TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Michael O’Leary trims the numbers and blames Dublin airport

lufthansa-ad-september 24


Catherine Grennell Whyte, Barbara Ryan and Mary Kane pose at the viewing platform near the summit of Zugspitze, September 2 2016

Catherine Grennell Whyte, Barbara Rowley and Mary Kane pose at the viewing platform near the summit of Zugspitze, September 2 2016





  • The world’s biggest cruise ship touches water for the first time
  • Michael O’Leary trims 3pc of Dublin flights, so what’s the story?
  • Ireland has 15th most valuable passport
  • Luxury Belmond Grand Hibernian makes first tracks
  • Brand new EI_NFG launches Aer Lingus-Newark service.
  • Deutsche Bahn go right to the top in the German mountains
  • Governor of Georgia leads trade mission to Dublin
  • Victims of their own success, Cliffs of Moher have to manage the crowds
  • Dublin’s museums break visitor records

Travel Extra TV

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 16.05.15This young golfer knocks a drone out of the sky. Watch here.

  • See inside EmiratesA380 on its inaugural flight in this 360º video. Watch here.
  • A family of bears drop by to hang out in a hammock. Watch here.
  • …while this bear takes a shining to a GoPro. Watch here.
  • Curious humpback whales take an interest in a tour boat in the Bay of Fundy, North Carolina. Watch here.
  • Would you have the guts to unicycle on a chimney? Watch here.
  • This young pup goes surfing for the first time. Watch here.
  • Up close and personal with an orca pod in New Zealand. Watch here.
  • See footage of the O’Donovan brothers homecoming at Cork Airport. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

When Ryanair cut air services from one of their airport bases, they always seem to blame somebody else. So it was on Thursday when they said they were trimming summer 2017 services from Dublin by 3pc, a figure that mirrors almost exactly the predicted fall in English outbound travel caused by the EU referendum result. Michael O’Leary and Kenny Jacobs hosted the press conference at Swords and managed to blame Dublin airport for the cutbacks of about 300,000 seats or 1,600 flights, citing the ending of the Dublin Airport growth incentives. Does Ryanair know something we don’t? Could the growth incentive policy be about to be cut as Dublin airport marches on towards 28m passengers in 2016 and 31m in 2017, even allowing for Ryanair’s cuts? Listen here to Michael O’Leary’s presentation at the event. Watch here Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry speaking about Ryanair’s proposed capacity cuts.

visitor atractions 2016

As Ireland’s visitor attractions weigh up their summer numbers, the big mover for 2016 has been the National Museum at Collins Barracks which will pass Kildare Street as the museums’ biggest crowd-puller. Figures are up by 64pc putting the museum on course for 485,000 visitors in 2016 with Kildare St just behind on 466,000. Interest in the 1916 exhibtions did not fall off and has continued at a high level during the summer making this a record year for Collins Barracks. The new GPO Witness History centre at the GPO recorded 115,000 visitors in first five months of operation.

Dublin’s museums are having a great year. The National Gallery is up by 21.2pc and Book of Kells up 12pc bringing both past the Giant’s Causeway as Ireland’s fifth and sixth most popular visitor attractions. IMMA is up 23pc and on course for 600,000 or 11th place. Chester Beatty Library is up 8pc and on course for 372,000. The Natural History Museum is up 7pc and on course for 343,000. Shannon heritage sites are up 5pc to 427,000 admissions to its core portfolio of attractions and entertainment options so far this year.

The National Aquatic Centre will become the fourth visitor attraction to host 1m visitors if its 6pc increase is sustained. Guinness Storehouse is up 8pc and on course for a record 1.6m while the Cliffs of Moher are up 13pc and on course for 1.4m. Guinness Storehouse English visitors are up 9.3pc and are now 26pc of the total, and the USA is up 18pc to 23.6pc of the total, if trends continue the USA will become the Storehouse’s main market in 2017.

The Cliffs of Moher passed their millionth visitor for 2016 on Monday 22nd August, 21 days earlier than in 2015 when the millionth visitor arrived on 12th September and 59 days earlier than 2014 and implemented what it calls a string of measures to maintain the quality of the experience.

Another attraction with capacity issues is the Little Museum of Dublin which saw a rise of 23pc in first quarter and put a cap on tour numbers in the wake of this to improve visitor experience and are now operating at similar numbers to last year since April. The Little Museum says it is turning away 18-23pc of visitors due to capacity issues. The Science Gallery is up 6.4pc to 291,000 visitors compared with 272,000 at the same time last year. Dublinia says numbers are slightly up on last year, with a big increase in the American market. Newbridge Silverware say, “figures are on par with last year and they are on target to achieve approx 350k by year end.  It has been a very good August for us.”

Antonio Paradiso of MSC and Celine Kenny of Cruisescapes at the MSC Mewraviglia float our in St Nazaire, September 2 2016

MSC Bellissima is to be the name of its second Meraviglia-class ship, the cruise line revealed at the float out of Meraviglia, at the STX France shipyard in Saint Nazaire. MSC hosted 100 agents from around the world at the event, including two from Ireland. Rebecca Kelly and Antonio Paradiso, MD for Britain and Ireland led agents through the ship. Picture shows Antonio Paradiso of MSC and Celine Kenny of Cruisescapes.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on FacebookWatch here the MSC announcement in the Palace d’Elysses of a further ship build contract in St Nazaire.

Irish travel trade and media on Zugspitze during the Deotusch Bahn fam tip to Bavaria: Barbara Rowley and Catherine Grennell Whyte of ATTS/Deutsch Bahn, Mary Kane of Kane's Travel Longford, Sabrina Vonsowski of Club Travel, Michael Flood of Irish Travel Trade News, Stephanie Ronge of Zugspitze tourism, front: Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra and Shane Cullen of Killiney Travel/Travelbiz, September 2 2016

Deutsche Bahn hosted a group of Irish travel trade and media in Bavaria and then sampled the DB lounge in Munich and the journey to Frankfurt en Main in the panoramic carriage. The group was hosted at the Dorint Hotel in 1936 Winter Olympic venue Garmisch and the new Star Inn Premium in Munich. Bavarian food and beer was sampled along the way and Travel Extra’s editor made the climb to the top of Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, cheered on by the group who travelled as far as the viewing platform just below. PIcture shows Barbara Rowley and Catherine Grennell Whyte of ATTS/Deutsch Bahn, Mary Kane of Kane’s Travel Longford,  Sabrina Vonsowski of Club Travel, Michael Flood of Irish Travel Trade News, Stephanie Ronge of Zugspitze tourism, front: Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra and Shane Cullen of Killiney Travel/Travelbiz. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

According to a survey of visa restrictions by Henley & partners, Ireland has the 15th most valuable passport. The value of a passport is determined by the countries to which you can travel with that passport, without visas.


Travel Trade

CSO statistics showed trips by Irish residents overseas from May to July 2016 were up 3.7pc.

funday2The Travel Trade Fun Day in Wanderer’s Rugby Club, raised €55,000 for Simon, Chernobyl Children and Jigsaw. Sunway defeated Topflight in the 5 a side soccer final.

Cassidy Travel appointed Ann Marie Durkin, formerly manager in the Cassidy Travel Tallaght office, to a new role looking after trade relations. Sharon Harney, formerly of Thomas Cook Ireland, has joined Cassidy Travel in a senior management role with responsibility for Product and Distribution.

mandy-burrie-portrait-150x150Mandy Burrie joined Celebrity Cruises as sales director for Britain and ireland.

The Germany Travel awards announced Oct 28 as the deadline for entires for awards ro the trade in four categories, best tour operator, best coach tour operator, best OTA, and unique Contribution to German Tourism.

andreas kosterLufthansa appointed Andreas Köster as senior director fo sales for Britain and Ireland.

Aer Lingus hosted 26 strategic partners and product managers at a Discover New England workshop in the Westbury Hotel.

Crystal Ski Holidays launched ‘its 196-page Guide to the Mountain.



Aiden Murphy 001Hotel Industry in Ireland has  increased occupancy levels by 3.3p, acording to Aiden Murphy’s The Crowe Horwath Ireland Hotel Industry report.

Nevgul Bilsel Safkan has been appointed as HotelsPro’s new managing director.


The annual survey by Henley & Partners found ireland has the 15th most valuable passport in the world.  Most valuable is Germany and least valuable is Afghanistan.

Greece has introduced a departure tax to fund investment in 14 Greek airports.

German airport operator Fraport is to run 14 regional airports, including three on the mainland, in Thessaloniki, Aktio and Kavala, and 11 on the Greek islands of Crete, Corfu, Kefalonia, Kos, Mitilini, Kykonos, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos and Zakynthos.

A fee of €13 per departing passenger will be applied for the next four years, starting in 2017, which could rise to €18 once the project is finished in 2020. and Affirm have launched a new service which enables US customers to buy plane tickets in monthly instalments. By booking through both companies, customers can finance airline tickets in three, six or 12-month purchase plans.


Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal were in attendance at the Georgia USA tourism event at Rustic Stone on Friday September 2. The event was organised by the Georgia tourism department to promote Irish travel in the US state with head of tourism Kevin Langston also in attendance and marshaling the event. A full delegation from both Georgia USA’s tourism and economic departments were in attendance to develop relationships in both sectors in Ireland. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Food and beverage

Michelin-star Dublin restaurant Chapter One increased its accumulated profits to €308,734.


Aer Lingus Dublin to Newark

Aer Lingus Dublin to Newark

Aer Lingus received delivery of their latest Airbus A330-302 EI-FNG c/n 1742 on Wednesday, just in time for it to take off on the carrier’s inaugural flight to Newark. The inaugural flight EI101 to Newark, New Jersey, an Airbus A330-202, named St Caoimhe, took off from Dublin airport at 12.55pm with 50pc of passengers having started their journey outside of Dublin in destinations such as Paris, Brussels, Hamburg, Manchester, London and Edinburgh.

Turkish are to reduce Dublin flights to Istanbul Ataturk from 14 to 10 weekly from October 30 to March 15.

Two more pilots were stopped for exceeding the alcohol limit of 0.02 at Glasgow. United Airlines flight was delayed by ten hours. So why Glasgow? One forum poster claimed the bar staff in the Holiday Inn have a reputation for shopping pilots, usually getting it wrong. Must be true then.

Swiss International Airlines has presented its latest passenger airline, the 125-seat Bombardier C Series 100, to the international press, in Budapest.

Swiss Bombardier plane

Starbucks is set to open a new café in the departures lounge of George Best Belfast City Airport, creating 25 jobs in the process.The new café will be the 19th Starbucks in the north.

The ECC reported that four out of ten complaints relate to aviation.


Irish Ferries launched the France 2017 programme with a 10pc discount on early bookings. The ferry company’s parent ICG reported that car volumes were up 5.5pc in the first half of the year and passenger numbers were down 1.9pc to 686,600.. MV Kaitake is to remain on charter until June 2020.

Andy Harmer of CLIA speaking during the CLIA rivercruise conference in Amsterdam, November 22 2015

The CLIA Britain and Ireland conference for 2017 is set for May 24-26 in Southampton. Picture shows Andy harmer.

Le Boat, the TUI owned parent of Emerald Star river cruise hire company, has announced the launch of a new wave of Horizon models in 2017. Le Boat will expand its current fleet and launch three new high-end self-drive Horizon models to suit larger groups in 2017, following what the company describes as the sell-out success of the 2016 Horizon boat, designed with a focus on couples and small families.


Belmond Grand Hibernian

Belmond Grand Hibernian

The Belmond Grand Hibernian set off for its first journey from Dublin this week, a first for luxury sleeper trains in Ireland. The inaugural journey left from Heuston Station last Tuesday on its first six-night Grand Tour of Ireland. The longest train in Ireland carrier 40 passengers and incorporates two dining rooms and an observation deck and full bar. Full details and prices are to be found here.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The Dodder Greenway, the Grand Canal Greenway, Phase Four of the Royal Canal Greenway, the Clonskeagh to City scheme, the Drury St cycle parking  project and the Heuston to Chapelizod Greenway have all been put on hold because of the cost of the Luas cross city project..

Deal Watch


  • 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
    • Feb 19-20 2017 Holiday Show in Association with Shannon Airport UL Limerick
    • Mar 22 2017 Irish Travel Industry Trade Show, Hall 3 RDS Main Hall Complex
    • 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

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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