TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Remember 1014, Aer Lingus will take SEVEN shiny new A321 Neo to the battle with Norwegian


Travel Counsellors Irish team are photographed at their Irish conference in Fota

  • Things to know about travel this week
  • Italian tourist board to open office in Dublin 
  • Kristin Skinner joins Blue Polo Magnifico finalists 
  • Dublin airport runway gets planning extension 
  • ITIC does Brexit: will 12m solve the problem? 
  • Remember 1014? Aer Lingus readies seven A321s for the next battle of Clontarf.

Travel Extra TV

  • Everybody wants a little love. Here’s what 60 years of flight has taught Bette Nash, the 80-year-old flight attendant who has no plans to retire any time soon. Watch here.
  • See the world through Conor Murray’s eyes (sort of) in this clip from Aer LingusWatch here.
  • Take a look at ANA’s unique A380 livery, slated for 2018. The green sea turtle aircraft will serve its Tokyo-Hawaii route. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland looks back at the best of Fleadh Cheoil 2016 in Ennis. Watch here.
  • Ryanair posted a slideshow of its winter 2017/18 routes. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

The date for the Limerick Travel show in Association with Shannon Airport is February 3 and 4 2017. This means that the Belfast, Dublin and Limerick shows wil take place on successive weekends. The recent Shannon holiday show was attended by 10,000.

Remember 1014? Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh outlined that Aer Lingus would use their seven shiny new A321neos in a different way than Norwegian when they hit the trans-Atlantic skies from the second quarter of 2019, with three arriving in 2019 and four in 2020. The aircraft are to be leased from Steven Udvar-Házy’s Air Lease Corporation will initially replace the 757 on thin routes, such as the Shannon winter routes, Hartford and Toronto but it opens up 80 extra east coast USA and Canada opportunities direct for Aer Lingus. The aircraft have 186 seats, 12 in business class and 174 in economy. See press release here.

Flavio Zappacosta has confirmed that the Italian tourist board are to open an office in Dublin, a welcome reversal of the years when tourist boards were closing their offices. Britain, France and Cyprus have all closed their offices in recent years.

Travel Counsellors Irish headquarters team did not have far to go to host the group’s 2017 Irish conference. Fota resort hosted the group for the second time and it was a suitably lively affair.  The 58 Irish travel counsellors and a few recruits and potential recruits were joined by nine airlines, three DMC’s, six cruise lines, five tourist boards, four hotel reps, six tour operators, two bedbanks, and six other parties, The home-working alliance’s reputation for partying was upheld nobly at the functions in the golf club and the main hotel bar, which was kept busy over the three days of networking sessions, sponsor pitches and a supplier pow-wow which worked with military precision. Among the headquarters staff who joined them for the conference was the new sales manager, Jim Eastwood, from the famous Tyrone family, a former Tyrone under-21 GAA star who is looking forward to his new role with the company. Picture shows the Travel Counsellors Irish team, Rachel O’Connell, Ciara MacConnell, Cathy Burke, Bernie Whelan and Caitriona Kelleher. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Picture shows Fiona Flaherty of Fahy Travel and her client Jane Coyne being presented by Brian Hynes with €1,000 each after their success in the €1,000 for the agent and a €1,000 for the client’ competition run by The Travel Corporation’s Insight Vacations, Uniworld River Cruise, Contiki Holidays and Red Carnation Hotels. Previous winners were Elaine Massey in Killiney Travel and Wendy McCartney in American Holidays.

Emirates and Qatar showcased their new business class product at ITB in Berlin. The four day extravanganza had two Irish stands for the second year, with Failte Ireland exhibiting as part of the adventure pavilion and Tourism Ireland’s official stand in the Europe section. The Irish party on Wednesday night in the harp bar was a highlight of the social scene at the international fair. Picture shows Denise Quinn, Chris Buebel and Ciara Schmidt on the Tourism Ireland stand.

Registration is now open for the third Irish Travel Industry Trade Show which takes place on the RDS Main hall on March 22. With 140 exhibitors, this is the largest trade show held in Ireland, open to travel agents and tour operators. Following Travelsavers and Worldchoice management meetings in the morning, the Spanish tourist office and Paradores will hold a lunch for invited guests from 12.30. The show will be officially opened by ITAA president Cormac Meehan at 2pm. There will be a reception in the Portuguese village form 6.15pm before the trade show closes at 7pm and will be followed by a barbecue for registered guests. Register here.

The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation report on Brexit asked for an extra 12m for state agencies. Picture shows Aine Kavanagh of Guinness Storehouse and Eoghan O’Mara Walsh CEO of ITIC at the launch. Watch here Paul Gallagher on “the four real issues around Brexit.” Watch here Paul Gallagher pointing out that tourism is not seen as part of the export sector. Watch here Paul Gallagher: “If we need to join Shenghen, yes we should join Shenghen.” Also from the report launch, Watch here the dialogue around 9pc VAT rate, Watch here No hard data on how British market will respond, Watch here AirBNB & De Facto Hotels, Watch here Nick Mottram speaking about how ferry services could be affected by Brexit, Watch here What will happen if Irish tourism does not get extra Brexit funding, Watch here We may not get all of the 12m, Watch here We have been too reliant on the British market, Watch here Tourism gets left behind because we don’t agitate enough, Watch here Tourism belongs with transport, Watch here Dublin has had a lost decade in hotels

Travel Trade

The winners of the Travel Counsellors awards at Fota were: Best cruise Douglas Hastings, Best Phenix Jeanette Coughlan, Best margin Jennifer O’Brien, Best dmc sale Mary Foyle, Best business increase Kathy O’Sullivan & Sue Cahill, Best corporate Lorraine Lawless, Best newcomer Dian Bowman, Best overall Sarah McCarthy. Picture shows Sarah McCarthy with her parents Frank and Bridie.

Picture shows Hugh Bruton giving a few tips to Derry Clarke at the Kitchen in L’Ecrivain where Brittany Ferries hosted travel media. Mike Bevans said passenger numbers were up in 2016.

Ian Walsh won the prize of two return business class tickets from Turkish Airlines at The Travel Counsellors Ireland conference. Watch here for his reaction.

Silversea and Turkish are running a four week agent incentive where agents who book a Turkish airlines flights and Silversea cruise can enter a draw for business class tickets. The partners are also organising a fam trip to Singapore in the autumn. Watch here interview with Amanda Middler. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Topflight hosted 100 on the Copperfaced Jack’s ski trip.

The Skal AGM to be held at 12.30pm on Tuesday followed by lunch hosted by Ewan Plenderleith at the Herbert Park Hotel, €30 for members and €35 for guests.

Turkish Airlines and a group of Seychelles hotel chains will host 58 agents in Cork tomorrow night.

John Grehan of GA adventure tours show-cased their marine product at events in Dublin, where they hosted 52 travel agents and in Cork where they hosted 40. The product presentation was followed by a Cahoots phone app quiz.

The first TIGS outing of the year, with new sponsor Shannon Airport takes place at Portmarnock LinksMarch .23rd, Singles Stableford Ladies/Gents Members  €50  Guests €75. Tee time requests

Sandals is to launch an English tour operation next month.

Strange world

Passengers on a diverted KLM flight to St John’s were told it was not possible to exit the aircraft  because of nine horses. The horses, which could not be unloaded due to lack of ground support, were balanced out by the passengers and if all passengers exited the aircraft would sit on its tail.

A British Airways flight was delayed by five hours due to lack of toilet roll. The London Independent listed other bizarre reasons for a flight delay from a Donald Trump speech to a loose screw

Vietnam bikini airline VietJet introduced scantily-clad flight attendants. Not for the first time.

Aer Lingus’ app will not accept apostrophes in surnames. Luckily no Irish surnames have those.

Ireland has ‘a tenuous claim to nationhood’ says Melanie Phillips- ambassador Dan Mulhall challenges this ‘strange farrago’. 

When a tree falls in the wood… Two skiers were  thrown from their gondola into a snowdrift.

Birmingham man sentenced to four years and six months in prison for starting a fire in the toilet on a Monarch flight.


Kenya issued reassurances to visitors after killing of safari company founder, woman, two children.

Thailand is to spend USD16bn to upgrade airports.

Gozo’s Game of Thrones sea arch on Dwerja bay collapsed in a storm.

Sri Lanka issued a dengue fever warning.

Heavy snow was forecast to hit New York.

Food & Beverage

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland served closure orders on Express Pizza take away on Lord Edward Street in Limerick, Punjab Pantry take away on 39 Richmond Street South, Dublin and Synergy Subs Ltd Subway in Drogheda, Jalapeno Mexican Cuisine Ltd on Drumcondra Road Lower, Dublin and Culleton’s Fish & Chips in Bansha in Tipperary.

Jack Nealon’s pub on Capel Street is to close next month.


PricewaterhouseCoopers claimed that Dublin hotel rates are set to rise by 30pc in three years. Dublin hotels had Europe’s highest occupancy levels, 82.5pc followed by London (81.3pc) and Amsterdam (78pc).

Belfast hotels enjoyed the third highest increase in occupancy levels.

Redundant workers were told they can reapply for their jobs at the newly revamped Adare Manor.

Mount Wolseley Hotel is for sale for €14.25m.

Lawlor’s Hotel in Naas has been granted planning permission for an extension with 80 rooms and a new ‘Sky’ restaurant and bar by Kildare County Council.


Dublin Airport’s north runway got a five-year planning extension. The company is to make a separate application to change the planning conditions relating to night flights. Watch here Kevin Toland on the issue.

Citywing ceased trading, cancelling flights linking the Isle of Man with Belfast. The former Manx2 rebranded in 2013 after the 2011 Flight 7100 Cork air crash and is a virtual airline, which does no flying itself and instead passes on the task to a “wet-leased” carrier. Services cancelled included  the only flights serving Gloucester and Blackpool airports, as well as flights from Isle of Man to Glasgow and Newcastle. It was supposed to take up Derry to Dublin flights last year but these failed to start.

Airports Council International‘s preliminary passenger data for 2016  named Atlanta the world’s busiest airport for the 19th year with 104m passengers, Beijing second place on 94m up 5pc, Dubai third up 7pc to 83m, Los Angeles fourth up 8pc to 81m, Shanghai up 10pc to 66m, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport 65m.

A survey by edreams rated Helsinki the best airport in the world with Dublin in tenth place.

Paul Bolger of said that €52m in refunds for airline disruption are not being claimed.

Nearly all flights were cancelled at Berlin airports due to strike, just as ITB delegates were returning.

The religious profiling scandal of Muhammad Ali’s son continued when he was stopped at an airport after testifying to Congress about harassment of muslims by the US TSA,

United Airlines employees, along with several members of Congress, are to stage a protest against Emirates’ new daily service between Newark and Athens.


Royal Caribbean’s next cruise ship will be the biggest of all time, Symphony of the Seas and will be based out of Miami.

Norwegian Joy floated out from Meyer Werft’s shipyard in Papenburg

The 1,830-passenger TUI Discovery will homeport in Newcastle from May 2018, and Southampton in September 2018

Viking River Cruises named the 190-passenger river cruise vessels Viking Hild and Viking Herja (Princess Stephanie Lowenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg’s bottle failed to break)  in Koblenz, bringing the number of Viking Longships to 48. Viking bought an Egyptian ship to be revamped for Nile River cruises.

The 114-passenger Caledonian Sky was refloated after running aground off the coast of Indonesia.

Hapag-Lloyd’s new expedition ships are to be named Hanseatic Nature and Hanseatic Inspiration.

Royal Caribbean are to revamp CocoCay private island in The Bahamas.

MSC for Me new technology, including wristwatch passes, is to debut on MSC Meraviglia in June. passengers can book restaurants, shore excursions and onboard preferences before they board the ship.

P&O Cruises is to Base Oceana in Dubai in 2019.

Carnival held a coin ceremony for the 3,936-passenger Carnival Horizon at a ceremony Friday in Fincantieri’s Marghera.

Adventure of the Seas has been refurbed with a new Chops Grille and studio cabins.


The restored Youghal Clock Gate Tower reopened offering a time travel experience.

Hailo rebranded as Daimler’s mytaxi.

Colm Tóibín and Terry Waite were confirmed for Immrama travel writing festival.

Crack or craic? Read Fintan Vallely here

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 3 nights B&B 5* Grandior Hotel Prague from €269pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel March. 7 nights half board 4* Beatriz Costa Teguise & Spa Hotel, Lanzarote from €1,119 2+1 incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. 3 nights 3* Kyriad Disneyland Resort Paris Hotel, Paris Disneyland from €699 2+1 incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel May. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €379pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. Visit or call 01 539 7777.

Cruise Holidays offers: 7 nights Med cruise on board Norwegian Epic from €1,079pp incl. return flights to Barcelona and all inclusive drinks package, depart October 15. 9 nights Miami and Caribbean cruise and stay on board Norwegian Escape from €1,659pp incl. return flights and all inclusive drinks package, depart October 19. 10 nights Orlando and Caribbean cruise and stay on board Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas from €1,249pp incl. return flights, depart May 4. 7 nights Med cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas from €999pp, depart April 21 2018.

Falcon offers: 7 nights all-inclusive 3* El Duque Aparthotel, Tenerife from €929pps, depart March 17. 7 nights self catering 2* Bellevue Club, Puerto De Alcudia, Majorca from €399pps, depart Shannon May 6. 7 nights self catering 2* Lanzarote Paradise Club, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €409pps, depart Cork May 18. 7 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou from €769pps, depart Knock July 11. 7 nights self catering 2* Loulas Village, Psarras, Corfu from €2,479, depart June 30. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,499pp, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,569pp, depart June 14.

Insight Vacations is offering 10 days Budapest, Vienna and Prague from €2,129pps incl. lights, transfers and accommodation. Book by May 12, depart June 2. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 12 nights South Africa tour from €1,795pp incl. return flights, 9 days car hire, B&B hotel accommodation and safari activities, book by March 21, travel July to September. 14 nights all inclusive Jamaica from €1,575pp incl. return flights, depart June 8. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Olhuveli Beach and Spa, Maldives from €2,349pps, incl. return flights, book by March 22, depart May 1.

Sunway offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Holel, Kusadasi from €299pps, depart May 13. 7 nights self catering 3* Ola Bouganvilla Apts, Majorca from €299pp, depart May 13, 20 or 27. 7 nights self catering 2* Puertocarmen Apts, Lanzarote from €309pp, depart May 6, 13, 20 or 27. 7 nights 3* Ramada Kissimmee, Orlando from €539pp, travel May. 3 nights 3* Stratosphere, Las Vegas from €549pp, travel May. 3 Nights 3* Essex Inn, Chicago from €755pp, travel November. 12 nights all inclusive Las Vegas, Miami & Caribbean cruise on board MSC Divina from €1,690pp, depart September 25.  7 nights all inclusive Italy and Greek Isles cruise on board NCL Star from €1,195pp, depart June 4. 11 nights full board Med cruise on Celebrity Reflection from €1,495pp, depart September 11. Visit

Thomson offers: 7 nights Colourful Coasts cruise, Tenerife on board Thomson Majesty from €709pps, depart March 24. 7 nights B&B Hotel Santa Catalina, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria from €859pp, depart March 18. 7 nights half board Hotel Barcelo Santiago, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €669pps, depart March 31. 7 nights half board Sensimar Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €729pps, depart April 2. 7 nights half board Hotel Angela, Fuengirola, Costa Del Sol from €729pp, depart Cork March 19. 7 nights half board Hotel Nerja Club, Nerja, Costa Del Sol from €649pps, depart April 2. 7 nights self catering Colon II. Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €409pps, depart May 12. 7 nights self catering Jardin Del Sol, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €739pps, depart May 13. 7 nights self catering Mariners Club, Alcudia, Majorca from €389pps, depart May 31. 14 nights all inclusive Clubhotel Riu Ocho Rios, Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1689pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive Riu Lupita, Playa car, Mexico from €1,509pps, depart June 14.

Topflight is offering 9 nights Colours of New England escorted coach tour from €1,979pps incl. return flights to Boston, return airport transfer, coach transport, accommodation in 3* and 4* hotels, baggage allowance and airport taxes. Travel September or October. Visit or call 01 240 1788.

Tour America offers: 7 nights Rosen Inn Pointe Orlando from €529pp incl. return flights, all taxes and charges, travel November.  4 nights Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €589pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel October. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Cancun from €1,389pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel October. Visit

Wendy Wu Tours is offering single traveller escorted tours of China, Japan, east Asia and India from €2,290pp. Click here.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Bordeaux river cruise on board River Royale from €3,099pps incl. flights, airport transfers, all meals and beverages, all shore excursions. Book by March 31, travel August 6. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned.

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