TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Battle of the BULC, Europe resists Laptop ban for now



Closing party at Indaba 2017 at uShaka Marine World in Durban, May 18 2017

Things to know about travel this week

  • Violetta Bulc makes her stand against America’s laptop ban
  • Kevin Toland moves from airport runways to bakery trays
  • Pat Reede retires from United
  • South Africa wants 5m more visitors in 5 years
  • Travel writers fly high to Vegas
  • Jacob Zuma wants Victoria Falls renamed
  • Dalata goes hotel shopping again
  • Portmarnock hotel gets two AA rosettes in record time

Travel Extra TV

Don’t try this at home: a climber takes a so-called ‘extreme selfie’ on top of the Monolithe de Sardières. Watch here.

  • Video agency Storyful posted a bumpy landings compilation video. Watch here.
  • Airbus engineers talk about their work with the US Oracle yacht team. Watch here.
  • BA passengers share who their favourite travel companions are. Watch here.
  • Join model Georgia Fowler on her Etihad flight from New York to Sydney. Watch here.
  • See Qatar Airways’ new ‘discover the world’ ad. Watch here.
  • That was a close one: a climber narrowly missed a serious rockfall. Watch here.
  • See these killer whales playing near Monterey, California. Watch here.
  • Easyjet cabin crew hand signals. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, use the occasion of Indaba’s opening to call for Lake Victoria to be renamed. Watch here.

Discussions between US Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke and Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, over keeping laptops and large electronics out of more US-bound flight cabins ended without an agreement. While there is no ban for now, talks between US and EU air security officials are continuing. Some airlines told the AP that it is a matter of time until such a ban is instituted. IATA estimated the ban would cost passengers $1bn (watch here). The 5 airports with the largest number of US weekly flights are London-Heathrow (761 flights), Paris-Charles de Gaulle (353 flights), Frankfurt (291 flights), Amsterdam-Schiphol (242 flights) and Dublin (179 flights). Together, these 5 airports account for nearly 50pc of the weekly flights to the US. Based on a sample of European airports, the number of passengers carrying portable electronic devices is estimated to be between 60pc and 90pc. 59 airports in the European Common Aviation Area* currently have direct services to the USA, with a total of 3.684 weekly flights being operated. Listen here to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry on RTE radio’s Morning Ireland revealing the back story behind the proposed laptop ban on flights from Europe to the USA.

This week’s major tourism showcase events, Indaba in Durban and Australian Tourism Exchange in Sydney were short on hard news but long on industry analysis and data. In Sydney 2,500 delegates gathered for the Tourism Australia’s 38th annual business-to-business showcase ATE. Destination NSW hosted media delegates at the Calyx, Royal Botanic Gardens. Innovative ideas at the event included fire truck tours.

South Africa launched its new consumer campaign at Indaba tourism showcase in Durban, designed to drive 5m extra tourists to the country over the next five years. Picture shows South African tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona and London office manager Tolene Van Der Merwe at the event. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

South Africa Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona spoke about the three B’s of tourism, beach, bush and Berg at the panel session (watch here). He said “when we market S Africa it is the private sector that reaps the benefits” (watch here). SA Tourism was dominated by four provinces (watch here) and listed South Africa’s top inbound markets (watch here),  marketing campaign he launched at INdaba for 2017 in 40 selected markets (watch here),the objectives of the marketing campaign  (watch here), that 2016 was a good recovery year for South Africa Tourism (watch here), addressing the shortage of beds in Cape Town (watch here), energy levels at Indaba (watch here), the family visa controversy was an unintended consequence of child protection legislation (watch here), geopolitics mean tourism has to be agile (watch here) We also asked what his favourite place in South Africa was (it’s what we do, watch here). Pictre shows Eoghan Corry and Lorraine Keenan president of the South Africa Irish society.

The campaign will include expanded activity in Ireland, London based two country manager Tolene Van der Mew confirmed, including a return to Holiday World 2018 in Dublin. South Africa tourism is to engage with agents on a programme of three fam trips to create South Africa specialists. The first fam trip will bring agents to the bestselling Cape Town region, to be followed by a second trip to KZN and a third to Guateng and Limpopo. SA Tourism will continue working with its specialist agents even if they change agency. Watch here. Sisa Ntshona full interview (watch here). Picture shows Gavin Dixon of  Freedom Africa and Peter McMinn of Travel Solutions  at the event.

In his opening address South Africa president Jacob Zuma lamented the fact that Africa gets only 5pc of world tourism (watch here) He said “in Africa we believe tourism is everybody’s business” (watch here) and told an elaborate joke about how Uganda was the last country that God made (watch here). Jacob Zuma full speech (watch here)

Indaba hosted 7,000 delegates, including 1,449 local and international buyers, 1,000 exhibitors from 18 African countries showcasing a diverse array of travel and tourism offerings, 692 media representatives up 8pc on 2016, 20,000 meetings up 20pc. South African tourism minister Tokozile Xasa briefed Travel Extra at Indaba tourism showcase in Durban. She also spoke about countering the deficit of women in the tourism industry. Watch here. She spoke about infrastructure projects (watch here), marketing budgets (watch here) and made some very non-committal comments about South Africa’s airlift strategy (watch here) and the hotel beds shortage in Cape Town joined by COO Sthembiso Dlamini (watch here), and the vision for pan-African tourism (watch here).

Tryphavana Cross and Las Vegas CVA hosted a group of Irish travel writers in Las Vegas (watch here). They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas but a group of journalists who visited the Nevada hotspot this week will break that rule to share their experiences.  The group was treated to BA Club World return flights to Las Vegas via Heathrow, with BA’s Tara Magee and Keith Chuter joining the trip. Fresh from sampling Club World ‘height cuisine’ and ‘cellar in the sky’, journalists spent four days at the five star Palazzo hotel, enjoying a smorgasboard of ‘Very Vegas’ experiences. One massive highlight was a helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon with Maverick Helicopters, a classic bucket list excursion that was made even more special with a landing in the canyon for dream photo opportunities and champagne. The group was then whisked off to the Guinness Store (the only one outside Ireland) at Mandalay Bay for a tutorial from Galway woman Honora Comer on how to pour the perfect pint, followed by dinner at Irish-owned Ri Ra and the pure spectacle of Cirque du Soleil’s Love show at Mirage, which charts the story of the Beatles. The group’s taste for aerial adventure was further indulged with Slotzilla – a zip line that whizzed them high above busy Freemont street, the original Las Vegas strip. In Very Vegas style, the zip line starting point was housed in a giant slot machine. Marketing manager Paul Maguire (watch here), who has hosted rugby player Jamie Heaslip and his team members on Fremont street, outlined plans for another new attraction, Fear Of The Walking Dead, which is due to open later this year. Continuing with the aerial theme, the group enjoyed incredible views of Las Vegas’s skyline with cocktails at Ghost Bar on the 55th floor of the Palms resort. They also explored Las Vegas’ cultural history, visiting the Neon museum – a boneyard where iconic neon signs from the ’50s and ’60s are housed – and The Mob museum which tells the story of mob involvement in Las Vegas life. The final day of the trip included a visit to Top Golf Experience at MGM Grand Las Vegas, an impressive new facility where guests can compete against each other on the driving range or simply enjoy food and drinks by the pool, all with great Vegas views. Of course, one of the most popular things to do in Vegas apart from gaming and shopping is getting hitched. The group was entertained by ordained minister and Elvis lookalike Brendan Paul Duffy whose Graceland wedding chapel marries 9,000 couples a year. Duffy has seen it all and regaled the group with tales of six minute wedding ceremonies and funny wedding scenarios.  From shotgun weddings to machine gun fire; the trip ended with a shooting gallery session at Machine Gun Vegas, with some female members of the group proving themselves deadlier than the male when it came to destroying their targets. Las Vegas will pump billions of dollars into new projects in the coming years. The Irish press group got to enjoy some of its newest attractions while soaking up the strip’s flamboyant scene. Picture shows Tryphavana Cross, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority; Denise Smith, Sunday World; Martin Breen Sunday Life; Catherine Murphy, Travel Extra; Samantha McCaughren, Sunday Independent; Peter Crawley, Irish Times; Tara Magee,Partnership Manager Ireland BA, Keith Chuter, Country manager BA; Gillian Tsoi, Irish Independent, Maverick Helicopters pilot Tone. Front, Jim Murty, Irish Daily Mail. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Cork hosted 170 participants from airports, airlines, industry suppliers and institutional stakeholders at the 10th annual ACI EUROPE Regional Airports Conference & Exhibition where delegates heard the price of the low cost move to major airports is that low Cost Carriers are growing their intra-European route networks at a much slower pace. Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI EUROPE, told delegates “over the past 3 years, they have actually reduced their aircraft bases at regional airports by -11pc°.. Regional airports underperforming the wider industry average in terms of passenger traffic growth (+4.3pc versus +5.1pc) although  2017 is off to a better start, with regional airports now growing at a faster pace (Q1: +7.9pc versus an industry average of +6.9pc).”  Picture shows Daragh Hanratty of Cork Airport, Kevin Toland of Dublin airport, Niall Gibbins CEO Tourism Ireland and Ger O’Mahony Chair of Visit Cork. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Canada made it illegal to remove passengers from overbooked aircraft. The bill also will prevent airlines from charging parents to sit next to their children if the kids are under the age of 14, and will have to create new standards for transporting musical instruments. Westjet has a new ad pushing the fact that they never overbook, featuring a passenger was bumped off another airline voicing his frustration to anyone who will listen. Watch here.

John Sullivan, CEO of Tourism Australia, talked up the prospects of further growth at the newly opened $1.5 billion ICC Sydney brought together more than 2500 travel industry delegates from 30 countries, making it the biggest ATE in nearly a decade.

Travel Trade

Pat Reede is retiring from her position as Ireland country manager with United Airlines. Travel Extra wishes her well in her retirement. She sent a message to the trade: “I have spent over 40 years in the Travel Industry and it is finally time to say Goodbye. I look forward to the next chapter in my life. I want to thank all my colleagues in the Trade for all the years of friendship and suport and I hope our paths will cross again in the near future . Pat.” Picture shows Bob Schumacher and Pat Reede

Summer 2018 brochure season opened with new Ireland boss Belinda Vazquez (watch her here) and Charlotte Brenner and her team launching the Falcon/Thomson offering for next year, seven exclusive properties in 15 destinations from Dublin, Majorca, Costa Dorada, Costa del Sol, Algarve and Lanzarote from Cork, Costa Dorada, Majorca and Lanzarote from Shannon and Costa Dorada from Ireland West Airport, properties  include  a new SuneoClub, Family Life, A La Carte, Sensatori and Sensimar properties and two new Platinum additions.  Deposits start at €75 with free child places and free group offers in selected properties for early bookers.  Picture shows Antoinette Young, Charlotte Brenner and Belinda Vasquez at the launch. Full details here.

Cassidy Travel also launched for summer 2018 – with a similar message from Cassidy’s John Spollen to Falcon/Thomson of customers needing to book ahead for the most popular destinations and hotels.

A Florida away from the rollercoasters was on show as the beaches of Fort Myers/Sanibel met the trade in the Rustic Stone in Dublin. One of the big pluses was hotels which don’t charge the dreaded service fees found elsewhere in the US. Pictures shows Jen Friede, Tour & Travel Manager at SunStream Hotels & Resorts; Brett Gooch, General Manager, Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts; Dave Hennesy, American Sky; Veronica Aherne, Tour America; and Stefanie Zinke. Catch the album here.

This week saw a the first media rip by Ryanair Holidays. Hugo Nascimento of Algarve Tourism and World2Meet/Iberostar who are partnering Ryanair Holidays as an accommodation and destination service provider hosted travel media at the 5-star Tivoli Carvoeiro Hotel, an hour’s drive from Faro Airport, which has spacious open-plan and glass design offering a startling live view straight through to the gleaming blue sea on the far side at the as you enter the lobby.  The group visited Quinta do Lago, an exclusive resort and golfers and bird watchers paradise with access to a very large and virtually empty golden beach across one of the longest wooden bridges in the world, a coastal walk from Tivoli Carvoeiro to Algarseco, Ponta de Piedade panorama of plunging cliffs and coastal rock formations offshore, Benagil caves open-topped rock enclosure, the ancient city of Silves and its Moorish castle, and a city tour of Lagos. Cocktails were sipped at Columbus Bar, voted among the world’s top ten bars by Forbes. Meals were hosted by Tertulia Algarve restaurant, in Portimao and a walk around Lagos city centre and Quinta Dos Vales wine estate run by Karl Heinz Stock, a wine producer and artist whose nude female sculptures stand surreally throughout his vineyard. This week a wedding party of 180 will fly in from Ireland and celebrate nuptials on the estate. The Irish, say Michael and Karl Heinz, are their biggest customers in this burgeoning new wing of tourism. Picture shows Sean Mannion of Travel Extra; with Duarte Correia of World2Meet and Hugo Nascimento of Algarve Tourism.

Turkish Airlines hosts the trade with Maldives with Island Marketing at roadshows in Dublin on Monday and Cork on Tuesday.

Classic Collection announced an agents offer for travel trade staff to Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas in Agios Nikolaos, Crete, a Deluxe Sea View Room on a Half Board basis for an €99 ppp. in May, June, September and October and €25 pppn to upgrade to one of their Deluxe rooms with an individual pool.  See Daios Cove here.

Celebrity Cruises training experts, Leon Hand and Emma Rigby will be hosting four interactive training events for agents this summer on board Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Silhouette in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. See Watch here interview with Claire Stirrup of Celebrity.

  • Bookabed’s legendary Cork Event takes place June 1st, suppliers on board include AA, BA, DSD and Seaworld.
  • Picture shows Pat Dawson representing the ITAA at the Andalusia workshop.
  • D-flo launched CrisisComms to help travel companies communicate with their customers – and protect their reputation and business – during an emergency.
  • G Adventures launched a Rediscover Thailand Campaign offering savings of up to 15pc on Thailand itineraries.
  • Amadeus announced a product for Destination Marketing Organisations to give insights into travelers’ planning, purchasing, and travel behavior, see here.
  • Travelport Investor Day takes place Tuesday. Travelport extended its partnership with Selectair.
  • Oasis Travel is opening a dedicated cruise business in the Knock Travel premises it acquired last month from owner Doreen McKenzie.
  • British and Northern Irish travel agent body ABTA is calling on the Government to change the law to make holiday sickness claims less attractive to claims management companies and law firms.
  • Picture shows Michelle Anderson of Topflight; competition winner Lynne McKeown and Stuart Robinson Presenter Downtown Radio at the Topflight Downtown Radio 149th Balmoral Show competition for a holiday to Lido di Jesolo on the Venetian Riviera. Topflight offer flights to the Venetian Riviera from Dublin, Cork and Belfast.
  • Innstant Travel new hotel cancellation protection allows customers to cancel a non-refundable reservation up to 24 hours before check-in and receive an 80pc refund, enabling agents to offer maximum value and flexibility to customers without the risk of lost revenue due to cancellation.
  • Ann Kilcoyne of Glasnevin Trust and Dervla O’Neill of EPIC Irish Emigration Museum (pictured with Jim Flannery) were received into Skal.
  • There was an update on the fourth generation at Robert Kilkelly Travel
  • An Australian travel agency Wicked Travel has shut down, with reports that few tourists will be refunded.
  • It was claimed that Google’s stealth attack on travel is eating everyone.
  • Congratulations to the versatile Ikechi Ucho friend of Travel Extra, who won the African aviation personality of the year award in Addis this week.

Strange world

Another week another airline arroganza. JetBlue kicked Cameron and Minta Burke, their two children, and their buttercream cake off a flight from JFK to Las Vegas after the cake was deemed a security risk on a flight to Las Vegas to celebrate her fortieth.

  • Wild boar in Rome caused the death of a man in a motor accident, waste disposal problems blamed for proliferation of wild boar in populated areas.
  • American TV host Ryan Seacrest told viewers Lingus is a place in Ireland.
  • Jarvey saved tourists when a nervous horse backed a carriage off the edge of a cliff on the Lakes of Killarney.


Universal Studios Hollywood summertime enhancement: ‘The Night-time Lights at Hogwarts Castle‘ begins June 23. New Shining themed haunted mazes will be added to Halloween events in Orlando and Hollywood

Photographs went on display which captured the grim reality of delayed flights, traffic jams and commutes around the world.

  • Visit Lebanon takes place in Beirut this week, their first ever international tourism fair.
  • Trivago revealed its top destinations with Fenghuang at the top.
  • A spokeless Ferris Wheel opened in China with wi-fi for all the inevitable selfies.
  • Two days of strikes affected travel plans to Greece.
  • Campi Flegrei in Naples was the subject of eruption panic.
  • Cairns & Great Barrier Reef told ATE in Sydney that Indigenous tourism offerings will be marketed around the world under the brand name Timeless Experiences.
  • Travel Extra caught up with Lindsay Marshall, curator of the Cradle of Humankind Visit Centre an hour outside Johannesburg  (watch here) and shared her welcome walk at Maropeng Visitor Centre (watch here).
  • Travel Extra joined a tour of Phezulu cultural village with Thoko Jili of Wisdom Tours, (watch here) where we met some friendly crocodiles (watch here) and a snake that liked warm spots (watch here). See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • Check out the Zulu dance at the opening ceremony of tourism showcase Indaba in Durban (watch here).

Food & Beverage

Months after reopening The 1780 restaurant at the new Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links where Tom Walsh is executive chef was awarded two AA Rosette status by AA Ireland following an extensive 18-month refurbishment and multi-million euro investment, the third Irish restaurant to achieve two AA rosette status after  the Cliff House in Ardmore and Patrick Guilbaud‘s in the Merrion Hotel in Dublin. Two restaurants hold three rosette status Lady Helen in Mount Juliet and Gregan’s Castle in Ballyvaughan.

  • The contents of Avenue by Nick Munier are to be auctioned on Monday.
  • Love Supreme opened a second coffee shop on Dublin’s Lennox Street in Portobello.
  • Dublin’s dog friendly café, Pupp on lower Clanbrassil Street, is to open until 9.30pm from Wednesday to Saturday.
  • Roberta’s contemporary bistro opened on Dublin’s Wellington Quay.
  • Alain Passard’s L’Arpege finished top of the Opinionated About Dining Top 100 European Restaurants list, France had 34 in the list, Spain 31 and Italy 27.


John Burke proprietor of the  Armada Hotel at Spanish Point who became the first Clareman and arguably the first hotelier to ascend Everest (everyone thought it would be Michael Vaughan), returns Monday into Shannon Airport and will proceed to a homecoming event in the square at Miltown Malbay. John is seen with his safforn and blue (sufferin’ and blue?) flag atop Nepal’s version of Sliabh Callan.

  • Michael Tinnelly is seeking planning permission to turn a 35-acre plot of land in Rostrevor, overlooking Carlingford Lough, into a £14m four-star hotel and spa with 100 bedrooms.
  • The  Culloden, managed by Eoin O’Sulivan, completed a £4.8m makeover.
  • Broadhaven Credit Partners refinanced Dublin’s Regency Hotel’s debts of about €25m allowing the McGettigan Group to regain control of the hotel, which may be renamed as a result of a fued shooting last year
  • The Eccles hotel in Glengarriff is to be redeveloped by hoteliers Ray Byrne and Eoin Doyle.
  • CEO of South Africa Tourism Sisa Ntshona said that government rating agencies are still relevant in the era of online peer ratings systems such as Tripadvisor, speaking at Indaba Tourism Showcase in Durban, (watch here).
  • A hairdresser ‘knocked out’ after walking into a ceiling at a hotel lost her €60k claim
  • Thailand most popular Asian destination for Hotelbeds with 21% increase in bookings year-to-date with Bangkok the most popular Asian city
  • Tifco is planning to nearly double the size of its Holiday Inn Express, adding 100 rooms, near Dublin Airport in a multi-million-euro expansion. More than 1,000 new hotel rooms are planned in and around the airport in total.
  • Dalata acquired a stake in two Dublin hotels for €62.5m, Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane and the Clarion Hotel Liffey Valley for €62.5m.
  • Arrivals by Travel Extra’s team of hard working writers this week include the Maropeng Boutique Hotel in Gauteng (watch here), the Suncoast Hotel Durban (watch here), Cubana in Durban (watch here), Reno’s Cafe Villaggio, Durban, (watch here), and Pot & Kettle Restaurant 1,000 Hills KZN (watch here).


Qatar Airways was named partner of the 2017 Dublin Horse Show, ahead of inaugural Dublin-Doha flight on June 12. Qatar is to add Doha-Rio de Janeiro-Santiago de Chile 4 pw with A350-9 from30Jan18. Next week, you can follow Travel Extra’s exclusive preview of what visitors to Doha can expect on and read about it in the next print edition. Discover the world with Qatar Airways. Watch here.

The A350-1000 completed successfully its first early long flight  with 310 passengers on board, including 10 Airbus Flight Test crew members and 13 Virgin Atlantic cabin crew. Test aircraft MSN065 F-WXLV took off from and landed in Toulouse on May 11th after a 12 hours flight that passed over Ireland. Testing the A350-1000’s cabin comfort on its Early Long Flight. Watch here.

As first reported by Travel Extra, Norwegian confirmed their new transatlantic routes will include US Preclearance for passengers flying from Dublin and Shannon. Mid Hudson news reported that Norwegian flights to start in one month are almost booked up.

Ryanair launched its first connecting flights at Rome Fiumicino on Wednesday to/from Alicante, Barcelona, Bari, Brussels, Catania, Comiso, Malta & Palermo with transfers, checked though baggage and one booking reference for both flight bookings. Ryanair say more connecting flights services will be rolled out across the network later this year as long as the Rome Fiumicino trial proves to be a success.  Watch here Kenny Jacobs explaining how connecting flights will work. Watch here Michael O’Leary say that connecting will not be Ryanair core business, how connections with Norwegian and Aer LIngus will work (watch here) and how cheap connecting flights show flaws in system (watch here).

WOW air commenced its 4w Cork–Reykjavik service offering transatlantic connectivity to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, Miami, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington DC with a stopover package.

Air Zimbabwe was among the airlines that are banned from Europe due to unaddressed safety deficiencies, alongside Med-View (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine). Airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique were cleared to fly in Europe under the new European Commission Air Safety List of airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union.

Clearly South African Airways is not going to be allowed go the way of Alitalia. At Indaba tourism showcase in Durban, South Africa Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona answered a question from Travel Extra that in two decades very little progress was being made in the attempts to de-regulate Africa’s skies (watch here), how the country needs more air capacity (watch here) and the continuing importance of troubled South African Airways to tourism in the country (watch here).

Pat Byrne said CityJet will pursue the contract to operate the Aer Lingus Regional service when it comes up for tender. He expects revenue to grow by a third to €280m this year. Wet-leasing currently worth €69.2m will grow to €194.5m, and scheduled activities, currently worth €141m will decline to €85.2m. CityJet extended a deal to operate routes on behalf of Air France to next year and is extending the use of its ageing Avro RJ85s.  CityJet currently has 15 Avro jets, 23 Bombardier CRJs, and five Sukhoi Superjets.

As first reported by Travel Extra, DAA Chief Executive Kevin Toland was appointed CEO of troubled baked goods group Aryzta (where Gary McCann is Chairman.) He will join Aryzta following a six-month notice period, or earlier, if mutually agreed by both parties. Toland can expect a massive pay boost, as semi-state salaries are still capped at €250,000.

Christine Ourmières-Widener told John Mulligan that Flybe expects to post a small loss for the last financial year due to the impact of poor weather, fare competition and air traffic control strikes and was “still working” on opportunities with franchise partner Stobart. Stobart will relaunch a Flybe service between Dublin and Southend in October.

Air France CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac  said Air France’s new budget airline, temporarily called Boost, will commence with a fleet of fives A320s or A321s, feeding the group’s European hubs to be followed by a long-haul launch in summer 2018 with three wet-leased Air France A340s as an interim measure before Air France’s order for 21 A350s begins to deliver in August 2019 to increase to 28 aircraft by 2020, 10 long-haul and 18 medium-haul, representing about 8pc of Air France’s 350-aircraft fleet and 10pc of the group’s flying. He said Boost will be used to reopen routes which have been closed because of poor profitability, with 70pc of the long-haul network being made up of current loss-making routes and the remaining 30pc being new destinations. The airline will target destinations such as Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in Southeast Asia, where the mainline carrier is facing Gulf competition, or where the routes “do not work as they should.” All of Boost’s aircraft will be equipped with Wi-Fi. AF-KL Investor Day presentation emphasised codeshares and joint ventures – India, China, Africa (Kenya Airways); Digital Transformation; Customer Intimacy. Full presentation here.

Cyprus-based airline Cobalt resumed its 2w Wednesday and Saturday Dublin-Larnaca service from May until October 31 with a 180-seater Airbus A320 aircraft and will continue once per week during the Winter. Dublin Airport now has direct flights to 185 scheduled destinations in 41 countries operated by 47 airlines.

  • Domhnal Slattery’s Avolon delivered of the world’s first Boeing 737 MAX8 to Malindo Air in Malaysia, part of Lion Group of Indonesia. Boeing said regulatory agencies support the resumption of 737 Max flight activities after a disc flaw.
  • EU member states have greenlit the start of talks with the United States to scrap a seven-month duration limit on EU airlines wet-leasing planes and crew from US carriers.
  • Aer Lingus GDS filings for January have Dublin-Boston down from 10w to 8w per week and Miami from 6w back to 3w.
  • The IAA deployed a new Electronic Flight Strips system, E-STRIPs at Dublin Air Traffic Control tower.
  • FLY Leasing (Ireland) CFO Gary Dales is to leave the company on August 31.
  • RwandAir will launch flights from London Gatwick to Kigali on May 26. See here Travel Etxra’s trip to Rwanda complete with a close encounter with gorillas.
  • Ralph Anker’s Anna Aero pondered what might happen if Alitalia failed.
  • Nordic leisure carrier Primera Air intends using eight Boeing 737 MAX 9s to establish services between Europe and North America.
  • Delta has warned that it will take longer than expected to attain positive unit revenues on trans-Atlantic routes.
  • American Airlines will operate a codeshare partnership with IAG Group’s new long-haul low-cost carrier LEVEL, on Barcelona – Los Angeles and Barcelona – Oakland from June.
  • Turkish Airlines narrowed its net loss in Q1.
  • American Airlines promoted UL graduate Patrick O’Keeffe to Senior Vice President People, effective June 1.
  • The City of Atlanta purchased the 395-room Sheraton airport hotel to relocate cargo facilities and add a sixth runway between the existing fourth and fifth runways.
  • Canada’s government unveiled new rules that could help carriers form joint ventures and lifted investment limits to 49pc from 25pc.
  • The first graduation of the Turkish Airlines Cadets will graduate on May 26 in the Cork international hotel. The cadets have spent the last year getting Irish licenses at the Atlantic Flight Training academy.
  • Ryanair is to open its base in Memmingen September 5, two months earlier than planned , with services to Warsaw, Seville, Fez, Thessaloniki, Stockholm, Lviv and Oradea. The seasonal service to Palma de Mallorca is to be converted to year-round. Ryanair announced a new route from Plovdiv to Frankfurt Hahn, with a twice weekly service beginning in October.
  • Ryanair Rooms introduced yurts and castles on its website after an eviivo booking platform tie-up
  • EasyJet is to purchase 30 A321 NEO aircraft under its existing agreement with Airbus, with the first arriving in summer 2018 and plans shifting capacity towards the 235-seat A321neo with its lower unit cost. Principal bases are Gatwick (62 aircraft), Geneva (25), Luton (23), Amsterdam (18), Nice (14), Bristol (14).  EasyJet reported seats offered up 8.4pc and seats sold up 9pc to 33.8m with a load factor of 90.2pc +0.5 points. Growth was strongest in Portugal (17pc), Spain (16pc), France (12pc), Germany and Switzerland (9pc). Presentation here and full results here.
  • London City Airport is to build and operate a digital air traffic control tower.
  • Finnair is seeking cabin crew. Fluency in English is required, fluency in Finnish is no longer mandatory but highly valued, and other language skills are considered an asset.
  • AirAsia China will be based in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, and plans a dedicated low-cost carrier terminal, an aviation training academy and a MRO facility.
  • United Parcel Service, Airbus and Honeywell signed a deal to collaborate on a cockpit upgrade for UPS Airline’s 52 A300-600s meant to extend the life of the fleet for at least another 18 years.
  • Bombardier commenced talks with Chinese state-owned aerospace manufacturer Comac.
  • Aurora Flight Sciences tested successfully a robotic co-pilot in a Boeing 737 simulator.
  • The Excess Baggage Company opened a left luggage storage facility, baggage wrapping and baggage screening shipping service in the Arrivals Hall in Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport and  plans to open a similar outlet in Terminal 2.
  • Air France rolled out a restaurant style service in business class.
  • Norwegian addressed the 737 MAX wifi issue, it’s more technical than that.
  • LAX airport opened a luxury celebrity terminal
  • Business & Finance named Aer Lingus company of the month.
  • Dublin Aerospace announced 50 new jobs at Dublin Airport
  • Frankfurt airport said it expects 3m Ryanair passengers in 2018
  • Intrepid announced delivery of its seventh A330-300 to Turkish Airlines
  • KLM which will increase frequency on Dublin-Amsterdam  flights from July 2017, announced an onward service to Mumbai.
  • Ryanair is to introduce a high thrust operation ex-Brussels Zaventem to minimise noise fines.
  • Ryanair is to launch Stockholm – Niš flights.
  • Warren Buffet was interviewed about airlines: “It’s a tough business” (watch here)
  • The Commission for Aviation Regulation released its Strategic Plan 2017 – 2019
  • Delta said it will take 5 A350-900s in 2017 as planned, it wants to postpone deliveries slated for 2019 and 2020 by 3 years.
  • Air Namibia‘s Frankfurt route may be stopped.
  • Forbes asked if Etihad’s James Hogan outsmarted himself.
  • Airport Scales are 99pc accurate, apparently.
  • Kerry airport profits grew.
  • It was reported that Dublin Airport may have to wait for a year for a ruling on the new runway.
  • EI-FZV Boeing 737-800 Ryanair was flown back to Boeing field from Spokane after painting.
  • Scoot told ATE in Sydney that four Dreamliners with crew bunks to be delivered in 2017 will enable them to operate long-haul services, starting with Sydney-Athens in June 2017.
  • Evercore is to advise Datalex on growth options
  • Shannon Airport paid tribute to Sixmilebridge visionary Brendan O’Regan when they unveiled a bust. Shannon chair Rose Hynes told the gathering His initials BOR in Shannon came to mean Bash on Regardless. Video News Release here. Brendan O’Regan interview video montage here. Lagan Group revealed details of the €15m Shannon Airport runway contract
  • Cork Airport  reiterated their claim that New York flights will happen’, and there will be no delay in Cork-US flights. Flight numbers at the airport declined last month. Cork Airport launched a competition for a new real time passenger feedback solution.
  • Dr Coy’s signed a deal with Ryanair.
  • Thousands turned out to watch the Westport Airshow.
  • Etihad plans its last A340-500 service in late-July 2017.
  • Alan Joyce favours a low-cost option for the second Sydney airport
  • Irish aviation authorities cleared the way to launch direct flights to Yerevan.
  • Malaysia Airlines CEO Peter Bellew said low cost long haul is being hyped-up and is nothing new and ‘when you get a supportive regulator it’s amazing what you get” during CAPA in Powerscourt. Watch here full interview with Peter Bellew.
  • A Spitfire fighter plane that crashed in Ireland during WWII was excavated.
  • BMI Regional’s Derry – Stansted Embraer 145 route started. Watch here.
    Aero Inspection achieved EASA and FAA approval for borescope inspections and boreblend repairs on CFM LEAP engines
  • EI-FZX Boeing 737-800 Ryanair recorded its first flight.
  • M&S is to be the anchor tenant at the £2.5m Belfast International Airport retail development
  • Ryanair Network Store exhibited at The British-Irish Airports EXPO.
  • Pulse assessed the top 35 airlines by reputation.
  • AirlineSummit17 was told that weather accounts for 6pc of airline irregular operations. WTTC said travel & tourism accounts for 10pc of global GDP or ($7.6tn and travel employs seven times as many people as automotive companies.
  • AerCap delivered a 767 to Atlas Air Worldwide
  • IAG CEO Willie Walsh told the CAPA leaders summit in Powerscourt that airlines have become ‘more resilient and more capable of dealing with short shocks’:
  • The Commission of Aviation Regulation released its Q1 2017 Dublin Airport Quality of Service Monitoring
  • Kalitta Air took delivery of a leased 747-400F factory freighter from GECAS
  • IAG CEO Willie Walsh said Qatar Airways’ investment in IAG has been very successful from a financial point of view.
  • SMBC Aviation Capital delivered the first of three Boeing B737-800s to Jet Airways in a three aircraft deal
  • Tourism Ireland said direct flights to China are “vital”
  • Flybe was said to be exploring opportunities with Santry-based Stobart Air.
  • American is to delay roll out of full premium economy to late 2018.
  • Singapore Airlines announced it is to retire four A380s next year.


As excitement builds for their forthocming launch in St nazaire in two weeks time, MSC Cruises named the two shows in their partnership with Cirque du Soleil on board MSC Meraviglia. They will be Viaggio, described as a poetic adventure into the world of colour; a painter’s journey into his imagination and Sonor, a show with sound at its heart, which takes guests on an auditory adventure.

Irish Ferries parent ICG is to sell the former Isle of Innisfree, 1995 build passenger ferry Kaitaki to New Zealand ferry operator KiwiRail for €45m, compared to an end 2016 book value of €16.1m. In 1 January 2017 to 13 May 2017 Irish Ferries carried 103,200 cars, down 0.7pc while RoRo is down 1.7pc 100,300 units. Revenues are up 4.3pc to €44.1m.

Fred Olsen is launching its own river cruise brand, represented in Ireland by Alan Lynch’s Cruisescapes, with the 110m Brabant, rebranded from the Amadeus Princess with 30 departures during 2018 on the Danube. Rhine, Main and Moselle rivers.

Bookings opened for MS Nieuw Statendam’s Premiere Voyage and inaugural season of Caribbean cruises.

The Italian captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner that crashed into a reef in 2012 and capsized, killing 32 people, was headed to a Rome prison after losing his final appeals bid Friday. The Court of Cassation, Italy’s highest criminal tribunal, upheld Francesco Schettino‘s lower court convictions and his 16-year prison sentence

  • Riviera Travel was named travel company of the year by Which?
  • Norwegian Cruise Line’s new-look ship Norwegian Jade returned to Cork and showcased its all-inclusive product.
  • Oceania Cruises Introduced a complimentary fitness and wellness programme on board its six ships sailing to 370 ports.


Tourism Ireland research shows industry sentiment is positive for 2017, with bookings slightly ahead of 2016, albeit with a softening British market. Tourism Ireland ramped up its Spanish campaign,  teamed up with Iberia Express to promote the south west in Madrid and with Aer Lingus for a campaign in Barcelona. Tourism from Spain grew from 90,000 Spanish visitors in 2000 to a record 394,000 in 2016, up 15pc on 2015. Numbers from France are up 10pc in January-March having grown +30pcin the five years to 526,000 last year. Watch here CEO Niall Gibbons, and Manager Southern Europe, Monica MacLaverty.

  • George Stone, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveller, and keynote speaker at the Travel Classics International Writers’ Conference hosted by Fáilte Ireland in the Lyrath Hotel, Co Kilkenny, this week. Picture shows Jessica Benavides Canepa, New York and Leslie Patrick Moore, California sampling spices at the Youghal ClockGate Tower.
  • Ireland’s Ancient East campaign won five awards at the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design Awards in Dublin.
  • Kildare Failte launched their 2020 Vision tourism strategy document at the National Stud, aiming to increase overseas visitor numbers by 20pc and create 1500 direct and indirect jobs. Picture shows Tony Lenehan Kildare Failte, Martin Hayden TD Patrick O’Donovan Minister for Tourism, Ivan Keatley Kildare Mayor and John Osborne Kildangan Stud Manager. Full story here.
  • BBC TV drama Redwater showcased Dunmore East in a spin-off of  Eastenders featuring a storyline about Kat and Alfie Moon (played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie), filmed in Dunmore East and Dublin last summer. The story will unfold over six, hour-long episodes.
  • Pollution exposure risk was identified at six beaches in Dublin and Galway.
  • Bad weather postponed the opening of Skellig Michael as boat owners reported travelling to medieval site was fully booked as Star Wars filming attracts more visitors.
  • Failte Ireland  reported business tourism to Ireland is worth €700m to the economy having grown 7pc during the period 2015-2016and supports 21,000 jobs. Kerry Convention Bureau and Fáilte Ireland introduced a new video showcasing facilities, accommodation, and activities at IMEX. Picture shows Jessica Sheridan of The Shelbourne Hotel, (watch here).
  • Cork is to push to attract more tourists from the massive Chinese markets, the Asia Matters conference in the city was told. The conference was attended by Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland and Chinese Ambassador to Ireland Dr Yue Xiaoyong.
  • Footsteps in the Forest returns for 2017 to the Slieve Gullion Forest Park on June 3rd – 4th. Hooked on the Sea Festival takes place in Co Wexford on the June bank holiday weekend.
  • Belfast City Hall opened its new exhibition space through 16 rooms in the east wing of City Hall, divided into six separate zones highlighting different aspects of the city of Belfast. Entry is free, although there is a £3.50 charge for headsets. Watch here.
  • 1960’s star Donovan Leitch will open an exhibition at Newbridge Silverware tomorrow, Monday.

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Puerto Plata Aparthotel, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €449pp, travel August. 7 nights B&B 5* Real Marina Hotel & Spa, Olhao, The Algarve from €299pp, travel January 2018. 7 nights 3* Topaz Hotel, St Paul’s Bay, Malta from €389pp, travel June. 3 nights B&B 4* Quality Hotel Nova Domus, Rome, Italy from €299pp, travel June. Visit or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Royal Sun Apartments, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €2,359 2+3, depart June 19. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Cala Font, Cap De Salou, Costa Dorada from €799pp, depart Knock August 1. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €559pp, depart Cork August 24. 7 nights half board 3* More Hotel, Alcudia, Majorca from €529pp, depart Shannon August 26. 7 nights self catering 3* Royal Sun Apartments, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €2,359 2+3, depart June 19. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Azul Fives Karisma, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico from €2,109pp, depart June 14. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach, Montego Bay, Jamaica from €2,139pp, depart June 15. 7 nights self catering 3* Labranda Oasis Mango, Los Cristianos, Tenerife from €559pp, depart May 26. 7 nights half board 3* Lion Hotel, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €439pp, depart May 29. Visit or call 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 8 days Glories of Greece tour from €2,219pps. Book by May 31, depart July 25. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 8 days Danube river cruise from €1,379pp, travel between now and October. 12 nights Spain cruise on board Celebrity Silhouette from €2,239pps, depart October 11. 118 nights around the world cruise on board the MSC Magnifica from €12,589pp, depart January 5 or 7 2019.

Sunway offers: 9 nights Prague, Vienna & Budapest tour from €2,109pp, depart September 8. 7 nights Rhine river cruise from €2,079pp, depart November 25. 9 day Japan Express Tour from Osaka to Tokyo from €3,089pp, depart August 28. 7 nights all inclusive Cancun from €1,329pp, depart September 27. 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Hotel, Kusadasi from €299pps, depart May 27. 7 nights self catering 3* Bellevue Club Apts, Majorca from €349pp, depart May 27. 7 nights self catering Oasis Dunas Apts, Fuerteventura from €399pp, depart May 27. 3 Nights 3* Edison, New York from €535pp, travel February 2018. 3 nights 3* Stratosphere, Las Vegas from €529pp, travel November. 3 nights all inclusive taster cruise from Barcelona on board Norwegian Epic from €799pp, depart April 22 2018. 7 nights all inclusive Croatia & Greece fly cruise on board Norwegian Star from €1,330pp, depart October 8.

Thomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive Cosmopolitan Classics cruise from €1,379pp, depart May 19 2018. 7 nights self catering 3* Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €949pp, depart Knock August 1. 7 nights half board Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cal Bona, Majorca from €689pp, depart Cork June 17. 7 nights self catering Cinco Plaza, Puertyo Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €599pp, depart Shannon July 17. 14 nights all inclusive TUI Sensatori Resort Azul , Riviera Maya, Mexico from €2,459pp, depart June 21. 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel RIU Negril, Negril, Jamaica from €1,699pp, depart June 15. 7 nights half board TUI Sensimar Los Gigantes, Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €739pp, depart May 26. 7 nights self catering Mariners Club, Alcudia, Majorca from €429pp, depart May 31. 7 nights B&B Hesperia Lanzarote, Puerto Calero, Lanzarote from €670pp, depart June 15. 7 nights full board ‘Treasures of the Mediterranean’ cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €1,069pp, depart June 6.

Topflight 5-day sale offers, starting today: 7 nights B&B 4* Jardin d’Ajuda Suite, Madeira, Funchal from €399pps, depart May 25. 7 nights self catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, Madeira, Funchal from €369pps, depart May 25. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Melia Madeira Mare, Madeira, Funchal from €699pps, depart May 25. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Cambridge, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €599pps, depart May 27. 7 nights self catering 4* Villaggio San Francesco, Caorle, Venetian Riviera from €499pps, depart June 10. 7 nights self catering 4* Villaggio San Francesco, Caorle, Venetian Riviera from £349pps, depart Belfast May 27. 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia mobile homes, Pescheira, Lake Garda from €319pps, depart Cork May 27. 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia mobile homes, Pescheira, Lake Garda from £299pps, depart Belfast May 27. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Ascot, Sorrento from €599pps, depart May 28. 7 nights self catering 3* Villaggio Verde, Sorrento from €499pps, depart October 1. Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 2 day Disney Orlando ticket with mini golf from €229 per adult, €219 per child, book by July 31, travel by December 31. 7 nights at the Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando from €569pp, depart February 10 2018. 4 nights Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €589pp, depart October 13. 3 nights Holiday Inn Wall Street, New York form €699pp, depart October 20. 7 nights all inclusive Gran Caribe Resort, Cancun from €1,399pp, depart March 10 2018. 10 nights Orlando and Caribbean cruise on board Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas from €1,239pp, depart August 30. 11 nights Med fly cruise from €2,219pp on board Celebrity Reflection, depart October 9. 8 nights New York and Bahamas cruise on board Norwegian Breakaway from €1,599pp, depart October 28. 7 nights Arab Emirates fly cruise on board MSC Splendida from €1,299pp, depart February 11 2018. Visit

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering a Rhine river cruise on board the River Ambassador from €2,939pps. Book by June 30, travel August 13. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

Wendy Wu Tours offers: 16 days Wonder of China tour from €3,590pp, depart October 29. 17 days Angkor to the Bay tour from €3,690pp, depart October 13. 13 days trails of Japan from €5,790pp, depart November 20. 26 days grand tour of China from €4,490pp, depart August 24. 12 days Vietnam at a glance from €2,790pp, depart October 24. 9 days Golden Triangle tour from €2,390pp, depart December 9.

What we learned

The largest migration of mammals in Africa? NOT the Serengeti, but the fruit bat migration in Zambia. Thank you Indaba.


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