Things to know about travel this week
- Direct flights to Doha with Qatar Airways to go ahead despite surprise move to isolate Qatar and ban overflights by neighbouring countries.
- International Pow Wow, International Air Transport Association congress occur.
- If Only announces threefold expansion.
- Office manager for Feherty Travel pleads guilty to stealing 85,000 from business to pay for his lifestyle, writing company cheque to his credit card company.
- Vietnam extending visa exemption for Irish visitors
- Dog bites man- emotional support animal bites man on plane during boarding.
- Etihad pulls out of talks with TUI group.
Travel Extra TV
- This pilot turned an “engine failure” into something special. Watch here.
- A little girl lost her toy monkey and created a great marketing opportunity for Emirates. Watch here.
- Meet the master of the drone. Watch here.
- A lucky escape for the man who was attacked by a shark in Florida. Watch here.
- Here’s Aer Lingus’s ad for its Dublin to Miami service. Watch here.
- Airbus published a video package on the winner of its ‘fly your ideas’ competition. Watch here.
- Tourism NI posted an ad for the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Watch here.
- Etihad put together a short workout video for Muslim passengers that might be feeling a bit lethargic from their Ramadan fast. Watch here.
- Qantas promoted its new Adelaide to Kangaroo Island service. Watch here.
Behind the Headlines
The marquee route launch of the summer from Dublin airport, direct flights to Doha with Qatar Airways, will go ahead as planned tomorrow morning with an A350 taking the initial flight and subsequent service by a Dreamliner, despite the surprise move to isolate Qatar and ban overflights by neighbouring countries led by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is not a member of the 1944 transit accord which enshrines the right to overfly another country for civil transport.
Like a parody of Harry Potter’s dark lord, Voldemort, he who shall not be named dominated International Pow Wow in Washington DC. It says a lot about the mood of America’s biggest inbound conference that nobody batted an eyelid when the CEO of US Travel Roger Dow compared the damage done to inbound travel in recent months to the WTC attacks of September 11 2011 (watch here). Two entire press conferences, US Travel and Brand USA, were dominated by Donald Trump’s travel policies without the man himself being named. Roger Dow name checked Barak Obama three times but preferred to refer to the “new administration” and, on two occasions, the Trump administration. The appearance of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross was seen as a significant breakthrough, although he did not have much to say on the issue causing most damage he did name-check the record of tourism and travel in creating non-exportable jobs and Dow pointed out “the speech was cleared by the White House.” Dow was determined and reassuring in separate speeches to the 6,000 delegates and the 600 press delegates, saying that Brand USA is here to stay, the travel industry has had to overcome White House opposition in the past (watch here), vowed to work with Trump administration Washington (watch here) and claimed “We will bring president Trump around” (watch here). He said US immigration are NOT asking for passwords on devices and social media despite reports (watch here) In reply to a question from Travel Extra he outlined what the impact of the travel ban would be on inbound travel to the USA (watch here) and said America is open for business travel is NOT dying `(watch here).
The subject that dominated the congress of the International Air Transport Association in Cancun was not even on the agenda: the dramatic decision of the Gulf states to close its airspace and facilities to Qatar Airways forcing Qatar Airways to reroute dozen of flights through Turkish and Iranian airspace. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker mingled with IATA delegates late on Sunday in Cancun but left overnight by business jet. As IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said “it completely surprised all of us.” Aercap CEO Gus Kellyl who is suprisingly under-exposed in Qatar, said “you can read too much into a short-term event. Global travel is resilient. We have been through so much in the last decade: Russia, Brazil, Eurozone crisis, Turkey. A lot of capacity has been going into the Gulf region. Some carriers in the Gulf recognised about a year and a half ago that there wasn’t an endless growth model of 15p a year.” Peter Harbison of CAPA said there has always been a significant concern that Gulf aviation is, if not on a knife-edge, then on a fairly narrow plane.” The congress, whose panellists included Willie Walsh and Peter Bellew, then returned to the agenda items of laptop bans, emissions and air cargo modernisation. Oil price, which dominated previous agendas, was almost entirely absent from the discussions. The laptop ban imposed earlier this year appeared to hurt traffic on the Middle East-US route but overall monthly data indicated a 10.7pc increase in demand for air travel and profitability outlook for the airline industry was raised to $31.4bn from the earlier forecast of $29.8bn. Resolutions were passed to accelerate the modernization of the air cargo industry, to urge governments to collaborate better on security, and to ask governments to do more on sustainable alternatives fuels for aviation. IATA estimated a worldwide electronics ban would cost US$3.3bn. Watch here Interview with Peter Bellew and watch here interview with Christoph Mueller at the IATA Congress in Cancun. Watch here the SkyTeam presentation at the IATA AGM in Concun. Iran Air CEO Farhad Parvaresh was elected to join the fine body of gentlemen pictured here, IATA’s board of governors. Yes, we mean it when we say gentlemen. Not a lady in sight.
The cruise event of 2017, the launch of MSC Meraviglia In Le Havre, was, like the cruise industry itself, gloriously over the top and laced with bling and glitz. Sophia Loren presided, as is usual at MSC events, defying age. Mike Kelly of Travel Extra went along to see, see his pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Highlights of the ship itself include the two-story Promenade, reminiscent of a small town centre lined with shops, restaurants and bars, a redesigned yacht club, and Cirque du Solieil as signature entertainment. The speciality restaurants have a la carte price options, rather than the fixed dining charges employed by other cruise lines. Picture shows Steve Williams, Director of Sales MSC Cruises London, Erica Oglesby MSC Ireland and Antonio Paradiso two country Managing Director MSC Cruises Ireland and Britain.
Travel Extra was the only Irish flag-flier as Indonesia showcased its tourism offering to the world, with media from the Americas and Europe attending the Bali and Beyond Tourism Fair in Nusa Dua on the holiday island. No one from Britain joined the media pack (was something else on back there??) Of interest is the fact that massive Indonesia is aiming to partner with tiny neighbour Singapore which would see the city state being the departure point for cruises around Indonesia’s numerous tropical islands. Catch the first album from the event here
If Only, which is headed up in Ireland by Martin Penrose, announced a spectacular three fold expansion, creating 40 new jobs at its HQ in Milngavie just outside Glasgow, with several recruitment days planned over the coming weeks. Andy Freeth has been appointed as CEO and will join If Only in early December 2017.
Mary McKenna’s Tour America was presented with a chairman’s circle award at a pre-IPW event in the cathedral in Washington DC. Picture shows Veronica Flood and Linda Ryan with the award. As always the social scene at IPW was among the best on the international calendar with the Irish group of 17 trade and media leading the charge. Delegate entertainment included a lunch performance by Ne-Yo sponsored by Kissimmee and, for the sixth year, a cavalcade of Broadway performances from Blue Man Group, Waitress, Beautiful, Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Anastasia. The agenda of 40 event and private parties included a raucous pre-opening night party by DC Cool, press brunch at the Newseum followed by city tours (Washington’s mayor and former tour guide Muriel Bowser guided the tour joined by Travel Extra) an opening party and concert at the National Air and Space Museum, a rousing event by the Gay and Lesbian community which replaced the traditional lavish San Francisco party, a Disney dinner in a spectacular location on Constitution Hill with views over the Capitol, a lively New York party, and a closing party at the Nationals baseball stadium where one proud delegate managed three hits of four throws, and an impromptu Irish and British closing party in Rebellion on 18th street. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Get a flavour of the the Irish Travel Trade at IPW 2017 in this video.
Addressing IPW 2017 press conferences Roger Dow said the Visa waiver programme must be safeguarded Washington (watch here), America’s air traffic infrastructure needs to be addressed in Washington (watch here) and it was time to remove the I visa requirement for media, a legacy of the cold war (watch here). Geoff Ballotti also joined the team of airport infrastructure (watch here). Amid the gloom Roger Dow mentioned progress in the extension of pre clearance & global entry extended Washington (watch here) hailed better than expected April figures (watch here) the attendance of 6,300 at IPW 2017 (watch here) and said the experience of each person who has just been in US will hope overcome the negativity (watch here). He said the big challenge in Mexico is peso dollar exchange rate Washington (watch here) but America continues to offer good value (watch here). Best performance of IPW was from Bill Talbert when he hosted the Miami Press conference (watch here). Chris Thompson in his Brand USA presentation (watch here) said that arrivals Halls need updating (watch here). Caroline Beteta hosted the California press conference (watch here). Miami CVB brought some dancers to their press conference at IPW 2017, this is what happened (watch here)
The Capital District IPW post fam joined by Travel Extra’s editor Eoghan Corry travelled to the Maryland Atlantic coast and eastern shore of Chesapeake and included kayaking amid the blue heron and largest concentration of Bald Eagles on the continent, a visit to the O’Callaghan Hotel (one of three hotels of the seven strong group which are off-island) in the Maryland state capital Annapolis, a visit to the naval museum, taking afdvatage of the soft shell crab season to fine dine in Ian Fleming and Mark Salter’s Robert Morris Inn, in Oxford Maryland, ancient haunt of George Washington and oldest still functioning inn in the USA (1710), swimming the brackish waters of Chesapeake Bay, and a visit to the new interpretative centre on the life of slave-era civil rights leader Harriet Tubman, run by Angela Crenshaw who says her time at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin 2004-8 taught her all she knows about running a visitor centre. And yes the parting glass was sung. Picture shows Mark Salter and Ian Fleming of the Robert Morris Inn with Marci Ross of Maryland tourism who hosted the group . See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
May winners of the Globe Hotels educational to Crete in October are Linda Mc Namara from Ace Travel and Celine Kenny from Travelescapes. Two agents will be drawn at the end of each month for the next four months so keep booking with Globe Hotels and every booking will be entered into the draw.
Livigno in Italy is the venue for the Topflight Copper Faced Jack’s ski trip with live bands, mountain parties, lip sync battle, sledding and Limerick’s Irish comedy hip-hop duo ‘Rubberbandits on March 3rd – 10th 2018. See here +3531 2401700 or +4428 9752 1168
Turkish Airlines invited agents to compete to win two tickets for the Kings of Leon on the 1st of July with access to the 1878 lounge. Answers by June 26.
Classic Collection Holidays, represented in Ireland by Niall McDonnell, restructured their agents Incentive to reward revenue value rather than the number of passengers giving sales staff the chance to earn up to €100 worth of M&S vouchers per booking. Additionally Classic Collection Holidays are continuing with their offer of free access to the airport executive lounges at Dublin, Cork and Shannon for all Summer and Winter 2017 bookings. Up to €3,999 €10, €4,000 to €5,999 €15, €6,000 to €7,999 €20, €8,000 to €11,999 €40, €12,000 to €15,999 €60, €16,000 to €19,999 €80, €20,000+ €100.
Picture shows Teresa Gancedo of the Spanish Tourist Board, Tanya Airey of Sunway, Philip Airey of Sunway, Siobhan Byrne Learat of Adams and Butler and Eileen Vaughan at the Spanish Tall ship visit to Dublin.
Neil Walker former director of Feherty Travel in Down pleaded guilty to stealing £85,000 from the business to pay for his “high lifestyle”.
Cork Skal Club’s June event will be an artisan evening in West Cork on June 29.
Galway Skal Club Summer BBQ & Members evening will be held on Wednesday June 28.
Marlin Jackson of Daphne, Alabama, had to have 28 stitches on his face after he was bitten by an emotional support dog on a Delta flight when the dog was in the middle seat.
Figures released by VisitBritain about the number of tourist day trips were re-issued after it identified problems with the original data.
A new iOS Siri update is bringing a language translation element for holidaymakers abroad.
Vietnam extended the visa exemption for Irish visitors
Malta is top of Europe’s Rainbow Index for 2017 for the second consecutive year. The gay-friendly ranking places Norway in second place. Ireland is in 15th place.
Food & Beverage
A shortage of chefs is forcing some restaurants to close on Mondays and Tuesdays, the Restaurants Association of Ireland says. It also calls for training agency CERT to be brought back
Dragon’s Den personality Gavin Duffy joined actor and Celebrity Masterchef star Simon Delaney and chefs Gearóid Lynch (The Olde Post Inn), Neven Maguire (MacNean House), Eddie Attwell (St Kyran’s Country House), Shane Smith (Airfield Estate), and Adrian Martin (RTÉ’s ‘Chef Adrian Eats Ireland’) to launch the 2017 Taste of Cavan event which takes place in Cavan Equestrian Centre, Cavan Town on Friday, 11th and Saturday, 12th August.
Dublin’s Dylan Hotel, celebrating its 10th birthday, officially unveiled a €10m renovation with the addition of 28 new guest bedrooms, the creation of 15 hotel industry jobs and interior updates
Cork’s Metropole hotel is reportedly set to double its room count, add shops and get a three-star sister hotel in a €50m investment
As well as looking west, Norwegian is sticking with its roots, launching a new 2w service year-round from Dublin Airport to Stockholm. The new route, plus the increase in frequency of its Dublin-Oslo service, represents a 50pc rise in capacity on its routes between Dublin and Scandinavia
Departing DAA CEO Kevin Toland told a Seanad Special Select Committee on Brexit that airlines will be offering fewer routes to Britain at higher prices from next spring. Duty-free shopping between Ireland and Britain should commence immediately after the UK leaves the EU, and that Ireland should position itself as the ‘business destination of choice’.
- Alan Joyce and Qantas will host next year’s IATA congress in Sydney, June 3-5 2018.
- Airbus John Leahy says he will retire “sooner rather than later” on the advice of his doctors. Current deputy Kiran Rao is to replace him, meaning the great aviation sales hurling match will no longer be contested by sales chiefs of Kilkenny (Leahy) and Tipperary (Connor) ancestry.
- Etihad Airways pulls out of talks with TUI Group aimed at creating a new joint venture holiday airline. Under plans outlined last year, TUI’s own airline TUIfly was to be merged with Air Berlin’s leisure airline Niki
- Lufthansa to boost capacity on Dublin-Frankfurt route from winter.
- Aer Lingus is still an IAG poster boy as airline group reveals extent of IT failure at British Airways
- Dublin-based Stobart Air, which operates the Aer Lingus Regional service, is to create 60 jobs and invest €25m as it boosts its relationship with Flybe. Stobart Air heralded a new phase of growth, adding jet aircraft to its fleet as part of a €25m expansion
- A record 2.6m passengers travelled through Dublin Airport in May, 5pc up on last year. The number of passengers using it as a hub increased by 51pc to 330,000 passengers.
- In a bit of a role reversal, Belfast International Airport said it’s attracting more passengers from south of the border. The airport is expecting to handle a record 2.3m passengers between now and the end of September.
- ACI Europe welcomes new measures adopted by the European Commission to further support air connectivity, including a proposal to allow the Commission to investigate unfair competitive practices in aviation from non-EU countries
- The Irish Aviation Authority publishes the State Safety Plan 2017 – 2020 containing safety actions to address key safety risks in aviation identified from the analysis of safety performance at national, European and global levels.
- The Irish Aviation Authority also said that total air traffic handled through Irish airspace and at the main airports increased by 3pc (103, 191 movements) in May 2017 compared to the same month in 2016. Since the start of the year it’s handled almost half a million flights.
- Waterford Airport said talks with a potential carrier were at an advanced stage.
- Kerry Airport handled 59,000 passengers in the first three months of this year
- Leo Varadkar’s call for a ban on air traffic control strikes was opposed by trade unions.
- CityJet announced new pilot recruitment
- Peter Bellew said Malaysia Airlines are close to a deal for more widebody Airbus Aircraft .
- Willie Walsh told the IATA AGM that he believes that there will be no disruption on flights between England and Europe due to Brexit.
- Qantas CEO Alan Joyce predicted the share price will keep rising as airline focuses on more cost cutting
- Ryanair and Lufthansa are in the running for Alitalia assets
- Ryanair May 2017 traffic grew 11pc to 11.8m customers
- EU airports made up 35pc of all global runway incursion reports during 2016.
- Aer Lingus is extending its Dublin Bilbao route to winter
- Willie Walsh used the IATA congress to criticise the media coverage of the BA systems shutdown
- Ireland and Iceland launched full virtual joint communications
- Norwegian said their Irish flights will use Boeing 737 MAX 8 from September 1
- IATA was told that a glut of lessors was fighting for deals.
- United’s Scott Kirby said 30pc of passengers are booking basic economy which has been rolled out to all markets in continental USA
- Watch here Desmond Ross on the Qatar airways ban.
- Watch here Dublin Airport Central
Royal Caribbean’s 5,497-passenger Symphony of the Seas, which will be the line’s fourth Oasis-class ship, was floated out of dry dock for the first time during the week, at the STX shipyard in France.
The second of Cunard Line’s three ships to be refurbished — Queen Victoria — has returned to England boasting additional cabins and suites and a new restaurant. The third ship, Queen Elizabeth, will go in for its refit late next year.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company carries 14,037 motorcycles, a 6pc increase on 2016, and 36,500 passengers, a rise of 2.8pc, to the Isle of Man TT from Dublin, Belfast, Heysham and Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin.
In an effort to streamline the way travellers pay for their cruises, Carnival Cruise Line has introduced EasyPay, a payment plan that automatically charges the credit card on file in three instalments. Customers can opt out at any time, the line says.
The Guinness Storehouse was confirmed as the country’s most popular attraction – but lesser known sites around the country are showing the biggest growth
- Enda Kenny supports a Tourism Ireland promotion in Chicago – and says the next time he’ll be in the Windy City will be as a tourist, not a Taoiseach.
- The Seanad was told British tourism to Ireland is in freefall.
Click and Go offers: 3 nights 5* Real Palacio Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal from €379pp, travel August. 7 nights self catering 5* Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort, Albufeira, The Algarve, Portugal from €299pp, travel December. 7 nights B&B 5* Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa, Gran Canaria from €1,979 2+2, travel October. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.
Falcon offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Zafiris, Sidari, Corfu from €829pp, depart July 7. 7 nights self catering 2* Emmanouel Studios, Lambi, Kos from €589pp, depart July 15. 7 nights self catering 3* Polarmar Apartments, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €559pp depart July 13. 7 nights self catering 3* Protur Atalaya Apartments , Las Caletillas, Majorca from €659pp, depart July 11. 7 nights half board 4* Villa Romana, Salou, Costa Dorada from €669pp, depart Knock July 25. 7 nights half board 3* More Hotel , Alcudia, Majorca form €599pp, depart Cork August 12. 7 nights self catering 3* Protur Bahia Azul, Cala Bona, Lanzarote from €599pp, depart Shannon August 12. 7 nights self catering 3* Poseidon Apts, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €429pp, depart August 28. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €499pp, depart Shannon August 28. 7 nights self catering 3* Monte Feliz, Bahia Feliz, Gran Canaria from €2,959 2+3, depart July 6. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
Insight Vacations is offering a 7 day Mediterranean ‘legends cruise’ from €2,149pps. Depart August 9. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.
ITAA offers: 10 nights family camping in La Loubine campsite, Vendée, France from €1,265 per family, depart June 14. 10 nights Puerto del Carmen Apartments, Lanzarote from €1,499 2+1, depart June 17. 7 nights self catering Cye Holiday Centre hotel, Salou from €2,420 2+2, depart August 20.
Sunway offers: 11 nights ‘Highlights of Vietnam’ tour from €3,425pp, depart September 16. 7 nights Rhine river cruise from €3,225pp, no solo supplement, depart August 26. 8 days Inca tour from Lima to Cusco from €2,579pp, depart September 14. 7 nights all inclusive Kamarina, Sicily from €2,529pp, depart June 17. 7 nights B&B 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, Kusadasi from €399pps, depart June 17. 7 nights self catering 3* Tenerife Sur Apts, Tenerife from €349pp, depart June 17. 7 nights self catering 3* Oasis Dunas Apts, Fuerteventura from €349pp, depart June 17. 7 nights Cuba tour from €2,099pp, travel November. 7 nights Spain, France and Italy cruise on board Freedom of the Seas from €1,099pp, depart September 24. 7 nights Mediterranean cruise on board MSC Mervaviglia from €875pp, depart November 3. Visit sunway.ie.
Thomson offers: 7 nights half board Sensimar Los Gigantes, Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €869pp, depart July 7. 7 nights self catering Jardin Del Sol, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €599pp, depart July 13. 7 nights half board Hotel Platanista, Psaldi, Kos from €899pp, depart July 15. 7 nights self catering Protur Atalaya Apartments, Cala Millor, Majorca from €659pp, depart July 11. 7 nights half board Hotel Mediteran, Porec, Croatia from €809pp, depart September 26. 4 nights all inclusive Holiday Village, Cala Milor, Majorca from €719pp, depart June 15. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €669pp, depart Knock July 15. 7 nights self catering Cinco Plaza Apts, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €529pp, depart Cork August 31. 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul, Cala Bona, Majorca from €569pp, depart Shannon August 12. 7 nights half board 3* Fiesta Hotel Milord, Es Cana, Ibiza from €649pp, depart August 31. 7 nights self catering 2* Ourania Apts, Gouves, Crete from €459pp, depart August 27. 7 nights full board Spanish Delights cruise from €1,059pp, depart July 18.
Topflight offer: 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €499pps, depart June 18. 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Hermitage, Sorrento from €699pps, depart June 25. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Ascot, Sorrento from €739pps, depart June 25. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic, Sorrento from €799pps, depart June 18. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €1,069pps, depart June 18. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Ninfea,Cattolica, Adriatic Riviera from €549pps, depart June 17. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcesine, Lake Garda from €969pps, depart June 17. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Astoria from €599pps, Desenzano, Lake Garda. 7 nights B&B 4* Four Views Baia, Funchal, Madeira from €469pps, depart June 15. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Harrys, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €599pps, depart June 17. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Cambridge, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €899pps, depart June 17. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.
Tour America offers: 7 nights hotel accommodation Orlando from €509pp, depart December 6. 3 nights hotel accommodation New York City from €569pp, depart February 16 2018. 4 nights hotel accommodation Las Vegas from €649pp, depart February 1 2018. 10 nights Orlando and Caribbean cruise on board Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas from €1,139pp, depart November 23. 11 nights Miami and Caribbean cruise on board Celebrity Equinox from €2,139pp, depart October 26. 10 nights Spain, Canaries and Moroccan fly cruise on board Norwegian Spirit from €1,539pp. 8 nights Miami & Caribbean fly cruise on board MSC Seaside from €1,579pp. Visit touramerica.ie.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering an 8 day Danube river cruise on board the River Empress from €2,549pps. Book by June 30, depart October 22. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.
What we learned.
Broadway’s shows which run in 41 theatres support 85,000 jobs when staffing and costume manufacture are taken into account, thank you Broadway inbound at IPW.