, Lake Garda from €749pp, depart July 9. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.
  • Travel Department offers: 7 nights half board hotel Adriatic Coast from €549pp incl. return flights, transfers, taxes, charges and excursions, depart between August and October. 7 nights half board hotel Dubrovnik from €659pp incl. return flights ex Dublin or Belfast, transfers, taxes, charges and excursions, depart between August and October. Visit traveldepartment.ie.
  • Lowcostbeds offers, based on 7 nights, 2+2, depart June 28: 3* Balaia Sol, Albuferia, the Algarve from €22pppn self catering. 3* Alcudia Centre, Alcudia, Majorca from €45pppn self catering. 3* Salou Suites, Salou from €11pppn self catering. See lowcostbeds.com.
  • falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Iris Hotel, Kos from €589pps, depart July 9. 7 nights self catering 3* Royal Sun Apartments, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €629pp, depart July 4. 7 nights self catering 3* Punta Del Rey Apartments, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €629pps, depart July 14. 7 nights self catering 3* Tinas Studios and Apartments, Faliraki, Rhodes from €579pp, depart July 6. 7 nights self catering 4* Marina Suites Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €1,469pps, depart December 24. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • thomson deal watchThomson offers: 7 nights B&B Helena Sands Bourgas, Bulgaria from €899pps, depart July 4. 7 nights self catering Nicon Apartments, Kos Town from €599pps, depart July 9. 7 nights self catering Nimar Villagio Afandou, Rhodes from €549pps, depart July 9. 7 nights half board Hotel Cala Bona, Majorca from €579pps, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering Mariners Club Alcudia, Majorca from €599pps, depart August 27. 7 nights half board Sensimar Los Gigantes, Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €1,199pps, depart December 23. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Click and Go offers: 7 nights self catering 4* Four Elements Suites Aparthotel, Salou from €289pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel October. 7 nights B&B 5* Real Marina Hotel & Spa, the Algarve from €299pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel November. 7 nights half board 4* Royal Al Andalus Hotel, Torremolinos, Costa del Sol for over 50s from €349pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel October. 3 nights B&B 4* Union Hotel, Prague from €159pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel December. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.
  • ITAA offers: 3 nights all inclusive Azamara mini cruise from €601pp, depart August 19. 7 nights full board Western Caribbean cruise from €1,489pp incl. return flights, transfers and 20kg baggage, depart September 10. 7 nights Danube river cruise on board the 4* MS Beethoven River cruise ship form €1,689pp incl. return flights, return transfer airport/port, meals, drinks on board, taxes and checked baggage, depart August 25.
  • Stein Travel Lanzarote offers:  7 nights self catering Atlantis Las Lomas from €590pp. 7 nights self catering El Guarapo Apartments from €605pp. 7 nights self catering Bellevue Aquarius from €635pp.  7 nights self catering 4* THB Tropical Island from €774 pp. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Mirador Papagayo from €825pp. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Dream Gran Castillo from €1,155pp. All prices based All prices based on 2+2 sharing and include flights departing Dublin Airport 17, 24 or 31 July.  Also Flight Only Prices 17-24 July €449, 24 – 31 July €449, 31 – 7 July €409. Visit www.steintravel.ie or call 01 517 5990.
  • Topflight Tuscany offers: 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Manzoni, Montecatini Terme from €869pp incl. return flights, return airport transfers, three dinners on excursion days, airport taxes, checked baggage and trees excursions, depart July 14. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.
  • Cassidy Travel Corfu offers, based on 7 nights, all prices incl. flights, transfers, accommodation, 20kg baggage pp, taxes and charges: From €519pp, depart July 5. from €525pp, depart July 19. From €369pp, depart August 13. from €359pp, depart August 23. From €249pp, depart September 13. From €249pp, depart September 24. From €249pp, depart October 1. Click here.
  • Royal Caribbean offers: 7 nights Arabian Gulf cruise on board Vision of the Seas from €1,204pp incl. all inclusive drinks, depart December 26. 12 nights Mediterranean Venice cruise on board Brilliance of the Seas from €1,319pp, depart July 13. 7 nights Greek Isles cruise on board Jewel of the Seas from €1,692pp, depart August 28. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.

What we learned this week

What we learned this week: Those little overhead air vents give economy passengers have more access to cold air than business class passengers on most airline’s B777s. In business class you have to ask the crew to reduce the temperature for the entire cabin.

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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

Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

  • June 18-22 IPW (Pow Wow), New Orleans
  • June 22 Ethiopian 1st anniversary event
  • June 27 CLIA@ Cork
  • June 28 CLIA @Galway
  • June 29 CLIA@Dublin
  • June 28-July 2 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Madrid
  • July 6 Insight Vacations brochure launch
  • July 8 Gonzalo Ceballos farewell
  • July 11-17 Farnborough Air show
  • July 12 Skal evening function, Gibson Hotel
  • July 17 Foynes Air Show
  • July 18 Kimpton Hotels event
  • Aug 10 Sunway’s 50th
  • Aug 28 Travel trade fun day
  • Aug 30 MSC Splendida in Dublin
  • Aug 31 MSC Splendida in Cork
  • Sept 1 Virgin Atlantic golf day
  • Sept 3-4 Air Waves, Portrush
  • Sept 6-8 Seatrade Europe, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Sept 7-9, PATA Travel Mart, Jakarta
  • Sept 13 Aer Lingus Los Angeles trade event
  • Sept 14-16 Travelmart Latin America, Iguassu Falls, Brazil
  • Sept 15 United cup@Carton
  • Sept 29-Oct 2 Top Resa, Paris
  • Sept 10-13 FITA, Santa Cruz
  • Sept 19-22, Adventure Travel World Summit, Anchorage
  • Sept 25-27 World Routes, Chengdu
  • Sept 26-30 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Madrid
  • Sept 28 Sunway 50th Birthday Media & Suppliers Lunch, TBA
  • Oct 11 Skal function, Herbert Park Hotel
  • Oct 21 NI Travel Trade Awards, Newcastle, Co Down
  • Oct 29-Nov 1 Skål World Congress, Monaco,
  • Nov 7-9 WTM London
  • Nov 8 Skal tour of Guinness Storehouse
  • Nov 10 Scottish Travel Trade Awards,
  • Nov 11-12 Travel centres conference, Mulingar
  • Nov 19 Worldchoice conference, Sealed, Co Wexford
  • Nov 19-21 CLIA rivercruise conference, Amsterdam
  • Nov 25 ITTN Awards
  • Nov 26-28 ITAA conference, Uniworld Antoinette
  • Nov 29-Dec 1 IBTM World, Barcelona
  • Dec 2 American airlines trade event
  • Dec 9 Star alliance event
  • Dec 13 Skal president’s lunch
  • Dec 16 The Travel Corporation event

2017

  • Jan 20-22 2017 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25 2017 Irish Travel Industry Awards, Mansion House, Dublin
  • Jan 27-29 2017 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • February 19-20 2017 Holiday Show in Association with Shannon Airport UL Limerick
  • June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC

2018

  • Jan 19-21 2018 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 26-28 2018 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • May 19-23 2018 IPW (Pow Wow), Denver

2019 – 2024

  • Jan 18-20 2019 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25-27 2019 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim
  • May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas
  • April 24-28 2021 IPW (Pow Wow), Chicago
  • June 4-8 2022 IPW (Pow Wow), Orlando
  • May 20-23, 2023 IPW (Pow Wow), San Antonio
  • May 4-8, 2024 IPW (Pow Wow), Los Angeles

2019 – 2024

  • Jan 18-20 2019 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25-27 2019 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim
  • May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas
  • April 24-28 2021 IPW (Pow Wow), Chicago
  • June 4-8 2022 IPW (Pow Wow), Orlando
  • May 20-23, 2023 IPW (Pow Wow), San Antonio
  • May 4-8, 2024 IPW (Pow Wow), Los Angeles

Previous editions of TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday supplement

Previous issues

June 2016: USA issue
May 2016: Canada issue
April 2016: Cruise issue
March 2016: Awards issue
February 2016: Holiday World issue
December/January 2015/16: Bridal issue
November 2015: Winter cruise issue
October 2015: Ski issue
September 2015: Accommodation issue

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