Author Archives: Sixdayexpert

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Anger management issues at ANOTHER American Airline

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Section of crowd including travel trade guests hosted by Turkish Airlines at the European Rugby Champions Cup semi-final Munster v Saracens at the Aviva, April 22 2017

Ten things to know about travel this week

  • Anger management issue at another American airline
  • Turkish host travel trade in the President’s Box at the Aviva, shame about the result.
  • Delegates arrive for Routes Europe in Belfast
  • Howl at the Moon to open a hotel
  • Silver Muse named in the rain in Monaco
  • Skellig Michael opening date in doubt over unstable rocks.
  • Cityjet establish a base at Tallinn Airport
  • More airlines likely to charge segment fees on trade bookings.
  • Guinness Storehouse hosts the ultimate lock in 
  • Travel Extra print edition is on the way, focus on Canada, Australia and theme parks.  

Travel Extra TV

  • Here’s an introduction to the fantastic aviation artwork of Andy McKay. Watch here.
  • This elephant had a lucky escape. Watch here.
  • Golfing in Australia is hard. Watch here.
  • Ryanair’s travel series continues. This week, it’s Lisbon. Watch here.
  • See behind the scenes of Airbus’s new ad for its corporate jets. Watch here.
  • BA posted a video showcasing its First Wing experience for gold club members. Watch here.
  • Former Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza weighed in on United’s PR disaster. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

  • Here’s an introduction to the fantastic aviation artwork of Andy McKay. Watch here.
  • This elephant had a lucky escape. Watch here.
  • Golfing in Australia is hard. Watch here.
  • Ryanair’s travel series continues. This week, it’s Lisbon. Watch here.
  • See behind the scenes of Airbus’s new ad for its corporate jets. Watch here.
  • BA posted a video showcasing its First Wing experience for gold club members. Watch here.
  • Former Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza weighed in on United’s PR disaster. Watch here.

Former Turkish Airlines Dublin office marketing manager Ann Marie Dalton returned to join Hasan Mutlu (Turkish Airlines country manager who arrived from Istanbul for the event), Sean Alper Kanburoglu and Julie Curran in hosting 50 guests, including corporate clients, 20 travel trade and media in the president’s box at the European Rugby Union (Rugby a quinze) Champions Cup semi-final between Munster and Saracens. Everything went to plan except for the result (26-10 to Saracens). One Munster travel agent had three charter aircraft ready for the final in Edinburgh and was anticipating a €100,000 margin on a successful outcome. Turkish Airlines have returned to double daily on Dublin-Istanbul and the service will remain at that level year round. New summer services include the highly anticipated connection to Phuket. Picture shows Munster agents Tony Brazil of Limerick Travel, Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA, Declan O’Connell of Lee Travel and George Barter from Barter Travel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. And watch here video from the event.

The fallout from the David Dao incident on United Airlines had not abated before more cabin crew shenanigans emerged, this time involving an American Airlines flight attendant who declared “hit me, bring it on,” as he challenged a customer to a fight for intervening on behalf of a crying mother with twin babies. Watch here. Is might be time to send America’s big airlines on an anger-management course.

Left or right? Which way should you turn when you enter a theme park? Check out the knowledge section in the May 2017 print edition of Travel Extra which will be hitting the agencies in the coming days. It features news of the record number of flights to Canada for summer 2017, a detailed insert on St John’s in Newfoundland, its Atlantic hinterland and nearby Labrador. We also feature the Canada 150 celebrations and the polar bears of Manitoba where Travel Extra caught up with a man who had a lucky escape when confronted by a polar bear on the streets of Churchill (watch dramatic video footage here). We also review Fraser Island and Lady Elliott Island in Australia (watch here Tour of Fraser Island with Colin Anderson & Gary ‘Gaz’ Pearce, Surfer’s Paradise and the Great ocean Road and report on the launch of Aussie Expert programme to the Irish travel trade (watch interview with Ricky Dunn of Tourism Australia here and Michael Fletcher of Virgin Australia here). Theme Park openings featured in our roundup of 2017 include Volcano Bay in Orlando and Ferrariland in Salou as well as the Disney Avator attraction. Travel Extra‘s team of award winning travel writers and photographers are already trotting the globe preparing the May 2016 issue which will detail what is a big year for tourism to each of America’s 50 states and an exciting summer for river cruise for 2016. See the print issue here

Travel Trade

Amadeus hosted 12 travel trade at the Munster-Saracens match.

Skal Dublin Club held their annual bus trip to to Marlfield House and The Woodenbridge Hotel. Picture shows Mary Bowe Director Marlfield House meeting The Cronins Coach and President Jim Flannery. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Brian Hynes, ex Travel Corporation, has joined Brendan Breen‘s new high-end B2C tour operator Oroko.

Turkish Airlines will make a sponsorship announcement next Thursday involving an Irish international sports team. Picture shows Sean Alper Kanburoglu, Hasan Mutlu  and Julie Curran.

Disintermediation once again, as the Wolfe Tones might sing. Ukraine International Airlines quietly joined Lufthansa in adding a $9 fee per segment for GDS bookings. A 100-page report on Amadeus by Credit Suisse analyst Neil Glynn predicted other airlines, such as Air France-KLM and IAG, will follow Lufthansa in attempting to disintermediate Amadeus and other GDSs.

Qatar’s newly appointed Dublin PR agency re-announced the Doha route this week. It is the year of the Middle East, Listen here to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry speaking about travel trends on the Marian Finucane show on RTE1.

Strange world

A bride and groom were thrown off a United Airlines flight in Houston because they did not sit in their pre assigned seats.

Countryside Hotels promised to refund the money to couples who, within 12 months after staying at one of their hotels, are divorced.

An orthodox Jewish passenger delayed a flight for more than an hour because he wanted the TV screens switched off

International

Taiwan was named best expat destination in the world ahead of Malta and Ecuador. Ireland ranked 56th. Kuwait, Greece, and Nigeria are the bottom three.

A five-year old died when he caught his head between a wall and a table at a rotating restaurant above an Atlanta hotel.

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull abolished the Australian 457 visa programme which allowed a skilled worker who got sponsored by their employer they could live and work in Australia with their partners and children for up to four years. At the end of last year there were 6,139 Irish people living in Australia with a 457 visa. The scheme will be replaced with a two to four year Temporary Skill Shortage initiative. For more information see here. Hospitality is one of the biggest users of 457 visas, with 2,051 chefs hired since 2014.

US Secretary of homeland security John Kelly threatened to scrap the visa-waiver programme for visitors to America. A survey by travel search engine Kayak found 78pc of Irish people said they would likely not visit the US if new social media rules came into force, with 38pc stating they would definitely not visit.

Food & Beverage

JD Wetherspoon was granted approval for a €4m pub and hotel development on Dublin’s Camden Street.

  • Take-away Thai food franchise Camile opened its first dine-in restaurant in Phibsborough, Dubin, the first of three new restaurants planned this year.
  • Sligo Food Trail launched a video entitled Taste the Sea featuring their members along the Wild Atlantic Way on their website.
  • Minister of Finance Michael Noonan said that he will be monitoring cross-border drink prices on items such as wine (€2.10 less in the north) and whiskey (€3.43 less).

Hotels

A 53-bedroom hotel is to be developed on the site of Howl At The Moon by Dean Hotel owners Paddy McKillen Jnr and Matt Ryan.

The K Club was given an Editor’s Choice award by Golf Digest USA.

The New York Times published an article, Inside the Hotel Industry’s Plans to Combat Airbnb, which detailed how the American Hotel & Lodging Association plans to limit the growth of short-term rentals and the platforms that enable them.

  • Hotelbeds Group bought a majority shareholding in B2B travel supplier GTA from Swiss travel group Kuoni.
  • Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said there are signs the Trump Administration’s immigration policies are damaging US tourism and having a negative impact on the industry and Marriott business.
  • Ballymaloe Country House hotel recorded a €71,478 profit for the 12 months ending 31 October 2016.
  • David and Frederick Barclay bid £600m for London’s Grosvenor House hotel.
  • Monart Destination Spa unveiled an anti-age retinol facial.

Aviation

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Routes Europe commences in Belfast tomorrow with face to face meetings. A water cannon salute greeted the first arrivals among 1,200 delegates for the three-day Conference. A new service announcement by Belfast International is anticipated during the event.

United imposed a cut-off time of 60 minutes before departure for all bookings of flight crews on its own planes to avoid a repeat of the David Dao incident.

  • Watch here extensive interview with Stephen Kavanagh CEO of Aer Lingus on PBS NewsHour.
  • The Irish Aviation Authority reported profits up 18.3pc to €39.5m on a turnover of €191.9m in 2016.
  • Shannon Airport was granted a €10m loan to help fund runway upgrade
  • A drone incident that halted flights at Cork Airport was the third in just over two weeks.
  • Dublin and Cork airports were granted €13m to upgrade an ‘explosive detection’ system.
  • WestJet promised a new discount carrier later this year (isn’t that what WestJet was supposed to be when it launched way back in 1996?)
  • Emirates is cutting flights to the United States because of a drop in demand caused by the Trump administration attempts to ban travellers from Muslim-majority nations.
  • AirCap signed $7.2bn of financing deals in the first quarter.
  • Cheapflights reported that trans-Atlantic fares US to Dublin are down 16pc on last summer.
  • Finnair finalised an A350 XWB sale-and-leaseback deal with GECAS
  • Flybe announced 13 routes, over 500 flights from Belfast
  • Shannon Airport withdrew their CUPPS fee approval application after identifying an error in the application.
  • WOW Air is to operate 24 aircraft by 2019.
  • Dublin Airport unveiled Vibrant Irish Light,  Irish art installations to depict native wildlife and the unique quality of Irish light, using rainbow colours which vary in intensity at different times of the day.
  • AerCap posted $7.2bn in 1Q 2017 financing transactions
  • Coindrum continued their European expansion with second German installation.
  • The CSO released its aviation statistics for 2016. Waterford Airport passenger numbers fell from 34,249, in 2015, to 13,511, last year. Waterford Airport has no scheduled air services following the collapse of the Belgian airline, VLM, in June last year.
  • Avolon Q1 2017 business update
  • Rockwell Collins said its $8.6bn purchase of aircraft cabin interiors firm B/E Aerospace will have minimal impact on its Co Down workforce.
  • Cityjet is to establish a base at Tallinn Airport
  • ESB International opened offices at Dublin Airport
  • Record numbers are expected to pass through Knock Airport in 2016
  • Ryanair launched five new London Stansted routes two months early due to record demand
  • The start date was announced for Kerry Berlin direct flights. Charter services commenced into Kerry from Graz and Linz airports in Austria.

Afloat

Silversea named the 596-passenger Silver Muse in a rainy day in  Monaco’s Port Hercule in the presence of Prince Albert II.

Viking Ocean Cruises ordered two 930-passenger ships from Fincantieri shipyard for delivery in 2021 and 2022.

  • Jersey Boys is to feature on board Norwegian Bliss when it launches June 2018 alongside a second musical, comedy club, nightlife venue, theatrical cocktail hour experience, and an outpost of the Beatles’ venue, The Cavern Club, as features on Norwegian Epic.
  • Norwegian became the third cruise line to add lifeguards to its fleet (after Disney in October 2013 and Royal Caribbean this summer), on its four largest ships this summer and fleetwide in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Carnival added extra-fee sushi dining counters on four ships too small to fit an entire restaurant, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Valor, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Glory.
  • Carnival Horizon, the second ship in Carnival’s Vista class of vessels, will pioneer walk-in, open-seating dining and a Dr Seuss-themed WaterWorks water park when it launches in Europe next April.
  • Scenic‘s first ocean-going cruise ship, the 228-passenger “Discovery Yacht” Scenic Eclipse, will feature 10 dining experiences, eight bars and lounges, two pools, and a spa.
  • Carnival Imagination is to run family branded cruises featuring Transformers and My Little Pony.
  • Avalon Waterways, represented in Ireland by Travelfox, is expanding its Active Discovery on the Danube cruises to include two new Active Discovery on the Rhine departures.
  • Royal Caribbean’s Chops Grille is to offer lunches fleetwide at $19 per person.
  • Expedition cruise line Lindblad has appointed Francis Lam as a culinary naturalist responsible for orchestrating experiences and excursions that expose Lindblad passengers to the role that food plays in culture, particularly the Faroes.

Ireland

Italian tour operator Francorosso and Tourism Ireland hosted 17 travel agents in Ireland, visited the Rock of Cashel, Dingle Distillery and Gallarus Oratory. They also visited GlendaloughPowerscourt Estate, Malahide Castle and the Guinness Storehouse.

Skellig Michael’s opening date is in doubt over unstable rocks.

Is this the ultimate lock-in? A Guinness fan from New York will check in Monday evening for an overnight reservation in the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse as part of Ireland’s first ever Airbnb ‘Night At’ competition. The Gravity Bar is set to be completely transformed into a luxury loft, complete with a Guinness tasting bar and private butler, pint-shaped bed, pool table, life-sized Jenga and giant telescope.

Picture shows Tanya Dawson of Culture & Heritage Tours Ireland; Helena Healy of B&B Ireland; Alison Metcalfe of Tourism Ireland; Ruth McCarthy of Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa; and Ellen McNulty of Lynott Tours at the ‘Jump into Ireland’ event in Chicago.

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Palmin Hotel,  Kusadasi, Turkey from €399pp, travel May. 7 nights half board 4* Vistamar Aparthotel, Benalmadena, Costa del Sol from €299pp, travel May. 7 nights self catering 3* Club Alvorferias Apartments, Alvor, The Algarve, travel May. 2 nights 4* Best Western Premier 61 Paris Nation Hotel, Paris from €219pp, travel May. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Cruise Holidays offers: 3 nights Orlando and 7 nights on board Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas from €1,359pp, depart September 21. 7 nights Med cruise on board MSC Meravglia from €999pp, depart October 13. 7 nights Med cruise on board Norwegian Epic from €1,179pp, depart October 22. 1 night Hyatt Regency Fort Lauderdale and 6 nights on board Celebrity Reflection from €1,459pp, depart January 1 2018. 7 nights Abu Dhabi-Dubai cruise on board MSC Splendida from €2,069pp, depart February 25.

Falcon offers: 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica from €1,489pp, depart June 15. 14 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou, Costa Dorada from €1,269pp, depart Knock July 25. 7 nights self catering 3* Club Marthas, Cala D’or, Majorca from €359pps, depart Cork May 2. 7 nights self catering 2* Bellevue Club, Puerto De Alcudia, Majorca from €379pps, depart Shannon May 19. 7 nights self catering 3* Rocamar, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €2,219 2+3, depart June 15. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Grand Riviera Princess, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,699pp, depart June 15. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,209pp,  depart June 7. 11 nights self catering 2* Bellevue Club, Puerto De Alcudia, Majorca from €569pp, depart May 2. 7 nights self catering 2* Rocamar, Costa Tequise, Gran Canaria from €319pp, depart May 25. 7 nights self catering 2* Labranda Oasis Mango, Los Cristianos, Tenerife from €419pp, depart May 19. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Bellevue Lagomonte, Puerto De Alcudia, Lanzarote from €529pp, depart Cork May 16. Visit falconholidays.ie or call Falcon on: 1850 45 35 45.

Insights Vacations is offering 8 days Warsaw and Baltic States from €1,679pps incl. flights, transfers and accommodation. Book by May 12, depart May 14. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 8 nights B&B in 4* hotels Baltics tour from €1,559pp incl. welcome meeting with champagne-cocktail or juice, 3 x 3-course national cuisine dinners, entrance to various attractions and excursions, transport and the services of English and German speaking tour escort, travel between June and August. 3 days B&B accommodation La Tomatina Festival, Valencia from €349pp incl. festival entrance ticket, return coach from Buñol for Tomatina Festival, Busabout Festival t-shirt and headband and official Tomatina After Party ticket and transfers, depart August 29. 7 days Glories of Greece holiday from €1,589pps incl. accommodation, breakfast, 2 three-course table d’hôte dinners, 1 welcome dinner, 1 signature evening, and 1 celebration dinner, coach travel, depart July 25.

Sunway offers: Best of Switzerland tour from €2,415pp incl. 4* and 5* hotels, meals and tours, depart July 15. 14 nights Delhi to Katmandu tour from €2,105pp incl. accommodation, meals and tours, depart July 15. 7 nights full board 5* Rhine river cruise from €2,129pp, depart July 20. 7 nights all inclusive Cancun, Mexico from €5,580 2+2, depart May 21. 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Hotel, Kusadasi from €279pp, depart May 6. 3 nights 3* Essex Inn, Chicago from €755pp, travel November. Visit sunway.ie.

Thomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive RIU Lupita  Playa car, Mexico from €1,259pp, depart June 14. 14 nights half board Hotel Golden Donaire Beach, La Pineda, Costa Dorada from €1,039pps, depart Knock August 8. 7 nights self catering Protur Atalaya , Cala Millor, Majorca from €459pps, depart Cork May 20. 7 nights half board Hotel Son Baulo, Ca’n Picafort, Majorca from €599pps, depart Shannon May 20. 14 nights all inclusive Clubhotel RIU Ocho Rios, Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,589pps, depart June 8. 11 nights self catering 3* Mariners Club, Alcudia, Majorca from €699pps, depart May 2. 7 nights self catering 2* Castillo Apts Costa Caleta, Fuerteventura from €599pps, depart May 6. 7 nights self catering 3* Jardin Del Sol Apts, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €329pp, depart May 25. 7 nights half board 4* Sensimar Los Gigantes, Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €849pps, depart May 19. 7 nights half board 5* Hotel Melia Salinas, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €879pps, depart May 15. 4 nights half board 3* Hotel Materada, Porec, Croatia from €779pps, depart May 30. 7 nights full board Iconic Islands cruise on board Thomson Dream from €1,119pps, depart June 2.

Topflight offers, sale ends April 28 5pm: 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €799pps, depart May 7. 7 nights self catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, Funchal, Madeira from €569pps, depart May 11. 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia, Peschiera, Lake Garda from €339pps, depart May 6. 7 nights self catering 4* Fattoria Castiglionchio, Tuscan countryside from €469pps, depart May 26. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcesine, Lake Garda from €799pps, depart Cork May 27. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Eden, Venetian Riviera from €599pps, depart Cork June 17. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Lake Garda from £574pps, depart Belfast May 13. 7 nights self catering 4* Belvedere Village, Lake Garda from £499pps, depart Belfast May 27. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 7 nights Rosen Inn Pointe Orlando from €549pp, depart November 7. 7 nights Rosen Inn Pointe Orlando and 3 nights at the Row NYC hotel from €779pp, depart January 21 2018. 3 nights Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €699pp, depart November 23. 5 nights Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas from €599pp, depart October 19. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Cancun, Mexico from €1,329pp, depart November 16.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Gems of Northern Italy cruise on board River Countess form €3,269pps incl. flights, airport transfers, all meals and beverages, all shore excursion. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned

As the 89th anniversary of the flight of the Bremen passes, the original aircraft is currently on display in a hangar at the Bremen Airport Museum, where it has been completely restored. For the 90th Anniversary, could we hope to have James Fitzmaurice gracing the fin of a Norwegian transatlantic aircraft and the original Bremen back in Dublin?

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: MISTAKES on a plane, United’s IDB Disaster: How NOT to ‘re-accommodate’ a passenger

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Boarding Cityjet Avro at sunset at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Ten Things to Know about Travel This Week

  • Trade Industy Trade Show 2018 set for RDS on April 12 with Cork the following day
  • Why David Dao should have flown from Ireland- it would NOT happen here
  • United makes a bad situation worse with their response
  • Mná na hÉireann launch chapter of AWTE with a flourish
  • Bookabed & A2B transfers host the trade
  • Sunway bring agents to see Club Med Morocco resorts.
  • Topflight agents sample the Tuscany experience.
  • Emirates rated best airline in the world, Aer LIngus 9th in Europe. 
  • Disney Paris celebrates 25 years
  • How does a millenial trvaeller book a holiday? Foil, Arms and Hog have the answer.

Travel Extra TV

  • Funnymen Foil, Arms and Hog summed up what it’s like when a millennial traveller books a holiday. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland summed up the 10 best things to do in Belfast. Watch here.
  • See Emirates’ freight division transport the New Zealand Aotearoa race boat from Auckland to Bermuda on a Boeing 747. Watch here.
  • Tour the tarmac with Qantas on Snapchat. Watch here.
  • Take a look at Ryanair’s travel guide to Prague. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Mistakes on a plane? Getting “bumped” from a flight took on a whole new meaning this week when United Airlines (Untied Airlines?) summoned aviation-security officers to drag passenger David Dao off Flight 3411 from Chicago to Lousiville, literally, kicking and screaming. We know thanks to two videos posted by Audra D Bridges and Jayce D Anspach.

IDB’s, Involuntary Denials of Boarding, are a fact of life in aviation. Because a small proportion of passengers generally fail to turn up, often because their previous flight arrived late, legacy (but not low-cost) airlines offer a few more tickets for sale than they can actually accommodate, counting on no-shows to maximise the chances that a plane departs at full capacity. Every so often the system breaks down and more passengers turn up than expected, forcing carriers to “bump” excess passengers to a subsequent flight. Most of the time they can find volunteers to accept financial compensation in exchange for a later arrival. If we wanted to know what happens when no one is willing to wait, we found out. Dao’s attorney Thomas Demetrio put his case (watch here): if unreasonable force or violence is used, the responsibility is on the airline.

Aer Lingus policy, as with many European airlines and US airlines when they were flying westwards from Dublin and Shannon, is to solve overbooking issues at the check-in desk.  It means they do not auction off the overbooked seats by offering money to prospective passengers. It means a Dr Dao incident can never happen here.

United involuntarily denied boarding to 3,765 of 86m passengers on oversold flights in 2016, according to the Transportation Department. An additional 62,895 people voluntarily gave up their seats (the US airlines most likely to remove you are 1 Southwest, 2 JetBlue, 3 American, 4 Frontier, 5 Spirit, 6 United, 7 Alaska, 8 Virgin, 9 Delta, 10 Hawaiian). Delta CEO Ed Bastian offered much-needed support to Munoz in a conference call, “overbooking is a valid business process, it is not a matter that you overbook but how you manage it.”

United’s reaction was a textbook epic fail. United CEO Oscar Munoz, recently named “Communicator of the Year,”  issued four contradictory statements, at first supporting his staff, and a widely mocked statement using the phrase “re-accommodate” (was it written by lawyers?). United then blamed the passenger, saying he was “disruptive” and “belligerent” and had tried to strike law enforcement officers (which he had not, a new video clearly shows him refusing to leave the plane, but doing so firmly but politely, until he is dragged from his seat).

Behind the scenes measures were taken, not to prevent a repeat of the distressing scenes, but to prevent them being videoed. United set their spin doctors to work on the 69-year-old David Dao. By Tuesday we were reading lurid accounts, planted in friendly media, of how he had a history of anger management issues and traded gay sex to patients for prescription drugs. The poster of the video, Audra D Bridges, was subjected to sustained abuse on social media. Two days passed before Oscar Munoz issued an apology.

Memes mocking United increased with each stumble. TV funnyman Jimmy Kimmell aired a parody advertisement (see full show segment here). Online comedians proposed new corporate slogans such as “we put the hospital in hospitality”, “we’ll drag you all over the world” and “we have red eye and black eye flights available.” Royal Jordanian tweeted a no-smoking picture saying “drags on our flights are strictly prohibited by passengers and crew.” A Qatar Airways update for its iPhone app says it “doesn’t support drag and drop.” Emirates issued a video that opens with Munoz’s facetious comment, “Those (Gulf) Airlines aren’t airlines.” Mashups (there will always be mashups) included those by Athens films, Joker speaks, and Mark Frauenfelder.

So will United move to prevent this happening again? It is not clear. Oscar Munoz said that the carrier will no longer ask police to remove passengers from full flights.  In the future, law enforcement will not be involved in removing a booked, paid, seated passenger. We can’t do that.”

This is the statement United should have issued, one that would have helped the situation rather than escalate it: All of us at United were horrified by what happened on Flight 3411 last night. We have reached out to the passenger to apologise, offer assistance and make amends. Nothing is more important to United than the safety of our passengers. This incident does not reflect our values and we are going to ensure it never happens again. Listen Here to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry commenting on the incident on RTE Radio 1.

If there is a more inspiring event this year than the launch of the Dublin chapter of the Association of Women Travel Executives last week, Travel Extra wants to be there. Debbee Dale, who led a delegation from AWTE in England to help nurse the new chapter into life, made two inspirational soeeches. The body is to be headed up in Ireland by Clare Dunne, Lorraine Quinn and Yvonne Muldoon. AWTE is planning a “building your confidence in business” event with Maire Ní Gallchóir on June 20, a networking event in the summer at a venue to be decided and a digital workshop in September.Special offer membership for AWTE Ireland is open until April 30 is €100 for individuals and €160 for Corporate which includes up to three women from the same organisation and members can join here. Clare Dunne said: “Over the past few years myself and Lorraine Quinn had various chats about gender imbalance in the workplace and supporting women in business. When I set up my own travel business twenty years ago many people thought it must be owned by my husband, my ex boss or, very strangely, my landlord.” Watch here Clare Dunne speech. Watch here Yvonne Muldoon speech. Watch here visuals from the AWTE launch in Ireland. Watch here interview with Debbee Dale.  Watch here Debbee Dale opening speech. Watch here Debbee Dale closing speech. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Bookabed and A2BTransfers acknowledged the support of the travel trade at an event in the Dean Hotel in Dublin. Lee Osborne said new branding would be available from Bookabed in the coming weeks. Picture shows Lee Osborne and Beverleigh Fly of Bookabed with Emma Male and Mathew Dakin of A2B Transfers. Watch here interview with Mathew Daken of A2B Transfers. Watch here speeches by Lee Osborne of Bookabed and Mathew Daken of A2B Transfers. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade

Thursday, April 12 2018 is the date for the fourth Irish Travel Industry Trade Show, which returns to Hall 3 of RDS Main Hall Complex again next year  – with a second travel trade show scheduled for Cork the following day. Watch here highlights of the 2017 Irish travel industry show. Watch here Cormac Meehan’s speech at the opening of the event. See picture gallery from Irish Travel Industry Trade Show here or connect with the album on Facebook

Sunway Agency Sales Manager Jeanette Taylor hosted a group of travel agents in Morocco, three days in Club Med Agadir with a city tour and visits to neighbouring hotels, three days in Club Med Palmeraie in Marrakech and a final night in the five star Sofitel Thalassa Sea & Spa with private access to the beach. En route, the group lunched in Paradise Valley, Imi Ouddar Paradise Plage Hotel of known for its yoga and spa offering, and lunch on the return was at Riad Zaid. Evening activities included a horse and carriage ride to Palais Charhamane. Home for the night was the where everyone adored the seafront grounds. Farewell dinner was at Pure Passion. Sunway offer accommodations from two star self-catering to luxury five star all-inclusive hotels and twin centre and multi centre holidays between Agadir, Essaouira and Marrakech. Return flights From Dublin to Agadir, substantial 20kg checked baggage per person, Transfers, 7 nights’ accommodation and services of a resort representative. Sunway on 01-2311800 or book online. The group comprised Jeanette Taylor, Michelle Osbourne, Nicola Doyle, Erica Archer, Dennis Chiren and Grainne Caffrey of Sunway, iIsabella Donche of Barter Travel, Annette Hynes of Fahy Travel, Helena Crowley of Bernard Hayes Travel, Michael Kelly of Keller Travel, Rachel Cagney of Clonmel Travel, Ian Manto of Harvey Travel, Lorraine Wynne of Travel Counsellors and Judy Coughlan of Dawson Travel. Picture shows Isabella Donche of Barter Travel, Rachel Cagney of Clonmel Travel and Lorraine Wynne of Travel Counsellors. Picture shows Isabella Donche of Barter Travel, Rachel Cagney of Clonmel Travel, Lorraine Wynne of Travel Counsellors. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Italian specialists Topflight brought their winning agents to Tuscany where they were accommodated at the Hotel Manzoni in Montecatini Terme, visited the seaside resort of Viareggio, the town of Pietrasanta and the cities of Florence, Lucca and Pisa. Topflight’s Tuscany charter programme starts in May. Alongside the charter programme the tour operator also offers tailormade Tuscany holidays and new exciting tours as part of their new Escorted tours brochure. The group comprised Maurice Shiels, Shauna Kelly and , Sharon Gibson of Topflight, Lisa Sprake of Oasis Travel Holywood, Deirdre Laughlin of Clubworld Lisburn Road, Rita Gaughan of Limerick Travel, Colette Desmond of Manning Travel, Donna Kenny of Cassidys Blanchardstown, Sonya O’Keefe of Abbey Travel Naas, Sinead McGrane of Go Hop, Lynne Casey of Fahy Travel, and Noelle O’Leary of Barter Travel. Picture shows Shauna Kelly of Topflight and Lynne Casey of Fahy Travel at the Puccini Statue. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Caitriona Fleming won the Turkish Airlines in house competition with Cassidy Travel to win two Returns tickets to anywhere on the Turkish Airlines Network, 298 different choices.

Catherine Grennell-Whyte’s ATTS no longer represent Affordable Car Hire in Ireland by amicable agreement. Queries should go direct to Angela Day’s Affordable Car Hire team in England on +44766801164 or email.

Thailands inbound showcase event TTM Plus, which returns to Chiang Mai on June 14-17, has signed up a record 480 buyers from 64 countries and 354 sellers from Thailand and nieghbouring countries, led by Europe (182), East Asia (137), ASEAN (42), America (38), Oceania (29), the Middle East (11), and Thailand (41).  Thailand reported a record 67,273 visits from Ireland in 2016, up 3.9pc and overtook Australia for the first time as Ireland’s most popular long haul destination.

The EU’s Consumer Protection Co-operation said that the initial prices shown to consumers on 235 websites were much lower than the final price quoted by these sites.

Strange world

Premier Inn in Belfast warned Irish dancers not to dance in the lifts

A survey of English people found one in ten thought the EU sets the date for Easter, and many believe the holiday marks the birth rather than the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Visitors to Maryland Six Flags were trapped on Joker’s Jinx rollercoaster for four HOURS after it stalled 100ft above the ground.

International

Sad news: Dan Rooney, US Ambassador to Ireland 2003-12, a great supporter of the Travel Trade, Visit USA committee and Holiday World Show, has died.

Greece has formally completed the transfer of 14 regional airports to a consortium led by Germany’s Fraport AG.

Hundreds of people in New Zealand were evacuated from some coastal areas on Thursday as the second major storm in just over a week made landfall near the North Island town of Whakatane.

The number applying for Irish passports in the first three months of this year was up 26pc with applicants in Britain up 68pc.

Irish visits to Germany reached a record 205,504 last year. The number of overnights was up 9.3pc to 476,115.

Disneyland Paris staff/cast performed a one-day spectacular to celebrate 25 years since the park’s opening on Wednesday including a musical number performed by some of the 15,000 employees of France’s largest single-site employer. New for 2017 is Star Tours: The Adventures Continue which takes passengers on an intergalactic voyage in 3D and Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain, which replaces the oriignal Space MOuntain: Mission 2, and three new parades new Parade Disney Stars on Parade, The Starlit Princess Waltz, and the nightfall Disney Illuminations.

Food & Beverage

Plans to end the ban on alcohol sales on Good Friday in Ireland, introduced in 1927 could run into complications as the state’s 1,793 pubs and 2,370 restaurants are covered under different legislation.

Pat McDonagh of Supermac‘s asked the European Union Intellectual Property Office to cancel the use of the “Big Mac” and “Mc” trademark registered by McDonald’s under certain classes and accused the franchise operation of trademark bullying.

Health food chain Chopped is to open 20 new outlets in Cork, Dublin Waterford and Wicklow

Loughlin Druhan will head Adare Manor’s 100-strong culinary team after its reopening later this year following a major refurbishment.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland nominated Depaul as their charity partner for the 2017 Irish Restaurant Awards on May 8.

Mexican fast food chain Boojum is opening a fourth restaurant along Dublin’s Grand Canal at 63-65 Mespil Road, Dublin 4.

Just Eat added five estaurant partners in Bray, Platform Pizza, Box Burger, Martello Gastro Pub, Fish Bar and Ocean Bar and Grill.

Hospitality Ireland asked seven chefs what food trends they observed in 2017. What ingredient do they expect to become big this year? Derry Clarke of L’Ecrivain said Sauerkraut. David Hurley of Gregan’s Castle said butter. Stevie Lane of Brownes Tuam said grains. Philip Yeung of Craft Restaurant said Kohlrabi. David O’Byrne of Richmond Restaurant and Domni Kemp of Hatch & Sons said seaweed. Oliver Dunne of Bon Appetit said kimchi (and firmly disagreed with seaweed).

Hotels

Dalata said banks are demanding ‘up to 50pc equity’ for Dublin hotel builds.

Inchydoney held a recruitment open day on Good Friday to fill a number of full-time and seasonal positions.

Simon Anglin is the new GM of the Clarion Hotel Dublin Liffey Valley.

Rory McIlroy will wed his American fiancee Erica Stoll at Ashford Castle on Saturday April 22. Watch here interview with Niall Rochford after Ashford Castle won the AA Hotel of the Year.

Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites is to double its capacity.

Aviation

The Irish Aviation Ball honoured Norwegian CEO Bjord Bos for his outstanding contribution to Aviation. Bos said “The Cork-NYC flight will happen sooner rather than later with the Neo. Although Cork to Stewart International Airport in New York is currently not viable for its mooted 2018 take off. it is still in the plans.”

Dublin Airport passenger traffic was up 2pc to 2.2m million in March (impressive considering Easter was in March 2016). Europe was up 2pc to 1.1m, Britain flat at 854,000, Transatlantic up 14pc to 207,000, ME/Africa down 7pc to 60,000, domestic down 11pc to 7,000, year to date up 5pc to 5.8m. If growth is sustained Dublin airport will handle 29.3m passengers this year. Dubin airport Easter traffic is up 12pc on last year to 340,000.

  • Emirates was named the world’s top airline in Tripadvisor’s Reader’s Choice awards with Aer Lingus rated ninth in Europe.
  • Ryanair are to launch flights from Lviv one month ahead of schedule
  • Michael O’Leary described IBEC as “clueless” in correspondence with Minister Shane Ross.
  • Ryanair added 184 flights a day the most daily flights to the Eurocontrol network on a daily basis
  • Irish Air Traffic expanded 3pc in March
  • Kenny Jacobs said Ryanair was considering reviving the famous trumpet noise
  • CityJet considered plans to establish a base in Estonia
  • Speaking in Bergamo at the opening of a new Ryanair hangar, Michael O’Leary said Ryanair is seeking closer cooperation with Air France-KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways to serve as a feeder service for intercontinental flights.
  • Foynes Air Show takes place on Saturday July 22nd 2017 at 1.30pm and is free for all
  • Aer Lingus are to hold famine fundraisers for children in Africa and the middle East.
  • Qantas has switched on inflight Wi-Fi for customers travelling on board its internet-capable Boeing 737-800.
  • AerCap leased, purchased and sold 105 Aircraft in the first quarter of 2017.
  • America’s FCC chairman Ajit Pai has come out against voice calls during flights, insisting the flying public are overwhelmingly against it.
  • Heathrow opened a new arrivals lounge in T4 with a new dining concept, Flight Club.
  • Shannon Airport’s new tranquility zone, a “sensory room” for children and adults with neurodevelopmental challenges, including autism, the third in the world, got some well-deserved international coverage.

Afloat

Dún Laoghaire is to resubmit its plans for an €18m development to allow ships of up to 250m to dock after a legal case was taken against the decision by Save Our Seafront.

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity now allow passengers (excluding Celebrity Edge bookings) to spend onboard credit ahead of sailings on shore excursions or specialty dining.

Passenger numbers at Dublin Port were down 9.3pc to 270,171 in the first quarter of this year, with vehicles down 4.9pc.

Celebrity launched an information, videos and training hub specific to Celebrity Edge, due to launch autumn 2018, for travel agesnts at www.cruisingpower.ie.

Amadeus River Cruises launched the 140-passenger Amadeus Provence in Vienna and announced a new build for 2018. Tauck launched two revamped ships, Sapphire and Emerald. Lena Gercke will christen AIDAperla, 12th member of the AIDA fleet, in Palma de Mallorca on June 30, 2017.

Oceania Cruises launched a fleetwide Vegan Menu. Avalon Waterways is expanding in 2018 with a new ship for the Mekong River.

Ireland

Tourism Ireland’s ‘Jump into Ireland’ sales blitz in the United States visited three cities this week, Austin Texas, Chicago and Bosto. Picture shows: Irish and American tourism companies with Marie McKeown (front, second left), Alison Metcalfe (front, third left), Hillarie McGuinness (back, second left) and Ruth Moran (back, right), all Tourism Ireland, at the ‘Jump into Ireland’ event in Chicago.

Ancient East attractions, including Dublin Castle and the Rock of Cashel, are to share in €11.5m of new funding from Fáilte Ireland.

Picture shows Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland; Caroline Boland, Dingle Peninsula Tourism; Denise Henry, Inishowen Tourism; and Gerard Kennedy, The Moorings Portmagee, on the Tourism Ireland stand at Star Wars Celebration 2017 in Orlando.

Easter activities at Tayto Park include complimentary face painting everyday throughout the mid-term break, lambs in the petting zoo, Easter themed arts and crafts suitable for children under 6 years of age, and daily educational animal feeding talks. Today, Easter Sunday, April 16, the park will play host to a Who stole the egg?’ event in which shildren will become crime scene investigators to help find an egg that we know was stolen by one of the animals in the zoo

Deal Watch

Disneyland Paris two new offers with Breakaway and Abbey Travel:  Children under 12 Go FREE at Disneyland Paris combined with up to 30pc off hotel and aprk ticket prices for arrivals  March 29th to October 31st, free meal offers include a quick service breakfast voucher and a meal voucher which can be used for lunch or dinner per person per night of stay.

Click and Go offers: 7 nights self catering 3* CYE Holiday Centre Aparthotel, Salou Town, Salou from €959 2+2 incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. 7 nights self catering 3* Servatur Terrazamar Aparthotel, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €369pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. 4 nights self catering 4* Paraiso de Albufeira Aparthotel, Algarve from €269pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. 3 nights 4* Chamartin Hotel, Madrid, Spain from €259pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel May. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Sunclub Apartments, Costa Dorada from €1,019 2+1, depart May 5. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Eurosalou Hotel, Salou, Costa Dorada from €779pp, depart Knock August 15. 7 nights self catering 3* Bellevue Club, Puerto De Alcudia, Majorca from €429pp, depart Cork May 2. 7 nights half board 3* Best Cambrils, Cambrils, Costa Dorada from €439pps, depart Shannon May 19. 7 nights self catering 4* Sol Barbacan, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €2,969 2+3, depart June 29. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,299pps, depart June 15. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,389pps, depart June 7. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 10 days best of Germany tour from €2,449pps incl. flights, transfers and 9 nights’ accommodation. Book by May 12. Depart June 2. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Irish Ferries is offering 7 night Haven holiday at the Hafan Y Mor park in Wales from €1,247 for up to six people in a two-bed holiday home incl. return car ferry crossing. Book by May 31, depart July 15. Visit irishferries.com/haven or call 0818 300 400.

ITAA hobby holiday offers: 7 nights half board bridge holiday in 4* Sport & Spa Hotel Strass, Mayrhofen, Austria from €895pp incl. flights, transfers and bridge competition, depart June 7. 7 nights art holiday in Mimozas Resort, Cannes, France from €1,099pp. 7 nights surf holiday in Fuerteventura from €445pps incl. self catered accommodation 5-day surf course, equipment, insurance and daily transfer to beach, travel between July and October.

Sunway offers: G Adventures Peru tour from €3,269pp, depart September 20. 7 nights 5* Danube river cruise from €3,255pp, depart August 28. 7 nights all inclusive Sandpiper Bay, Florida from €1,179pp, depart September 18. 7 nights B&B 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, Kusadasi from €299pps, depart May 6. 7 nights self catering 3* Bouganvilla Apts, Majorca form €299pp, depart April 29. 7 nights self catering 3* Clube Oceano Apts, Algarve from €299pp, depart April 29. 7 nights B&B 3* Kata Sea Breeze, Phuket Island, Thailand from €795pp, travel October. 3 nights 3* Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas and 4 nights all inclusive Riu Cancun from €1,319pp. Visit sunway.ie.

Thomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive 5* Sensimar Seaside Suites & Spa, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €2,379pp, depart June 14. 7 nights full board 5* Sensatori Resort Tenerife from €1,242pp, depart May 5. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Riu Reggae, Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,771pp, depart June 15. 14 nights half board Hotel Golden Donaire Beach, La Pineda, Costa Dorada from €1,039pps, depart Knock August 8. 7 nights self catering Morromar Apartments, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €369pps, depart Cork May 18. 7 nights half board Son Baulo, Ca’n Picafort, Majorca from €639pps, depart Shannon May 20. 14 nights all inclusive Clubhotel RIU Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,539pps, depart June 15. 14 nights all inclusive RIU Lupita, Playa car, Mexico from €1,329pps, depart June 7. 7 nights Aegean Meze cruise on board Thomson Dream from €1,029pp, depart June 2.

Topflight is offering a 5 night Mediterranean 6* Silversea cruise on board Silver Spirit from €1,399pps incl. 1 night B&B at the 5* Sina Bernini Bristol in Rome, return flights, priority boarding, all private transfers, private day tour of Rome, butler service, beverages in suite, onboard gratuities, airport taxes and baggage. Ports of call: Rome, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Livorno. Depart November 10. Call 01 254 6312.

Topflight Easter sale, ends midnight tomorrow: 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia Bungalows, Peschiera, Lake Garda from €339pps, depart May 6. 7 nights B&B 4* Jardins d’Ajuda Suite Hotel, Funchal, Madeira from €599pps, depart May 11. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcesine, Lake Garda from €749pps, depart May 13. 7 nights self catering 4* Fattoria Castiglionchio, Tuscan Countryside from €529pps, depart May 26. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Harrys, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €629pps, depart May 27. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Paris and Normandy cruise on board the SS Joie de Vivre from €3,599pps incl. flights, airport transfers, all meals and beverages, all shore excursions. Book by April 30. Depart August 6. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned

How NOT to handle an IDB.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Guess who said they would NEVER do connecting flights and just have?

HEADLINES – AVIATION – AFLOAT – DEALWATCH – FOOD & WINE – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – STRANGE WORLD – TRAVEL TRADE

Opening ceremony at Rendez Vouse 2017 in Rouen

Things to know about Travel this week

  • Ireland slips four places to 23rd in tourism-friendliness rankings
  • Ryanair decides to connect, another U-turn
  • Norwegian includes drinks and gratuities in cruise prices for thirsty markets
  • Holy saffron and blue: Domhnal grows to number three in the world with 10.5bn acquisition
  • Restaurant inspectors reveal all at Taste of Tourism conference in Down 
  • Selective Travel three-in-a-row in Turkish bowling competition
  • Ryanair records 36th successive record month
  • Ashford Castle wins AA hotel of the year
  • Aer LIngus rides backlash on baggage fees
  • Silver Muse hits the water and Silversea wants 3 more of same size
  • Valencia and Costa Blanca host the trade in Dublin
  • Ryanair explains claim that post-Brexit flights could be halted
  • Why diners will rue 20,000 award to woman who banged knee under restaurant table
  • 26 European restaurants in World’s best 50 as Eleven Madison Park NY goes top
  • Aerclub the movie, but most Gold Circlers STILL cannot get into the lounge 
  • In-Seine: Travel Extra cameos on French TV

Travel Extra TV

  • Travel Extra this week witnessed the swinging of the Botafumeiro in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galcia. Some say the incense was once used to mask the stench of unwashed pilgrims who had walked the Camino, though that’s debatable. It took five men of the cloth to get the thurible up to full speed. Watch here.
  • Watch the first A319neo on its maiden flight from Hamburg-Finkenwerder Airport to Airbus’s Toulouse headquarters. Watch here.
  • Ryanair has taken its social media campaign up a notch. Here’s the first episode of My Pot, a mini-series showcasing Copenhagen’s foodie scene. Watch here.
  • Cork Airport reposted a timelapse by Polish photographer Karol Kachmarsky showcasing the rebel county as a gateway to both the Will Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. Watch here.
  • Have a look at Tourism NI’s new promo video. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Guess who said they would NEVER do connecting flights and just have? What will happen in the baggage hall?’ is the big unanswered question from the dual announcement in London this week, a Brexit breakfast briefing hosted by Ryanair’s Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary and Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs at The Institute for Contemporary Art in London.

Ryanair’s move to connect its own flights, initially at Rome Fiumicino airport, was a natural progression from its move to feed Norwegian and Aer Lingus trans-Atlantic flights (watch here). While Ryanair is experiencing difficulties in tying in its Navitaire technology with prospective airline partners (watch here), it should have no difficulty looking after its own connecting bookings. Ryanair also intend selling third party flights to take advantage of Ryanair’s 600m web visitors a year, with cruise ships and other travel products to follow. Kenny jacobs said: “we have a vision to become the world’ largest travel website.” Michael O’Leary identified the BIG problem in an interview this week (watch here): England’s conservative party seem to be defiant that they should opt out of the European Court decisions. This is the requirement for retaining open skies relationship, and is adopted by all non EU carriers such as those in Norway and Iceland. Kenny Jacobs used the so-called Always Getting Better launch to explain Ryanair’s twin concerns, firstly the absence of a reference to aviation in Theresa May’s Breat-imeacht letter and secondly the sabre rattling on open skies to be heard in Berlin and Brussels (watch here).

Ryanair’s favourite memes were on show at the launch (watch summary here), how the MyRyanair system, cunningly compulsory for bookings, is reinventing the traditional customer loyalty scheme (watch here), how MyRyanair would become the Amazon of the air and the airlines was now the the ‘Aldi of the air’ (watch here), Kenny Jacobs Ryanair changed and renamed fare classes and will now allow a mix of classes for outbound and return, as well as dual check-in (watch here), how new bases continue to grow (watch here) and the move on Germany, Ryanair have 8pc of the market but 30pc of meta searches in Germany (watch here). Fare finder will be rebranded under a new name, feeling lucky (watch here). Kenny Jacobs also observed that in-flight wifi is over hyped as most people download to their own devices in advance of a flight (watch here). There were no more warning on the size of the second bag as occurred in January (watch here). See Bloomberg report here and Guardian report highlighting the threat that English connecting flights would be withdrawn in the absence of a Breat-imeacht Brexit deal. Reuters reported Ryanair is to pivot growth away from England for next two years. The Sunday Business Post analysed how Ryanair is weathering the Breat-imeacht storm. See also Ryanair Always Getting Better 4 corporate video.

Spain, likely to become the world’s favourite holiday destination in 2017, finished top of the World Economic Forum’s global Travel & Tourism competitiveness ranking, ahead of France, Germany, Japan, England, the United States, Australia, Italy, Canada and Switzerland. Spain’s high ranking the second time it has topped the biennial survey was based on cultural resources, infrastructure and adaptation to digital consumption habits. Picture shows Spanish tourism CEO Manuel Butler and Teresa Gancedo, director fo the office in Dublin. Bottom place was Yemen, just below Mauritania, DR Congo, Burundi and Chad.

Ireland slipped four places to 23rd in the World Economic Forum ranking, although it was ranked number three for ‘effectiveness of marketing and branding to attract tourists’. Ireland finished seventh on international openness,  11th on business environment,15th on the labour market flexibility, 15th on tourist service infrastructure,  21st on safety and security (behind Morocco), 17th on prioritisation of Travel and tourism, 21st on ground and port infrastructure, 25th on sustainability and ICT readiness, 28th on air transport infrastructure, 33rd on cultural resources and business travel, 55th on health and hygiene, 77th on natural resources, and a lowly 121st on price competitiveness. Irrland ranked 42nd in the business costs of crime and violence, and 101st in the “index of terrorism” (Ed: shureley shome mishtake). Bottom half finishes included: time to deal with construction permits (71st), effect of taxation on incentive to work (84th), mobile phone subscriptions (93rd), inbound visa requirements (105th), construction permit cost (107th), forest cover (107th), purchasing power parity (122nd) and fuel price (130th). Ireland’s scored well on natural (2.8) and cultural (29) resources but lower on tourist service infrastructure (5.8), prioritisation of travel and tourism (5.4), sustainability (4.7), ground and port infrastructure (4.7), international openness (4.5) and price competitiveness (4.0). See Ireland pages here.

At a ceremony in Medley (the former Irish Times despatch room), Ashford Castle was announced as winner of the AA hotel of the year, with Rolf’s Country House in Baltimore, and The Talbot Hotel Stillorgan also honoured at an awards ceremony in Medley in Dublin. wo restaurants won three rosette status Lady Helen in Mount Juliet and Gregan’s Castle in Ballyvaughan, and two won two star status, the Cliff House in Ardmore and Patrick Guilbaud‘s in the Merrion Hotel in Dublin. Watch here interview with Niall Rochford GM of Ashford Castle the AA Hotel of the Year. Watch here the acceptance speech by Niall Rochford. Watch here speech my Minister Patrick O’Donovan. Watch here the full AA Hotel of the year awards ceremony. Picture shows Conor Faughnan of the AA with Niall Rochford of Ashford Castle, Michael Davern GM of the K Club and Martin Mangan GM of the Conrad Hotel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Extra joined the media post-fam at Tianguis Turistico in Mexico to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, staying at the Villa Mexicana, Playa Ropa, the the Solis in Ixtapa, checked out downtown Zihuatanejo, stopped at Zihuatanejo, and took an excursion to Ixtapa island and met Dublin-born skipper Tim Sullivan (watch here) in charge of the Picante catamaran in Ixtapa. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook (check out the picture of a local local man selling political licence plates). Picture shows Mark Evans of Travel Extra with Tareb Rifal, secrretary general of the UNWTO, who told delegates: no wall can isolate this great nation. See more pictures from Tianguis Turistico here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Delegates to Rendez Vous France in Rouen were informed that Paris stores Printemps and Galleries Lafayette are now open on Sundays (not that Travel Extra had ever noticed they were NOT open on Sundays). See Q&A session here with some interesting comments iby Chamber of Commerce president Guillaume Simonin about tourism in Paris in the wake of militant attacks in response to a question by Travel Extra. The media covering the event were hosted in the Seine Valey to tour the ancient abbeys of Normandy, watch here. And yes the parting glass was sung, for proof watch here for a familiar voice in this French TV report of the Seine Valley visit.

The Spanish Tourist Board hosted the Irish travel press in Galicia this week. The group sampled the French Camino, completing a mere 8km of the 100km pilgrimage. The writers were so pampered by their hosts that Conor McMahon, reporting for Travel Extra, unintentionally referred to the pilgrims completing the trail as “peasants”. Highlights included a visit to the Monastery of San Xulián de Samos, where down-to-earth Brother George delivered an inspirational sermon on the steps of the church. A tour of Bodegas Terras Gauda’s vineyard was equally life-affirming. Full review to follow in the print edition of Travel Extra. Picture shows Michelle Darmody, Irish Examiner; Conor McMahon, Travel Extra; Ali O’Hanlon, Dublin Gazette; Stephen Bourke, Sunday Business Post; Eddie Rowley, Sunday World; and Sara Rivero Lopez, Spanish Tourist Board. Click here to view more pictures.

The most interesting conversation at Taste of Tourism conference in the Culloden Hotel (which turns 50 this year, happy birthday Eoin) was not what was said on the podium by either speaker but an intriguing private conversation between AA inspector Stephen Wilkinson and former Michelin inspector Chris Miller as they compared their experiences. Chris had 20 spendid pieces of advice for restaurateurs. Offer value for money. Work as a team and make sure your support team is as knowledgeable and as capable as you are. Make sure the communication between kitchen and front of house is working. The best service is unintrusive, good service is never having to ask for something. Let the guests eat with all their senses. Offer daily specials, it gives you a chance to get regulars happy and is a great way of trialling new dishes. Develop signature dishes. Offer something unique to the local area. Explain new and unusual ingredients. If a dish is not selling, take it off the menu. Don’t add an ingredient for the sake of it. Make the ingredients complement each other. Manage the portion size. Do not offer expensive ingredients unless you can pay for them. Do not cook for inspectors, cook for people who come in on a daily basis. Don’t mark up quality wines by the same rate as cheaper wines. Don’t over elaborate with the wine list. Offer wine by the glass. Keep the restaurant fresh, redecorate a small thing every month so over the course of a year the restaurant keeps its new feel: several small changes can be as good as one delayed long change.
Michelin star chef Jun Tanaka prepared the gala meal the night before the conference while Ciaran Meyler of United Wines, the man who built Roscoff’s alongside Paul Deane, chose a wine to go with the tasting. Jun spent only 7,500 on his kitchen. Watch here the talk given by Eoghan Corry on trends in food tourism, including a polemic on how the locavore movement was hijacked by commercial giants and vested interests. Picture shows Janice Gault CEO and Ciaran O’Neill President of the NI Hotels Federation. Second picture shows Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra with former Michelin inspector Chris Miller.

Kathryn Thomas stopped by to help Ciaran Mulligan launch his two-year Multi Trip travel insurance cover for Irish consumers, first on the market for travel insurance and will allow consumers make further savings and avoid the hassle of having to renew their policies each year. Prices start from €31.99 and Ciaran says it will be cheaper than some comparable one year travel insurance products on the Irish market.

The CSO reported Irish trips abroad in 2016 was up 7.8pc to 7.6m and bednights abroad up 6pc to 56.75m. CSO data intermittently contradicts some of the figures compiled by other nation’s statistical agencies. Their destination figures are Britain 2m (up 0.6pc), Spain 1.59m (up 2.6pc), France 611k (down 3.3pc), Portugal 481k (up 54pc), USA/Canada 490k (up 16pc), Italy 362k (down 13.4pc), and Germany 230k (up 13pc), Portugal’s startling increase seems to have come from an under-reported figure in 2015, while Spain’s increase is less dramatic than was reported in Madrid. Domestic trips were 9.3m up 1.7pc and bednights up 0.7pc.

Travel Trade

The Irish Travel Agents Association annual conference will take place on October 12-15 with the venue to be decided on in the coming days. The lead options are Andalucia, Dubai and Porto.

Caroline Riordan of Sol Travel is the March finalist in the competition to win a Polo Magnifico run by Blue Insurances. Blue Insurance extended its ‘Polo Magnifico’ competition for one additional month and the final will take place on May 11 2017 at 7.30pm in Saba Clarendon Street, where one of the 13 finalists will win a new Volkswagen Polo. She follows previous finalists Angela Taylor from Oasis TravelHelena Kilduff from Skytours, Rose Kane from Kane’s Travel in Longford, Claire Mulligan from Clubworld Travel, Mandy Walsh of Travel Counsellors, Rita Gaughan from Limerick Travel, Kate McGillycuddy from Abbey Travel in Killarney, Nicola Quigley from O’Hanrahan Travel and Ross Waters from Tour America, Kathrice Canning from Cassidy Travel and Kristin Skinner of American Holidays.
 Bookings before April 30 are eligible to win the 13th and last place in the final.

Kathryn MacDonnell of the Spanish Tourist Board asked Peter O’Hanlon of Travelfinders to compere the Valencia and Costa Blanca roadshow event in Dublin, attended by 45 Irish trade and 14 Spanish hoteliers. Watch here what happened next when Peter got the floor (despite a cunning attempt to hide the microphone) and watch here the hilarious prize-giving ceremony; these holidays will be on the Budget Travel window in the morning with a 70pc discount, only kidding. Picture shows Kathryn MacDonnell with David Aledo of Valencia and Teresa Gancedo, director of the Spanish Tourist Board office in Dublin. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The WTC Selective Thriftway team of Aaron Bolt, Michael Holmes and Andrew Osborough won the Turkish Airlines Irish bowling tournament for third 3 years in a row and will be going to the finals of the Turkish Airlines bowling tournament in Istanbul on May 13th to compete among 45 countries in 90 destinations. 1 Selective Travel Belfast 825; 2 BCD Travel Dublin 687; 3 HRG Dublin 680; 4 Cassidy Travel Dublin 678; 5 World Travel NI Belfast 664; 6 Club Travel Dublin 662; 7 Travelfox/CTM Cork 657; 8 Premier Travel Cork 652; 9 Travel Solutions Belfast 625; 10 STA Victoria Square Belfast 624; 11 Portman Travel Cork 616; 12 Thompson Travel Belfast 596; 13 Lee Travel Ballincoiling 596; 14 Lee Travel Cork 590; 15 Escape 2 Dublin 575; 16 FCM Dublin 574; 17 Trailfinders Cork 570; 18 Club Travel Universities Dublin 556; 19 Orrs Travel Belfast 547; 20 Laffin Travel Belfast 527; 21 Skyline Travel Dublin 521; 22 Clubworld Travel Belfast 515; 23 Mahlatini Belfast 467; 24 Oasis Travel Belfast 381. Picture shows Sean Kennedy of Leisureplex with Onur Gul of Turkish Airlines at the Dublin leg of the competition. Watch here video report of the Dublin leg presentaitons. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Tuesday will see the launch of the Irish chapter of the Association of Women Travel Executives in Ireland an initiative spearheaded by Lorraine Quinn and Clare Dunne. The group has formed a committee in Ireland, having opened international membership at the end of last year. They say they are launching with a friendly, welcoming, relaxed dinner. Giving women the ability to join with 50pc discount for their first annual membership as well as attend this first AWTE Ireland event. Everyone is welcome, we have a very attractive ticket option for anyone who would like to come along to find out what we will be doing in Ireland, support women in the industry and enjoy the night. Watch here Lorraine Quinn speaking about the AWTE Irish launch.

Falcon Holidays fam trip to Lanzarote hosted 16 Agents from Antrim, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Laois, Limerick, Tyrone and Waterford at the Barcelo Occidental Lanzarote Playa in Costa Teguise, and visited properties across Costa Teguise, Puerto Del Carmen and Playa Blanca as well as Los Jameos Del Agua in the north of the Island, volcanic caves that have been transformed into a music and food venue. When you emerge from the cavern into the open air where you are met with a crystal blue lagoon pool.

Travelfocus and the South African tourist board hosted 27 agents for a training session in The Metropole Hotel in Cork. Nina Farrimond told the assembled agents tourism from Ireland to South Africa continues to show very strong growth with figures up 18pc and honeymoons on the increase. Emma Dinan of Douglas Travel. Won the draw for a trip to South Africa. Other prize winners were Katarina Trnikova from J Barter Travel and Carmel Hayes of Strand Travel. Picture shows Nina Farrimond of South African Tourism and Anne O’Sullivan of Travel Focus with Ger Dinan. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The famous Huntingdon Beach bonfires weere among the attractins showcased in Dublin in a series of meeting sby the Huntingdon Beach representatives from California and London, The resort, claiming the title of Surf City USA, is 40 minutes from LAX and 30 minutes from Disney and offers hotel accommodation about 20pc cheaper than central Los Angeles. Picture shows Sue Thomas, Kerry Miller and Annabel Herrick . Watch here interview with Sue Thomas of Huntingdon Beach.

Agents who confirm a new Celebrity Cruises booking including flights with Aer Lingus, before May 31 will be entered into a prize draw for a Caribbean holiday  a 14-night cruise on-board Celebrity Eclipse with return flights to Miami wth Aer LIngus from  Dublin or Britain connecting through Dublin Airport. See www.cruisingpower.ie.

Clodagh Oxley is leaving her position as executive director of the Visit USA committee in Ireland to become marketing manager for the Talbot Hotel in Carlow. Chair of Visit USA Ireland Dee Burdock said Clodagh has been the back bone of this Committee and has been instrumental in its continued growth over the last 5 years. She will be missed terribly not only by myself but of course our members whom she has forged great relationships with over the years. She will be a tough one to replace but can I ask you to lend us some support in advertising her position in your future publications. Anyone who has an interest in putting themselves forward for the position should emaihere.

The seven members of Travel Partners hosted agents at two roadshows in the west, in Ballinasloe and Sligo. Picture shows Isabel Harrison of Shannon Airport, Alan Lynch of Cruiseescapes/Travelesscapes and Declan Power of Shannon airport who were lead sponsors of the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Sandra Corkin’s Oasis Travel acquired Doreen McKenzie’s Knock Travel bringing Oasis to six branches when the merger is completed in May.

Picture shows agents hosted at Munster v Toulouse by Amadeus and Turkish Airlines, official rugby partners, Hasan Mutlu of Turkish Airlines, Matthew Thomas CEO of Shannon Airport, Nikki Wan of Live Nation Ireland, Tony Brazil of Limerick Travel, Patrick Edmond of Shannon Airport, Volker Lorenz of Amadeus, Noel McAuliffe of Travel Focus, Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA and Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel.

Topflight launched first Escorted Tours brochure to European and worldwide destinations including Italy, Austria, Madeira, USA, Canada, Cuba, South Africa and Thailand in hand-picked accommodation with convenient return flights and transfer, knowledgeable local guides, extras and add ons. Examples of solo tours include Dolomites Deluxe Hiking Holiday from €1094 and St Johann, Salzburg & Hidden Lakes Tour from €968. Average group size is 3-4 for fully escorted private tours and self-guided tours, and 20-35 for escorted and fully escorted options.

The Travel Corporation (website) launched a new agent training initiative, the TTC Agent Academy showcasing the four core brands Trafalgar, Contiki, Insight Vacations and Uniworld. The academy offers interactive modules and a 90 second  video animation highlighting the key benefits of the scheme.

  • Winner of the Turkish Airlines VIP Ed Sheeran competition was Carmel Hayes from Strand Travel. Turkish are the official partners of 3 Arena.
  • Skål’s coach trip, sponsored by Cronin’s Coaches, will be on Wednesday to Marlfield House in County Wexford for lunch which is owned by Skålleague Mary Bowe and then on to Skålleague Esther O’Brien for afternoon tea in the newly refurbished Woodenbridge Hotel in The Vale of Avoca.
  • Wendy Wu offer agents the chance to earn €25 one4all vouchers on every booking during the month of April.

Strange world

A leopard shut down Nepal airportfor half an hour.

  • An English father was reported for suspected paedophilia when he checked into a Travelodge with his teenage daughter.
  • The world’s shortest international flight, the eight minute journey from St Gallen-Altenrhein in Switzerland to Friedrichshafen in Germany is to be closed.
  • A smuggler posing as a Delta pilot tried to sneak $85,000 worth of cocaine through JFK airport.
  • A double-decker bus got wedged in a central London street while attempting a three-point turn.
  • A 23-year-old English computer hacker pleaded guilty to taking down British Airways website.
  • There was only going to be one winner in this fight between young Spanish matador Daniel Garcia and a bull.
  • Half of Heathrow Airport’s 25,000 noise complaints for the last three months of 2016 were made by 10 people.

International

New entry regulations which came into effect in Europe’s Shenghen zone on Friday are expected to cause border delays.

India’s Ministry of Tourism announced that foreign tourists, iincluding Irish, visiting India on the e-Tourist Visa (eTV) will now be entitled to stay in the country for up to two months and enjoy double-entry benefits.

  • The WHO named the ten most dangerous places to drive: Eritrea (48.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants), Dominican Republic (41.7), Libya (40.5), Thailand (38.1), Venezuela (37.2), Nigeria (33.7), South Africa (31.9), Iraq (31.5), Guinea-Bissau (31.2), Oman (30.4). San Marino was listed as the safest.
  • Spain’s Ferrari Land opened with its star attraction the world’s fasest 112mph 367ft-tall roller coaster (also in Dubai).
  • Of 7,700 Canadian Working visas allocated to Ireland in 2017, 5,418 have been issued and a further 1,794 applied for.
  • Watch here Greg Oates, Skift Brand Strategist, as he addresses Tianguis Touristico in Acapulco.
  • Sheep View 360, which saw the Faroe Islands enlist the help of its many (80,000) sheep to put the islands on the Google Street View map, won the Travel & Tourism Award at the World Media Awards 2017.
  • Mall of Qatar opened.
  • Val d’Isère announced that work on Le Coin de Val (website), a giant 200 million euro (£170 million) redevelopment of the heart of the village, will begin this autumn.
  • Albania’s Defence ministry agreed to open the mysterious Sazan Island, a military base still under its management, to tourists.
  • Ireland was the third fastest growing market to Portugal in January after Brazil and the US with visits up 35.4pc and bed nights up 39,1pc, fastest growing to Central Portugal  with guests up 335,5pc and bed nights up 250,7pc, second fastest growing to Porto & Northern Portugal with visits up 55,7pc and bed nights up 50,4pc, third fastest growing to Lisbon, with visits up 28,4pc and bed nights up 26,5pc, while visits to Algarve were up 23,2pc (bed nights 40.8pc)  Alentejo  up 18,9pc  and Madeira up  9.5pc (bed nights 18.7pc).

Food & Beverage

Watch here Q&A with Catherine Fulvio at the Taste of Tourism Conference in Holywood Co Down. Picture shows the eggs factor, dessert served in an egg box at the conference luncheon.

Michael Kelly of GROW HQ in Waterford city and Stefan Griesbach of Gannet Fishmongers, Galway city were chosen as the food heroes for Munster and Connacht in the final two provincial finals of the Restaurants Association of Ireland awards. The all-Ireland finals take place in Dublin on May 8.

Restaurant magazine’s top 50 list for 2017 features a new number one and has 26Eruopean restaurants on the list: 1 Eleven Madison Park (New York, USA); 2 Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy); 3 El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain); 4 Mirazur (Menton, France); 5 Central (Lima, Peru); 6 Asador Etxebarri (Axpe, Spain); 7 Gaggan (Bangkok, Thailand); 8 Maido (Lima, Peru); 9 Mugaritz (Errenteria, Spain); 10 Steirereck (Vienna, Austria); 11 Blue Hill at Stone Barns (New York, US); 12 L’Arpège (Paris, France); 13 Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée (Paris, France); 14 Restaurant Andre (Singapore); 15 Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy); 16 DOM (São Paulo, Brazil); 17 Le Bernardin (New York, US); 18 Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan); 19 Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark); 20 Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico); 21 Alinea (Chicago, USA); 22 Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico); 23 White Rabbit (Moscow, Russia); 24 Amber (Hong Kong); 25 Tickets (Barcelona, Spain); 26 The Clove Club (London, England); 27 The Ledbury (London, England); 28 Nahm (Bangkok, Thailand); 29 Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy); 30 Arzak (San Sebastian, Spain); 31 Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen (Paris, France); 32 Attica (Melbourne, Australia); 33 Astrid y Gastón (Lima, Peru); 34 De Librije (Zwolle, Netherlands); 35 Septime (Paris, France); 36 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (London, England); 37 Saison (San Francisco, USA); 38 Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Spain); 39 Relae (Copenhagen, Denmark); 40 Cosme (New York, USA); 41 Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (Shanghai, China); 42 Boragó (Santiago, Chile); 43 Reale (Castel Di Sangro, Italy); 44 Brae (Birregurra, Australia); 45 Den (Tokyo, Japan); 46 L’Astrance (Paris, France); 47 Vendôme (Cologne, Germany); 48 Restaurant Tim Raue (Berlin, Germany); 49 Tegui (Buenos Aires, Argentina); 50 Hof Van Cleve (Kruishoutem, Belgium). The list features six from France and Spain and USA, four from Italy, three each from England, and Peru, two each from Australia, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Mexico and Thailand, one each from Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Russia and Singapore. Nothing from India or the continent of Africa.

  • Redbreast 21 Years Old was named world’s best single pot still whiskey at the World Whiskies Awards 2017, World’s Best Single Malt Whisky is Craigellachie 31 Years Old. Teeling Single Malt won best Irish single malt and Jameson Black Barrel won best Irish blended whiskey’.
  • William Grant’s Tullamore Dew signed up as offcical whiskey of the Boston Red Sox.
  • The Food Safety Authority of Ireland served closure orders during March on Lebanese Tapas (restaurant/café), Blackrock, Co. Dublin; China Tower (restaurant/café), Ballybofey, Donegal; Gunnings (grocery), Rathconrath, Westmeath; Hailan Asian Cuisine Restaurant, Dundrum, Dublin 14; Plaza Inn (take away) Dublin 12; Indiana (restaurant/café), Gorey, Wexford and Rene Cusack Ltd (fish processing) The Food Centre, Raheen, Limerick. The FSAI also report a successful prosecution by the HSE in relation to Cliffords Bar (public house), Crookstown, Cork.
  • Restaurants Association CEO Adrian Cummins warned that a “spiralling claims culture” in this country could have serious ramifications for the restaurant sector following the decision by the High Court to award €20,000 in damages to a woman who hit her knee against the leg of a table while sitting down to dinner at the Mullingar Park Hotel restaurant.. The diner will have to pay for it in the end, he told Travel Extra.
  • Michelin Star in spectors do not drop a fork under the table and only drink still water, as claimd in the John Wells film Burnt. Thanks to former MIchelin inspector Chris Miller at the Taste of Tourism conference in Holywood, Co Down. 
  • McDonald’s was accused of forcing franchisees in France, Germany and Italy to charge more in their restaurants than the company charges in stores it operates directly.
  • An Seanachai outside Dungarvan, and Boland’s pub in Stillorgan are on the market.
  • Constellation Brands reported wine and spirits sales up 6pc.

Hotels

Marion Walsh-Hédouin of Minor Hotel Group came to Dublin to promote the groups’ new openings in the Algarve and activities across the group’s six brands. Watch here.

  • Carra Shore Group was granted permission from Fingal County Council for a 10-storey, 427-bedroom hotel in Clonshaugh near Dublin Airport.
  • Revised plans for a 304-room Grand Central Hotel in Belfast are set to be approved, up from the original 200 rooms.
  • Shane Ross launched a multi-lingual audio guide at Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry.
  • CBRE reports seven hotels changed hands from January to March with a combined value of €26m, down on 14 for Q1 2016. Hotels on sale include Mount Wolseley for €14.25m and Athlone Springs Hotel for €3.5m.
  • Center Parcs appointed Daragh Feighery as the first General Manager of Center Parcs Longford Forest, near Ballymahon
  • Ashford Castle appointed Lisa Toomey as Director of Food & Beverage, where she’ll join the five-star property’s team of 350 staff.
  • The planned €40m redevelopment of Loreto Hall at 77 Stephen’s Green, Dublin, into a nine-storey 95-bedroom boutique hotel was subject of two planning objections.
  • Colm and Audri Herron’s four-star Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan was sold to iNua Hospitality.
  • AccorHotels second hotel under its new brand concept JO&JOE will be opened in Paris.
  • A rural Irish hotel reported its insurance bill rose from €22,000 to €40,000
  • Five Christian Brothers objected to the extension of Lawlor’s Hotel in Naas.

Aviation

Domhnal Slattery’s Avolon closed the deal on CIT’s leasing business, to become the world’s third-largest lessor, a deal worth US$10.38bn. They leased Boeing 737 MAXs to MIAT Mongolian Airlines.

Weeks after Ryanair pulled the Dublin-Marrakech route, Air Arabia Maroc announced that they would launch Agadir-Dublin 2w from October on Wednesdays and Saturdays with flights from €70 one way.

Norwegian Air International CEO Bjorn Kjos said Cork Airport‘s runway may be 250 metres too short for his proposed flights to Stewart International NY. His airline sold 35,000 tickets for flights between Ireland and the US east coast due to begin on July 1. Bjorn Kjos told the Skift forum: “if you park aircraft half the day I don’t understand how carriers can make money. We focus on fast turnarounds.”  HIs SVP Sales Lars Sande told the Capa Americas summit in Orlando that he anticipates adding more US markets with A321LR and instanced Europe to Seattle. He came up with the understatement of the conference: traditional airlines “don’t like competition very much. Other quotes from the conference: “tell me when oil will go down to $10 and I’ll tell you when the new Mexico City airport will open.” Aero Exec Director Eduardo Iglesias said new entrants are skipping Brazil in favor of Peru, Chile and Colombia and Argentina is ready for Norwegian to enter the market.

The (unannounced) second successive hike in Aer Lingus charges for bags on longer European routes, flagged in last week’s Sunday Supplement hit the mainstream media during the week but Aer Lingus seem to be weathering the storm.  The increase in the cost bags since last November is 133pc and a 15kg bag will now cost €100 to take to the Canaries and back on holidays.

Trevor Buckley’s Irish aviation blog analysed new routes for Dublin Airport for Summer 2017. He reported Ryanair added with new 737-800 aircraft in March, following seven in both January and February, increasing the fleet to 384. Airlines started 460 new routes in the first three weeks of the 2017 summer season; Ryanair led with 100 with FIGUS countries leading the way and began its foray in Frankfurt among 37 new routes launched this week.

Delta Air Lines won the cabin concepts award with its Delta One Suite design at the Aircraft interiors expo 2017 in Hamburg, offering private areas with privacy partitions and due to be installed on its Airbus A350 aircraft this autumn. Global Eagle Entertainment won the electronic systems category with airtime portal. Airbus unveiled its New Forward Stairs design designed to optimise cabin space and free up A380 floor space for 20 additional passengers across business, premium economy and economy. Air New Zealand also showcased a new spacious design for the unpopular middle seat,

Ryanair’s March traffic grew 10pc to 9.4m customers, the 36th successive record month for the airline. Ryanair’s €770,000 stockbroker Vat case was referred to Europe. Ryanair cancelled 530 flights due to strikes in March.

  • Norwegian have moved flight times form Dublin to Stewart NY from 16.00 to 14.30 and to Providence from 15.45 to 15.00.
  • Aer Lingus passenger load factor in March was 77.3pc, down 5.2 percentage points, overall was up 4.8pc up on March 2016.
  • The Boeing 737 turned fifty. For Michael O’Leary’s analysis of how Boeing made low cost aviation possible, watch here.
  • Severe hailstorms caused hundreds of flight delays and cancellations in airports in the southeast USA.
  • Norwegian honoured Tom Crean as a tailfin hero..
  • Stobart reported an aircraft sale and leaseback in a £50m aircraft deal.
  • KLM Cityhopper signed an agreement with CityJet for the summer season to wet lease two RJ’s from May 15 to operate London City to Amsterdam (4 daily bringing it to 8 daily), Belfast, Birmingham, Bordeaux and Hamburg.
  • Noise complaints over Dublin airport have increased.
  • Bulgaria’s tourism ministry said Ryanair is to increase flights to Bulgaria’s Plovdiv – tourism ministry.
  • The Labour Court has recommended an independent assessor looks at Cityjet‘s books in the dispute between the airline and a number of its pilots.
  • Stansted got permission for a new arrivals terminal.
  • Dublin airport immigration queues have been affected by new regulations requiring passports and travel documents be scanned by immigration officers on an international database.
  • Senator Gerard Craughwell asked why England has the right to scramble fighter jets in Irish airspace
  • WOW air added seven new Airbus aircraft to its fleet to service its Irish routes.
  • Emirates showcased a day in the life of their Airbus A380 Fleet.
  • Airbus’ A319neo took to the skies
  • Acumen Aviation announced the launch of engine management software product EMPower.
  • Stephen and David Duffy from Donadea and Marc Daly from Armagh attempted to break a wingsuit world record in California with a  jump from 35,000 feet.
  • A survey of Tampa airport users showed 43.4pc want a Dublin route.
  • The government watchdog raised concerns after the sale of state jet parts.
  • Greater Orlando Airport Authority Exec Dir Phil Brown said Orlando is a strong business destination and slow season is not so slow anymore.
  • Aviation RM Rick Larsen made his opening statement at a hearing on aviation innovation
  • The Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner completed its first flight
  • Aergo Capital acquired seven ATR72-500 from TAT Leasing
  • Brussels Airlines will expand its leased SuperJet service from June 2017
  • CIT completed the sale of its joint venture stake in TC-CIT aviation
  • London City airport validated ground operations on the CS100.
  • The first C Series landed at London City Airport.
  • ASL Aviation Holdings is the new name for ASL Aviation Group. ASL Airlines Belgium detailed their expansion.
  • Direct maintenance opening in Dublin Airport.
  • Norwegian’s Boeing 737-800 EI-FVO first flight.
  • Michael Cawley discussed his role as director of Argentine low cost carrier Flybondi (interview in Spanish).
  • Shannon Airport opened a special sensory room. The airport is seeking to cut costs to fund investment
  • Woodgate Aviation secured an Air Ambulance contract
  • Air New Zealand flew its last 767 after 32 years with the carrier.
  • Aer Lingus released their corporate video welcoming AerClub. Watch here the launch of Aerclub where Susanne Carberry explained the changes to the points system.
  • Boeing released a blog on EI-FZK Boeing 737-800 Ryanair first flight. See also E195-E2 first flight.
  • NAC delivered an ATR 72-600, MSN 1398, to PT Garuda Indonesia on lease.
  • A permanent hangar is to be built in Athlone for air ambulance
  • Christine Ourmieres-Widener, CEO of Flybe and formerly Cityjet spoke to Ralph Anker’s Anna Aero.
  • Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh was honoured as UCD business alumni of the year.
  • Brown-Forman launched Slane Irish whiskey in Dublin and Cork airports

Afloat

Eamonn Rothwell of Irish Continental Group and Andrew Sheen of Irish Ferries today cut steel on their new €144m cruise ferry, scheduled for delivery in mid 2018 at Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft in Flensburg, Germany. The vessel will accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew, with 435 cabins and 2,800 lane metres of freight (165 freight vehicles) with a dedicated car deck with capacity for 300 passenger cars. Picture shows Eamonn Rothwell, Rüdiger Fuchs CEO of Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft and Andrew Sheen and David Ledwidge of Iish Ferries.

Norwegian Cruise Line unveiled a new Premium All Inclusive product offering unlimited inclusive alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including a large variety of premium brands, as well as gratuities, rolled into the fare. Francis Riley, Senior Vice President, Sales & Operations at its Miami HQ, saying: “We won’t be doing it in North America – they’ve no problem with tipping and they don’t drink the same amount.” Watch here interview with Dick Wilkinson of Norwegian Cruise Line at a launch event in Dublin. Picture shows Jeremy McKenna, Head of Sales for Ireland and Britain; Francis Riley, Senior Vice President of Sales & Operations; Dick Wilkinson, General Manager Northern Europe & MEA; and Christian Böll, Managing Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, at the Norwegian Cruise Line media briefing in Taste at Rustic Stone in Dublin.

Picture shows Irish agents on board the Silver Muse for its launch party in in Genoa,  Julie-Anne Vaughan and Sandra Corkin of Oasis Travel, Dominic and Bernie Burke of Travel Centres and Doreen McKenzie of Knock Travel . The smallest cabins on Muse measure nearly 400 square feet — unusually spacious for a cruise ship. Upscale restaurants include La Dame, a French restaurant created in partnership with Relais & Châteaux, and two contemporary Asian eateries.

Stena Line revised its timetable on its Rosslare – Fishguard ferry service to reduce crossing times by 15 minutes and offer three day-time sailings and one extended overnight crossing from May 22nd. Crossing is three hours 15 minutes and new departure times are 8am and 18.10, with return form Fishguard at 13.10 and 23.45. Stena Line publication, A Sustainable Journey claimed that hat fuel consumption and emission levels to the air and sea have both decreased.

  • U by Uniworld changed their target age from ages 18-40 to 21-45 the day before the line’s new website went live and two days before the first brochure goes to print.
  • Silversea are offering a four night ultra-luxury no-fly sampler cruise from €1,369, departing Cobh Friday June 2 for four nights. disembarking in Bangor, Co Down.
  • Silversea revealed delivery dates of delivery dates of 2020, 2021 and 2023 for three ships the same size and shape as the 592-passenger Silver Muse.
  • Killaloe River Cruises launched Ireland’s first gin cruise in Lough Derg, Co Tipperary.
  • Spirit of Discovery will be the name of Saga Cruises 2019 build.
  • Belfast has 88 scheduled cruise ship calls in 2017
  • Three one ship river cruise companies debut in 2017, Teeming River Cruises in Europe; Grand Majestic Riverboat Company on the Ohio River out of Cincinnati and Rivers & Forest Expeditions on the Amazon in April 2017.
  • American Duchess delayed its inaugural summer 2017 schedule from July 1 to August 13.
  • English breakfast TV presenter Phillip Schofield is Princess Cruises’ first English brand ambassador.

Ireland

Taoiseach Enda Kenny met German tour operators who programme and sell holidays to Ireland during his visit to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Fáilte Ireland published a toolkit for tourism stakeholders Ireland’s Ancient East – A Toolkit for Storytelling Interpretation

The annual Irish Festival Summit attracted 100 delegates to Ballinasloe. Details of the 10th annual May bank holiday festival at Hook Lighthouse were released. Limerick Riverfest will offer aquabatics by some of the world’s best water performers and a dramatic fireworks night show on May Bank Holiday weekend.

The 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship (Division 1 – Group B) will be hosted by Belfast on April 23-29. The six competing countries are Croatia, England, Estonia, Japan, Lithuania and the Netherlands.

Tourism Ireland won best tourist board website’ at the French hospitality industry’s ‘Les Travel d’Or’ awards. Tourism Ireland’s Game of Thrones campaign won Best Use of Social Media, at the London Travel Marketing Awards. Picture shows Alison Gaynor, Séverine Lecart and Adeline Danthon of Tourism Ireland.

Cobh Tourism became the first destination in Ireland to be awarded with a Chinese Tourist Welcome Certification presented by James Kenny, China Country Manager, Tourism Ireland.

Billy Alexander opened a 112-foot long rope bridge, Ireland’s longest, at Kells Bay on the Ring of Kerry. He got the idea while trekking across bridges in the Himalaya mountains in Nepal.

Minister Shane Ross launched the innovative multi-lingual audio guides at Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow. Picture shows Alex Slazenger, Sarah Slazenger, Shane Ross, Andrew Doyle, Anthony Wingfield and Jenny DeSaulles

Diamrem, which has opened park-and-ride facilities at Doolin and Liscannor is taking High Court action seeking the closure of the Clare County Council’s temporary car-park at the Cliffs of Moher.

  • Exploris aquarium in Portaferry had its 100,000th visitor since reopening in August 2016.
  • Enniscorthy born author Colm Tóibín is set to take stage at the 15th annual Immrama Festival of Travel writing on Thursday, June 15th at 8pm with a talk on Emigration, Exile and Slavery.
  • President Michael D Higgins opened Parks – Our Shared Heritage at Farmleigh Gallery.

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 9 nights B&B 5* Serenity Resort & Residences Hotel, Phuket, Thailand from €999pp incl. transfers, checked baggage, return flights and airport taxes and charges, travel October. Over 50s offer: 7 nights half board 4* Beatriz Costa Teguise & Spa Hotel, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €479pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges. 7 nights self catering Duna Beach Apartments, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €279pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. 3 nights 4* Mediterranean Hotel, Budapest, Hungary from €219pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel May. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* SplashWorls-Paradise Valle Taurito, Gran Canaria from €1,622 2+1, depart May 11. 7 nights self catering 3* Rocamar, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €410pp, depart June 1. 7 nights self catering 2* Bellevue Club,Puerto De Alcudia, Majorca from €369pp, depart Cork May 9. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €369pp, depart Cork May 18. 7 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou from €759pp, depart Knock August 15. 7 nights self catering 4* Royal Sun Resort, Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €2,187 2+3, depart June 9. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,220pp, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,419pp, depart June 7. 5 nights all inclusive 3* Servatur Waikiki, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €469pp, depart April 29. 8 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €389pp, depart April 30. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €589pp, depart April 28. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

ITAA offers: 7 nights full board two-bedroom villa, Kuramathi Maldives from €1,259pp, travel May or July. 7 nights half board 3* California Gardens, Salou from €2,579 2+2 incl. two 15kg checked baggage, transfers, Port Aventura tickets and Costa Caribe Aquatic Park tickets, depart Cork August 13. 7 nights all inclusive Compostela Beach Golf Apartments, Playa de las Americas, Tenerife from €3,826 2+2, depart July 8.

Sunway offers: 11 nights highlights of Vietnam tour from €3,115pp incl. return flights, transfers, meals and tours, book by April 14, depart September 16. 7 nights Trinidad and Old Havana, Cuba from €1,439pp incl. return flights, meals and tours, depart September 10. 7 nights full board Danube river cruise from €2,299pp incl. tours and wine and beer at meals, depart May 24. 7 nights all inclusive Kamarina from €789pp incl. 15kg baggage pp and transfers, depart June 20. 7 nights self catering 4* Paraiso Apartments, Algarve from €349pp, depart April 29. 7 nights 3* Rosen Inn at Pointe, Orlando from €565pp, travel September. Visit sunway.ie.

Thomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive Life Bellevue Resort, Rabac, Croatia from €3,741 2+1 incl. 20kg baggage pp and transfers, depart June 3. 7 nights full board Spanish Delights cruise on board the Thomon Majesty from €699pp incl. flights, transfers and 27kg luggage, depart May 16. 7 nights half board Hotel Angela Fuengirola, Costa Del Sol from €975pps, depart April 14. 3 nights all inclusive Hotel Levante Club, Benidorm, Costa Blanca from €465pp, depart April 22. 7 nights half board Hotel Barcelo Santiago, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €669pps, depart April 28. 5 nights self catering Cay Beach Princess Bungalows, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €379pps, depart April 29. 8 nights half board Sensimar Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €739pps, depart April 30. 7 nights self catering Jardin Del Sol , Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €619pps, depart May 18. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €559pps, depart Shannon May 19. 7 nights self catering Protur Atalaya Apartments, Calla Millor, Majorca from €429pps, depart May 23. 7 nights half board Hotel Golden Donaire Beach, Costa Dorada from €739pps, depart Knock July 11. 14 nights all inclusive Clubhotel RIU Ocho Rios, Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,469pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive RIU Lupita, Playa car, Mexico from €1,389pps, depart June 14.

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia, Pescheira, Lake Garda from €429pps, depart April 15. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €499pps, depart April 23. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Eden, Torbole, Lake Garda from €499pps, depart May 6. 7 nights self catering 4* Fattoria Castiglionchio, Tuscan Countryside from €529pps, depart May 26. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel de France, Rimini, Adriatic Riviera from €569pps, depart June 17. 7 nights self catering 4* Madison Apartments, Cattolica, Adriatic Riviera from €569pps, depart June 24. 7 nights B&B 4* Jardins D’Ajuda Suite Hotel, Funchal, Madeira from €599pps, depart May 11. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Tysandros, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €619pps, depart June 17. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Harrys, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €629pps, depart May 27. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America/Cruise Holidays offers: 5 nights Italy and Croatia fly-cruise on board MSC Musica from €649pp incl. 1 night post stay at 4* Venice Resort Hotel, depart November 5. 10 nights Orlando and Caribbean cruise one board Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas from €1,209pp incl. $100 on board spend, depart September 21. 7 nights Orlando from €499pp incl. hotel accommodation, travel November. 7 nights New York and Las Vegas from €699pp, travel January 2018. 3 nights Midtown Boston and 3 nights Wellington New York from €789pp, travel February 2018. Visit touramerica.ie.

Tour America is offering 3 nights 4* B&B hotel accommodation Vilnius, Lithuania from €349pp incl. excursions, transfers, taxes, charges and local guides, travel September or October. Click here or call 01 637 1600.

What we learned

Michelin restaurant inspectors do not drop a fork under the table or drink only still water, as conveyed in the 2015 John Wells film Burnt. Thank you Chris Miller, former Michelin Star inspector, for this revelation.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: New Children’s passports will be valid for FIVE years instead of three

 

Michaela Gray of Seaworld speaking at the Orlando roadshow in Croke Park, March 30 2017

 

 

 

HEADLINES – AVIATION – AFLOAT – DEALWATCH – FOOD & WINE – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – STRANGE WORLD – TRAVEL TRADE

  • Things to know about Travel this week
  • Children’s passports now valid for five years instead of three
  • Minister expects 30pc of passport renewals will be online after new facility is launched
  • Stephane Ballot is French tourism’s new chief for Ireland 
  • Orlando roadshow comes to Dublin: new rides across the parks
  • Aer Lingus brings Aerclub to market, just 15,000 of 400,000 keep lounge access 
  • Disney to bring back free dine from April 6
  • Ryanair’s slot share in Dubin drops to 37.4pc vs 35.9pc for Aer Lingus
  • KLM Aer Lingus codeshare to be phased out
  • Rendez Vous sees French tourism hoping for a rebound after a bad year
  • Tianguis in Mexico told: ‘No wall cannot isolate this country’
  • Aberdeen hosts Irish travel writers
  • Normandy on show for Rendez Vous delegates
  • Irish visits to S Africa up 18.3pc to 30,545
  • KLM Dublin-Amsterdam load factor amongst highest in network

Travel Extra TV

  • Airbus drew a parallel between flying an Airbus A350-1000 and manning this race yacht. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s promo for the island’s food scene. Watch here. The agency also posted a 10-minute video that tells the story of St Patrick as a slave on Slemish Mountain. Watch here.
  • Emirates celebrated the day it launched three A380 routes in one day. Watch here. The airline also brought Real Madrid players tour on one of them. Watch here.
  • Ryanair showcased all Dublin has to offer to holidaymakers. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

At last, passports for children will now be valid for five years instead of three, half the ten year validity of adult passports. Minister Charlie Flanagan told the media briefing to launch Ireland’s new online passport application service in the ballroom at Iveagh House that all children’s passports will now be valid for five years at a cost of €30 and may be applied for using Passport Express. The three-year passport for infants will no longer be available. The extension of the five year passport to all children who are seventeen years of age or younger is another notable development aimed at improving customer service, in this case to the parents of young children.  The standardisation of children’s passports will result in less confusion among parents about expiry dates on children’s passports and more efficiencies for the passport service. Picture shows Minister Charlie Flanagan and Jean Maxwell of the ITAA at the launch.

Minister Charlie Flanagan said 30pc of Irish passport renewals will be made online in first year of the new application scheme/. Online applications can be made for renewals of existing passports by citizens over 18 if your passport is less than five years out of date, and the scheme is expected to be extended to children’s renewals by 2019.  See here photograph guidelines. Watch here Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan launching the online passport scheme in Dublin. Watch here the Q&A session at the launch of the Irish passport online application service, where, in answer to a question from Travel Extra. the DFA estimated that Ireland would issue a record 840m passports in 2017. Picture shows the minister with Fiona Penollar, Head of Passport Reform, and Siobhan Watters, Passport Office reform team at the launch.

Aer Lingus brought their new loyalty scheme, Aerclub to market, as they put it, at a lively session in Dublin. Aerclub points can now be earned in shopping centres following s successful pilot scheme with Supervalue. Susanne told the audience that the Aerclub brand, launched in November, was about creating tangible value and rewards. The most controversial aspect of the new scheme was glossed over. Lounge access and fastrack is now available to just 15,000 members of about 400,000 Gold Circle members transferred to Aerclub with 1,500 signing up week. Gold Circle was developed in the 1980s and was very much an analogue programme working in a digital age. Susanne told the assembled geusts that of 400,000 members, only 10,000 were generating real tangible awards. The new system devides members into four levels. Points can then be used on flights to degtinations in six zones, about 8,000 points will get passengers off peak to Zone 1 (near Europe, Britain, Amsterdam, Paris), Zone 2 covers middle Europe, 17,000 points will bring them to Zone 3 the islands and far Europe such as Corfu, Zone 5 to east coast USA and Zone 6 to west coast USA. Later in 2017 a scheme called part pay with Avios will be launched. Points can be earned, shopping with the avios e-store, three avios for every euro spent with Aer Lingus, five avios for every four euro spent with Kildare Village, Supervalue and Appleby’s.Pictur shows Susanne Carberry, Dara McMahon, Paula Donaghy, Shona Kelly, Pauline Crowley, Roz Duff, Eoin McGirl and Colm Maher of Aer Lingus at the launch.. See more pictures here or connect with the album on FacebookWatch here the conversation between Susanne Carberry by Kathryn Thomas at the launch. Sign up here for Aerclub.

Orlando’s roadshow hosted 32 agents at Croke Park. Elkie Bird and Karl Moen told agents that Disney free dine is back and will be available from April 6 for advance bookings, Pandora – The World of Avatar opens May 27, Happily Ever After Night time Spectacular opens May 14, Star Wars Guided Tour and Miss Adventure Fall at Typhoon Lagoon are already open. Dave Cole outlined how virtual queuing will work at the Universal’s new Volcano Bay waterpark and Michaela Gray outlined developments at Seaworld including Krakin becoming a virtual roller coaster. Watch here video report of the Visit Orlando Roadshow. Watch here Michaela Gray of Seaworld March 30 2017. Watch here Dave Cole of Universal. Picture shows Karl Moen of Disney, Michaela Gray of Seaworld, Maddy Phillips of Visit Orlando, Ivan Beacom of Aer Lingus, Dave Cole of Universal and Elkie Bird of Disney at the Visit Orlando roadshow at Croke Park. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Warner Rootliep General Manager Air France KLM for Ireland & Britain said he expects just two of the three airlines serving Dublin-Amsterdam to stay on the route, stressing that one of them will be KLM. KLM’s load factor since they launched their twice daily service in November has been 88pc, one of the highest in the network, and they expect to retain it at 85pc now they have moved from two flights to four daily last weekend. He said 70pc of passengers were connecting, 40pc of them long haul connectors to Asia, Latin America, and 30pc of tickets were sold in Ireland. He said that the code share with Aer Lingus would be phased out now KLM has moved to four daily but the codeshare would be retained on Cork-Amsterdam. Watch here interview with Warner Rootliep General Manager Air France KLM for Ireland & Britain.

Stephan Ballot has been appointed to represent Atout France in the Irish market, based in London, on the departure of Agnes Angrand to New York. Picture shows Vanessa Rennaud and Stephan at Rendez Vous France 2017 in Rouen.

Atout France hosted 892 tour operators and 36 journalists from 67 countries at their annual event which rotates among the regions, to meet 742 French companies in 23,400 meetings over two days. Eleven regions hosted 490 tour operators on site tours in advance of the event. Maria Madigan of Irish Wine Tours joined a prefam to the wine regions of Bordeaux, Cognac and Limoges. Visits included the old house at Remy Martin,a walking tour of St Emillion and a visit to Cite de Vin in Bordeaux. “Definitely worthwhile,” she said, “Interactive, scientific and playful.” Picture shows Eoghan Corry and Maria Madigan at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

France is still the world’s leading tourist destination with 83m visitors in 2016 down slightly from 84.5m in 2015, with 15pc of the visitors coming from non-European countries and a target of 200m by 2020 still in their sights. Bookings for 2017 are at 2015 levels, but he cautioned it would be mid April before any clear pattern could be detected. Paris stores such as Galleries Lafayette and Printemps instituted Sunday opening after a tortuous round of negotiations with city planners and trade unions, helped over the line by the designation of 12 specialised tourist zones in the city which enjoys a Europe topping 40m international visitors a year. Delegates passed reminders that this was a tough year for France, armed soldiers guarded key access points at the tourism fair, and were stationed on the streets of Rouen during a lavish open ceremony. Watch here Rendez Vous 2017 Opening Ceremony. Watch here the arrival at the Hôtel de Bourgtheroulde in Rouen.

Travel Extra joined a group of 13 journalists from 12 countries to see what is new in Normandy, Including. Picture shows the group at the Museum of the Seine in Caudebec-en-Caux, Alain Bossu of Swiss Travel Inside, David Bowden of Travel Write Malaysia, Louise Gaboury of Canada Tourisme Plus, Eliizabieta Sawicka of Poland Rzeczpospolita, Nadine Godwin of US Travel Weekly, Armelle Le Goff of Normandy Tourism, Oleh Bozhko of Ukraine Gazette, Amadeu Castanho of Bresil Viagens, Frpnt row: Susan Li Bing of China Travel Weekly, Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland and Domenica Demaio of Australia Travel Daily. And yes the parting glass was sung. Geneva based travel writer  Alain Bossu responded with a song of his own in the Palais Benedictine in Fecamp, where the herbal liquor is distilled.

Sample the menu here at Michelin starred Manoir de Rétival in Caudebec en Caux with Florien Brunner. Watch here the visit to the Palais Benedictine in Fecamp. Watch here the tour of Cherbourg. Watch here Gaetan Aubarret of Cabourg tourism. Watch here Hélène Aubry of the Museum of the Seine. Watch here Cecille Brossault of the museum of civilian war casualties in Falaise. Watch here Gregory Brussot of Deauville Lawn Tennis Club. Watch here Christophe Cusseau describing tourism developments in Fecamp. Watch here Johanna LaminetteI interviewed at the Jardins d’Etretat. Watch here Stephanie Leriche on the refurb of the Barriere Hotel du Normandy. Watch here Vincent Moreau update on Honfleur Outlets, to open next year. Watch here Marie Hélène Priou speaking about the Abbey of St Wandrille. Watch here Jules Vernon of the immersive D Day Experience which simulates a parachute drop over Normandy on D day. Meet the travel writers who toured Normandy.

A separate day tour to the villages of the Seine was organised for media delegates. PIcture shows  Maria Jedlikova of TTG Czech Republic,  Czech Republic, Marbee Sh8ing-Go of Travel Now Magazine Phillipines, Cyrot Dominique of Abbaye St Georges de Broscheruil, Cyrot Dominique of Abbaye St Georges de Broscheruil, Sandrine Geronimi of Seentrotter.com tour guide, Jacqueline Pevoste of Abbaye St Georges de Broscheruil, Mary Winston Nicklon ot Travel Agent Magazine USA, Fran Lambert of Normandy Tourism, Mihaela Dalar Stanca of Forbes Magazine Romania, David Bowden of Travel Write Malaysia, Nadine Godwin of US Travel Weekly, Svetlana Baeva of Russia Tour News, Jaepil Yang of TTL News S Korea, Killian Penven of Normandy Tourism, Frnt row: Murari Jha of UBM India, Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland, Sveltana Larina of Your Business Russia and Yilan Chen of China Travel Agent at the at Abbaye St Georges de Broscheruil. Watch here Sandrine Geronimi speaking about the Abbaye St Georges de Broscheruil. Watch here Sandrine Geronimi speaking about Junieges Abbey. Watch here the tour of the Abbaye St Georges de Broscheruil with Sandrine Geronimi and Danielle Pytel. Watch here Sandrine Geronimi as she conducts a tour of La Bouile on the Seine. Watch here Killian Penven of Rouen tourism describing the medieval menu at Auberge des Ruines.

Among the sites visited by the travelling band was the impressive €200m redevelopment of Mont St Michel which has changed visitor access, removed the car parks on the sand and will eventually flush away 120 years of silting caused by the construction of a causeway. Watch here Mont St Michel’s new facilities. Watch here Anne Flora Marziou, deputy manager of the Mont St Michel Abbey. Watch here Anne Garcon of Mont St Michel Visitor experience. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

 “No wall in the world can isolate this country.” Taleb Rifai told Tianguis Turistico, back in its traditional home Acapulco. Mexican tourism is reeling from the US election result, and delegates from around the world came to offer support. “When we travel, we become better people” the UNWTO  Secretary-General continued. Tourism contributes nearly 9pc of Mexico’s GDP and generates 9m jobs. Mark Evans was at the even on behalf of Travel Extra. See more pictures here.

Be-kilted Aberdeen was put on show for a group of Irish media to promote the Aer Lingus Regional route to the city and its hinterland with some astonishingly good food served up to the group at Eat on the Green and the Meldrum. Picture shows Stevie Brown of Visit Aberdeen, Jennifer Gleeson of PR360/Aer Lingus Regional, Damian Allen of Travel Extra, Craig Wilson The Kilted chef at Eat On The Green in Udny Green, Angela Mullin of the Sun, Jim Murty of the Daily Mail and Sorcha Hamilton of the Irish Times. Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, operates 11 flights per week from Dublin to Aberdeen with lead in fares from €35 each way, including taxes and charges.

April 1st brought out the full ensemble of media comedians writing make believe travel stories. Among the choices, Donald Trump bought Liberty Hall to turn it into his Dublin Trump Tower, Royal Caribbean announces world’s first cruise ship with ski slope and Celebrity discovered a previously unknown island 720 nautical miles South West of Bermuda which baffled scientists and Bermuda Triangle fanatics.

Travel Trade

Worldchoice Ireland will host a four night fam trip together with Kelair Campotel, Irish Ferries and Aer Lingus from May 27th to 31st. To be in with a chance of winning a place on the trip, Worldchoice agents can make a new KelAir Campotel booking between April 1st and May 5th inclusive. The fam was announced by Carol Anne O’Neill, Commercial Manager of Worldchoice Ireland.

Nina Farrimond, Manager Trade Relations from South African Tourism, Anne O’Sullivan from Travel Focus and Audrey Headon from Headon Representation hosted 32 agents from the West of Ireland at a training session held in the Galway Bay Hotel. Nina told delegates that Irish tourism to South Africa in 2016 was up 18.3pc to is Final numbers are 30,545. Picture shows Geraldine Dolan of Society Travel receives her prize from Nina Farrimond of South African Tourism and Anne O’Sullivan of Travel Focus at the South African Tourism and Travelfocus roadshow. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. ‘

An Irish tourist will feel at home in the most unexpected way,’ Japanese Airlines showcased their product to the travel trade. Picture shows Eamon Flanagan of Premair, Kyoko Delaney of Premair/JAL, Jens Bachmann of Premair and Eleny Negri of JA.

Topflight’s mystery Italian fam trip will be to Tuscany,with a Coast & Country itinerary including Montecatini Terme, Viareggio, Pietrasanta and Lucca. The group will also spend time in the Florence and Pisa. The final winners were Abbey Travel, Best4Travel and Clubworld Lisburn Road. They will join Lynne Casey from Fahy Travel, Colette Knowles of Manning Travel in Kilkenny, Noelle Looney of J Barter Travel in Cork, Rita Gaughan from Limerick Travel, Donna Kenny of Cassidy Travel Blanchardstown and Lisa Sprake of Oasis Travel, Holywood. The group take off on April 6.

  • ‘An Irish tourist will feel at home in the most unexpected way,’ Japanese Airlines showcased their product to the travel trade. Picture shows Eamon Flanagan of Premair, Kyoko Delaney of Premair/JAL, Jens Bachmann of Premair and Eleny Negri of JA.
  • Tall Ships, JFK and quiet coastal towns: Massachusetts roadshow showcased their 2017 fare to Dublin trade. Picture shows Katie Aldrich of The Godfrey Hotel Boston, Patricia Purdue Massachusetts Tourism, Catherine Doran of Greater Boston CVB, Jackie Ennis of MOTT and Lee Stratham of JFK library at the Massachussetts event in Dubin.
  • There was more positive feedback on the Irish Travel Industry Show at the RDS Simmonscourt, the largest gathering of suppliers and agents veer held in Ireland. Watch here video of Irish travel industry show. Watch here Cormac Meehan’s speech at the opening.
  • Skal’s coach trip to Marlfield House and The Woodenbridge Hotel takes place on April 12th.

Strange world

A teenager accidentally flew to Sydney in Nova Scotia while trying to find a cheap route to Australia.

  • A wildlife park worker was killed in an elephant herd charge.
  • Brighton’s troubled i360 viewing tower, dubbed the i-sore,  closed for the third time in six months due to ‘temporary fault’
  • A Flightdelays.co.uk survey estimated that it costs €210m to replace items forgotten on holiday each year, the most forgotten items are clothing 20pc, glasses and sunglasses 15pc, phone chargers 13pc, toothbrushes 12pc, medication or contraception 10pc.
  • A mother posted video of the  ‘unnecessary’ pat down of her disabled son by airport official she claims left him ‘traumatised for hours’

International

People make Glasgow had haggis croquettes on the menu whan they came to Dublin to showcase the city’s offerings in 2017. They highlighted morning coffee, the home of Mackintosh, museums and galleries, shopping, gin and beer, Glencoyne whiskey, Glasgow’s UNESCO city of music status and the hinterland such as Loch Lomond. Picture shows Chris Pollack, Elaine Dickie, Fiona Potter and Alison Fleming at the event in Medley.

  • Ferrariland opens in Solou on Thursday
  • Uber is to shut down its business in Denmark
  • Several hotels were damaged by Cyclone Debbie in Queensland
  • WTM revealed its 2017 themes.
  • A tourist died at a popular gibbon zipline park in Laos

Food & Beverage

Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry will be speaking about international food tourism at the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation conference in Holywood on Tuesday morning.

  • Dalkey’s Guinea Pig Restaurant is for sale for €850,000.
  • The Oyster Tavern in Cork has been restored back to its original use as a bar and restaurant.
  • Blackwater Distillery, maker of Blackwater No 5 Gin, received planning permission to build a micro-distillery with visitor facilities in Ballyduff, Co Waterford, to start in July.
  • Cooks Academy host a Greek cooking event on Wednesday evening

Hotels

Planning permission is being sought for an eight-storey 249-bedroom hotel at River House on Chancery Street in Dublin’s north inner city, entailing the demolition of the existing vacant six-storey building with an independent cafe/restaurant unit at ground floor and mezzanine level, a hotel lobby, reception, breakfast area, a basement fitness room, meeting and function rooms.

  • Mayo County Council has granted conditional planning permission for a 46-bedroom hotel in Ballinrobe.
  • The Irish Hotel award winners included Culloden for best luxury hotel, Dónal Minihane, of Hotel Doolin for best manager, Citynorth for best airport hotel, McGrory’s Donegal for best hotel bar, Amber Springs for best family hotel, Roe Park for golf hotel.
  • Gerry Gannon is seeking planning permission for a 209-bedroom hotel in Clongriffin.
  • Jury’s Inn international visitors were up 13.6pc in 2016.
  • Hostelworld shares rose 9pc as it pays €10m extra dividend.

Aviation

Aer Lingus defended a series of baggage charge increases, the second in four months, which came into effect on Tuesday night. The last price hike was from €15 to €25 (each way for Spain) and this has increased from €25 to €35. Aer Lingus say that 58pc of short-haul customers travel on its thirty ‘near’ services, where it says prices have fallen.

Summer time and the livery is airborne: here are the 26 seasonal routes that resumed this week from Dublin, 16 from Ryanair, eight  from Aer Lingus and one each from Eurowings and Transavia. Dublin airport slot allocations for summer 2017 show Hainan Airlines has been allocated 4w slots from July for the much-speculated but unannounced Manchester route extension to Beijing.  Ryanair market share at Dublin is down to 37.4pc from 40.3pc (capacity down 1.5pc) and Aer Lingus down to 35.9pc from 36.7pc, including Aer Lingus Regional (capacity up 3.9pc).  Aer Lingus has more and larger transatlantic operations but six fewer slot pairs.  The combined share of the two big airlines is 73.3pc, down from 77.0pc followed by British Airways with 2.6pc, American Airlines 1.6pc, Lufthansa CityJet, Emirates, United, Delta and Norwegian.   Movements are up 4.6pc (allocations) and 5.4pc (take-up) to 136,457, seats are up 6pc (allocations) and 6.4pc (take-up) to 23.24m. Peak week movements  are up, 5pc and seats up 6.1pc to 787,722. The allocations include cancelled Ryanair routes to Leeds, Lodz and Almeria and an unannounced operation by Loganair from Dundee.

Etihad says its double daily Dublin to Abu Dhabi service which was increased yesterday from single daily will now remain double daily year-round, using a two-class Airbus A330-200 in 22-240 configuration. EY departs 09.30 and EY48 at 19.10. Etihad is expanding its Aer Lingus codeshare routes in Summer 2017.

Dublin Airport was named the world’s 10th best in a survey by travel website eDreams behind Helsinki-Vantaa, Glasgow, Zurich, Munich, Frankfurt, Geneva, Bangkok, Tel Aviv and Oslo. Berlin Schonefeld was picked as the worst.

Dublin Airport secured planning permission to build a small solar farm that will help deliver 500m litres of water to the airport every year.

  • Bombardier’s C Series jet was reportedly nearing approval for London City airport
  • Michael O’Leary told German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung [German] that Lufthansa will buy Air Berlin within three years and talked up Ryanair’s target to double German market share to 20pc.
  • Emirates delivered three new Airbus A380s to three continents in one day, Casablanca, Narita and SaoPaulo. Emirates has 93 A380s in service and 49 on order. Emirates postponed its A380 visit to Dublin indefinitely.
  • KLM’s summer 2018 schedule shows B787 Dreamliners replacing 747s on long-haul routes.
  • AerCap signed up for PACE route and aircraft economic analysis software
  • Shannon Airport plans to change its status from a full time category nine to a flexible category nine airport in a bid to cut costs. Shannon Group started work on a €10m high spec office block.
  • Vallair acquired three Boeing 737-400, two of them ex Enter Air stored in Shannon
  • WOW air launched flights from Keflavik to Chicago offering Dublin connections from €139 (NOT direct from Dublin to Chicago as some media reported).
  • Clare Daly TD, formerly an Aer Lingus shop steward, questioned Minister Shane Ross about the problems associated with the building of the new runway at Dublin Airport.
  • Flybe and former Cityjet CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener joined the ERA Board.
  • Datalex revenues rose on the back of moves into Chinese market
  • Belfast International Airport passenger numbers were up 27pc in February, its sixth successive month of record passenger figures.
  • Patricia Clements’ Bradfor seat cover manufacturers in Rostrevor and Joanne Liddle‘s IPC Mouldings, plastic injection moulding firm from Carrickfergus, will demonstrate a new airline seat at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this week.
  • Etihad is to get around the laptop ban by lending iPads to its top-paying travellers on US-bound flights.
  • Intrepid is to lease two new B777 for Philippine Airlines.

Afloat

Norwegian Cruise Line increased service fees in all cabins, the third rate increase since February 2015. Standard cabins charges are now $13.99 per passenger, per day, up from $13.50   or the original rate of $12.50 in February 2015. A couple wil now pay almost $190 in service charges for a standard cabin on a one-week cruise.

P&O Cruises has raised its daily gratuity charge (the Service Reward Programme) from £5 to £6 per day.

  • Thomson Cruises revealed the 1,924-passenger former Mein Schiff will be renamed TUI Explorer when it launches May 2018.
  • CroisiEurope named Miguel Torga in Porto.
  • Fincantieri delivered the 4,250 passenger Majestic Princess to Princess Cruises.

Actress Joan Collins named Uniworld’s Joie de Vivre in Paris. The first public sailing takes palce today on Paris & Normandy itinerary on the Seine. With a length of 125 metres, rather than the typical 135 metres, the  Joie de Vivre can dock in the heart of Paris in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

Joss Stone and Victoria’s Secrets Model Sara Sampaio named the Douro Azul, Douro Elegance & Douro Serenity ships in Porto, live on Portuguese TV. Riviera River Cruises commence weekly sailings on the board the new 5 Star Douro Elegance on April 14.

  • American Cruise Lines will name their 2018 arrival American Constitution.
  • Norwegian Jade now offer 24-hour free pub grub at their Irish pub, O’Sheehan’s, and complimentary poolside food at 1950s-style diner Pit Stop.
  • Saga Cruises’ new build 999-passenger Spirit of Discovery completed its journey along the River Ems from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Pappenberg. The vessel starts service in June.
  • Caribbean Princess is to get new restaurants during its April dry dock, World Fresh Marketplace replacing the Horizon Court buffet, Salty Dog Grill replacing the Trident Grill, Planks BBQ in Cafe Caribe, Steamers Seafood, Slice replacing the Pizzeria, The Mix replacing Blackbeard’s Bar, and Coffee & Cones replacing Scoops.

Ireland

Overseas tourism buyers from 19 countries came to Punchestown Co Kildare for Meitheal. Failte Ireland hosted 13 familiarisation tours for international operators to Dublin, Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way. A new meeting system was introduced this year between the 277 buyers and 360 Irish suppliers.  Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan delivered the welcome speech. Failte Ireland published an infographic on the value of Meitheal to Irish tourism. See here.

ITIC warned that up to 10,000 jobs are at risk after the Central Statistics Office confirmed a 6pc decline in British arrivals from December 2016 to February 2017. The  monthly drop in February was 22pc.

Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir, DG of the Icelandic Tourist Board -and her colleagues met with Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly and members of his team as part of a fact finding visit to Ireland.

Tourism Ireland and 15 partners held a preparatory briefing for the sales blitz to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong on April 24-28. Picture shows Su Fong Gan and Majella O’Sullivan, both Newbridge Silverware; and James Kenny, Tourism Ireland, at the briefing.

  • Quest Glendalough anticipates 2,000 entrants next Saturday, part of the Quest Adventure Series.
  • Tourism Ireland and 18 tourism companies met with 70 French group travel operators at the Irish embassy in Paris. Picture shows Fiona Dunne, Caroline Phelan, Séverine Lecart, Marc Faivre and Gavin Radford of Tourism Ireland with the operators.
  • Belfast zoo manager Alyn Cairns said concerns raised by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria about how some of its animals are kept have been addressed. Belfast zoo attracts 247,000 visitors annually and is the island’s 37th most popular attraction.
  • Castle Saunderson, Belturbet, Co Cavan completed an upgrade which was grant-aided to €60,000 by Fáilte Ireland.
  • The 63rd annual Cork International Choral Festival expects 5,000 singers and 50,000 visitors on May Bank Holiday weekend, April 26-30.

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 3* The Edison Hotel New York City from €679pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel August. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Sealight Family Club Hotel from €469pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Globales Samoa Hotel, Majorca from €389pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. Over 50s offer: 7 nights half board 4* Beatriz Costa Teguise & Spa Hotel, Lanzarote from €479pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon offers: 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,569pps, depart June 14. 7 nights half board 3* Best Camrbils, Cambrils, Costa Dorada from €389pps, depart May 5. 7 nights all inclusive 3* El Trebol, Costa Tequise, Lanzarote from €579pps, depart Cork May 18. 7 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou, Costa Dorada from €719pps, depart Knock August 15. 7 nights self catering 3* Royal Sun Apartments, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €2,539 2+2, depart June 12. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,249pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,569pps, depart June 14. 8 nights self catering 2* San Marcial Apartments, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €389pps, depart April 30. 5 nights all inclusive 3* Servatur Waikiki, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €489pps, depart April 29. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €499pps, depart April 28. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 2* Hotel Palazzo, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €459pps, depart June 12. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 9 days Spain and Portugal tour form €1,989pps incl. flights, transfers and 8 nights accommodation. Book by May 12, depart June 24. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 10 nights all inclusive 5* Dreams Palm Beach Resort, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from €4,659 2+2 incl. return flights and taxes, travel May 1. 8 nights Russia Revealed river cruise between St Petersburg and Moscow onboard the 4* MS Surikov River Cruiser from €1,159pps incl. returns and transfers, depart May 8. Over 50s offer: 7 nights 4* Best Sabinal Hotel, Almeria, Spain from €499pp incl. flights, transfers, one 15kg baggage pp, depart May 13.

Project Travel is offering a 6 day ‘classic southbound’ Hurtigruten cruise from €1,597pp incl. flights, transfer in Norway and hotel nights, travel December. 12 day ‘classic round voyage’ from €2,075pp. Visit hurtigruten.ie or call 01 210 8391.

Sunway offers: 8 nights Spanish experience holiday from €1,239pp incl. 3* and 4* accommodation, transfers, meals and tours, depart May 20. 7 nights Golden Triangle, India from €1,302pp incl. flights and excursions, depart September 1. 7 nights B&B 5* Melia Madeira Mar Hotel from €829pp, depart June 29. 7 nights Croatia and Greece fly cruise on board Norwegian Star from €1,025pp, depart October 8. Visit sunway.ie.

TDactive Holidays is offering 10 days Kerala photography holiday from €1,899pp incl. accommodation in 4* half board hotels, excursions, transfers, local guides, tutors from Dublin Photography School and taxes charges. Depart February 12 2018. Click here or call 01 637 1633.

Thomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive Clubhotel RIU Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,559pps, depart June 8. 8 nights half board Sensimar Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €739pps, depart April 30. 5 nights self catering ardin Del Sol, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Caria from €379pps, depart April 29. 7 nights half board ardin Del Sol, Playa Del Ingles, Fuerteventura from €984pps, depart April 18. 7 nights self catering Cerro Mar Garden, Albuferia, Algarve from €559pps, depart May 28. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €539pps, depart Shannon May 19. 11 nights self catering Mariners Club, Alcudia, Majorca from €589pps, depart May 23. 14 nights half board Belvedere Hotel Salou, Costa Dorada from €939pps, depart Knock July 11. 14 nights all inclusive Clubhotel RIU Ocho Rios, Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,559pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive RIU Lupita, Playa car, Mexico from €1,499pps, depart June 7.

Topflight offers: 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €929pps, depart April 16. 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Hermitage, Sorrento from €769pps, depart May 28. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Conca Park, Sorrento from €799pps, depart June 4. 7 nights self catering 3* Villaggio Verde, Sorrento from €429pps, depart April 23. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €489pps, depart April 30. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Ascot, Sorrento from €689pps, depart May 14. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic, Sorrento from €919pps, depart June 11. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Cesare Augusto, Sorrento from €899pps, depart July 16. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Astoria, Sorrento from €819pps, depart August 6. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America/Cruise Holidays offers: 8 nights the Rosen Inn Pointe Orlando from €559pps, travel November. 4 nights The Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €569pps, travel November. 12 nights Miami and Southern Caribbean fly cruise on board on board Celebrity Equinox from €1,899pp, depart September 25. 10 nights Orlando and Caribbean cruise on board MSC Armonia form €1,299pp, depart September 14. 7 nights Cuba and Caribbean fly cruise from €1,399pp, depart January 16 2018. Visit touramerica.ie.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days castles along the Rhine river cruise on board the Empress from €3,199pps incl. flights, airport transfers, all meals and beverages and all shore excursions, depart July 5. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ireland will NOT ban electronics on inbound flights following US & England’s laptop dance

HEADLINES – AVIATION – AFLOAT – DEALWATCH – FOOD & WINE – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – STRANGE WORLD – TRAVEL TRADE

The group of 17 Spanish exhibitors pose for a team photograph at the Irish Travel Industry Trade Show in the RDS, March 22 2017

  • Things to know about Travel this week
  • Travel Industry Trade show most successful yet
  • Ryanair ends Marrakech service as summer scheds begin
  • Laptop ban: Ireland will NOT follow US & England
  • CAR confirms Ryanair Holidays German license applies in Ireland
  • Revving up for Rendez Vous France in Rouen

Travel Extra TV

  • In light of the controversial laptop ban, Emirates suggested how they’ll keep passengers entertained. Watch here.
  • “Planespotting” — Ryanair’s take on a certain popular Danny Boyle film. Watch here.
  • Airbus’s A320 fleet will soon reach 10,000 units, so the manufacturing is extending the manufacturer’s serial number from four to five digits. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s highlights from St Patrick’s Day in London. Watch here.
  • Cork Airport posted photographer Karol Kachmarsky’s timelapse of the airport, city and county to showcase its gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East and Wild Atlantic Way. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

The third annual Travel Industry Trade Show took place in a new venue, the RDS. The show was attended by 300 travel professionals, with a lunch co-sponsored by Spanish Tourist Board and Paradores attended by 140, while 230 sat down at the evening barbecue sponsored by Aer Lingus. Picture shows Ana Celina Tavares of Portuguese tourism, Maureen Ledwith of Business Exhibitions and Teresa Gancedo of the Spanish tourist board at the event. Watch here highlights of the Irish travel industry show. Watch here Cormac Meehan’s speech at the opening of the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

It is reckoned 18,000 daily passengers to US will be affected by the electronics ban on devices larger than an Iphone 6 or Galaxy note in the aircraft cabin. America singled out ten airports in eight Muslin majority countries for the ban, which did not apply to Us carriers. London responded by banning laptops in the cabin in all flihgts for all airlines from six countries. Emirates tweeted a joke in response to the ban, but said the ban will not stop US expansion. The Business Travel Coalition said more lithium-ion batteries in the cargo hold carried a big fire risk. Ireland will NOT follow the USA and Britain in imposing an electronics ban and will follow the lead of Brussels. Listen here to Eoghan Corry on RTE’s Morning Ireland.

Ireland is in 15th place in the World Happiness Report 2017, up from 19th. Norway knocked Denmark off the top spot as the world’s happiest country followed by 3 Iceland, 4 Switzerland, 5 Finland, 6 Netherlands, 7 Canada, 8 New Zealand, 9 Australia and 10 Sweden. The report noted that 96pc of Irish residents have someone to count on, compared to an international average of 80pc. Ireland and Iceland were cited as “the best examples of happiness maintenance in the face of large external shocks. Both suffered decimation of their banking systems as extreme as anywhere,and yet have suffered incommensurately small happiness losses.”

France tourism hosted 300 travel writers and agents on 21 fam trips in Normandy in advance of Rendez Vous in Rouen next week. . Watch here interview with Anne Garcon where she describes the changes to the Mont St Michel visitor experience which are part of the 200m upgrade of France’s original UNESCO heritage site, which includes removing the causeway and replacing it with a bridge, and moving car parking to a location 2.7km away and shuttling the 2.2m visitors a year to the mount. Watch here highlights of the visit to Mont St Michel. Watch here interview with Jules Vernon about the immersive D Day Experience March 25 2017 Watch here interview with Cecille Brossault about Falaise museum of civilian casualties which commemorate 65m civilian casualties worldwide during WW2. Picture shows a rout of travel writers at Mont St Michel: Coach Driver Kevin Ozenne, Yilan Chen of China Travel Agent, Svetlana Baeva of Russia Tour News, Eliizabieta Sawicka of Poland Rzeczpospolita, Amadeu Castanho of Bresil Viagens , David Bowden of Travel Write Malaysia, Louise Gaboury of Canada Tourisme Plus, Amadeu Castanho of Bresil Viagens, Domenica Demaio of Australia Travel Daily, Nadine Godwin of US Travel Weekly, Front row:  Oleh Bozhko of Ukraine Gazette, Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland.

Travel Trade

The Commission of Aviation Regulation confirmed that Ryanair can trade in Ireland under the German license granted to GmbH, established in Germany and the Travel Agent behind Ryanair Holidays, which can operate as a Travel Agent in Ireland.

The annual general meeting of the ITAA selected a sub-committee to work on the challenges of Brexit/Breat-imeacht. Picture shows the incoming board of the ITAA: Paul Hackett of Clickandgo, Ben Greene of Arrow Tours, Martin Skelly of Navan Travel, Joe Tully of Tully’s Travel, Pearse Keller of Keller Travel, Mark Clifford of O’Hanrahan Travel, Des Manning of Manning Travel, Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA, Front row: Clare Dunne of The Travel Broker, Valerie Metcalfe of FCM, Cormac Meehan of Meehan Travel Bundoran President of the ITAA, Des Abbott of Des Abbott Travel and Angela Walsh of Corporate Travel Management

Agents were offered the chance to qualify to win a place on Insight and Uniworld’s night out at Philip and Joss Horgan’s Man Friday in Kinsale. Agents who book any Insight Vacations Tour or Uniworld Boutique River Cruise can win two spaces for themselves and another member of their agency

Cassidy’s Blanchardstown, Fahy Travel, Galway and O’HanrahanTravel, Monaghan, are Topflight’s latest winners on their mystery fam trip to Italy. Picture shows Colette Desmond of Manning Travel in Kilkenny.

A

Alan Sparling’s Airline Sales Management has been appointed GSA for Ireland by Your Car Hire, a car hire broker based in England and dedicated exclusively to the trade. Picture shows Alan Sparling and Ruth Bligh of Our Car Hire,

Silversea is giving agents the chance to win a fantastic shopping spree as part of the Silversea Advocates recognition programme. Ten winning agents will be chosen from a shortlist provided by Silversea’s regional sales managers.

There are two weeks left for agents to register bookings to USA on American Airlines or British Airways to win a place on the Brand USA mega fam. Ireland had ten places on the fam last year. The number of places depends on the number of entries. Register here.

Kerry to Lapland: Sunway offers a one night sleepover trip direct from Farranfore on December 13.

Denise Harman, country director Ireland at CWT, takes over as director of programme management for Britain as well when Nigel Turner steps down to retire on April 28. Denise, who joined CWT three years ago has achieved five stars of operational excellence and a client retention of 99pc.

Picture shows the winners of the TIGS outing to Portmarnock on Thursday Marian Benton and Clem Walshe with Isabel Harrison of new sponsor Shannon Airport and TIGS captain Martin Skelly. Next outing is April 27th Powerscourt, Sponsor Amadeus, May 18th Mount Wolseley overnight, June 22 President’s Prize The K Club, Sponsor Etihad Airways, Sept 14th Captain’s Prize Headford Sponsor Travelport, October The Castle, Sponsor TravelExtra (Date to be confirmed).

Picture shows Rosie Nugent from Cassidy Travel who won €600 worth of Celebrity Rewards points with Mandy Burrie of Celebrity Cruises and a Celebrity Butler. Celebrity Cruises sales team were out on the road accompanied by a team of butlers to reward the best performing agents throughout January and February 2017. The top 10 agents won €1,200 worth of Celebrity Rewards points and 100 agents won €600 worth which they can convert into luxury items or cash. A bottle of sparking wine was also sent across along to celebrate the occasion.

Travel Department instigators Brendan Breen and Bob Haugh have set up Oroko, a new high end travel operations selling luxury holidays to the Irish consumer. See the April print edition of Travel Extra. Picture shows Brendan Breen and Nicola Cox of Oroko at ITB in Berlin.

The number of trips abroad by Irish residents continued to grow by 6.4pc 2016, up to 7.405m at exactly the same rate of increase as 2015 (2010 was down 7.6pc, 2011 down 3.9pc, 2012 up 0.5pc, 2013 down 0.3pc, and 2014 up 3pc). Trip duration was also unchanged at 7.6 nights. Expenditure was up 8.8pc to €5.1m. For Oct-Dec trips were up 10.0pc, duration fell slightly from 6.1 nights to 6.0 nights. Expenditure rose 7.2pc.

Turkish Airlines and North Cyprus hosted the trade for an information evening in the Radisson Blu Golden Lane in Dublin. Turkish Airlines’ General Manager for Ireland, Hasan Mutlu, Onur Gull and the team were joined by English tour operator Cyprus Premier, which is aiming to work with the trade here, plus representatives of Hotel Pia Bella, Tour Plus and Hotel Acapulco. Navan Travel’s Martin Skelly picked up the top prize of a trip to the island. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

 

Watch here John Grehan speaking about National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures. John hosted 52 travel agents in Dublin and 40 in Cork at roadshows promoting G Aadventures’ marine product earlier this month.

  • Budget Travel founder Gillian Bowler left €4m in her will.
  • The assigned tables for International Media Marketplace for IPW 2017 were released.
  • Watch here Travel Counsellors Ireland conference in Fota.

Strange world

A former police chief was detained at JFK airport because his name sounded Muslim, he claimed.

A Beijing park dispenses loo roll using facial recognition

  • A Canadian pilot admitted he drank a bottle of vodka before a flight
  • The propeller that fell from a REX plane was found in Sydney.
  • A loose snake was spotted on a 90-minute Ravn Alaska flight between in southwest Alaska and Anchorage. Yes, really, snake on a plane
  • The Big Bend, a U-shaped New York skyscraper dubbed the ‘longest building in the world’ was unveiled.
  • Having been told that Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry used the Irish for Brexit on radio, Alistair Campbell tweeted: just learned the Irish for Brexit – Breat-imeacht, the linguist in me says this does not bode well.

International

Ireland’s electronic passport application process will be launched this week.

Universal’s latest reveal about Volcano Bay water park, to open May 25, is that 60 dishes across five beautifully-themed dining locations ranging from jerked mahi sandwiches to fresh island chicken salad to chocolate pineapple upside down cake.

Berlin launched their Luther 500th anniversary tourist programme. Listen here to Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry on the RTE History Show speaking about Luther’s 500th and other anniversaries in 2017.

Tourists and travellers at airports across Italy were hit by delays and cancelled flights thanks to strikes by air traffic controllers and air transport workers.

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit named Singapore as the world’s most expensive city for 2017 for the fourth year in a row.
  • Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld are engaged in legal battles with the county appraiser and tax collector regarding what their properties are worth.
  • Drivers to France were urged to apply for car stickers.
  • UNWTO appointed Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa as Ambassador for development of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism.
  • The US Citizenship and Immigration Services said that there would be no changes in H-1B skilled worker visas this year.
  • Uber president Jeff Jones, a marketing expert hired to help soften its often abrasive image, quit less than seven months after joining.

Food & Beverage

Four Star Pizza is to open 16 new stores across Ireland, as part of a €3m investment.

  • No.4 Monkstown Crescent, home to Seapoint Restaurant in Dublin was sold for €1.25m.
  • A Drug and Alcohol Review report found 85pc% of Irish drinkers engaged in pre-drinking before a night out, compared to an international average of 63pc.
  • A new €15m Dublin Liberties Distillery and visitor centre is to open in spring 2018.
  • Dingle Whiskey launched a second batch of its Single Malt Whiskey, which sold out following the launch in November 2016,
  • Dundalk Bay Brewing Company says it will focus on contract brewing.
  • InterContinental Dublin launched a G&Tea menu which it calls a “gin-inspired take on the ever-popular classic afternoon tea”  from €30pp.
  • Galway Food Festival‘s 2017 Programme on Easter Weekend,  April 13th – 17th, was launched at Domini Kemp’s Hatch & Sons Irish Kitchen
  • Breweries and distilleries welcomed a private members bill brought by Alan Kelly to the Dáil seeking the removal of regulatory barriers for the growing number of distilleries, breweries, and cider makers in Ireland.

Hotels

Plans to redevelop Clery’s department store into a boutique hotel, which will see it become a ‘rooftop destination’ with the addition of restaurants and bars, are to go ahead after SIPTU withdrew its appeal.

Signature Living Group is to develop the derelict Crumlin Road Courthouse in Belfast into a luxury hotel at a cost of £25m million, the first of five planned hotels that it will bring to Belfast over the next three years.

  • The 68-bedroom Athlone Springs Hotel is for sale for €3.5m.
  • Garret Marrinan’s recent appointment as GM of the Gibson Hotel on Dublin’s docklands was publicised.
  • An attempt by former (until 1963) owner Conor O’Brien, Lord Inchiquin, to halt the €16m upgrade at Dromoland Castle was rejected by the planning authorities.
  • A new network was launched, aimed at young professionals in the Business Events industry.
  • Prem Group was appointed to manage the 36-room three-star
  • Carnegie Court Hotel in Swords,
  • The HotelTonight app launched a €34m funding round
  • Airbnb changed its name to Aibiying and doubles investment to woo China.
  • An Australia-based Irish immigrant revealed plans to turn a run-down estate in Co Armagh into a €10m hotel and spa resort
  • 300 jobs are to be created in a Belfast call centre with the opening of 15 Travelodge hotels
  • Skift ran a 60,000 word deep dive into how boutique hotels transformed the way we travel.

Aviation

Ryanair’s Dublin-Marrakesh service came to an end on Thursday and will not be returning.

Aer Lingus has already sold 1m transatlantic seats for travel in 2017 – its fastest year on record for transatlantic sales. Watch here Jenny Rafter talking about Aer Lingus’ trans-Atlantic offering in 2017.

Is that the sound of the summer schedules returning? Ryanair routes to resume this week include Almeria on the 29th, Barcelona Reus 27th, Bari 27th, Biarritz 28th, Bremen 28th, Chania 29th, Girona 29th, La Rochelle 29th, Lublin 29th, Palma 29th, Pisa 28th, Santander 29th, Tallinn 29th, Tours 27th, Valencia 29th, and Vigo 30th. Aer Lingus summer routes are Bilbao 11th, Catania/Sicily 28th, Dubrovnik 26th, Murcia 26th, Naples 26th, Santiago de Compostela 11th, Stuttgart 26h,Toulouse 26h, Cork-Faro 26th. Other seasonal routes to take to the sky this week include Dusseldorf with Eurowings operated by Air Berlin (Wednesday) and Transavia Dublin-Munich (todayy, March 26). Frequency increases included KLM Dublin Amsterdam from today.

Dublin-Istanbul returns to double daily this week. Turkish airlines fleet is now airborne again after the winter although the carrier has delayed deliveries. These include 92 Airbus A321neos, 65 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 10 737 MAX 9s that were due to enter service between 2018 and 2022. Aircraft deliveries will now drop from 34 to 10 in 2018, from 40 to 35 in 2019, and from 52 to 42 in 2020. There will be no changes for 2021, but 2022 will see an increase from 6 to 30 aircraft delivered.  At the end of 2016, Turkish had a fleet of 334 aircraft. Turkish Airlines carried 35.5m international passengers last year, up 1.7pc and 27.3m domestic, up 3.8pc. but slipped into a loss. Irish bookings were down by 40pc. Load factor on international flights was down 3.3 points to 73.5.

Three Cityjet Sukhoi Superjet arrived yesterday at Brussels Airport. They will start operating flights for Brussels Airlines today Sunday, with the inception of the summer schedules.

American Airlines’ Dublin to JFK service offers lie-flat business class seats when it resumes April 13. Watch here interview with Caitriona Toner.

Omega Air CEO Ulick and Des McEvaddy claim to have secured financial backing from from Tricap Investments Dubai to build a proposed a €2bn terminal scheme on 130 acres of land they own adjacent to Dublin Airport.

Ryanair 450th B737-800 arrived in Dublin on Tuesday bringing the fleet to 380 of which 70 have been returned to lessors or sold.  The oldest remaining aircraft is EI-DAC which was delivered in Dec 2002. Watch here Michael O’Leary on how Ryanair will carry 130m passengers in 2018. Watch here Michael O’Leary on Ryanair’s plans for 2017. Watch here Kenny Jacobs itemising Ryanair’s target markets including Italy Germany and Spain at ITB 2017. Watch here Kenny Jacobs saying Ryanair will carry 17m passengers in Germany in 2017 at ITB 2017. Ryanair announced winter 2017/18 programmes from Birmingham, Baden Baden, BristolEast Midlands  and new bases in Memmingen and  PoznanWillie Walsh, IAG CEO said Ryanair will have more competition, as other destinations in Europe are set to follow. This is “just the start.”

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE told the ninth ACI Airports Economics & Finance Conference that Ireland is the country most exposed to Brexit/Breat-imeacht.

Aer Lingus is increasing capacity on the Dublin-Toronto route.

Alitalia is to end code-share with Air France on Paris-Dublin as one of a long list of terminations

EasyJet added 155,000 extra summer seats from Belfast. Total departure seats from Belfast and Derry airports to non-British destinations were up 17.5pc to 1m in 2016. Dominant routes were Faro, Malaga, Alicante, Palma and Amsterdam.

Shannon Airport commissioned a masterplan to develop a strong brand proposition for the airport. ATI fee approval was granted an application from Shannon Airport.

London-based NATS and the Irish Aviation Authority have worked together to develop the XMAN initiative to tackle the Heathrow stacks to save fuel, reduces CO2 emission and delivers a better arrival experience for travelling passengers.

Fresh appeals were made for the Coast Guard to be equipped with fixed-wing aircraft to provide top cover in the wake of the Rescue 116 disaster. The AAIU statement on the investigation into the loss of R116 said the wreckage and black box of R116 has been  located on the sea bed on the Eastern side of Black Rock Light House is 10 nautical miles west of Blacksod, Co Mayo with an unattended light is about 280 feet above sea level and a very small helipad.  Blacksod is close to sea level and the heilpad is a refuelling station for the Coast Guard manned by Irish Lights.

US President Donald Trump is proposing to dramatically restructure both the FAA and the TSA, removing air traffic control from FAA and shifting the majority of responsibility for funding aviation security to airline passengers by significantly raising the flight ticket security fee.

The European Commission reinstated fines totalling €776m on 11 airlines for operating a price-fixing cartel on air freight from 1999 to 2006, Air Canada, Air France-KLM, British Airways, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, LAN Chile, Martinair, Qantas, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Singapore Airlines. A 12th member of the cartel, Lufthansa and its subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines, was spared from the financial penalties after it applied for immunity in 2005 and revealed details of the alleged arrangements between the airlines.

United Airlines opened a redesigned security checkpoint in Terminal C in Newark, used by passengers departing for Dublin on United, complete with dedicated Premier Access and TSA Precheck® security lanes and 17 automated screening lanes. See here.

Finnair’s board elected Colm Barrington as Vice Chairman. The Chairman called on the government to change the ownership rules for Finnair. Finnair’s vice president told Routes Asia that he wants to know from airports not just how many people live in a new market, but how many of them have passports. The conference was told that airports in Asia are facing same challenges as those in US. We have a reasonable fix to our problems: remove the cap on the PFC.

Cartrawler released a 13-page report Cash is King: Revenue Now Rules Frequent Flyer Programme Accrual” which concludes that the distance flown has lost much of its relevance and 22 of 25 airlines use the type of fare purchased by the consumer to help determine the final tally of a member’s status. American, Delta, and United are unique because these carriers base mileage accrual on a combination of the price of a ticket and the member’s elite status. See here.

Alitalia approved a 2017-2021 business plan, designed to reduce costs by €1bn in the first three years of the plan with reductions in operating costs and manpower and increase revenues by 30pc% from €2.9bn to €3.7bn. Alitalia will add six new long-haul aircraft between 2019 and 2021 if targets are met, in addition to the two scheduled for in 2017 and 2018 and launch 10 new long-haul routes between 2017 and 2021.

  • Kuwait Airways is adding a London Stansted stop for WB New York svc in summer 2017 having ended its Shannon stopover.
  • Flight and cabin crew equipment is exempt from the laptop ban imposed by Washington and London authorities on flights from named Muslim-majority countries. The UAE and Qatar are not on the London list.
  • Belfast International Airport says the white paper report on Northern Ireland (see here) is a boost for the case against APD.
  • Advanced Seat Selection is available for Air Canada Rouge passengers using an Economy Tango fare from Wednesday (booked in classes: K, A, L, T, S, G, W)  for a fee, agents’ clients can continue to make seat selection within 24 hours of departure or  during check-in at no cost.
  • Analysis of Flight Global data suggests air transport supports 63.5m direct and indirect jobs globally, generating roughly 3.5pc of the world’s GDP, the Airport Economics forum was told
  • Flybe reinstated its Duty Free in-flight shopping on board flights to and from Jersey, Guernsey and Geneva.
  • Dublin Airport announced Regus as the first tenants to Skybridge House near Terminal 1
  • Airlines for America said the 10 publicly traded US passenger airlines collectively reported a pre-tax profit margin of 14.2pc in 2016, 0.5 points lower than 2015.
  • The EU plans to relax rules on airlines’ transatlantic wet leasing deals
  • An extra €250 fine has been proposed for air rage.
  • Virgin America brand is to disappear in 2019 following its takeover by Alaska Airlines.
  • Acumen Aviation launched EMPower.
  • Avolon was named as Business and Finance company of the month.
  • The programme was launched for Westport Airshow in May.
  • Watch here LEVEL IAG’s new low cost airline brand out of Barcelona
  • Watch here Lufthansa forecasts 2017 profit fall.
  • The fastest growing Australian domestic route in 2016 was Hamilton Island to Sydney which saw an increase of 16pc.
  • Alan Joyce told Bloomberg that Qantas survived because we have adapted. Watch here.
  • Why new jets could destroy airlines. Watch here.

Afloat

MSC Cruises is to introduce a Flexi-Dining program — similar to Royal Caribbean’s MyTime Dining on the 4,500-passenger MSC Meraviglia when it launches in June, followed by the 5,179-passenger MSC Seaside in December. It will then be rolled out across the fleet.

  • Royal Caribbean has introduced a non-refundable deposit for any suite bookings made as part of its NextCruise programme.
  • The line’s — will allow passengers to select an evening time slot for their meal with the option to change it at anytime.
  • A challenge by a Dublin Bay environmental organisation to an €18m terminal berth for cruise ships at Dún Laoghaire harbour is to be heard later this year at the Commercial Court.
  • Bantry Bay Port Company will see eight cruise liners calling to the West Cork area this summer.
  • Silversea Cruises released new renderings of the restaurants and public areas for the redesigned Silver Cloud.
  • Crystal River Cruises postponed the launch of new vessels, Crystal Bach from June 18 to August 13 and Crystal Mahler from August 13 to September 30.
  • Holland America Line laid the keel for its new ship Nieuw Statendam, to launch end  2018, in Fincantieri.
  • Séan Garnier was among 14 CLIA media award winners announced in London.
  • Virgin Voyages cut steel for its unnamed first ship Wednesday in Fincantieri, a 2,860-passenger vessel for delivery in 2020.
  • Holland America pulled the Mexican city of Acapulco from eight upcoming itineraries due to security concerns.
  • The first cruise ship of the season arrived in Cork with a further 64 ships and 160,000 passengers to follow.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line unveils its top five spa facilities from the on-board Mandara Spa.

Ireland

Final figures for 2016 from the Central Statistics Office showing that spending in Ireland by overseas visitors for 2016 rose by 8.8pc compared with 2015. Bednights rose 8.4pc to 66.4m.

Waterford Greenway opened yesterday. The €15m project stretches 46km from Waterford City to Dungarvan along the former Great Southern and Western Railway line.

Plans were unveiled for a €19m Hell Fire Club visitor centre.

Meitheal moves to a new venue this week, Punchestown in Co Kildare for the first time. Fáilte Ireland will host 277 tour operators form 19 countries, meeting with 360 Irish businesses and 12,000 face to face meetind on a redesigned appointment programme. Tour operators are embarking on 13 familiarisation trips through the wild Atlantic way and Ireland’s ancient east.

ITAS said tourist victims of online accommodation fraud rose from for in 2015 to 10 in 2016 and already three cases have been dealt with in 2017. Fraudsters have taken online payment for “bookings” on accommodation which they do not own or control and even for properties which do not exist. The majority of crimes against tourists place between the hours of 2-6pm in Dublin, with victims tending to be female aged between 17-25 years. Theft from person accounted for 36pc of referrals and 13pc were referred after violent crime such as aggravated theft, assault, sexual assault and robbery.

Exhibitors from Ireland at the British Tourism & Travel Show (The Very Best of Britain & Ireland) in Bimringham NEC included Discover Mayo, 4 Star Great Northern Hotel, Bill O’Briens Doolin Ferry Company, Fermanagh Lakelands, Holiday Ireland Hotels, Irish Ferries, Select Ireland Hotels, Shannon Ferries and Tourism Ireland

  • An impact study will be required for the 32km Kerry greenway.
  • Almost 160 animals died at Fota Wildlife Park in 2015
  • Titanic Belfast won European Coach Friendly Attraction at England’s Coach Tourism Awards 2017
  • A direct Belfast to Dublin luxury bus service launched.
  • ITIC’s report on Improving Tourism Data for Sustained Market Growth criticised timeliness, coordination and presentation of output saying key data availability is poor, particularly where there has been rapid change such as cruises, new long-haul routes and related traffic.  The NZ model was cited.
  • Facebook moved to prevent an article about the Irish being enslaved in the West Indies in the 1640s as “fake news.”
  • The CSO report “Measuring Ireland’s Progress 2015”  concluded Irish prices are 22.5pc above the EU average and third highest in EU behind Denmark and England. Press release here.
  • A Europcar survey measured 98pc enthusiasm for the Wild Atlantic way.
  • Watch here the Irish at ITB Berlin. Up next: BIT Milan.

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 2 nights 4* WestCord Fashion Hotel, Amsterdam, Netherlands from €239pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel May. 7 nights self catering FBC Fortuny Resort Apartments, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €759 2+1 incl. returns flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. 7 nights self catering 3* Sun Beach Apartments, Majorca from €339pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. 7 nights self catering 3* Club Alvorferias Apartments, Alvor, The Algarve from €789 2+1 incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon offers: 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,349pps, depart June 8. 7 nights self catering 3* Cay Beach Meloneras, Meloneras, Gran Canaria from €339pps, depart May 11. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €399pps, depart Cork May 18. 7 nights half board 3* Costa Dorada, California Garden, Salou from €719pps, depart Knock August 15. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Sun Palace Splash World, Faliraki, Rhodes from €3,659 2+3, depart June 14. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,349pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,589pps, depart June 7. 7 nights self catering 3* Rocomar, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €269pps depart April 29. 7 nights self catering 3* Parque Santiago III, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €349pps, depart April 28. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

ITAA offers: 3 nights 4* Sheraton St John’s, Newfoundland from €669pp incl. return flights, travel May. 6 nights Toronto and Niagara Falls holiday from €869pp incl. 2 nights 3* hotel accommodation in Niagara Falls, 4 nights 3* hotel accommodation in Toronto, return flights and transfers, travel November. 15 nights Rocky Mountaineer Rail tour and Alaska cruise from €4,899pp incl. return flights, depart August 25.

Thomson offers: 7 nights half board Sensimar Los Gigantes, Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €829pps, depart April 8. 14 nights half board Hipotel Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €1,049pps, depart April 16. 7 nights half board Sensimar Los Gigantes, Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €829pps, depart April 7. 7 nights half board Lagos Meia, Lagos, Algarve from €619pps, depart May 21. 7 nights half board Bali Hotel & Apts, Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol from €599pps, depart Cork May 28. 7 nights self catering Mariners Club, Alcudia from €439pps, depart May 16. 14 nights all inclusive Clubhotel RIU Ocho Rios, Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,659pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive RIU Lupita Playa car, Mexico from €1,499pps, depart June 7. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Sunway offers: 10 days Prague, Vienna and Budapest escorted tours from €1,905pp incl. accommodation in 4* and 5* hotels, meals and tours, depart May 12. 7 nights full board Melodies of the Danube river cruise from €2,199pp, depart June 19. 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Hotel, Kusadasi from €299pps, depart May 13. 7 nights B&B 4* Carlos V Hotel, Sardinia from €899pp, travel June. 7 nights self catering 3* Tenerife Sur Apartments, Tenerife from €599pp, depart June 3. 3 nights 4* Sheraton St John’s, Newfoundland from €669pp, travel May. 3 nights 3* Bond Place Hotel, Toronto from €699pp, travel May. 5 nights 3* Ramada Inn Downtown, Vancouver from €929pp, travel October. 12 nights Vancouver to Calgary fly-drive from €1,759pp incl. flights, car hire and hotels, travel September. Visit sunway.ie.

Topflight 5 day Italy sale: 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia, Peschiera, Lake Garda from €369pps, depart May 6. 7 nights self catering 4* Camping Villaggio San Francesco, Sirmione, Lake Garda from €499pps, depart Cork May 27. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Villa Rosa, Desenzano, Lake Garda from £822pp, depart Belfast May 20. 7 nights half board 4* Superior Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €929pps, depart April 16. 7 nights self catering 3* Villaggio Verde, Sorrento from €399pps, depart April 23. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel D’Annunzio, Venetian Riviera, Lido di Jesolo from €499pps, depart September 23. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel de France, Adriatic Riviera, Rimini from €499pps, depart September 16. 7 nights self catering 4* Fattoria Castiglionchio, Tuscany from €499pps, depart May 26. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond Sicily, Giardini Naxos from €899pps, depart June 15. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 3 nights Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €699pp, depart November 23. 3 nights Best Western River North Hotel, Chicago from €649pp, depart November 10. 3 nights Holiday Inn Midtown, Boston from €639pp, depart November 16. Cruise Holidays offer: 10 nights Orlando and Caribbean fly-cruise holiday from €1,159pp incl. 3 nights hotel accommodation in Orlando, car hire to and from car port and 7 nights on board Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, depart October 5.

What we learned

Stage acts in medieval plays were designed to last for 20 minutes, because that was hoe long it took candles to burn down. Courtesy of guide Didier Leceouer in Cherbourg.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: ANOTHER Lowcostholidays scandal, €3.8m claims vs €79,243 bond

HEADLINES – AVIATION – AFLOAT – DEALWATCH – FOOD & WINE – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – STRANGE WORLD – TRAVEL TRADE

Ethiopian’s airbus painted green for St Patrick’s Day, pictured in Dubin airport/. Picture by Mike Kelly

  • 135 exhibitors at Travel Industry Trade Show next Wednesday
  • Lowcostholidays eats up compensation fund: €3.8m in claims, bond of €79,243 
  • Celebrity Epic finds unique solution for a tender problem
  • 278 greenings in 44 countries for St Patrick
  • Etihad host trade to celebrate return to double daily on April 1
  • Dublin-Naples among new winter routes from Ryanair 
  • Paula McIntyre is Ulster’s food hero
  • Dublin hotel prices spike to historic high for rugby/Patrick’s weekend
  • Trump travel ban inspires copycats
  • Willie Walsh enters the low-cost trans-Atlantic game from Barcelona
  • Ryanair boldly goes further east than ever before, to Ukraine.
  • Mount Etna eruption caught on camera
  • Dublin airport connectors up 81pc
  • April print edition of Travel Extra now available

Travel Extra TV

  • Some playful bottlenose dolphins put on a show for a film crew. Watch here.
  • This Westjet B737 seemed fairly close to the beach at St Maarten — but the airline disputed news reports that it nearly crash landed in the water. Watch here.
  • Fantastic shots from Kenya of a mother giraffe protecting her young from some naughty lions. Watch here
  • A Carnival cruise ship nearly ran over two jet skiers, Skylar Penpasuglia, 19, and Allison Garrett, 20, ear the mouth of the Port Canaveral watch here.
  • Some gentle points made by Enda Kenny in his meeting with Donald Trump: St Patrick was an immigrant. Watch here. Donald Trump’s full speech here.
  • BBC crew members were among 10 people injured when lava flow triggered an explosion as it came into contact with snow on Mount Etna in Sicily. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus imagines a world without Irish people. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s promo for the global greening. Watch here.
  • Irish dancing around ‘the world’ with Ryanair. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

If ever anyone doubted that the vintage 1982 bonding system supposed to protect the Irish consumer was a farce, that changed with the news that the collapse of Lowcostholidays, which was bonded for just €79,243, had resulted in claims totalling €3.8m by 4,200 Irish customers. Cormac Meehan called on the government to review the legislation around bonding among travel providers in Ireland.  “The Lowcostholidays refunds will clear out 75pc of the Travellers’ Protection Fund. The ITAA have been pushing for a collective bond for years, among all travel agents, tour operators and airlines. We would also like to draw the Minister’s attention to the organisations, within the Irish travel sector, that are not bonded with CAR at all. This area must be reviewed immediately to ensure the protection of Irish consumers.”

There are 135 confirmed exhibitors for the Irish Travel Industry Trade Show which takes place in the RDS Hall 3, Main Hall Complex, Anglesea Rd, Ballsbridge, Dublin, next Wednesday, March 22nd, from 2pm. The exhibition space is booked out with Spain and Portugal very well represented. The prize list includes, from Qatar Airways, two economy class tickets from Dublin to anywhere on the Qatar Airways network via Doha; from American Airlines, two 2 economy class tickets; from Virgin Atlantic 2 tickets to any of their 26 worldwide destinations; from Sunway a European sun package holiday for two people; and from RIU, a week for 2 at any Classic or ClubHotel in Mexico or Jamaica. The lunch will be sponsored by Spanish Tourist Board and Paradores, the barbecue sponsored by Aer Lingus complete with an American style BBQ complementary drinks live band and a DJ, and Bradley International Airport and the Connecticut Office of Tourism events which will take place in the historic RDS Concert Hall & Library, drinks in the Portuguese Village. There will be free car parking for exhibitors and visitors. The show takes place in RDS Hall 3 and the entrance gate is located on Anglesea Road opposite The Herbert Park Hotel, the same gate as Leinster Rugby followers use. See here.

Details of the features on Celebrity Edge Class were revealed at events in Miami and other cities, including Dublin. Celebrity Edge, the first in class, is to launch in October 2018. While Mary McKenna and Sandra Corkin were among the cruise line’s guests in Miami, Lorraine Quinn of Celebrity Cruises hosted a group of agent-managers at Dylan McGrath‘s Fade Street Social, where she mirrored the announcements in Miami with a series of reveals, which include an imaginative  solution to that bane of cruise passengers’ lives, boarding a tender. Features include The 90-ton Magic Carpet, a movable deck about the size of a tennis court cantilevered off the side of the ship. Primary purpose of the movable deck is which can be moved down to Deck 2 to assist with disembarkation from the ship to the tender boats. It can then be moved up to Deck 16, to become a specialty restaurant. Picture shows Jo Rzymowska and Mary McKenna at the Miami event. Watch here interview with Lorraine Quinn about Celebrity Edge. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Ryanair Holidays, the idea which has been revived with a new bed provider, Hapag Lloyd subsidiary HLX in Germany, poses another and potentially more seismic question for the bonding system. They do not have a tour operators license in Ireland (although Ryanair schools has a travel agents license), Ryanair’s position is that as a European Tour operator or PTR they are entitled to sell B2C in all European source markets if the domestic regulations are fulfilled. CAR is mandatory for package tour operators if they operate with an Ireland based company of if you want to sell through a Ireland based company or intermediary. It is likely, however, Ryanair will apply to CAR for an Irish license to cover all eventualities.

The April 2017 edition of Travel Extra will reach agencies tomorrow and wil be available at the Travel Industry Trade Show. Travel Extra‘s team of award winning travel writers and photographers are already trotting the globe preparing the May 2016 issue which wil be themed on Australia and Canada. See the print issue here

Travel Trade

Etihad, Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia hosted 75 agents at a table quiz in The Stone Leaf in Leeson St (yes, the former Buck Whalley’s). Rick Dunne from Tourism Australia gave the eight-minute guide to the vast sub-continent and announced that the Aussie specialist programme was now available to Irish agents, Shannon O’Dowd reminded agents that Etihad will return to double daily on April 1st and Michael Fletcher said that food is now free on Virgin Australia (as oppose to the Virgin Blue days) and drink is free on a Monday to Friday happy house during fights. Watch here interview with Rick Dunne about the Aussie specialist programme. Watch here interview with Michael Fletcher. The previous night Etihad hosted 47 agents in Cork. Picture shows the Etihad team of Shannon O’Dowd, Karen Maloney, Beatrice Cosgrove and Lisa Hammond. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Philadelphia and American Holidays hosted travel trade and media at Chapter One to showcase American Airlines’ direct Dublin-Philadelphia service and the highlights of the city and district. Picture shows Greg Evans of Philadelphia with Fiona Noonan of American Airlines and Mark White of Philadelphia, who welcomed guests to the event. Brian Hynes of The Travel Corporation won the trade prize. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Topflight’s first winners for places on their luxury Italian VIP trip to a secret fam trip destination were Oasis travel in Holywood and Barter Travel, Patrick Street, Cork. Winners for week 2 will be announced tomorrow Monday 20th March.

The Association of Women Travel Executives have founded an Ireland chapter. They have now formed a committee in Ireland, investing in a new website, networking events, development sessions and a network of members across the Globe since they opened international membership at the end of last year. Women in the travel, aviation or hotel industry can join with 50pc discount for their first annual membership as well as attend this AWTE launch dinner on April 11th at the Halo Restaurant, Morrison hotel, Dublin (register here). Picture shows Dawn Conway of Sunway and Lorraine Quinn of Celebrity Cruises at the Celebrity Cruises event in Dublin. Lorraine and Clare Dunne have been driving the AWTE initiative in ireland. Watch here interview with Lorraine Quinn about AWTE.

Picture shows the 2017 council members of SKAL Dublin who will host the National AGM & Gala Dinner at The Talbot Stillorgan Hotel on Saturday March 25th.

Tour America and St Pete Clearwater offer a prize of a holiday each week to Florida on Sunshine Radio. Week 1 Winner was Tom Barry who won a seven night stay for a couple including tickets to the Dali Museum. Week two winner was Fiona Carroll who won a family Holiday to St Pete Clearwater Beaches including tickets to see Winter the Dolphin at The Clearwater Aquarium

  • Turkish Airlines hosts a North Cyprus event at the Radisson Royal Lane on March 21st. Turkish Airlines and Seychelles hosted agents in Cork On Monday night.
  • Enterprise Plus expanded in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Turkish Airlines visited E travel to congratulate on their year to date sales performance.
  • AITO chairman Derek Moore said an EU directive preventing companies from passing credit card charges onto consumers threatens the survival of independent travel agents and tour operators.
  • Travelport appointed Philip Saunders as vice president, air commerce, EMEA.
  • Amadeus announced a partnership with Chinese travel search engine iGola.
  • Gardaland chose Andrea Iannone, one of the most celebrated MotoGP champions, to test the theme park’s new addition for 2017 – Shaman, the Rollercoaster with Virtual Reality.
  •  Walt Disney Studio Park at Disneyland Paris opened 15 years ago with an opening celebration hosted by Mickey Mouse and honoured guests including Charlie Sheen & Denise Richards, Phil Collins, Roger Moore and David Hasselhoff.
  • Wendy Wu Tours promoted Joe Sutcliffe and John Warr to co-deputy managing directors.
  • English based short break tour operator Diamond Shortbreak Holidays ceased trading.

Strange world

A Saab 340 landed safely after one of its two propellers fell off 12 miles south-west of Sydney Airport.

  • New Zealand police shot dead a young security dog at Auckland Airport after it escaped its handler and ran loose for more than three hours on the tarmac, disrupting at least 16 flights
  •  Angkor has new rules in place to stop damage to ancient temple by crowds viewing sunsets.
  • A seven foot volleyball player was kicked off a plane for being too tall

International

Donald Trump’s second executive order banning travel from six majority-Muslim countries was blocked hours before it was to go into effect on Thursday at 12.01am EST.

Where Trump led others have followed. Copycat travel bans are emerging across the world. Israel’s parliament approved a new law banning anyone found to support sanctions against Israel and its west bank settlements, after warnings from the UN and a human rights organisation had a visa denied for spreading “Palestinian propaganda.” Malaysia and North Korea put reciprocal travel bans on each other’s citizens.

  • Another two skiers died in an avalanche in Lanzada, 150km north east of Milan.
  • Vienna topped Mercer’s 19th Quality of Living survey with Dublin ranked 34th ahead of Paris (38), London (40) Lisbon (43), Edinburgh (45), Madrid (51), Birmingham (53), Glasgow (53), Rome (57), Aberdeen (58), and Belfast (66). Western European cities fill eight places in the top 10 list; Singapore tops the city infrastructure ranking, followed by Frankfurt and Munich with Dublin in 60th place.
  • Vallettas European Capital of Culture opening ceremony will take place on January 20th 2018. The city announced its programme of events to include a multi-site visual arts exhibition exploring Malta’s relationship with the sea curated by Maren Richter, Valletta Pageant of the Sea in June, and Altofest Malta, a Maltese edition of the Naples Arts Festival
  • Greek Tourism Conference, SETE set a target of 35m tourists in 2021.
  • The 50th South of England Show takes place at Ardingly, West Sussex, on June 8, 9 and 10th.
  • Alicante was hit by worst floods in 20 years after six months’ of rain fell in 24 hours.

Food & Beverage

Chef, lecturer and broadcaster Paula McIntyre was named Ulster’s local food hero at the provincial final of the Restaurant Association of Ireland awards in Lough Erne. Holohan’s At The Barge, Belfast, won emerging Irish cuisine, Fratelli Ristorante at Galgorm won Kids Size Me, Alain Kerloch’h of Ox wonrestaurant manager and Usher Windrush Island Café won world cuisine. Munster regional awards take place Tuesday March 21st and Connacht awards in the Radisson Blu Sligo on Tuesday March 28th  with the All-Ireland finals on Monday May 8th in the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Waterford and Limerick councils are considering charging restaurants an annual fee of €125 for each table and four chairs, €635 for street signage and an additional €100 for licensing.

The HSE, which holds the contract from the FSAI for inspecting food businesses, inspected 36,353 businesses by rota or due to a complaint in 2015, and served 61 closure notices. The average time for an order to be lifted was nearly 10 days. Complaints have ranged from a human nail being found in a takeaway meal; to a live insect being in a packaged dessert; plastic rope in a takeaway meal; glass in a dessert; and a cigarette butt found in a bag of chips.

The Bollinger Best Dressed Lady Prize at Punchestown 2017 from Tuesday April 25th to Saturday April 29th is a VIP trip for two to the private Bollinger estate and its new Champagne libraries, France, an overnight stay in the beautiful historic town of Rheims, capital of the Champagne region, Michelin dining and luxury overnight stay in Paris, and private chauffeur and Champagne lunch experience

  • The Horse & Hound pub in Delgany is for sale with a guide price of €1.2m.
  • Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon, criticised the cost of drinks licences in the north where a licence could set you back anywhere from £100,000 to £1m.
  • The Shed Distillery by PJ Rigney in Drumshanbo Co. Leitrim has received planning permission for a new 6,000 square-foot visitor centre.
  • C&C Group said operating profit is expected to be in the region of €94-€96m as a result of the devaluation of sterling, down from €103.2m.

Hotels

How did that happen? St Patrick’s Weekend and England rugby team’s biannual visit to Dublin collided this year, a perfect storm that sent Dublin hotel rates spiking to historic highs. One three star was charging €540 per room, more than the €450 demanded by most of the city’s five stars. Hoteliers would be happier if the match occurred in the mid-February lull.

Buswells’ Paul Gallagher won the Manor House hotel of the year award. The group reported revenue was up 21pc. Meghan and Margaret O’Sullivan, The Castle Hotel, Macroom, Coy Cork, won the ‘Best Service Excellence Award’. Picture shows hoteliers and speakers pictured at the Manor House Hotels and Irish Country Hotels AGM in Parknasilla, Co Kerry.

Alison Brittain, CEO of Whitbread told the 20th annual International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin “the worst outcome is to stop and wait a couple of years. What will happen then is everybody will race past you.” Cody Bradshaw pointed out that millennials are earning about 10pc less than their parents and have far higher student debt. “So if you are going into developing something for millennials, you have to go in knowing they will probably have less spending power.” Highlight of the event was the second night party, hosted by the InterContinental Berlin with a variety of food stalls in the main ballroom and the mozzarella bar catching the eye. The closing lunch started with salmon trout steamed in lemon oil, purple cauliflower, Indian lettuce, smoked celery, and a beef well irrigated with Pinot Gris Weingut Beck, Hedesheimer Hof, Rheinhessen, and Altano Doc Douro Gaia. Marriott’s Arne Sorenson said, when he received the lifetime achievement award, that he loves this industry, and he is excited every day. He then left the trophy behind, as one person tweeted, the only thing that he has ever left on the table.

Maynooth university campus which has 1,300 beds on offer has signed up as the main accommodation venue for next year’s World Amateur Team Championships in Carton House. Picture shows Niamh O’Neill and Katharine Nolan promoting Maynooth University campus at International Tourism Bourse in Berlin.

The 44-bedroom Lough Rynn Castle in Co Leitrim and 84-bedroom Kilronan Castle in Co Roscommon recorded profits of €2m in 2015.

Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore has appealed to An Bord Pleanála against the decision to reject plans for a new 86-bedroom hotel and the development would see the conservation and redevelopment of the Malt Kiln and Malthouse.

  • Irish hotel transactions reached a record €720m in 2016
  • Research by HRS with the GBTA Foundation, found 11pc of travel managers are charged more by hotels than the rate they’d agreed.
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand announced at MIPIM 2017 in Cannes, the world’s luxury property conference, that it will add a second property in central Paris, Hilton Paris Eiffel Tower.
  • Glen Oaks Hotel in Galway has been granted planning permission for a first and second floor extension by An Bord Pleanála with revised conditions
  • Why foreign students pay thousands of euro to learn how to make beds in Shannon. Read Conor McMahon interview with Philip Smyth, head of Shannon College of Hotel management. here.

Aviation

Our thoughts this week are with the families of the crew of rescue 116 the Dublin-based Coast Guard S-92A helicopter lost off Blacksod, Co Mayo.

Willie Walsh’s IAG will begin offering cut-price inter-continental flights Barcelona to Los Angeles, San Francisco (Oakland), Buenos Aires and Punta Cana from June and a new brand “Level”. Suggested lead-in fares include LA from €99 each way and the airline is to expand to 30 aircraft.

Air France said it expects to operate 98pc of flights as cabin crew stage a three-day strike. Long-haul flights will be unaffected

We’ll never go to Ukraine” said Michael O’Leary to Travel Extra back in 2011. This week they did. Ryanair will start operating to and from Lviv (Berlin-Schonefeld, Budapest, Eindhoven, Krakow, London-Stansted, Memmingen, Wroclaw) and Kiev, (Eindhoven, London-Stansted, Manchester, Stockholm-Skavsta). Watch here Ryanair video. Watch news report here.

Ryanair will fly 98 Irish routes in winter 2017-8, with 760 weekly departures. New routes include Dublin 2w to Naples, and the extension of summer routes to Tours 2w and Valencia 2w, and Kerry 2w to Berlin, replacing Shannon-Berlin (which remained bookable for a few weeks after the Kerry route was announced). Anna Aero research suggests Ryanair will drop 81 routes in August 2017 compared with August 2016 including 15 routes from Vilnius suspended temporarily because of runway maintenance work, five switches of airport at Warsaw, Venice, Rome, London, 23 routes from Oslo Rygge dropped in protest to Norway’s aviation tax, eight in its withdrawal from Kos in Greece and three in its withdrawal from Crotone in Italy. Watch Ryanair video here.

Kenny Jacobs said Berlin strikershave no business” accessing the airport and ramp when they are not working.” Berlin airport workers say they may cease giving notice of strikes after Ryanair began using its own ground staff to help maintain services from the German capital. Watch here Kenny Jacobs speaking at ITB on the future of European tourism where he argued that price increases in Greece and Spain can drive a tourism recovery in Turkey. He said that Europe’s true high season is getting longer, and now runs April to October and called for Tegel airport to be kept open. Ryanair asked for clarity from Britain on post-Brexit flying.

The number of passengers using Dublin Airport to connect to another destination in February was 29,500, up 81pc, the total was 1.79m up 4pc, Britain was flat at 750,000. Europe up 4pc to 852,000, trans-Atlantic routes up 28pc to 127,000, others up 10pc to 55,000 passengers, domestic down 9pc to 7,000. If the 6pc increase in the first two months is sustained 29.6m will use the airport this year. February is typically the weakest month for the airport.

Two separate High Court actions have been launched by north Dublin residents challenging plans for the €320m parallel north runway. Watch here Kevin Toland on why Dublin airport redevelopment is necessary  and Watch here Kevin Toland on how runway restrictions will lead to higher fares. Watch here Kevin Toland saying the impact of planning restrictions on runway would be horrific. Watch here Kevin Toland on why growth is necessary at Dublin airport. Watch here Kevin Toland on how a EU noise directive could be the key to resolving the runway issue

  • The Belfast to Isle of Man flight is to be operated by Eastern Airways just two days after the collapse of Isle of Man virtual airlines Citywings.
  • Watch here Caitriona Toner of American Airlines about the lie-flat business class on offer from Dublin to JFK this summer.
  • The Consumer Price Index reported air fares rose 7.2pc in February.
  • Wow are increasing Dublin-Keflavik to 9w from 7w last summer, with an extra 22.35 departure on Wednesdays and Sundays as well as the 11.40 daily departure.
  • Swiss increased the new Cork – Zurich service by 18 flights bringing the number of available seats to 9,000. The service was increased to 2w, from June 2nd through to October 2nd 2017.
  • Cork reported 132,000 in February, up 0.1pc.
  • British Airways is to extend its Club Europe service to services including London-Belfast as it seeks “to align our domestic services with our European ones.”
  • Shannon handled 239 unscheduled landings in 2016 of which 174 diverted due to weather, flight crews being out of hours or destination airport closure, 30 medical emergencies, 23 diversion due to technical issues, seven declared emergencies, two pan diversions, three where crash crews were placed on standby but were not required, two landings due to unruly passengers and one hoax bomb threat.
  • The IAA was awarded an EU Single European Sky Award for the success of its recent Remote Tower trials.
  • Aer Rianta International has named Jackie McDonagh as General Manager of ARI North America and Martin Carpenter as General Manager of ARI Ireland.
  • Avolon will become the world’s third-largest aircraft lessor after GECAS and AerCap if, as expected, it finalises its $10bn acquisition of CIT’s leasing business in the next two weeks.
  • Colm Barrington’s FLY Leasing has a fleet of 76 on lease to 42 lessees in 27 countries, 24 A320 family, 38 B737 with 3 A330, 2 A340, 3 B757, 2 B777 and 4 B787, and intends acquiring $750m of aircraft in 2017. It reported net losses of US$29.1m in 2016 and an adjusted net income of $79.3m.
  • ORIX Aviation officially opened its new Hong Kong office, headed up by James Meyler.
  • Kuwait Airways service to JFK is to end its Shannon stopover and go direct from March 26th.
  • Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said Ireland to Britain capacity is down 4pc in summer 2017.
  • The Commission of Aviation Regulation has received an application from Shannon Airport for approval of an ATI fee of €0.40 per departing passenger for CUPPS (Common User Passenger Processing System) equipment. See here and the application here. They are inviting submissions from interested parties.
  • Peter Bellew, Meath-born Malaysian CEO told CAPA Airline Fleet and Finance Summit “I got a call on March 2 at 1am when I’m fast asleep, from an airline in distress, a big airline with three A330s they want to shift in the next three weeks. We can’t take in all the offers at the moment.” Watch here Peter Bellew talking to Bloomberg’s Haidi Lun.
  • Scandinavian Airlines Ireland will be recruiting flight and cabin crew later for seven to nine aircraft. Scandinavian Airlines Ireland said it has 300 applicants for the seven advertised executive positions.
  • Foynes Maritime Museum launched a new website for the tourism season
  • Looking4Transfers expanded a Ryanair partnership to provide airport transfers in Italy
  • Shannon Airport was shortlisted for the Routes Europe Airport marketing awards 2017.
  • Lufthansa plans to absorb Brussels Airlines short-haul in Eurowings and expects to agree a new business model for newly taken-over carrier Brussels Airlines by the middle of this year
  • IATA said there were 10 fatal accidents in 2016 with 268 fatalities, compared with an average of 13.4 fatal accidents and 371 fatalities per year in the previous five-year period. The all accident 2016 safety performance of the commercial airline industry was 1.61, measured in accidents per million flights, an improvement from 1.79 in 2015. Hull losses per million flights was 0.39, the equivalent of one major accident for every 2.56m flights.
  • Skytrax named their ten best airports: 1 Changi Singapore, 2 Tokyo Haneda, 3 Incheon, 4 Munich, 5 Hong Kong, 6 Hamad, 7 Central Japan, 8 Zurich, 9 London Heathrow, 10 Frankfurt.
  • The EU director-general for transport and mobility Henrik Hololei, told the Guardian: “There will be no separate deal” for airlines. Brexit would without doubt, have consequences for airlines. They need to get a contingency plan.
  • The Schiphol Amsterdam Airport Annual Report said more passengers are taking a connecting flight on an intercontinental journey.
  • ACI Europe says Dublin airport is now 17th in Europe after 12.3pc growth to 1.86m in January.
  • Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said that he plans to start an airline in India with the investment arm of Qatar government.
  • Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada is introducing upgrade auctions with minimum and maximum amounts displayed on their upgrade bid website,
  • Luzius Wirth is new CEO of Swissport Ireland and Britain.
  • Nordic Aviation Capital completed the acquisition of a 25 aircraft portfolio from Air Lease Corporation.
  • Airbus sales chief John Leahy said the manufacturer is “looking at further slight improvements in fuel consumption and range,” of the A321. “There is always the possibility of trying to get an extra seat row in. A lot depends on what they decide to do with the B737 Max 10.”
  • According to the CAPA Fleet Database, Southeast Asian airlines currently have 1,700 aircraft on order.
  • Edreams named Berlin Schonefeld the worst airport in the world.
  • Darren McKinley and Dylan Simmonds from Merrion said Ryanair faces challenges in France and Germany in a research note.
  • Norwegian announced seasonal 2w services from Bergen to both Stewart and Providence.
  • President Donald Trump met with airline CEOs at the White House on Thursday and spoke about his plans to address regulation of the industry and airport facilities.

Afloat

Cruise Ireland reports says Irish ports will have their busiest ever cruise ship season in 2017 with 300 cruise ship calls.

Worldwide cruise figures passed the 25m mark in 2016. The number of Europeans cruising was up 3.4pc in 2016, with Germany passing the 2m mark for the first time, and 74 ships are being built over the next 10 years with a combined value of $51.76bn, the annual Seatrade Cruise Global event in Fort Lauderdale was told.  Avalon Waterways Chairman Patrick Clark told a panel on The Future of Cruising in Europe that there is a growing demand for multi generation, family and active cruising and river lines will have to adapt their vessels and their offerings to attract these potential new markets,

  • When it docks tomorrow Monday, Saga Cruises’ MV Saga Pearl 2 will become the first of 65 cruise ships to arrive at Cobh in 2017.
  • Holland America’s new Explorations Central product will offer personalised advice and recommendations, plus touch tables with in-depth destination information and a virtual bridge so cruisers can see what the captain sees. Holland America’s new
  • Cunard will return to Alaska in 2019.
  • AmaWaterways will include drinks during happy hour frm 2018. AmaWaterways is to launch AmaKristina in May 2019, followed by AmaLea iand two new ships for Europe in 2019.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line announced at ITB that it is basing five ships in Europe in 2018. Epic will continue to be based out of Barcelona, Getaway will be based out of Copenhagen, Jade out of Hamburg and Southampton, Star moves to Venice, Spirit will cruise out of Rome, offering Eastern Mediterranean itineraries such as Santorini, Piraeus and Malta for the first time.
  • Royal Caribbean will charge$7.95 per order for all room service (not just night hours) from May, “to manage the high demand for room service.” New menu options include burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, chicken wings with a choice of sauces, and grilled salmon with cucumber-mint yogurt.
  • P&O showcased its new cocktail bar, The Bonded Store, to be introduced on Pacific Explorer.
  • Amsterdam Cruise port plans new 900m sea locks.
  • Noble Caledonia cruise ship refloated after running aground off the coast of Indonesia
  • Cunard Queen Victoria is undergoing a $40m refurb, refurbishing 24 suites, adding 30 cabins, a new dining room, new sundeck and a specialty café.
  • Tauck will double its small ship cruising capacity over the next four years through an expansion of its relationship with luxury expedition cruise line Ponant.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line is to charge for Internet packages based on usage. Norwegian’s Leonardo Project is to consist of four ships to be built by Fincantieri, scheduled for delivery June 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025, and an option for two additional ships in 2026 and 2027.
  • CroisiEurope, represented by Alan Lynch in Ireland, is launching five ships in 2017: 132-passenger Miguel Torga on Portugal’s Douro; 60-passenger Indochine II on the Mekong; 106-passenger Douce France II on the Rhine River; 106-passenger Symphonie II on the Danube; and 16-passenger African Dream on the Chobe and Zambezi rivers.
  • MSC Cruises newest ship, MSC Meraviglia, which launches in Europe in June 2017, will move to Miami in 2019, meaning three MSC ships in PortMiami for the winter season of 2019/2020.
  • Lindblad Expeditions will include all drinks and crew gratuities in the cruise fares for all departures of National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion from April.
  • P&O Cruises unveiled the newly refurbished Pacific Dawn in Brisbane, featuring a new kid’s waterpark on the pool deck and two new waterslides, virtual reality experience in the teenage clubs, HQ and HQ+, a new seafood restaurant, Shell & Bones, a redesign of bars, the Dome, the atrium, Charlie’s cafe, The Orient and Promenade Bar.
  • Frank Del Rio told Seatrade that construction on Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island destination Great Stirrup Cay is expected to be complete by the end of October.

Ireland

A record 285 sites and buildings in 44 different countries went green for St Patrick’s Day. Picture shows Disneyland castle in Shanghai. A group of 20 media were hosted by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland in Dublin to get first-hand experience of our St Patrick’s Festival. Tourism Ireland released their annual St Patrick’s Day video (watch here.). As opposed to the Ireland inspires video from 2014 (watch here) which got the population of the island wrong.

Tourism Ireland organised a 16-foot tall St Patrick puppet who interacted with people in London’s Trafalgar Square. Picture shows David Boyce of Tourism Ireland; Conor McGinn Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ireland and the Irish in Britain; Kris Hopkins, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office; Baroness O’Cathain; Shane Clarke of Tourism Ireland; and Dan Mulhall, Irish Ambassador to Britain, at the St Patrick’s reception in the House of Lords in London co-sponsored by Tourism Ireland. Vanessa Markey has departed Tourism Ireland’s London office.

Kildare Failte were announced as tourism partners with the Rose of Tralee Festival at an event in Maynooth attended by reigning Rose Maggie McEldowney. Picture shows Aafke Scholts, Ted Robinson, Maggie McEldowney, Claira Barour, Ann Eng and Alan Brophy. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Economic and Social Research Institute calculated that angler tourists to Waterville, Co. Kerry spend on average €644 during their stay,

  • Five Irish business tourism specialists met 25 representatives of various international associations based in Belgium.
  • Sky Arts portrait commission of Graham Norton went on display in the National Gallery of Ireland.
  • Loop Head Lighthouse opened to the public. Clare County Council will meet tourism and community representatives for a public consultation event next Thursday March 23rd at Mountshannon Community Hall at 7.00pm in relation to the Draft Visitor Management and Sustainable Tourism Development Plan for Holy Island (Inis Cealtra) on Lough Derg.
  • The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation has published a report on the collection and interpretation of Irish tourism data. See here.
  • Fáilte Ireland published their annual visitor satisfaction survey indicating 63pc of respondents to the Overseas Holidaymakers Attitudes Survey felt their expectations of an Irish holiday had been matched and 36pc that Ireland exceeded expectations, 52pc of North American visitors said Ireland exceeded expectations, 57pc said they would definitely return to Ireland, 39pc hoped to do so sometime again and 62pc said they would strongly recommend an Irish trip
  • Fáilte Ireland published an infographic pointing out, among other things, that Every 1,000 additional tourists support 14 jobs in the tourism sector.
  • Wellington Road in The Phoenix Park will reopen from Monday 20th March 2017 following the completion of road repairs and cycle lane installation.
  • Guinness Storehouse teamed up with bakery Aungier Danger to create a donut to be paired with Guinness Draught.
  • What would St Patrick make of all the fuss? Check out Naomh Pádraig in his own words in the original Latin, in English, as Gaeilge, in italiano, auf deutsch, em português.

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 3 nights B&B 4* Relais Patizi Hotel, Rome from €289pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel May. 7 nights self catering 3* CYE Holiday Centre Aparthotel, Salou from €759 2+1 incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. Over 50s offer: 7 nights half board 4* Belver Hotel Boavista, Albufeira, the Algarve from €399pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges. 7 nights B&B 5* Croatia Hotel, Cavtat, Dubrovnik Riviera, Croatia from €499pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Cruise Holidays/Tour America offers: 7 nights Abu Dhabi and Emirates cruise board MSC Splendida from €1,239pp incl. all inclusive drinks package, depart January 7 2018. 8 nights Fort Lauderdale and Caribbean cruise and stay on board the Celebrity Edge from €2,339pp incl. 1 night at the HiltonFort Lauderdale, depart December 16. 7 nights Avanti Resort, Orlando from €539pp, depart November 16. 3 nights Wellington Holtel, New York and 4 nights Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €739pp, depart January 16 2018. 3 nights Edison Hotel, New York from €699pp, depart November 4. Visit touramerica.ie.

Falcon offers: 7 nights 3* Hotel Lagotel, Playa de Muro, Majorca from €349pp, depart Cork May 6. 7 nights self catering 2* Bellevue Club, Puerto De Alcudia, Majorca from €289pps, depart Cork May 6. 7 nights self catering 3* Labranda Oasis Mango, Los Cristianos, Tenerife from €349pps, depart May 12. 7 nights half board Costa Dorada, California Garden, Salou from €769pps, depart Knock July 11. 7 nights self catering 3* Club Alvorferias, Alvor, Portugal from €2,469 2+3, depart June 18. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,379pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Jamaica from €1,569pps, depart June 14. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial Apartments, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €399pps, depart April 23. 5 nights self catering 3* Rocamar, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €429pps, depart April 29. 7 nights half board Bali Hotel & Studios, Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol from €619pps, depart March 23. 7 nights self catering Caybeach Caleta, Costa Caleta, Fuerteventura from €709pps, depart April 1. NRG offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Caybeach Caleta, Costa Caleta, Fuerteventura from €709pps, depart April 1. 7 nights self catering 2* Mika, Piskopiano Village, Crete from €379pp, depart June 11. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Intercontinental Dublin is offering B&B family breaks from €270pp incl. 10% food credit, 10% off spa treatments, family day pass to Dublin Zoo and access to leisure facilities. Visit intercontinentaldublin.ie.

Irish Ferries is offering 4 nights Haven holiday in North Wales, the Lake District or Blackpool from €521 for up to 6 people incl. deluxe holiday hotel and return car ferry crossing. Visit irishferries.com/haven or call 0818 300 400.

ITAA offers: 3 nights B&B 4* Golden Park Hotel, Budapest from €339pp incl. return flights, depart March 24. 3 nights 3* Zenit Malaga Hotel from €324pp incl. return flights and 10kg hand luggage from €324pp, depart March 26. 6 nights Rhone river cruise on board MS Mistral from €1,389pps incl. 2 nights 3* Lyon hotel with breakfast, return flights, transfers, tickets to Andre Rieu concert in Lyon, 15kg baggage pp and taxes, depart April 7.

Project Travel is offering 12 days Hurtigruten Cultural Voyages Norwegian coast cruise from €2,098pp incl. flights and transfers. Visit project-travel.ie or call 01 210 8391.

Sunway offers: 6 nights best of Canyonlands from €2,409pp incl. 4* and 5* hotel accommodation, meals and tours, depart June 10. 7 nights China Express holiday from €1,819pp incl. meals and tours, depart June 23. 7 nights full board 5* Cambodia and Vietnam river cruise, depart September 10. 14 nights B&B 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, Kusadasi from €459pp, depart May 13. 7 nights self catering 4* Sunset Beach Club, Costa Del Sol from €449pp, travel May. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Sunscape Cozumel, Cancun from €1,365pp incl. flights and hotel, travel May. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Riu Naiboa, Dominican Republic form €989pp incl. flights and hotel, travel May. 12 nights Las Vegas, Miami, Caribbean fly cruise on board MSC Divina from €1,715pp, depart October 2. 7 nights Croatia and Greece fly cruise on board Norwegian Sta from €995pp, depart October 8. Visit sunway.ie.

TDactive is offering 4 nights B&B hotel accommodation Transylvania from €699pp incl. transfers, excursions, taxes, charges and Dublin Photography School tutors. Depart September 13. Click here or call 01 637 1600.

Thomson offers: 7 nights self catering Silver Springs, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €379pps, depart May 22. 7 nights self catering Garajonay Apartments, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife form €499pps, depart April 21. 7 nights self catering Cay Beach Princess Bungalows, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €469pps, depart April 22. 7 nights all inclusive Hotel Polynesia, Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol from €839pps, depart March 23. 7 nights half board Hotel Nerja Club, Nerja, Costa Del Sol from €659pps, depart April 2. 7 nights self catering SunClub, Cap De Salou, Costa Dorada from €429pps, depart May 12. 7 nights self catering Morromar Apartments, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €429pps, depart Cork May 18. 7 nights self catering Silver Springs, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €379pps, depart May 22. 14 nights all inclusive Clubhotel Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,579pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive RiuLupita, Playa car, Mexico from €1,499pps, depart June 7. 7 nights full board Colourful Coasts cruise of the Canary Islands, Morocco and Madeira on board Thomson Majesty from €669pp, depart March 24.

Topflight offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €569pps, depart April 30. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Cambridge, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €849pps, depart May 27. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Savoy Palace, Riva Lake Garda from €739pps, depart May 6. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcasine, Lake Garda from €749pps, depart May 13. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Aquaviva, Desenzano, Lake Garda from €799pps, depart April 15. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €949pps, depart April 23. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

What we learned

From the Travel Counsellors conference, agents were asked to keep their eye out for skiers. Not the mountainy type. Spending the Kids Inheritance.

Upcoming events of interest to the Travel Trade

Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2017

  • Mar 20 Hills Balfour media event, Dublin
  • Mar 21 North Cyprus roadshow, Dublin
  • Mar 22 Irish Travel Industry Trade Show, RDS, Dublin 2pm-7pm (website)
  • Mar 23 TIGS@ Portmarnock, Sponsor Shannon Airport
  • Mar 25 SKAL national AGM and dinner, Talbot, Stillorgan
  • Mar 28 Japan airlines event
  • Mar 28 Connacht Restaurant awards, Radisson Blu, Sligo
  • Mar 27-29 Tianguis Turistico, Mexico
  • Mar 28-29 Rendez Vous France, Rouen
  • Mar 29-30 Meitheal, Punchestown Co Kildare
  • Mar 29 Travel partners roadshow, Sligo
  • Mar 30 Visit Orlando Roadshow, Dublin
  • Mar 30 Air France Delta KLM event, Dublin
  • Mar 30 Travel partners roadshow, Ballinasloe
  • May 8 Irish Restaurant awards, Clayton Burlington Rd, Dublin
  • Apr 3 Turkish airlines bowling event, Belfast
  • Apr 13 Bookabed & A2B Transfers event Dublin
  • Apr 24 NYC & Company event, Dublin
  • Apr 27 TIGS@Powerscourt, Sponsor Amadeus
  • May 1-4 We Are Africa, Cape Town
  • May 5 Insight Vacations trade evening Cork
  • May 7-9 Germany TM, Nuremberg
  • May 7-8 Indaba, Durban
  • May 9 Caribbean roadshow, Belfast
  • May 10 Caribbean roadshow, Dublin
  • May 10-11 CAPA aviation conference, Powerscourt, Co Wicklow
  • May 11 Caribbean roadshow, Cork
  • May 11 Travelport golf day, Hayfield Manor, Cork
  • May 12-15 ATE17, Sydney
  • May 16-18 Indaba, Durban
  • May 18 TIGS@Mount Wolseley
  • June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC
  • June 13-14 The Big Event, Templepatrick
  • June 22 TIGS@K Club, President’s Prize, Sponsor Etihad
  • Sept 13-15 PATA Travel Market, Macau
  • Sept 14 TIGS@Headfort President’s Prize Sponsor Travelport
  • Sept 19 Thailand Turkish Airlines roadshow Belfast
  • Sept 20 Thailand Turkish Airlines roadshow Dublin
  • Sept 21 Thailand Turkish Airlines roadshow, Cork
  • Oct TBC TIGS@The Castle Sponsor TravelExtra
  • Oct 20 NI Travel awards, Newcastle, Co Down
  • Nov 18 Worldchoice Ireland conference, Galway

2018

  • Jan 19-21 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 26-28 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • May 19-23 IPW, Denver

2019

  • Jan 18-20 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25-27 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 1-5 IPW, Anaheim
  • May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW, Las Vegas
  • April 24-28 2021 IPW, Chicago
  • June 4-8 2022 IPW, Orlando
  • May 20-23, 2023 IPW, San Antonio
  • May 4-8, 2024 IPW, Los Angeles