TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair wants SIX HUNDRED more aircraft to meet growth plans after 2023


Doha skyline as seen from a Dhow trip, May 24 2017



Things to know about travel this week

  • Irish trips abroad up by highest rate since 2008
  • Ryanair in the market for 600 new aircraft 
  • Michael O’Leary warns Brexit could bring British flights to a halt
  • Falcon brings 19 agents to Crete
  • Falcon tours Gran Canaria
  • Turkish and Maldives host the trade in Dublin and Cork
  • Irish RevPAR up 11pc, Dublin up 4.5pc
  • Dublin to get 24 cruise calls in June

Travel Extra TV

Here’s how Boeing makes Ryanair’s B737 aircraft. Watch here.

  • This bonobo was less than impressed with his audience at Florida Zoo. Watch here.
  • Parismino the young howler monkey took his first steps in his own ‘jungle gym’ at the Jaguar Rescue Centre in Costa Rica. Watch here.
  • Airbus showcases its aviation services product. Watch here.
  • BA put a paper dress by Zoe Bradley on display at its lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5. Watch here.
  • Only in Australia: this kangaroo tried to make friends with a cat. It didn’t go so well. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s top 10 travel hacks for visitors to the island. Watch here.
  • Qantas reunited family and friends with its ‘dream window’. Watch here.
  • A California sea lion grabbed a girl from the dock and pulls her underwater. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Ryanair are negotiating with Boeing for 600 aircraft to over their anticipated expansion in the 2003-28 period. So far he has bought 463 B737-800s from Ray Connor (counting up to EI- FZV, delivered Boeing Field-Dublin last weekend). It emerged at a media briefing in the Davenport Hotel this week, where Michael O’Leary was in his usual flamboyant mode, a meeting dominated by his fear that aviation would become a punchbag for the Brexit/Breat-imeacht negotiations between England and the EU,  and fraught with the tangential (endorsing Leo Varadkar) and occasional  retro rants (“shoot cyclists“). He revealed that TAP Portugal in Lisbon was another of the airlines that Ryanair was hoping to feed with connecting traffic. Some highlights from the briefing:

  • There is going to be a hard Brexit & Flights could stop on March 19, 2019 (watch here)
  • Britain has nothing to negotiate with (watch here)
  • Britain will have to adhere to ECJ to keep open skies (watch here)
  • Ireland has no influence on Brexit (watch here)
  • There is a real prospect flights will be halted (watch here)
  • He supports parallel runway at Dublin airport (watch here)
  • Europe will use aviation as a pressure point to bring home implications of Brexit to England’s electorate (watch here)
  • Everybody in the British government is running away from the implications of Brexit (watch here)
  • 100 Air Europa flights were sold in the first day of the new partnership and Lisbon has joined the list of airports where Ryanair wil offer connections with TAP (watch here)
  • Ryanair employees work under Irish contracts because it is the law and not because Ireland is a tax haven, in fact personal taxes in Ireland are higher than most of the countries where Ryanair operates (watch here)
  • There will be no shortage of candidates for CEO of the DAA (watch here)
  • Alitalia restructure will be good for Ryanair (watch here)
  • Brexit will force breakup of IAG (watch here)
  • Britain is strong in terms of volume not price (watch here)
  • Ryanair’s passenger target raised from 180m to 200m passengers by 2024 (watch here)
  • Irish bookings are 1pc ahead of last year (watch here)
  • He talked up Ryanair’s Erasmus Student initiative (watch here)
  • CCO David O’Brien said that Ryanair have identified 300 connection possibilities at Bergamo airport using their own network (watch here).
  • Gulf carriers will run out of money (watch here)
  • AGB boosted passenger numbers from 80m to 120m and increased profits from 500m to 1.3bn (watch here)
  • Dublin airport T3 should be private should be built where the current hangars are situated with the hangars relocated to the McAvaddy side of the airport (watch here)
  • Ireland needs a younger breed of politician (watch here)
  • Ryanair are negotiating the purchase of 600 more aircraft from Boeing for the 2023 to 2028 period (watch here)
  • Ryanair try to be disciplined at boarding gate with passengers over second bag (watch here)
  • Ryanair wanted to walk passengers through the original 1943 Desmond FitzGerald terminal to the A pier 100 gates (watch here)
  • Ryanair is willing to build Dublin airport T3 for €230m (watch here)
  • ‘Ryanair were the first airline to support Dublin airport T2’ (watch here)
  • Why does Ireland need a Dept of Transport? (watch here)
  • He validated Shane Ross’s performance during bus strikes (watch here)
  • Dublin does not need a metro (watch here) He was joking about shooting cyclists (we think).
  • He endorsed Leo Varadkar in the race for leadership of Fine Gael (watch here)

Ireland is now Delta‘s fifth biggest European destination,  Alex Antilla, Delta’s director trans-Atlantic Network, told the gate ceremony on Friday morning which saw off the first of the daily B757-200 flights that will continue until October. Dublin will have 40 flights a day to North America this summer, 207 flights a week. Picture shows Vincent Harrison, passenger Rye Carroll and Alex Antilla of DeltaThere is a 10pc increase in seat capacity on transatlantic routes in 2017.

Thursday’s opening of Universal’s much heralded water park Volcano Bay (there was a media preview on Wednesday) was not as smooth as they might have wished, with signature rides out of action for hours at a stretch and queues that peaked at five hours for some rides. The tropical-themed Volcano Bay and signature 200-foot-tall faux volcano into which several slides are incorporated has been billed as a next-generation water park, largely because of its ride reservation system, which allows visitors programme a ride into their wristband and virtually queue until they await the alert for when they can join the ride. Even then they had to queue for up to half an hour. Universal observers say that they will be able to tweak the wait times to eliminate most of the problems by summer. The opening ceremony consider of majoring dances including the hake and a climactic eruption of the faux volcano.

Turkish Airlines and Island Marketing from the Maldives hosted 73 agents in Dublin and 34 in Cork at events this week. Brian McCarthy and Alper Sean Kanburoglu spoke at the event and Turkish announced that they wil be flying to Mexico at the end of the year. Alper thanked the trade and said Onur Gull was soooo excited about the Irish Travel Industry Trade award that he is sure Onur sleeps with the award under his pillow. Picture shows Onur Gul, T Julienne Curran, Brian McCarthy, of Island Marketing; Onder Gencer and Alper Sean Kanburoglu of Turkish Airlines

Travel Trade

The GDS charge is proving infectious. British Airways and Iberia will charge a GDS fee of  9.50 on bookings made via GDS as from November 1 2017. The GDS fee will not be applied on bookings made via the NDC connection, direct website, sales offices and call centers. BA and Iberia have developed various NDC-based connections, including direct connections to NDC, aggregators and self-booking tools connected through NDC, as well as an IAG reservation portal, to facilitate the transition. Lufthansa and Ukraine have already introduced GDS fees.

Click&Go celebrated seven years in business, going from zero to €100m in seven years, with expansion into Poland planned for early next year. Paul Hackett said he hoped their success would inspire others to take the plunge.

Martina Dowling of Falcon Holidays hosted 19 agents on a trip to Crete: “seeing the properties makes it easier for travel consultants. The key sentence to say to potential customers is I’ve been there myself”. The group visited Aquila Rethymna Beach and Aquila Porto Rethymnon in Rethymnon, Atlantica Akti Zeus plus Splashworld in Anoudoura, Nana Beach in Hersonnissos and 25 km from Iraklion airport, the Chrissi Amoudia in Hersonnisos, the Sensatori Resort, Lyttos Beach, Illios Dedalos and Illios Malia. Picture shows Sean Mannion of Travel Extra, with Alexandria Stuck of Nana Beach Resort and Martina Dowling of Falcon Holdays at Nana Beach. See more pictures here.

Trips abroad from Ireland for Feb-April 2017 is up 11.9pc on 2016, according to the CSO.

AWTE extended their membership offer of 50pc off until the end of June. Discounted membership is €100, corporate membership is €160 for up to 3 women from the same company. AWTE’s first development session will take place on Friday 30th June by Amanda Wallace, sponsored by Riviera Travel, Creating the life you want, at the Hilton Dublin Airport, free for AWTE members and €25 for non members. RSVP here.

Hills Balfour were in Dublin promoting Arizona along with Lori Pappas, Flagstaff Convention & Visitors Bureau; Kimberly Todd, Arizona Office of Tourism; Michelle Streeter, Visit Mesa; Laura McMurchie, Scottsdale Convention & Visitor Bureau; Stephanie Dowling, Arizona Office of Tourism; and Mary Rittmann, Visit Tucson. Connect to the albums here and here. Brand USA, under threat from Donald Trump’s administration, appointed Hill Balfour as their London representatives.

  • Financial analysts said agents and operators planning to recoup debit and credit card charges when they are abolished next year may be able to levy a booking fee instead.
  • NCL reported a positive response form the travel trade to the ‘easy to sell’  all-inclusive product.
  • First time cruise experiences tweeted by agents and trade partners using #dosomethingnew or emailed throughout the month of June can win prizes under a new CLIA intiaitive.
  • The Bobby Healy-founded CarTrawler could be set for a third sale in €694m deal
  • Datalex reported results in line with expectations.
  • More holidaymakers are travelling uninsured.
  • ONYX Hospitality appointed Douglas Martell as CEO.
  • Inghams launched its Lakes & Mountains Summer 2018 preview brochure with a freeze in prices and a range of Early Booking Offers, saving up to £660 Sterling per couple if booked before September 30, 2017.
  • Some video from post Indaba fam trip to Sabi Sands hosted by South Africa tourism, a night safari encounter with a lion (watch here) and a leopard (watch here)

Strange world

A tourist sued Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas after he suffered injuries fleeing a mannequin in his room he thought was an intruder.


Ireland continues in the top three markets with the biggest growth to Portugal in March 2017 after Brazil and the US with visitor numbers up 18.6pc ( bed nights up 10.9pc) with Porto & Northern Portugal +66.8pc (+73.4pc), Central Portugal +40.5pc (+47.7pc), Lisbon +25.4pc (+23pc), Alentejo +11pc (+29.1pc), Algarve +9,6pc (+3.3pc), Madeira +2.8pc (+4.3pc). icture shows Ana Celina Tavares and Antonio Padeira of Portuguese tourism. Watch here interview with Luis Araujo CEO of Portuguese tourism.

  • The first federal budget proposed by Donald Trump proposes eliminating the Brand USA agency despite the fact it is responsible for adding $9bn to the economy last year. As Peter Coy of Bloomberg says, the Trump Budget is designed to impress, not to pass.
  • United Nations special envoy Espen Barth Eide said he was terminating reunification talks in Cyprus. Direct flights to Northern Cyprus are not allowed under Irish law.
  • Australia said Irish citizens are the sixth-biggest group of successful applicants for the axed skilled 457 visa.
  • Zagreb finished top of Lonely Planet’s suitable eccentric list of top European destiantions which featured cities, countries, regions and notional regions, followed by 2 Gotland, 3 Galicia, 4 Northern Montenegro, 5 Leeds, 6.Alentejo, 7 Northern Germany, 8 Molova, 9 Paphos, 10 Le Havre.
  • A strike by cleaners has left Ibiza Airport a ‘public health hazard after five days.
  • Uber admitted to underpaying its New York City drivers tens of millions of dollars for the past two and a half years.
  • A landslide along California’s iconic coastal Highway 1 has buried the road under a 40-foot layer of rock and dirt
  • The US Homeland Security Department says 740,000 foreigners overstayed their visas last year.
  • TripAdvisor removed the sale of tickets to the Cayman Turtle Centre after animal rights complaints.
  • Research from Sony Mobile on the world’s most photographed landmarks showed half of the top 30 landmarks are shot from the same three angles and 85pc of photos taken of Machu Picchu, 74pc of Trevi Fountain in Italy and 77pc of Mount Fiji in Japan are from the same spots, creating nearly half a million identical images on Instagram. The Burj Khalifa ranks higher than the Colosseum.
  • Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, celebrated its 25th anniversary.
  • Dubai Parks and Resorts, including Bollywood Parks Dubai, Motiongate Dubai, Legoland Dubai and Riverland Dubai made convention space available for corporate or private rental.
  • The PATA Annual Summit 2017 was held in Negombo, Sri Lanka, with 406 delegates from 191 organisations representing 39 countries. Langkawi is the venue for Pacific Asia Travel Association Travel Mart 2018.
  • As the G7 met in Taormina, Sicily’s most famous Irishman and friend of Travel Extra Enzo Faranelli published At the Roots of European History – Irish Saints in Europe and Italy, on Amazon Kindle.

Food & Beverage

Niall Sabongi says Dublin’s first poké restaurant, Klaw PoKē, on Capel Street sold out on its opening weekend last Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

  • Supermac‘s won Franchise of the Year at the Irish Franchise Awards in Dublin’s Radisson St. Helen’s Hotel.
  • More than half of Irish people visit Irish pubs when travelling abroad, according to a survey by Amárach Research.
  • The Workplace Relations Commission ordered a hotel to pay €31,200 to a chef dismissed after a row over a ‘no gravy’ customer.
  • Miriam Mooney, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association, said “Irish whiskey distilleries are positioning themselves as key tourist attractions. Already, The Old Bushmills Distillery and Echlinville Distillery are succeeding in attracting more than 120,000 visitors every year.
  • Insomnia‘s flagship store on St Stephen’s Green reopened after a refurb that incorporates  retro cinema signs with coffee inspired messages and what it calls natural wood, granite and brick finishes with a retro vintage feel. New wall galleries and book shelves operate a book swap system  where you can take a book away as long as you leave one to stay.


STRGlobal reported  Irish hotels occupancy rates up 3.7pc to 81.6pc for April and average room rate up 7.7pc to €122.60. Rolling twelve month occupancy was 70.3pc and room rate €114.76. RevPAR is up 11.7pc to €110.10, RevPAR in Dublin up 5.4pc to €111.01, rolling RevPAR was €80.67. Dublin room rate is up 5.5pc to €129 with occupancy up 3.7pc to 81.6pc. Investec research suggests that RevPAR in Dublin could grow 6.5pc by end 2017.

Ray Coyle’s Tayto Park, Ireland’s eighth most popular visitor attraction, applied for a seven-storey 250 bedroom hotel with junior play area and parents’ lounge, family leisure pool with water slide, an exercise pool, three restaurants, ground floor meeting and function rooms, two sky bars, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and plunge pool.

Dromoland embarked on a €20m four-year development plan including upgrade of all castle bedrooms,  luxury en-suite bathrooms for each bedroom, upgrades to mechanical and electrical works, conservation stone façade repair works to castle exterior and towers, double glazed windows to all bedrooms and public areas, roof repairs, a new castle courtyard and limestone steps at the main entrance of the castle, pathways around the hotel’s 18-hole parkland course, a fleet of new golf buggies and new golf academy. MD Mark Nolan said restoration will combine all the modern luxuries expected of a five-star property to ensure the continued development and enhancement of the resort.

The winner of the B&B of the Year Award, Eileen Joyce of Springview Farmhouse, Co Kilkenny, receiving her award from Maurice Pratt, Chairman of B&B Ireland and Tom Walsh, House of Waterford Crystal. The announcement was made in Dublin last week at the AGM of B&B Ireland in the Ashling Hotel.

Research by Shareacamper showed Dublin one of the top ten cities and Barcelona the best city to pay off an investment across all business models of the sharing economy, Frankfurt is the best place to buy a home and pay it off using platforms such as Airbnb or Homeaway, Copenhagen is the best place to pay off a camper quickly, Zurich the best for a car, Melbourne for a boat and New Zealand the highest returns for investors on peer-to-peer money lending platforms.

  • Lone Star Funds is to the Jurys Inn chain for an aniticipated €1.5bn.
  • John Burke the Co Clare hotelier returned from his successful ascent of Everest, Nepal’s version of Sliabh Callan (watch homecoming here). And yes, the Hilary step is still there.
  • Property firm Knight Frank said Johnny Ronan’s proposed 17-storey development including 110-bedroom hotel would be a “jewel in the crown” building for the city’s south side.
  • The Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise, formerly the 4 star Portlaoise Heritage Hotel, unveiled a €7m makeover.
  • Dublin became one of the first cities to offer trips on the Airbnb platform.
  • John Fitzpatrick complained about competition from Airbnb in New York.
  • Trivago released the company’s summer trends study for 2017, which showed average price in the US hitting $189, according to a news release and top destination based on searches was Las Vegas, with an average price of $129, and Myrtle Beach with an average price of $187. In Europe the number one trending destination for 2017 is Reykjavik.
  • Skift declared the direct booking war is a myth, at least in Europe where 23.8pc of hotels are affiliated to a brand compared to 60.5pc in the USA.
  • The Chelsea Harbour Hotel announced a partnership with Whittard of Chelsea.
  • Culloden Estate & Spa in Holywood Co Down completed a £4.8m renovation programme.


Aer Lingus took delivery of its 63rd aircraft,  Saint Carthage (close to his feast day of May 14), registration EI-GAJ, with 313 seats in 30 283 ccnfiguration. It commenced service on Wednesday’s EI 109 from Dublin to New York JFK.

Norwegian Air released a second tranche of 6,000 US return flights costing under €190 for sale.

  • BA’s reservation system crashed on Saturday morning, coinciding with a public holiday weekend in England. Gatwick’s luggage retrieval system crashed on Friday.
  • Aer Lingus recruited 200 new cabin crew as the summer schedule begins.
  • Aer Lingus added a morning flight to its Dublin-London Heathrow service departing from Dublin EI 156 DUB at 8.40am and arriving into LHR 10.15 which provides even more convenient schedule options for customers. Capacity on the London-Cork route also grew by an additional six services per week for summer.
  • Cork Airport was shortlisted for the ACI Europe Best Airport Awards in the best airport under 5m passengers category.
  • United Airways is cutting Shannon Newark from 6w to 4w for January and February.
  • Cathay Pacific Airways is laying off 600 staff at its headquarters in its biggest round of firings in two decades
  • Cork Airport said lack of preclearance is not an issue.
  • A third legal action against Fingal council over Dublin airport’s planned €320m parallel runway was fast-tracked and residents’ groups predicted plans could be about to enter a holding pattern.
  • NAC delivered an ATR 42-500, MSN 689, to PT Transnusa Aviation Mandiri on lease
  • Ryanair began trialling connecting flights through Rome.
  • SMBC Aviation Capital had its credit ratings upgraded to ‘A-’ from ‘BBBup ’ by Fitch Ratings.
  • Tifco planning to double the size of its airport hotel
  • US unions continue to oppose Norwegian Air flights between Ireland and the States
  • WOW air flights to Keflavik took off from Cork Airport.
  • Richard Branson hinted at a new US airline venture after Virgin America was subsumed into Alaska.
  • Boeing celebrated the first 737 MAX Delivery. Watch here.
  • Watch here last week’s tribute Brendan O’Regan at Shannon Airport.
  • The McAvoy Group, Dublin Airport Pre-Boarding Zone, DAA. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus CFO Rachel Izzard is to be honoured among Ireland’s leading financial officers
  • Cork Airport was nominated for a European marketing award.
  • SKY Leasing accepted ownership of a 20th Aircraft with Airberlin A320-200
  • Hainan Airlines was rumoured to be interested in Alitalia.
  • A walkaround the Cirrus Vision Jet. Watch here.
  • The cheapest private jet you can buy? Watch here.
  • Avolon delivered a Boeing B787-9 to Hainan Airlines
  • Boryspil Airport DG talked about Boryspil Airport’s efforts to woo Ryanair.
  • Direct flight to China is absolutely vital, says Ireland tourism chief
  • ESN signed a partnership with Ryanair
  • Marqette is shortlisted for three international awards
  • Ryanair could deploy up to 30 aircraft to Italy if Alitalia cuts services
  • Ryanair is to offer New York, Havana links with Air Europa. See press release.
  • Bombardier Q400 aircraft the Jambojet. Watch here.
  • Avolon delivered an Airbus A320-251N to Garuda
  • DAA’s chairman considered breaching pay guidelines to lure a new CEO
  • EI-FVV Boeing 737-800 Norwegian first flight.
  • GECAS, Milestone Aviation opened a new office in Sydney, Australia
  • IAG CEO Willie Walsh wants a shorter, cheaper new Heathrow runway
  • NAC delivered five Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s to Flybe on lease
  • Michael O’Leary told a news conference in Brussels that Alitalia has a viable future, if sensibly restructured and focused more on long-haul, less on short-haul, and he wants to take Alitalia routes, not buy the airline
  • Rwandair signed a bilateral air service agreement with Switzerland.
  • Fred Browne of Aergo Capital said Aergo is an entirely different company now.
  • It was claimed IAG could lose market share due to Air Europa-Ryanair agreement.
  • Peter Bellew said that superjumbo charter services could grow.
  • Norwegian seat sale sees 6,000 US return flights cost under €190
  • Norwegian said it is confident on deal for Europe to US flights with low-fare model
  • Stobart opened an executive jet centre opens at London Southend
  • Travel tech firm OpenJaw said it will create 50 jobs in Ireland
  • Bombardier’s CSeries CS300 FTV8 flew Montreal-Dublin-Montreal a part of its ETOPS certification process.
  • Kevin Toland paid tribute to colleagues at DAA watch here
  • Australian profile: Alan Joyce’s ‘boring’ flight path keeps Qantas in rare air
  • EI-FVU Boeing 737-800 Norwegian first flight.
  • How Dublin airport uses big data to improve the customer’s journey
  • Interview with Eamonn Brennan CEO of the Irish Aviation Authority
  • Valdez 2017 STOL competition.  The numbers keep going down as designs improve. Watch here.


Caribbean Princess, Silver Whisper and Vision of the Seas are the next high profile cruise calls to Dublin Port when it arrives on Tuesday and Amanda MIddler will take the opportunity to host trade on board, an opportunity which will also be be taken by Celebrity when they host agent training on board Eclipse and Silhouette in July. There will be 24 cruise ship calls in June: May 28 Caribbean Princess, 30 Silver Whisper, Vision Of The Seas, June 01 Corinthian, 04 Artania, Hebridean Sky, 05 Magellan, 08 Prinsendam, 09 Corinthian, Nautica, Caribbean Princess, 10 Insignia, 11 Hanseatic, 12 Silver Explorer, Star Pride, 13 Hebridean Sky, Black Watch, 19 Variety Voyager, 21 Caribbean Princess, Corinthian, Sea Cloud Ii, 24 Wind Surf, 25 Columbus, 26 Magellan, Star Legend, 28 Star Pride, 29 Corinthian. Picture shows Amanda Middler and Linda McCorry of Silversea cruises on board Silver Cloud. Watch here interview with Amanda Middler of Silversea.

CLIA said the cruise ship lobby group’s 2016 fleet comprised 458 ships including nine new ocean ships and 17 new river vessels for a total of 26 new , representing an additional 28,000 passenger capacity. Top destinations were Caribbean (35pc), Mediterranean (18.3pc), Europe w/o Med (11.1pc), Asia (9.2pc), Australia/New Zealand/Pacific (6.1pc) Alaska (4.2pc) and South America (2.5pc).

Stena Line appointed Diane Poole as new travel commercial manager in business region Irish Sea South reporting to Ian Davies, Trade Director for the region.  Stena Line introduced a new timetable on the Rosslare – Fishguard route.

The coast guard assisted tourists cut off at Sandymount Strand.

Irish Ferries has added a new destination to its portfolio of short break packages with the unveiling of a family offer to Drayton Manor & Thomas Land Theme Park in Staffordshire, England, which attracts some 1.5m visitors each year. Valid until June 25, a three nights stay with breakfast at the nearby Tillington Hall Hotel is €491 for two adults and two children under 11 sharing, inclusive of return car cruise ferry crossing and one full day pass to the park.

CLIA is to hold a River Cruise Conference in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam on April 10-12 2018, followed by a sailing on the Mekong River for travel agents.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has today released a brand new brochure, ‘Making Memories Around the World’, following the launch of its most extensive fly-cruise programme ever in 2017-19.

  • TV presenter Angela Rippon is to name Cruise & Maritime Voyages new ship Columbus.
  • Seabourn Odyssey  added a Thomas Keller restaurant and a refreshed spa in dry dock.
  • Poseidon Expeditions refurbished 54 cabins on its all-suite polar cruiser, Sea Spirit, in a dry dock,
  • CLIA’s inaugural Cruise360 Europe in Copenhagen on September 9th – 11th, 2017, will feature ‘Cruise Sales Masterclass’ learning programmes.
  • Crystal River Cruises laid the keel for its 2018 Rhine-Class Ships.
  • Carnival introduced Ocean Tagalong Avatars for Medallion-Class cruise ships.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line laid the keel for its next breakaway plus-class ship, Norwegian Bliss.
  • Cruise & Maritime Voyages started a partnership with Whittard of Chelsea on Columbus.
  • Celebrity Constellation was delayed in Barcelona for two days post dry dock due to propulsion issues.
  • Carnival raised the price of its non-alcoholic drink package for adults to $7.50 plus 15pc gratuity per day.


Central Statistics Office figures February to April 2017 show trips from Britain to Ireland down 10.7pc, North America up 26pc, long-haul markets up 17pc, Europe up 2pc. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency reported a record 2.1m overseas visitors on 2016, up 15pc on 2015 and revenue up 12pc and up 58.7pc in five years. Europe was up 15pc, Britain up 7pc, North America up 9pc. Tourism Ireland says overseas tourism delivered over £543 million in 2016 for the economy of the north, helping sustain 61,300 jobs.

Minister Patrick O’Donovan led a trade mission to Reykjavik to mark the start of Wow Air’s service from Cork airport. Picture shows Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel, Tony Brazil of Limerick Travel, Ciaran Carton of Cork Airport; Daragh Hanratty of Cork Airport; Lawrence Owens ofCork Business Association; Peter Nash of Tourism Ireland; Seamus Heaney of Cork Convention Bureau; Aaron Mansworth of Cork Airport, Thomas McHugh of Cork Chamber of Commerce, Minister O’Donvoan Niall McCarthy of Cork Airport and Maeve O’Riordan of Cronin’s Coaches.

Picture shows Carmel Flynn of Parknasilla Resort & Spa; Dermot O’Neill of Moloney & Kelly Travel; Hillarie McGuinness of Tourism Ireland; and John Callely of Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, at GTM in Nevada among nine Irish tourism companies joined Tourism Ireland at Global Travel Marketplace in West Henderson, Nevada.

A sign of changing times at Ireland’s oldest Greenway, Great Southern Greenway, 37km from Rathkeale to Kilmorna along the old Limerick to Tralee rail line, is replacing 20 farm crossing gate sets with new gate and cattle grid allowing cyclists to travel the route without having to dismount. The trail originally catered more for walkers than cyclists. Limerick will host the 8th European Greenways Award ceremony and General Assembly on Sept 28.

Business buyers from the USA toured Adare Manor, Killarney Park Hotel and The Europe, the K Club, and the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin and sampled whiskey tasting, bódhrán lessons, Gaelic games and food trails.

The famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge is to closed for ‘foreseeable future’ after vandals cut the rope

Picture shows Margaret Jeffares of Good Food Ireland; and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, at two workshops hosted by Tourism Ireland looking at ways to maximise growth from the US and German markets.

Picture shows Bronagh Kelleher of The Fitzwilliam Hotel; Niall Gibbons CEO of Tourism Ireland; and Yvonne Donohue of The Shelbourne Dublin at the workshop to discuss the potential of the US market for Irish tourism.
Failte Ireland
hosted 100 buyers from emerging markets at Powerscourt House and Dalkey Castle, on an itinerary that included the Irish Bog Oak Story from renowned sculptor Eamonn Heffernan, tours of Lullymore Heritage Centre where their clients can sample peat infused whiskey, participate in traditional turf cutting, and sample local culinary delights, fragrance creation with Brooke and Shoals and a bódhrán taster session with The Bódhrán Buzz.

The Immrama Festival speakers in Lismore in June include Christina Lamb, Colm Tóibín, Andrew Sykes, Tom Feiling, Des Ekin, Donald Brady. See here.

Tayto Park announced the birth of  two Tayra pups. native to the Americas.

Cork summer show was launched.

Blue Flag List 2017

A record 89 Irish beaches and nine marinas were awarded blue flags in 2017. Picture shows Ian Diamond of An Taisce, Gavin Deane of Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven and Senator Jerry Buttimer at the announcement.

  • Antrim: Portrush West Strand, Portrush East Strand, Ballycastle marina
  • Clare, Ballycuggeran (Killaloe), Cappa pier, Fanore, Kilkee, Lahinch, Mountshannon, Spanish Point, White Strand Doonbeg, White Strand Miltown Malbay,
  • Cork Redbarn Beach, Barleycove, Garrylucas, Inchydoney, Owenahincha, Tragumna, Garretstown, Kinsale Yacht Club, Royal Cork Yacht club,
  • Derry: Portstewart, Benone, Downhill, Ballyronan marina,
  • Donegal Downings, Rossnowlagh, Greencastle Marina, Bundoran, Carrickfinn, Culdaff, Fintra, Killahoey, Magherawarden (Portsalon), Marblehill, Murvagh, Portnoo/Naran, Shroove,
  • Down: Cranfield West, Murlough, Tyrella
  • Dun Laoghaire, Seapoint,
  • Fingal Portmarnock/Velvet Strand,
  • Galway An Trá Mhór (Inverin), Cill Mhuirbhigh (Aran), Loughrea Lake, Salthill, Silverstrand, Trá an Dóilin, Traught, Portumna,
  • Kerry Inch, Ballybunion North, Ballybunion South, Ballyheigue, Banna, Fenit, Kells, Magherabeg, Rossbeigh, Ventry, White Strand Caherciveen, Fenit Marina, Ballinskelligs, Derrynane,
  • Louth Port/Lurganboy, Shellinghill/Templetown, Clogherhead,
  • Mayo Bertra, Carrowmore, Clare Island, Dooega, Elly Bay, Golden Strand, Keel, Keem, Mullaghroe, Mulranny, Silverstrand Dugort, Ross Killala,
  • Westmeath Killinure Point,
  • Sligo Rosses Point,
  • Waterford, Clonea, Councillors Strand Dunmore East, Dunmore Strand, Tramore,
  • Wexford  Ballinesker Beach, Courtown, Curracloe, Morriscastle, Rosslare, Ballymoney North Beach, Kilmore Quay Marina, New Ross Marina,
  • Wicklow Brittas Bay North Beach, Brittas Bay South Beach, Greystones, Bray South Promenade

Deal Watch

Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €599pps, depart Cork June 8. 7 nights self catering 2* Gran Amadores Apartments, Amadores, Gran Canaria from €479pps, depart June 8. 7 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou from €689pps, depart Knock July 25. 7 nights all inclusive 2* Bellevue Minerva, Alcudia, Majorca from €629pps, depart Cork June 17. 7 nights self catering 2* Costa Volcan, Puerto Del Carmen form €489pps, depart Shannon June 19. 7 nights self catering 3* Monte Feliz, Bahia Feliz, Gran Canaria from €3,669 2+3, depart July 20. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Azul Fives by Karisma, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico from €1,969pp, depart June 21. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,959pp, depart July 12. Visit or call 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering a 10-day best of Germany tour from €2,449pp, depart July 14. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

Irish Ferries is offering 3 nights B&B Tillington Hall Hotel near Drayton Manor park from €491 2+2 incl. return ferry crossing and 1-day pass, valid until June 25. Visit or call 0818 300 400.

Sunway offers: 7 nights Taste of Bordeaux river cruise from €1,499pp, depart June 22. 10 days Northern Thailand tour from €1,529pp, depart August 28. 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Hotel, Kusadasi from €299pps, depart June 10. 7 nights self catering 3* Flatotel Apts, Costa Del Sol from €419pp, depart June 3. 7 nights self catering 3* Luna Miramar Apts, Algarve from €499pp, depart June 3. 7 nights self catering 2* Villa Florida Apts, Fuerteventura from €399pp, depart June 3. 7 nights self catering 2* Los Lentiscos Apts, Minorca from €499pp, depart June 4. 4 nights 3* Excalibur, Las Vegas from €749pp incl. limo and champagne arrival transfer, depart November 17. 3 nights 3* Edison New York from €729pp incl. Woodbury Common shopping trip, Broadway show and admission to Empire State Building, One World Observatory, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, depart February 8 2018. 7 nights Spain and Italy fly cruise on board Freedom of the Seas from €995pp, depart September 24. 7 nights Orlando, Caribbean fly cruise on board Oasis of the Seas and Las Vegas holiday from €1,279pp, depart November 23. 10 nights Transatlantic fly cruise from New York on board Queen Mary 2 from €1,499pp, depart July 3. Visit

Thomson offers: 14 nights half board Hotel Son Baulo, C’an Picafort, Majorca from €849pps, depart Shannon June 10. 7 nights self catering Mariners Club, Alcudia, Majorca from €459pps, depart June 13. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou from €699pp, depart Knock July 25. 7 nights self catering Protur Atalaya Apartments, Cala Millor, Majorca from €549pp, depart Cork June 20. 7 nights half board Hotel Son Baulo, C’an Picafort, Majorca from €619pp, depart Shannon June 17. 14 nights all inclusive Platinum Yucatan Princess All Suites & Spa Resort, Riviera Maya from €1,819pp, depart June 21. 14 nights all inclusive RIU Lupita, Playacar from €1,629pp, depart July 5. 7 nights B&B Vanilla Garden, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €609pp, depart June 9. 7 nights self catering 3* Efir 1, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €419pp, depart June 19. 14 nights all inclusive TUI Sensimar Kalamota Island Resort, Kolocep, Croatia from €979pp, depart June 11. 7 nights full board Treasures of the Mediterranean cruise from €979pp, depart June 20.

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering 4* Madison Apartments, Cattolica, Adriatic Riviera from €399pps, depart June 17. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Tysandros, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €499pps, depart June 3. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Astoria, Desenzano, Lake Garda from €549pps, depart June 10. 7 nights B&B 4* Blu Lake Sirmione Hotel, Sirmione, Lake Garda from €749pps, depart June 10. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €499pps, depart June 11. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €999pps, depart June 11. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Cambridge, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €949pps, depart June 17. 7 nights self catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, Funchal, Madeira from €349pps, depart June 1. 7 nights B&B 5* Melia Madeira Mare, Funchal, Madeira from €699pps, depart June 1. Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 7 nights Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Orlando from €649ppp, travel November. 7 nights Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €529pp, depart February 14 2018. 3 nights Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €499pp, depart February 2 2018. 4 nights Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €589pp, depart March 8 2018. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Cancun, Mexico from €1,369pp, depart April 7 2018. 7 nights Arab Emirates fly cruise on board MSC Spendida from €1,429pp, depart February 8 2018. 7 nights Med fly cruise on board Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas from €949pp, depart September 24. 12 nights Miami and Caribbean cruise on board Celebrity Eclipse from €1,539pp, depart December 9. 10 nights Orlando and Caribbean fly cruise on board Norwegian Epic from €1,279pp, depart January 10 2018. Visit

Travel Department offers: 13 nights Argentina & Brazil tour from €3,499pp, travel between August and October. 11 nights highlights of Cuba tour from €3,249pp, travel between September and October. 13 nights highlights of Burma tour from €2,949pp, travel October. 14 nights Mekong river cruise from €3,499pp, travel September. 10 nights Western Canada and the Rockies tour from €2,399pp, travel September. Visit or call 01 637 1600.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering an 8-day Danube river cruise on board the River Ambassador from €2,729pps. Book bay June 30, depart October 29. Visit or call 01 775 3803.


Ramadan began on Friday so a reminder of what airline passengers can expect: Emirates does not adjust policies during Ramadan, including in their lounges in Dubai.  Etihad will not display alcohol in their foreign lounges, including Dublin, during daylight hours, and will not serve any alcohol during daylight hours in their Abu Dhabi lounges. Qatar Airways do not serve any alcohol in their Doha lounges. On board Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar flights service is unchanged meaning alcohol is served to all destinations except Saudi Arabia, which is the case year-round.

What we learned

The late Roger Moore collected for UNICEF Ireland on Aer Lingus planes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s