TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday supplement: The new 24-7, Viking delight for 4 Irish airports, 7 new T/A routes & 24 flights a week


Sunrise over Jenny Dixon beach on the New South Wales Central Coast, February 24 2017

  • 24 weekly flights, 7 routes, 4 airports
  • Norwegian’s cheapest fares sell out in minutes
  • Thailand hosts the trade in three cities
  • Uniworld MD comes to town
  • Watch the Goanna Girl pull a lizard from NSW restaurant 
  • Noma loses its Michelin Star, Faroes & Iceland get their first
  • CIE tours honours 99 hotels and attractions

Travel Extra TV.

Watch here as 25 year old Samia Lila from France on a working holiday as a waitress in Mimosa Wines in Bermagui, New South Wales evicted a 180 cm long Goanna from under a chair, causing shrieks from the guests. She has become known as Goanna girl.

Behind the Headlines

Bjørn Kjos CEO of Norwegian

Norwegian sold 5,000 seats in six hours and the headline grabbing 69 fares were snapped up in less than 69 minutes after their twice-postponed decision to announce 24-7 operations in  Ireland. They intend roling out seven new routes and 24 weekly flights from four Irish airports: as many trans-Atlantic routes revealed before lunchtime on Thursday as Aer Lingus did in the first 70 years of its history and, indeed, operated in 2012 (how this will be achieved with just three 737-800s cleared for Etops-180 is not clear). Despite reports elsewhere (and an exchange between Norwegian and Aer Lingus on twitter), it is still undecided whether they will use US CBP at Dublin airport, which has implications for which terminal Norwegian will use. Belfast (2w), Cork (2w) and Dublin (3w on both routes) are scheduled through winter. Norwegian also announced Edinburgh-Hartford which has further implications for Aer Lingus feeder. Game on, and what a game.

Amid all the kafuffle about the new trans-Atlantic routes it is easy to lose track of the short haul routes that have been added to Ireland’s route list. Norwegian are introducing Stockholm 2w from June. BA launching weekly Ibiza from 19 May. Inverness increased from from 7w to 9w double daily on Saturday and Sunday. WOW is increasing to daily from June 4 to mid September up from 5w last summer, and then daily again from November.

Cliffs of Moher was selected as best visitor attraction at the annual CIE tours awards, hosted for the first time by new CEO Elizabeth Crabill at Dublin Castle. Picture shows Katherine Webster of Cliffs of Moher and Ger Dollard, Service Manager, Clare Co. Council, pictured with Vivienne Jupp, Chair of CIE Tours and Elizabeth Crabill. Atlantic sheepdogs in Grange, Co Sligo won the best tour feature. Shelbourne Hotel, Radisson Blu Golden Lane and Benners Hotel, Dingle won the national hotel awards, Sliabh Liag Cliffs, Co Donegal won the National Heritage Award. Ronan McNamara of Derry Walking Tours won the walking tour award. Accommmodation, service and dining awards went to Kilronan Castle, Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon, Granville Hotel, Waterford, Killeen House Hotel, Killarney, and The Merry Ploughboy in Rockbrook, Co Dublin. See full list of 99 award winners hereSee more pictures here or connect with the album of Facebook. Watch here Katherine Webster, manager of the Cliffs of Moher centre, interviewed by Travel Extrawatch here Katherine Webster speaking at the centre’s tenth anniversary, watch here Bill Chambers, Cathaoirleach Clare County Council, and watch here Ger Dollard, director of services with Clare County Council. See more pictures of the anniverary event here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The Dublin photographic archive went on line this week, and the collection includes this splendid picture of the Aer Lingus office decorated for Christmas 1953. The price list in the corner indicates that Paris cost £22/12/- return, Amsterdam £22/10/-, London £11/10/-, Bristol £8/14/-, Edinburgh £8/6/-, Birmingham £8/5/-, Cardiff £7/18/-, Glasgow £7, Manchester £6/12/-, Liverpool £6/6/-, Shannon £4/10/- and Isle of Man £3/10/-. It was easy not getting caught in the rush. At the equivalent of €1,503, a trip to London cost more than a return fare to Australia does today, the equivalent of €2,953- the Paris fare- would get you to Sydney and back in business class today. The Aer Lingus offices were in Cathal Brugha St where you could check-in and get a bus to the Airport. Some readers will fondly remember that the latest check-in time was 20 minutes. How times change.

Travel Trade

Emma Arnott and Chris Lee of Thailand Tourism

Chris Lee and Emma Arnott of the Tourism Authority of Thailand hosted 58 agents in Dublin and 46 in Cork at their roadshows. Thailand reported 67, 273 visits from Ireland in 2016, up 3.9pc and have overtaken Australia for the first time as Ireland’s most popular long haul destination.

The Shannon holiday show was attended by 10,000 enthusiasts, a lively show for bookings and US destinations attracted a high level of interest.

Royal Caribbean appointed Amanda Darrington formerly of Funway

Amanda Darrington

Amanda Darrington

Holidays as sales director for Ireland and Britain in succession to Ben Bouldin who became London office director.

Ireland’s travel industry targeted corporate customers at the Business Travel Show in London. Watch here our video from the travel business show.

Sharon Jordan hosted Kathryn Beadle, London based two country MD for Uniworld in Dubin this week. Uniworld is expecting a large boost from TV Show “Cruising with Jane McDonald” which airs in England on Friday.

Other picture shows SKAL Dublin President Daragh O’Neill making a presentation to World President David Fisher who was in Ireland for the Joe Malone memorial service on Monday. This year’s AGM to be held at 12.30pm on Tuesday March 14th followed by lunch hosted by Ewan Plenderleith at the Herbert Park Hotel, €30 for members and €35 for guests.

Sharon Bershadsky has been appointed London-based Director of theisrael Government Tourist Office for Ireland and Britain in succession to Naama Oryan-Kaplan.

Hertz, Thrifty and Firefly will serve as Air France’s exclusive car rental providers for four years, following the renewal of the 28-year partnership between Hertz and Air France–KLM Group.

Tottalstay signed a hotel distribution agreement with Amadeus..

Strange world

From the Irish Simpsons fan page, a fast growing forum for the comedians out there: “Ryanair announce new measures to speed up boarding.

An American Eagle CRJ-700 operated by PSA Airlines carrying 44 passengers hit a deer at Charlotte Douglas Airport. There was a movie, Sully, about a similar incident in Charlotte when Canada geese were sucked into the engines.

So your dog does a poo in the middle of the airport, and you declare it’s not your problem and you are not going to clean it up. Hope that this man is not near enough to overhear you. Heroes: they walk among us.

TDs had a face-off in the Dail about which home town is the ‘world capital of tourism’: Westport or Killarney.

A tourist has been detained and may be facing up to a year in prison, after feeding fish breadcrumbs in a forbidden area in Thailand.


Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil was named best beach in the world in the Tripadvisor Reader’s choice awards, ahead of 2 Grace Bay Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, 3 Eagle Beach Aruba, 4 Playa Paraiso Cayo Largo Cuba, 5 Siesta beach, Siesta Key, Florida, 6 La Concha San Sebastian, 7 Playa Norte Isla Mujeres, 8 Radhanagar Beach Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 9 Elafonissi Beach, Greece; 10 Galapagos Beach, Tortuga Bay, Ecuador

Irish arrivals to the USA were down 12.6pc to end September 2016.

VisitBritain reported a record 37.3m inbound visits, up 3pc on 2015, with North America up 7pc.

An avalanche buried the crest of the main mountain highway between Reno and Lake Tahoe beneath 20 feet of snow.

  • weeklong strike by taxi drivers, against legislation they claim will benefit Uber, caused trouble in Rome, Milan and Turin
  • Butlin’s  seaside holiday park in Skegness is adding more two bedroom apartments.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland losses increased.
  • Jobs were threatened at Visit Florida after the state budget slashed.
  • Watch here Sunrise over Jenny Dixon beach in New South Wales.
  • Watch here the world’s top twenty theme parks by visitor numbers.
  • Watch here the world’s top twenty water parks by visitor numbers.
  • Watch here the top twenty museums by visitor numbers in 2015.

Food & Beverage

Not much surprise that Noma has been dropped from the Michein Star Nordic list. René Redzepi has closed the restaurant and has plans to move to bigger things. Iceland (Dill) and the Faroe Islands (KOKS) gained their first Michelin stars, while Denmark and Sweden both gained a new two-star restaurant. Maaemo in Oslo and Geranium in Copenhagen retained three star rankings while Magnus Nilsson’s Fäviken in Sweden retained its two stars.

Students at Shannon College of Hotel Management gave money raised from a pop-up restaurant night Le Temps Des Fleurs to the charity Médecins sans frontières.

‘Best Cookbook in Ireland’ in the Cooking Schools Category at the Gourmand International awards  was won by the O’Brien Press book ‘All in the Food- 75 years of Cathal Brugha Street.’

McDonald’s is to offer $1 sodas and $2 McCafe specialty drinks across the US

John Reynolds is to open a  gastro bar serving rustic Irish food at 5 Clarendon Market.

Healthy eating chain, Brian Lee‘s Chopped opened a new restaurant in UCD.

The Chili Shack in Abbeygate Street, Galway, is to open a new restaurant in Prussia Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin in March.

Enda O’Rourke’s Village Tavern Seafood Bar in Donegal is for sale.

Clancy’s Bar & Restaurant on 15-16 Princes Street in Cork through the city block to 29-31 Marlboro Street, abruptly closed having been in business since 1824.

The Irish Brewers Association revealed new cooling specifications for draught beer.

Cask, a new restaurant specialising in artisan cocktails and ‘multicultural small plates’ is to open on McCurtain Street, Cork,

Lidl have been refused planning permission to demolish the Belgard Inn in Tallaght.


Ireland’s hoteliers gather in the Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny for the IHF Conference this week. Watch here IHF President Joe Dolan speaking about his mission to tackle seasonality and regionality in irish hotels.

Alan Smullen GM of the Croke Park Hotel.

Following the hugely successful Tripadvisor readers’ choice awards, the third biggest of England’s online travel agencies, Travel Republic, owned by Emirates and headed up by Ian Simmonds, eventually inaugurated their awards this week. Alan Smullen’s Croke Park hotewas selected as best Irish hotel.

STR Global reported occupancy in Europe is up 5.1pc in January  to 57.1pc, ADR up 2.4pc to €99.25 and RevPAR up 7.6pc to €56.66.  France bounced back from a weak January 2016 marred by security concerns with occupancy up 9.2pc to 55.8pc and Revpar in Paris up 29.7pc, Charles de Gaulle Airport up 11.7pc, Lyon up 44.6pc and Toulouse up 12.1pc.

Tom Barrett of Savill’s

Tom Barrett of Savills Ireland predicted hotel capacity would grow by just 180 bedrooms in 2017, including 73 bedrooms to the North Star Hotel on Amiens, followed by 1,500 new bedrooms in 2018, helped by two new Dalata hotels, a Clayton on Charlemont Street in Dublin 2 (178 bedrooms) and a Maldron on Kevin Street Upper in Dublin 8, the 202-bedroom Aloft Hotel in Dublin’s Liberties and Oakmount’s 41 bedroom hotel in Ranelagh, and 2,000 new bedrooms in 2019, the 402-bedroom Terminal 2 linked hotel at Dublin Airport, extensions to a number of existing airport hotels and an “interesting trend”” ten aparthotel developments raging in size from 50 to 250 bedrooms. Savill’s say Ireland’s ‘unique’ market sees hotel sales top €850m in 2015. One third of Irish hotels have changed hands since 2011 for a combined sales value of €2.4bn.

Ballinacurra House won the wedding venue of the year award at the Weddingsonline Irish weddings awards for 2017 with Garryvoe in Ballycotton, Lough Eske in Donegal, Radisson Blu in Sligo and Rathsallagh Co Wicklow winning provincial awards. Other winners included Barberstown as best Castle venue, Ballinacurra House for Exclusive venue, Red Door for restaurant venue and Landmark in Carrick on Shannon for waterside venue. Ballymagarvey VillageFour Seasons in Carlingford and Monaghan, the Brehon in Killarney, and Armada Hotel in Spanish Point were commended. Picture shows Jonathan Bryans of with the Rathsallagh group  Catherine Kehoe, Abhi Tiwari, Sarah O’Flynn, Joe O’Flynn and Aoibhin Garrihy. Dunmore House Hotel in Clonakilty Bay was named Irish National Wedding Venue of the Year at the rival Creative Oceanic Irish wedding awards.

The three-star 350-bedroom Connacht Hotel in Galway City saw pre-tax profits increase eight-fold to €1.458m.

Louise O’Hara’s 114 bedroom Park Inn by Radisson Shannon Airport is at the final stage of its three-year, €1.8 refurbishment to include the refurbishment of the world-famous Blair’s Bar, which will retain its iconic open turf fire.

Gleann Hospitality were the purchasers of the 104 bedroom D hotel in Drogheda earlier this year.

The 14 bedroom guest house Ouvane Falls Inn and restaurant in Bantry is for sale.

Hilton reported a 1.8pc RevPAR increase in 2016.


AerCap fleet portfolio reached 1566 aircraft at end of 2016, with 99.5pc utilisation. Aercap posted a $1.04bn profit in 2016. Gus Kelly questioned the durability of aircraft manufacturers’ output plans. Aercap reported financial results for 2016 and authorised new share repurchase programme of $350m. See Aercap corporate video.

Shane Ross at the National Civil Aviation Development Forum. Photo: Maxwells

Shane Ross at the National Civil Aviation Development Forum. Photo: Maxwells

Shane Ross told the national civil aviation development forum that he thought he knew what the answer was on the question of whether the third terminal in Dublin airport should be privately owned. Toronto Pearson and Brussels Zaventem are the two airports in which Kevin Toland said policy was reversed after they had attempted to operate private terminals and failed. Listen here to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry discussing the prospect of the third terminal in Dublin Airport on RTE Morning Ireland.  Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry, eagarthóir Travel Extra ar Adhmhaidin ar Raidio na Gaeltachta.

British Airways announced a weekly seasonal service from Dublin to Ibiza.

Schiphol airport is to introduce ultraviolet scanners.

BMI is to operate the Derry-Stansted public service obligation service when it is vacated by Ryanair next month, operating double daily flights instead of the previous daily service after a pledge of Government funding.

Cork airport is to move the bulk of its food offerings airside in keeping with internatioinal trends.

Flybe brought nine training Medical Alert Dogs on board as part of the dogs’ socialisation programme.

Ryanair now asks 26pc of passengers to check in bags at the gate free of charge.

Air France low cost subsidiary Boost was cleared for takeoff by Air France pilots.

Work began on a €2.9m retail development at Belfast International Airport.

Stobart air closed in on an SAS contract.

American Airlines began selling basic economy in ten markets, with travel beginning March 1.

‏‏‏‏Enda Kenny will receive the airport preclearance review this week.

Fora looked at Ryanair’s ‘very up and down’ relationship with Shannon airport.

British Airways announced Dublin to Ibiza ,see Dublin airport release here.

Foynes air show released its 2017 programme.

Google bid to strike out an amended Ryanair claim was rejected.

Ryanair launched a record winter 2017 Scotland schedule.

Qantas revealed its next generation Premium Economy seat to debut on the airline’s fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from October.

Alitalia announced the successful implementation of Travelport Rapid Reprice.

IAG results showed that Aer Lingus operating profit rose to €233m in 2016, 2017 Capacity for Q1 was up 15.8pc and up 11.8pc for full year 2017.

CarTrawler was appointed as exclusive car hire and ground transportation partner to Jetstar.

Shannon Duty Free Shop is planning a grand 70th anniversary celebration.

Alan Joyce said Qantas was “boxing clever.”

Ryanair added Dublin St Patrick’s Day weekend services.

SWISS is to launch new Cork service in summer 2017.

Five non-European airlines have been threatened with legal action for not compensating passengers for delayed flights to or from the EU. American Airlines, Etihad, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines.

Leeham news decreed Ryanair the cheapest and most profitable airline in Europe.

Emirates is to fly daily to Phnom Phen in Cambodia via Dubai.

Read here Conor McMahon’s analysis of Ryanair’s very up and down relationship with Shannon airport.

Watch here an example of the A380 experience on board Emirates.


  • Carlingford Lough Greenore to Greencastle ferry service will begin in summer.
  • John Galligan Travel is organising an Antarctica cruise.
  • CLIA introduced new selling tools for agents. CLIA announced a new council chair Claire Brighton.
  • Disney Cruise Line’s Summer 2018 sailings will include a first-time call to Cork, Disney were the big winners in the Cruise Critic cruisers choice awards.
  • Saga Cruises says its first new-build cruise ship, the 999-passenger Project Olympic will debut in summer 2019 and will have 540 all-balcony cabins and suites, including 81 which will be designed specifically or solo passengers.
  • Royal Caribbean is adding lifeguards and, water safety signage to all cruise ships.
  • Ciara Flynn from Dublin, who earns a living working as a tour guide for European coach network Busabout, won Royal Caribbean’s instagram ‘intern-ship’ competition.
  • Avalon Waterways released its 2018 preview, featuring its most popular European and Southeast Asia river cruises
  • Claire Brighton from Advantage Travel Partnership is the new Chair of the CLIA Travel Agent Advisory Council.
  • Arlene Foster’s campaign against the Irish language has led to fisheries protection boat Banrion Uladh being renamed the Queen of Ulster. The former first minister claimed recently there are more Polish speakers than Irish speakers in the six counties, the 2011 census showed five times as many Irish speakers as Polish speakers,104,943 as against 19,747.


Four Kerry beaches featured among the top six in Ireland in the Tripadvisor Reader’s choice awards headed by 1 Banna Strand in north Kerry; ahead of 2 Inchydoney beach Clonakility; 3 Derrynane Caherdaniel, Ring of Kerry; 4 Inch beach, Dingle peninsula; 5 Strandhill Sligo; 6 Coumeenoole Beach, Dingle; 7 Balreycove Schull, west Cork; 8 Curracloe, Wexford; 9 Narin, Donegal, 10 Dog’s Bay Roundstone, Galway.

Tourism Ireland and 15 tourism partners embarked on a four-city sales blitz in Canada, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto. Picture shows Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland; Michael Mullin, CIE Tours International; Jennifer Michael, National Trust Giant’s Causeway; Elaine McInaw, Lough Eske Castle; Jac Callan, Visit Belfast; Colin Wynne, Abbey Tours; Karen Cravens, Collette Vacations; Tony Keane, The Irish Tourism Group; Tanya Johnston, Royal Irish Tours; Assumpta O’Neill, Titanic Belfast; Siobhán Byrne Learat, Adams & Butler; Shane Clarke, Tourism Ireland; Alison Deegan, Manor House and Irish Country Hotels; Ann Kilcoyne, Glasnevin Cemetery Museum; Peter Ouzounov, Globus; Dervla O’Neill, EPIC Ireland; and Jonathan Sargeant, Tourism Ireland, at the Tourism Ireland workshop in Vancouver. Tourism Ireland teamed up with Flybe and Cork Airport, to promote flights to Cork from Cardiff and grow tourist numbers to the South of Ireland this year.

Lismore Castle opened its doors to serve cream tea for a day

County Clare lifesavers dominated at Irish Water Safety’s National Lifesaving Championships in the University of Limerick

St Mary’s University College, Belfast won the Sigerson Cup after stopping at Knock Shrine to pray before and after the match.

The GAA Museum launched new Junior Explorer Tours for families.

Sligo Food Trail launched a glossy new Spring/Early summer brochure.

Storm Doris uprooted a tree at Game of Thrones Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland.

Construction of €233m Irish Center Parcs village will commence within weeks after the company awarded its first major contract to Roadbridge.

Kilkenny Whiskey Guild launched activities in ten city venues.

Watch here the top 20 tourist attractions in Ireland 2016

Deal Watch

What we learned

“State room”, that term that cruise lines insist agents should use in place of the less genteel sounding “cabin”, were first used by Mississippi Steamers, which named their rooms after the states of the USA. So says someone who should know Retired Captain Clarke C (Doc) Hawley speaking to travel media on board Steamboat Natchez in New Orleans. Watch here.


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