Author Archives: Sixdayexpert

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Extra TV

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

Behind the Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Trade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sandals is to launch an English tour operation next month.

Strange world

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International

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

Thailand is to spend USD16bn to upgrade airports.

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

Sri Lanka issued a dengue fever warning.

Heavy snow was forecast to hit New York.

Food & Beverage

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

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

Hotels

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

Belfast hotels enjoyed the third highest increase in occupancy levels.

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

Mount Wolseley Hotel is for sale for €14.25m.

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

Aviation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afloat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ireland

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

Hailo rebranded as Daimler’s mytaxi.

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

Crack or craic? Read Fintan Vallely here

Deal Watch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What we learned.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday supplement: The new 24-7, Viking delight for 4 Irish airports, 7 new T/A routes & 24 flights a week

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

Sunrise over Jenny Dixon beach on the New South Wales Central Coast, February 24 2017

  • 24 weekly flights, 7 routes, 4 airports
  • Norwegian’s cheapest fares sell out in minutes
  • Thailand hosts the trade in three cities
  • Uniworld MD comes to town
  • Watch the Goanna Girl pull a lizard from NSW restaurant 
  • Noma loses its Michelin Star, Faroes & Iceland get their first
  • CIE tours honours 99 hotels and attractions

Travel Extra TV.

Watch here as 25 year old Samia Lila from France on a working holiday as a waitress in Mimosa Wines in Bermagui, New South Wales evicted a 180 cm long Goanna from under a chair, causing shrieks from the guests. She has become known as Goanna girl.

Behind the Headlines

Bjørn Kjos CEO of Norwegian

Norwegian sold 5,000 seats in six hours and the headline grabbing 69 fares were snapped up in less than 69 minutes after their twice-postponed decision to announce 24-7 operations in  Ireland. They intend roling out seven new routes and 24 weekly flights from four Irish airports: as many trans-Atlantic routes revealed before lunchtime on Thursday as Aer Lingus did in the first 70 years of its history and, indeed, operated in 2012 (how this will be achieved with just three 737-800s cleared for Etops-180 is not clear). Despite reports elsewhere (and an exchange between Norwegian and Aer Lingus on twitter), it is still undecided whether they will use US CBP at Dublin airport, which has implications for which terminal Norwegian will use. Belfast (2w), Cork (2w) and Dublin (3w on both routes) are scheduled through winter. Norwegian also announced Edinburgh-Hartford which has further implications for Aer Lingus feeder. Game on, and what a game.

Amid all the kafuffle about the new trans-Atlantic routes it is easy to lose track of the short haul routes that have been added to Ireland’s route list. Norwegian are introducing Stockholm 2w from June. BA launching weekly Ibiza from 19 May. Inverness increased from from 7w to 9w double daily on Saturday and Sunday. WOW is increasing to daily from June 4 to mid September up from 5w last summer, and then daily again from November.

Cliffs of Moher was selected as best visitor attraction at the annual CIE tours awards, hosted for the first time by new CEO Elizabeth Crabill at Dublin Castle. Picture shows Katherine Webster of Cliffs of Moher and Ger Dollard, Service Manager, Clare Co. Council, pictured with Vivienne Jupp, Chair of CIE Tours and Elizabeth Crabill. Atlantic sheepdogs in Grange, Co Sligo won the best tour feature. Shelbourne Hotel, Radisson Blu Golden Lane and Benners Hotel, Dingle won the national hotel awards, Sliabh Liag Cliffs, Co Donegal won the National Heritage Award. Ronan McNamara of Derry Walking Tours won the walking tour award. Accommmodation, service and dining awards went to Kilronan Castle, Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon, Granville Hotel, Waterford, Killeen House Hotel, Killarney, and The Merry Ploughboy in Rockbrook, Co Dublin. See full list of 99 award winners hereSee more pictures here or connect with the album of Facebook. Watch here Katherine Webster, manager of the Cliffs of Moher centre, interviewed by Travel Extrawatch here Katherine Webster speaking at the centre’s tenth anniversary, watch here Bill Chambers, Cathaoirleach Clare County Council, and watch here Ger Dollard, director of services with Clare County Council. See more pictures of the anniverary event here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The Dublin photographic archive went on line this week, and the collection includes this splendid picture of the Aer Lingus office decorated for Christmas 1953. The price list in the corner indicates that Paris cost £22/12/- return, Amsterdam £22/10/-, London £11/10/-, Bristol £8/14/-, Edinburgh £8/6/-, Birmingham £8/5/-, Cardiff £7/18/-, Glasgow £7, Manchester £6/12/-, Liverpool £6/6/-, Shannon £4/10/- and Isle of Man £3/10/-. It was easy not getting caught in the rush. At the equivalent of €1,503, a trip to London cost more than a return fare to Australia does today, the equivalent of €2,953- the Paris fare- would get you to Sydney and back in business class today. The Aer Lingus offices were in Cathal Brugha St where you could check-in and get a bus to the Airport. Some readers will fondly remember that the latest check-in time was 20 minutes. How times change.

Travel Trade

Emma Arnott and Chris Lee of Thailand Tourism

Chris Lee and Emma Arnott of the Tourism Authority of Thailand hosted 58 agents in Dublin and 46 in Cork at their roadshows. Thailand reported 67, 273 visits from Ireland in 2016, up 3.9pc and have overtaken Australia for the first time as Ireland’s most popular long haul destination.

The Shannon holiday show was attended by 10,000 enthusiasts, a lively show for bookings and US destinations attracted a high level of interest.

Royal Caribbean appointed Amanda Darrington formerly of Funway

Amanda Darrington

Amanda Darrington

Holidays as sales director for Ireland and Britain in succession to Ben Bouldin who became London office director.

Ireland’s travel industry targeted corporate customers at the Business Travel Show in London. Watch here our video from the travel business show.

Sharon Jordan hosted Kathryn Beadle, London based two country MD for Uniworld in Dubin this week. Uniworld is expecting a large boost from TV Show “Cruising with Jane McDonald” which airs in England on Friday.

Other picture shows SKAL Dublin President Daragh O’Neill making a presentation to World President David Fisher who was in Ireland for the Joe Malone memorial service on Monday. This year’s AGM to be held at 12.30pm on Tuesday March 14th followed by lunch hosted by Ewan Plenderleith at the Herbert Park Hotel, €30 for members and €35 for guests.

Sharon Bershadsky has been appointed London-based Director of theisrael Government Tourist Office for Ireland and Britain in succession to Naama Oryan-Kaplan.

Hertz, Thrifty and Firefly will serve as Air France’s exclusive car rental providers for four years, following the renewal of the 28-year partnership between Hertz and Air France–KLM Group.

Tottalstay signed a hotel distribution agreement with Amadeus..

Strange world

From the Irish Simpsons fan page, a fast growing forum for the comedians out there: “Ryanair announce new measures to speed up boarding.

An American Eagle CRJ-700 operated by PSA Airlines carrying 44 passengers hit a deer at Charlotte Douglas Airport. There was a movie, Sully, about a similar incident in Charlotte when Canada geese were sucked into the engines.

So your dog does a poo in the middle of the airport, and you declare it’s not your problem and you are not going to clean it up. Hope that this man is not near enough to overhear you. Heroes: they walk among us.

TDs had a face-off in the Dail about which home town is the ‘world capital of tourism’: Westport or Killarney.

A tourist has been detained and may be facing up to a year in prison, after feeding fish breadcrumbs in a forbidden area in Thailand.

International

Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil was named best beach in the world in the Tripadvisor Reader’s choice awards, ahead of 2 Grace Bay Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, 3 Eagle Beach Aruba, 4 Playa Paraiso Cayo Largo Cuba, 5 Siesta beach, Siesta Key, Florida, 6 La Concha San Sebastian, 7 Playa Norte Isla Mujeres, 8 Radhanagar Beach Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 9 Elafonissi Beach, Greece; 10 Galapagos Beach, Tortuga Bay, Ecuador

Irish arrivals to the USA were down 12.6pc to end September 2016.

VisitBritain reported a record 37.3m inbound visits, up 3pc on 2015, with North America up 7pc.

An avalanche buried the crest of the main mountain highway between Reno and Lake Tahoe beneath 20 feet of snow.

  • weeklong strike by taxi drivers, against legislation they claim will benefit Uber, caused trouble in Rome, Milan and Turin
  • Butlin’s  seaside holiday park in Skegness is adding more two bedroom apartments.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland losses increased.
  • Jobs were threatened at Visit Florida after the state budget slashed.
  • Watch here Sunrise over Jenny Dixon beach in New South Wales.
  • Watch here the world’s top twenty theme parks by visitor numbers.
  • Watch here the world’s top twenty water parks by visitor numbers.
  • Watch here the top twenty museums by visitor numbers in 2015.

Food & Beverage

Not much surprise that Noma has been dropped from the Michein Star Nordic list. René Redzepi has closed the restaurant and has plans to move to bigger things. Iceland (Dill) and the Faroe Islands (KOKS) gained their first Michelin stars, while Denmark and Sweden both gained a new two-star restaurant. Maaemo in Oslo and Geranium in Copenhagen retained three star rankings while Magnus Nilsson’s Fäviken in Sweden retained its two stars.

Students at Shannon College of Hotel Management gave money raised from a pop-up restaurant night Le Temps Des Fleurs to the charity Médecins sans frontières.

‘Best Cookbook in Ireland’ in the Cooking Schools Category at the Gourmand International awards  was won by the O’Brien Press book ‘All in the Food- 75 years of Cathal Brugha Street.’

McDonald’s is to offer $1 sodas and $2 McCafe specialty drinks across the US

John Reynolds is to open a  gastro bar serving rustic Irish food at 5 Clarendon Market.

Healthy eating chain, Brian Lee‘s Chopped opened a new restaurant in UCD.

The Chili Shack in Abbeygate Street, Galway, is to open a new restaurant in Prussia Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin in March.

Enda O’Rourke’s Village Tavern Seafood Bar in Donegal is for sale.

Clancy’s Bar & Restaurant on 15-16 Princes Street in Cork through the city block to 29-31 Marlboro Street, abruptly closed having been in business since 1824.

The Irish Brewers Association revealed new cooling specifications for draught beer.

Cask, a new restaurant specialising in artisan cocktails and ‘multicultural small plates’ is to open on McCurtain Street, Cork,

Lidl have been refused planning permission to demolish the Belgard Inn in Tallaght.

Hotels

Ireland’s hoteliers gather in the Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny for the IHF Conference this week. Watch here IHF President Joe Dolan speaking about his mission to tackle seasonality and regionality in irish hotels.

Alan Smullen GM of the Croke Park Hotel.

Following the hugely successful Tripadvisor readers’ choice awards, the third biggest of England’s online travel agencies, Travel Republic, owned by Emirates and headed up by Ian Simmonds, eventually inaugurated their awards this week. Alan Smullen’s Croke Park hotewas selected as best Irish hotel.

STR Global reported occupancy in Europe is up 5.1pc in January  to 57.1pc, ADR up 2.4pc to €99.25 and RevPAR up 7.6pc to €56.66.  France bounced back from a weak January 2016 marred by security concerns with occupancy up 9.2pc to 55.8pc and Revpar in Paris up 29.7pc, Charles de Gaulle Airport up 11.7pc, Lyon up 44.6pc and Toulouse up 12.1pc.

Tom Barrett of Savill’s

Tom Barrett of Savills Ireland predicted hotel capacity would grow by just 180 bedrooms in 2017, including 73 bedrooms to the North Star Hotel on Amiens, followed by 1,500 new bedrooms in 2018, helped by two new Dalata hotels, a Clayton on Charlemont Street in Dublin 2 (178 bedrooms) and a Maldron on Kevin Street Upper in Dublin 8, the 202-bedroom Aloft Hotel in Dublin’s Liberties and Oakmount’s 41 bedroom hotel in Ranelagh, and 2,000 new bedrooms in 2019, the 402-bedroom Terminal 2 linked hotel at Dublin Airport, extensions to a number of existing airport hotels and an “interesting trend”” ten aparthotel developments raging in size from 50 to 250 bedrooms. Savill’s say Ireland’s ‘unique’ market sees hotel sales top €850m in 2015. One third of Irish hotels have changed hands since 2011 for a combined sales value of €2.4bn.

Ballinacurra House won the wedding venue of the year award at the Weddingsonline Irish weddings awards for 2017 with Garryvoe in Ballycotton, Lough Eske in Donegal, Radisson Blu in Sligo and Rathsallagh Co Wicklow winning provincial awards. Other winners included Barberstown as best Castle venue, Ballinacurra House for Exclusive venue, Red Door for restaurant venue and Landmark in Carrick on Shannon for waterside venue. Ballymagarvey VillageFour Seasons in Carlingford and Monaghan, the Brehon in Killarney, and Armada Hotel in Spanish Point were commended. Picture shows Jonathan Bryans of Weddingsonline.ie with the Rathsallagh group  Catherine Kehoe, Abhi Tiwari, Sarah O’Flynn, Joe O’Flynn and Aoibhin Garrihy. Dunmore House Hotel in Clonakilty Bay was named Irish National Wedding Venue of the Year at the rival Creative Oceanic Irish wedding awards.

The three-star 350-bedroom Connacht Hotel in Galway City saw pre-tax profits increase eight-fold to €1.458m.

Louise O’Hara’s 114 bedroom Park Inn by Radisson Shannon Airport is at the final stage of its three-year, €1.8 refurbishment to include the refurbishment of the world-famous Blair’s Bar, which will retain its iconic open turf fire.

Gleann Hospitality were the purchasers of the 104 bedroom D hotel in Drogheda earlier this year.

The 14 bedroom guest house Ouvane Falls Inn and restaurant in Bantry is for sale.

Hilton reported a 1.8pc RevPAR increase in 2016.

Aviation

AerCap fleet portfolio reached 1566 aircraft at end of 2016, with 99.5pc utilisation. Aercap posted a $1.04bn profit in 2016. Gus Kelly questioned the durability of aircraft manufacturers’ output plans. Aercap reported financial results for 2016 and authorised new share repurchase programme of $350m. See Aercap corporate video.

Shane Ross at the National Civil Aviation Development Forum. Photo: Maxwells

Shane Ross at the National Civil Aviation Development Forum. Photo: Maxwells

Shane Ross told the national civil aviation development forum that he thought he knew what the answer was on the question of whether the third terminal in Dublin airport should be privately owned. Toronto Pearson and Brussels Zaventem are the two airports in which Kevin Toland said policy was reversed after they had attempted to operate private terminals and failed. Listen here to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry discussing the prospect of the third terminal in Dublin Airport on RTE Morning Ireland.  Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry, eagarthóir Travel Extra ar Adhmhaidin ar Raidio na Gaeltachta.

British Airways announced a weekly seasonal service from Dublin to Ibiza.

Schiphol airport is to introduce ultraviolet scanners.

BMI is to operate the Derry-Stansted public service obligation service when it is vacated by Ryanair next month, operating double daily flights instead of the previous daily service after a pledge of Government funding.

Cork airport is to move the bulk of its food offerings airside in keeping with internatioinal trends.

Flybe brought nine training Medical Alert Dogs on board as part of the dogs’ socialisation programme.

Ryanair now asks 26pc of passengers to check in bags at the gate free of charge.

Air France low cost subsidiary Boost was cleared for takeoff by Air France pilots.

Work began on a €2.9m retail development at Belfast International Airport.

Stobart air closed in on an SAS contract.

American Airlines began selling basic economy in ten markets, with travel beginning March 1.

‏‏‏‏Enda Kenny will receive the airport preclearance review this week.

Fora looked at Ryanair’s ‘very up and down’ relationship with Shannon airport.

British Airways announced Dublin to Ibiza ,see Dublin airport release here.

Foynes air show released its 2017 programme.

Google bid to strike out an amended Ryanair claim was rejected.

Ryanair launched a record winter 2017 Scotland schedule.

Qantas revealed its next generation Premium Economy seat to debut on the airline’s fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from October.

Alitalia announced the successful implementation of Travelport Rapid Reprice.

IAG results showed that Aer Lingus operating profit rose to €233m in 2016, 2017 Capacity for Q1 was up 15.8pc and up 11.8pc for full year 2017.

CarTrawler was appointed as exclusive car hire and ground transportation partner to Jetstar.

Shannon Duty Free Shop is planning a grand 70th anniversary celebration.

Alan Joyce said Qantas was “boxing clever.”

Ryanair added Dublin St Patrick’s Day weekend services.

SWISS is to launch new Cork service in summer 2017.

Five non-European airlines have been threatened with legal action for not compensating passengers for delayed flights to or from the EU. American Airlines, Etihad, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines.

Leeham news decreed Ryanair the cheapest and most profitable airline in Europe.

Emirates is to fly daily to Phnom Phen in Cambodia via Dubai.

Read here Conor McMahon’s analysis of Ryanair’s very up and down relationship with Shannon airport.

Watch here an example of the A380 experience on board Emirates.

Afloat

  • Carlingford Lough Greenore to Greencastle ferry service will begin in summer.
  • John Galligan Travel is organising an Antarctica cruise.
  • CLIA introduced new selling tools for agents. CLIA announced a new council chair Claire Brighton.
  • Disney Cruise Line’s Summer 2018 sailings will include a first-time call to Cork, Disney were the big winners in the Cruise Critic cruisers choice awards.
  • Saga Cruises says its first new-build cruise ship, the 999-passenger Project Olympic will debut in summer 2019 and will have 540 all-balcony cabins and suites, including 81 which will be designed specifically or solo passengers.
  • Royal Caribbean is adding lifeguards and, water safety signage to all cruise ships.
  • Ciara Flynn from Dublin, who earns a living working as a tour guide for European coach network Busabout, won Royal Caribbean’s instagram ‘intern-ship’ competition.
  • Avalon Waterways released its 2018 preview, featuring its most popular European and Southeast Asia river cruises
  • Claire Brighton from Advantage Travel Partnership is the new Chair of the CLIA Travel Agent Advisory Council.
  • Arlene Foster’s campaign against the Irish language has led to fisheries protection boat Banrion Uladh being renamed the Queen of Ulster. The former first minister claimed recently there are more Polish speakers than Irish speakers in the six counties, the 2011 census showed five times as many Irish speakers as Polish speakers,104,943 as against 19,747.

Ireland

Four Kerry beaches featured among the top six in Ireland in the Tripadvisor Reader’s choice awards headed by 1 Banna Strand in north Kerry; ahead of 2 Inchydoney beach Clonakility; 3 Derrynane Caherdaniel, Ring of Kerry; 4 Inch beach, Dingle peninsula; 5 Strandhill Sligo; 6 Coumeenoole Beach, Dingle; 7 Balreycove Schull, west Cork; 8 Curracloe, Wexford; 9 Narin, Donegal, 10 Dog’s Bay Roundstone, Galway.

Tourism Ireland and 15 tourism partners embarked on a four-city sales blitz in Canada, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto. Picture shows Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland; Michael Mullin, CIE Tours International; Jennifer Michael, National Trust Giant’s Causeway; Elaine McInaw, Lough Eske Castle; Jac Callan, Visit Belfast; Colin Wynne, Abbey Tours; Karen Cravens, Collette Vacations; Tony Keane, The Irish Tourism Group; Tanya Johnston, Royal Irish Tours; Assumpta O’Neill, Titanic Belfast; Siobhán Byrne Learat, Adams & Butler; Shane Clarke, Tourism Ireland; Alison Deegan, Manor House and Irish Country Hotels; Ann Kilcoyne, Glasnevin Cemetery Museum; Peter Ouzounov, Globus; Dervla O’Neill, EPIC Ireland; and Jonathan Sargeant, Tourism Ireland, at the Tourism Ireland workshop in Vancouver. Tourism Ireland teamed up with Flybe and Cork Airport, to promote flights to Cork from Cardiff and grow tourist numbers to the South of Ireland this year.

Lismore Castle opened its doors to serve cream tea for a day

County Clare lifesavers dominated at Irish Water Safety’s National Lifesaving Championships in the University of Limerick

St Mary’s University College, Belfast won the Sigerson Cup after stopping at Knock Shrine to pray before and after the match.

The GAA Museum launched new Junior Explorer Tours for families.

Sligo Food Trail launched a glossy new Spring/Early summer brochure.

Storm Doris uprooted a tree at Game of Thrones Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland.

Construction of €233m Irish Center Parcs village will commence within weeks after the company awarded its first major contract to Roadbridge.

Kilkenny Whiskey Guild launched activities in ten city venues.

Watch here the top 20 tourist attractions in Ireland 2016

Deal Watch

What we learned

“State room”, that term that cruise lines insist agents should use in place of the less genteel sounding “cabin”, were first used by Mississippi Steamers, which named their rooms after the states of the USA. So says someone who should know Retired Captain Clarke C (Doc) Hawley speaking to travel media on board Steamboat Natchez in New Orleans. Watch here.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement February 19 2017

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

Bar on board the Emirates A380 as it crosses the Western Australian coastline

  • Things to know about Travel this week
  • Visa changes coming with the Trump administration
  • Irish passport renewal available online next month
  • Tunisia extends state of emergency
  • Where to buy the 50 cent pint
  • Michelin 2017 French Guide released
  • Olive oil prices reach record high

Travel Extra TV

  • Our video of the week shows an Antonov An-124 delivering a replacement engine for a Swiss Boeing 777-300ER stranded in snowy Iqaluit, Canada. Watch here.
  • Dalata chief executive Pat McCann shared his views on Irish tourism with IticWatch here.
  • Emirates SkyCargo gave one of its Boeing 777-F freighter aircraft a Valentine’s Day makeover. Watch here.
  • Ryanair explains its online check in. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland posted a new 30-second ad for Northern Ireland. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus is accepting applications for its graduate recruitment programme. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Even as Donald Trump’s administration targets the J1 summer work travel, another 2,600 of them suddenly became available to Irish students. The US State Department told the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, DC, that J1 options available include a range of opportunities for students and young people to travel to the United States, including camp counsellor positions, the Summer Work and Travel programme, or the Graduate US Visa Programme. The hit list of Trump’s proposed new executive order includes the L1 visa, which allows a foreign worker to transfer from an office abroad to the same company’s US branch, the Optional Practical Training, which allows international students to stay in the US after graduating, the E2 investor vis, and it is unclear what changes will be made to the H1B speciality occupation, non-immigrant visa, which is of concern to the aviation and technology sector.

Emma O’Driscoll launches this weekend’s Holiday Show 2017, in association with Shannon Airport, at the UL. Photo: Arthur Ellis.

The Holiday Show in association with Shannon Airport with 80 worldwide travel suppliers continues in Limerick today.  Product includes airlines such as Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Aer Lingus, Air France, American Holidays, Sunway, ClickandGo.com, Tropical Sky, Dawson Travel and Limerick Travel, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Trabolgan Holiday Village, Aquatica, Discovery Cove Orlando and Attraction Tickets Direct. Picture shows Emma O’Driscoll launching the show.

Travel Trade

Hasan Mutlu, General Manager of Turkish Airlines Ireland, with Mike Adamson, CEO of Live Nation Ireland

Turkish Airlines, now official airline partner of the 3 Arena, is offering 2 VIP Tickets to Ed Sheeran at the 3 Arena on April 12th and 13th. Agents who ticket Dublin departure to any 292+ destinations between the dates of February 13th and March 30 2017 can send the ticket number, name, mail address and the name of the agency to  ie-marketing@thy.com to enter the competition before March 25th at 17:00pm. The draw will be held on April 3. Picture shows Hasan Mutlu, General Manager of Turkish Airlines Ireland, with Mike Adamson, CEO of Live Nation Ireland

Maura Fahy’s Fahy Travel in Galway won the honeymoon planner award at the Creative Oceanic  Irish wedding awards last weekend. The weddingsonline Irish wedding awards will be held on Monday at Clontarf Castle.

Thomas Cook are to close 39 more shops in England.

  • Affordable Car Hire is in discussions with Auto Europe about a potential merger.
  • Blog by the chief of Flyscruisestay Declan Hughes, Fly like an eagle – not with clipped wings can be read here.
  • Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry talks travel in Tallaght LibraryWatch here.
  • Cormac Meehan speech at the opening of Holiday World 2017. Watch here.
  • Shane Ross speech opening Holiday World 2017. Watch here.

Strange world

Designer Andrew Benke claimed his baggage charge beating Airport Jacket and its 14 deep pockets can hold 15kg of items, including laptops, jumpers, shoes and a camera.

  • A wild moose chased snowboarders in Jackson HoleWatch here.
  • JFK airport opened a $65m animal terminal.
  • Westjet pilot became a hero of the internet when he ordered pizzas for passengers from rival airline Air Canada diverted to Fredericton, where there was nothing to eat.
  • A man was detained at Hyderabad airport for attempting to smuggle 12 gold bars past customs up his bum.

International

Ireland visits to Portugal are up 12.2pc in 2016 to 284,800 and is Portugal’s ninth most important market.  Ireland is the third fastest growing market to Madeira (up 26.1pc) and northern Portugal, including Douro Valley, up 12pc, the Lisbon Coast is up 15.9pc and increase from Ireland, and Ireland is the fifth most important to Algarve up 10.7pc.

The Passport Service is recruiting 230 temporary clerical officers to meet increased demand for passports before renewal services in Ireland are due to go online next month. Passport applications in January were up 71pc from Britain and 77pc from the north. The DFA reported was a 13pc increase in outbound travel last year, compared to 2015.

Temperatures in Australia continue to baffle, it is genuinely hot enough to fry an egg, a bit like that Vicki Michelle & the way she might look at you in that iconic Harp Ad by Arks from 1980. For Travel Extra‘s morning swim on Jenny Dixon beach on NSW Central Coast. Watch here.

A price index by airport transfers company Hoppa listed Sofia as the cheapest city for a night’s stay, including a hotel, food, drink, a taxi journey and entertainment 1 Sofia €44.68; 2  Cairo €45.70; 3 Cartagena €46.42;  Bucharest €51.29;  Antalya €51.41;  SiemReap €52.49;  Kiev €54.64;  Manilla €54.84;  Mexico City €59.18;  Sliema €60.38; Dublin was 11th most expensive at €143.58.

  • Walt Disney World in Florida, and Disneyland in California raised prices by $2 off-peak and mid-season and peak day admission prices by $5 to $107 and $119 respectively. Top priced peak day ticket remains unchanged at $124
  • Leipzig announced its celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the reformation. For Martin Luther tour of Wittenberg, watch here.
  • Tunisia extended its state of emergency for another three months
  • Two German tourists were found dead in the Australia’s Northern Territory having strayed off the path.
  • DJ’s Tiësto and Paul Van Dyk are named as the most travelled musicians of all time by package holiday specialists TravelBird, followed by rock legends Bob Dylan, Metallica and Aerosmith
  • Paris is to test face-recognition software at airports.
  • Four snowboarders died in an avalanche while boarding off piste in Tignes..

Food & Beverage

Luna owner John Farrell plans three new restaurants, a BBQ-style restaurant in Stoneybatter, a 4,000 square foot restaurant on Camden Street in Dublin, and an Asian restaurant on Capel Street.

The cheapest pint in the world costs 46c in Manilla in the Philippines and Siem Reap, Cambodia according to a price index by airport transfers company Hoppa. In Beijing, a lager costs just 56c. Doha, Qatar, has the most expensive pint at €7.47 while it costs €7 in Oslo and Dubai.

Michelin’s 2017 French Guide listed 616 restaurants including 57 new stars, removed stars from 52 restaurants and promoted Yannick Alléno’s Le 1947 restaurant in Cheval Blanc Courchevel hotel to three stars. Twelve restaurants were promoted to two Michelin stars, including Le Pressoir d’Argent Gordon Ramsay in the InterContinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel. Michelin’s website mistakenly listed Veronique Jacquet’s Bouche a Oreille bar-restaurant Bourges among the awards, instead of a restaurant of the same name in Boutervilliers

  • Less than a year after opening, Coburg restaurant, in the Conrad Dublin hotel was awarded 2 AA Rosettes.
  • Joe Mahon bought out the majority share in the Jo’Burger group of restaurants from business partner John Roberts.
  • Heineken Ireland reported its cider brand Orchard Thieves has 10.3pc market share and is now number two cider brand behind Bulmers, Coors Light  grew 0.4% and is the number one bottled beer in the trade. Revenues are up by 4pc.
  • Surprise Michelin star restaurant Heron & Grey in Blackrock are to use a new system to start taking bookings on March 1st for the months of September, October and November.
  • Pat Rigney and John Dillon’s Dalcassian Wines & Spirits appointed Frank O’Hanlon as Commercial Sales Manager, Julie McMahon as Wine Trade Marketing Manager and Lisa Deveney as Marketing Manager. The group’s portfolio of 100 premium wine and spirits brands including Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, Walsh whiskeys, Diplomatico rum and Jaffelin, Wakefield, Elvaro and Astoria wines.
  • The International Olive Council in Madrid said erratic weather in Spain and Italy has driven prices for extra virgin olive oil in Spain up 10pc and Italy up 30pc since October to a record €5.75 a kilogram. Watch here Irish-Spanish guide Sean Retana explaining the grading of olive oil.
  • Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company reported world sales up 3pc.
  • A bar in Norwich was fined in excess of £16,000 for deceiving the public and for misusing Jägermeister trademarks on their promotional material.
  • Just Eat signed an additional 35 new restaurant partners in Dublin, including Ambala, Dublin 2, Bobo, Dame Street, Abbey Street & Wexford Street; Borlottie, IFSC, Baggot Street; Café Bliss Restaurant, Dublin; Capo, Dublin 2; Chameleon, Dublin 2; Check22, Dublin 2; Chinatown House, Dublin 1; Counter Culture, Dublin 2; Dall Italia Pasta Bar, Dublin 2; Dave’s Woodfired Pizza, Dublin 2; Eddie Rockets, Dublin 2, Blackrock, Santry, Stillorgan, Donnybrook; Jolin’s Vietnamese Coffee House; Milano, Dublin 1, Dublin 2 and Blanchardstown; O’Brien’s Wines, Donnybrook, ; Pitt Bros BBQ, Dublin 1; Pizzicato, Sandyford; Real Gourmet Burger, Terenure; Sparks Bistro, Smithfield; Rockets, IFSC; Saburritos, Dublin 1; Siri, Dublin 2; Supermacs Blackrock; and Wagamama, Dundrum.

Hotels

Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel in Adare, Co Limerick, is undergoing an 18-month €1 million refurbishment programme.

Galway’s four-star Westwood Hotel was sold to student accommodation company Ziggurat, which plans a 400 bedroom accommodation to be completed by summer 2018.

Aviation

With his arm in a sling, Michael O’Leary told an accountancy body ACCA event that Ireland would make Brexit (Breat-imeacht) even worse if it reintroduced an air travel tax. Ryanair announced their Polish schedules where they will be taking on Wizz.

ACI reported that Dublin Airport was Europe’s fastest growing airport in 2016.

Ahead of its service from Cork and Shannon to Stewart International and Providence, Norwegian posted revenues of €3bn.

Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines, who grew up in Southern California, the son of a meat cutter born in Mexico and the oldest of nine children told Business Insider his employees and others in the travel industry have been forced to deal with the day-to-day chaos created by Trump’s executive order, policies that are “damning and damaging” to the US. A US Justice Department lawyer said 100,000 US visas previously issued to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries were revoked while the ban was in place.

  • IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac told the European Aviation Club in Brussels that Brexit threatens connectivity in EuropeEuropean airlines who are facing the competition of EasyJet would like EasyJet not to be there.
  • The European Commission is targetting unfair business practices by foreign airlines which cannot be addressed through open skies agreements, including illegal government subsidies or favourable slot allocations, ground handling services, airport charges and refuelling.
  • Stobart Air’s legal name has recently changed from Comhfhorbairt (Gaillimh) to Stobart Air UC.
  • CHC Ireland, which provides search and rescue services under a €500m Government contract, plans a 2,000sqm hangar complex at Dublin airport by summer 2018, 
  • Swiss is planning Geneva-Dublin from April 12 using the Bombardier CS100.
  • Declan Dooney will take over from Fergal Keogh as CEO of flight simulation and pilot training specialists Simtech Holdings after founders Sé Pardy and Fergal Keogh sold part of the company to Renatus Capital Partners and Martello Group, a specialist aviation, leisure and real estate group.
  • The IAA says operational trials on remote tower technology have been successful.
  • Icelandair said 50pc of its 3.7m passengers in 2016 were connecting Europe-N America, 28pc incoming tourist visitors and 12pc Icelanders.
  • KLM gave big brother a boost as AIr France‘s bottom line was hit by terror attacks and industrial strife.
  • Brand Finance ranked the most valuable airline brands: 1 Aeroflot, 2 Aeromexico, 3 American Airlines, 4 China Southern, 5 Delta, 6 Emirates, 7 JetBlue, 8 Southwest, 9 Turkish, 10 WestJet.
  • Watch here our round up of figures for Irish airports in 2016. Dublin Airport Anna Livia Lounge T2. Watch hereEmirates business class Dublin to Dubai. Watch here. Emirates business class lounge Dubai. Watch here. Emirates A380 business class. Watch here.

Afloat

Stena Line confirmed that four vessels being built at the AVIC Shipyard in China will be located on the Irish Sea Belfast routes.

  • John Galligan travel and Silversea cruises are hosting an evening on Antarctica on Tuesday February 28 at 1900 in the Merrion Hotel, Dublin.
  • The keel for new Viking Ocean Cruises ship Viking Spirit was laid at a ceremony Wednesday at the Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona,
  • High winds in the New Zealand port of Timaru caused Seabourn Encore to break its moorings and collide with another ship docked in port.
  • Former English reality TV star Jane McDonald is sailing on Uniworld as part of a new series for Channel 5 in England.
  • Norwegian Star cancelled another five ports of call

Ireland

A reception at the National Library of Ireland (NLI) to mark the acquisition of a significant number of manuscripts from the family of WB Yeats were Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys (right), Dr. Sandra Collins (left), Director of the National Library of Ireland, and Caitríona Yeats, granddaughter of WB Yeats. The highlight of the new acquisition is a collection of letters to WB Yeats from James Joyce that span almost 24 years of correspondence and illuminate a deep literary friendship. The correspondence includes 10 signed letters and a postcard. The acquisition also features the ‘Dream Diary’ of Yeats’s wife George, and the Yeats family library, which will join WB Yeats’s personal library, already held by the NLI. The acquisition of the manuscripts was made possible through the approval of extra funding of more than €500,000 to the NLI, announced by Minister Humphreys today. For more information, visit www.nli.ie. PHOTO: Mark Stedman

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys approved extra funding of  €500,000 to the National Library of Ireland to acquire manuscripts from the family of WB Yeats, including  10 signed letters and a postcard to WB Yeats from James Joyce. Picture shows Heather Humphreys with Sandra Collins Director of National Library of Ireland, and Caitríona Yeats, Yeats’ granddaughter.

Fáilte Ireland installed nine visitor orientation signs in County Cork.

Tourism Ireland hosted 40 tour oeprators at its 2017 Nordic trade workshop in Stockholm. Picture shows turism companies with Finola O’Mahony of Tourism Ireland; Orla O’Hanrahan, Irish Ambassador to Sweden and Aileen Hickey of Tourism Ireland.

Tourism Ireland unveiled a timelapse video, showcasing Ireland’s Ancient East locations Glendalough, Newgrange, Castletown House, Hook Lighthouse and Kilkenny Castle.  Watch here

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 3* Sunotel Aston Hotel, Barcelona from €229pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel March. 3 nights B&B 4* Quality Hotel Nova Domus, Rome from €229pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel March. 7 nights B&B 4* Diverhotel Lanzarote Hotel, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €459pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel March. 7 nights self catering 4* Colina da Lapa Resort Apartments, Carvoeiro, the Algarve from €279pp 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* Blue Bay Gran Esmeralda, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico from €1,489pps, depart June 14. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,485pps, depart June 8. 7 nights B&B 4* Santa Monica, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €789pps, depart February 25. 7 nights self catering 3* Labranda Oasis Mango, Los Cristianos, Tenerife from €469pps, depart March 10. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel Riu Palace Oasis, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €1,169pps, depart March 11. 7 nights self catering 3* Heperia Bristol Playa, Corralejo, Feurteventura from €769pps, depart February 21. 7 nights B&B 4* THB Torrequebrada, Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol from €719pps, depart February 26.7 nights self catering 2* Bellevue Club, Puerto De Alcudia, Majorca from €349pps, depart Cork May 6. 7 nights self catering 2* Laguna Park II, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €439pps, depart May 5. 7 nights self catering 2* Loulas Village, Psarras, Corfu from €349pps, depart May 19. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico from €1,489pps, depart June 14. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 3* Palazzo, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €439pps, depart €439pps, depart May 22. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 8 days European breakaway Brussels to Pari from €2,039pps incl. flights, transfers and accommodation. Book by February 28, depart May 21. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Irish Ferries is offering 7 nights Haven holiday in Hafan Y Mor, North Wales from €996 for up to six people incl. return car ferry crossing, depart July 3. Call 0818 300 400 or visit irishferries.com/haven.

ITAA offers: 3 nights Amsterdam from €329pp incl. return flights, 10kg hand luggage, admission to Amsterdam Icebar with three drinks and a 60-minute sightseeing cruise along the Amsterdam Canals, depart March 15. 4 nights Montreal from €869pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, Cork or Shannon, taxes and charges, depart March 16. 7 nights full board cruise in the Middle East on board MSC Fantasia from €999pp incl. return flights, transfers, 20kg baggage and taxes, depart March 11.

Sunway offers: 10 nights full board 5* Caribbean cruise on board Celebrity Equinox from €1,999pp incl. drinks package and 1 pre night in Miami, depart September 14. 8 nights full board 5* Holland America Alaska cruise on board from €2,199pp, depart September 2. 7 nights full board 5* Ama Waterways Melodies of the Danube river cruise from €1,999pp, depart June 19. 3 nights self catering 3* Bajondillo Apartments, Costa Del Sol from €269pp, depart June 9. 4 nights self catering 2* Green Golf Apartments, Gran Canaria from €325pp, depart June 16. 10 nights B&B 2* Globales Acuario, Tenerife from €489pp, depart June 19. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

Thomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,709pps, depart June 8. 7 nights half board Riu Palaca Maspalomas, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €965pps, depart February 25. 7 nights half board Hotel Riu Arecas, Costa Adeje, Tenerife from €839pps, depart March 10. 7 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Papayas, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €679pps, depart March 11. 7 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Oliva Beach Resort, Corralejo, Fuerteventura from €979pps, depart February 21. 7 nights all inclusive Hotel Levante Club, Beniform, Costa Blanca from €579pps, depart February 23. 7 nights full board Colourful Coasts cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €759pps, depart February 25. 7 nights self catering Mariners Club, Alcudia, Majorca from €369pps, depart Shannon May 6. 7 nights self catering Caybeach Sun, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €479pps, depart May 15. 7 nights half board Fiesta Hotel Milord, San Antonio Bay, Ibiza from €439pps, depart May 25. 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,709pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive Riu Lupita, Playacar, Mexico from €1,479pps, depart June 14.

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering Peschiera, Lake Garda from €399pps, depart May 6. 7 nights B&B 4* Four Views Monumental Lido, Funchal, Madeira from €699pps, depart May 11. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €949pps, depart April 23. 7 nights B&B Puglia tour from €749pps incl. three excursions, depart April 17. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic, Sorrento from €829pps, depart May 28. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Melia Madeira Mare from €789pps, depart Jun 8. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €899pps, depart June 10. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 4 nights Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €585pp, travel October. 4 nights Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas from €569pp, travel September. 4 nights New York New York Hotel, Las Vegas from €699pp, travel October. 7 nights Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, Orlando from €469pp, depart June 9. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Cancun from €1,349pp, depart October 2. 3 nights Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €699pp, depart April 27. Visit touramerica.ie.

Travel Department is offering 7 nights half board 4* hotel accommodation Pamplona and the Basque Country from €859pp incl. return flights, transfers, taxes and charges, excursions and local guides, travel between April and October.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering Gems of Northern Italy cruise on board River Countess from €2,959pps incl. flights, airport transfers, meals and beverages, shore excursions. Book by February 28, depart July 9. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned

Waiting staff and bartenders earn just $2.13 per hour in the USA, hence the importance of the 15pc tip.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair average fare heading for lowest EVER €30

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

Niall Gibbons CEO of Tourism Ireland is interviewed before a media briefing in Dubin, February 8 2017

  • Sorohan says Ryanair average fares will fall 15pc from €33.
  • Niall says Irish tourism numbers will grow just 1pc in 2017
  • Countdown to Limerick travel show
  • Was für eine Überraschung! Kerry-Berlin in winter
  • Aldergrove is Ireland’s fastest growing airport, up 34pc
  • Travel Partners visit Cork and Waterford
  • Irish Ferries new off-peak fare type on irish Sea crossings
  • Kathrice joins the win-a-car finalists 
  • Airfield’s newborn calf & the Tourism Award trophy
  • Failte Ireland targets business tourism growth

Travel Extra TV

  • Ryanair posted this cheeky Valentine’s Day promo. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus cheered up the Irish rugby team with Ireland’s “biggest” tweet — with yesterday’s result, it looks like it worked. Watch here.
  • Do you reckon you could ever pull off an indoor skydiving performance like this? Watch here.
  • BA recruited three up-and-coming jazz stars to perform on a flight to New OrleansWatch here.
  • Qatar Airways posted a video to mark its inaugural Auckland service. Watch here.
  • The US Embassy to Ireland posted a video about chef Amanda Freitas when she came to the island as part of a state department culinary diplomacy programme. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Free car parking is among the incentives at the Holiday Show in association with Shannon Airport at University of Limerick on next Saturday and Sunday. Picture shows Maureen Ledwith and Edmund Hourican of Business Exhibitions with Declan Power of Shannon airport. Watch video here.

Ryanair reported Q3 average fares down 17pc to €33, with passenger numbers up 16pc to 29m. The official report also unusually reiterated Michael O’Leary’s warnings about the second carry-on bag (watch here). The Q3 average fare can turn in seven or eight euro below the annual average but the trend is towards historic lows for the airline. In a series of post-results interviews NeilSorahan said Ryanair’s average fare will fall 15pc further, bringing it through €30 for Q3 2017. Michael O’Leary says that Ryanair will reduce their average fare to €30 in five years and it may yet come to pass

Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said he expected the number of sites that will go green will rise to 300 by St Patrick’s Day.At a media briefing in Dublin he showcased the new German television campaign ads for 2017 Die Insel Irland (watch here). Gibbons (watch here) has revised Tourism Ireland’s estimates for growth in inbound Irish tourism in 2017 from minus 3pc too plus 1pc, still very conservative compared with other tourism stake holders. He was responding to questions from Travel Extra at a briefing. Watch here Niall Gibbons speaking on the criteria for buildings to be included in Ireland’s St Patricks Day global greening campaign, watch here full Niall Gibbons presentation, watch here speech by tourism minister Shane Rosswatch here Joe McHugh presentation. watch here Niall Gibbons say Ireland’s St Patrick’s Day Global Greening campaign is worth €10m in publicity, watch here Niall Gibbons speaking on the impact of the removal of Ireland’s aviation tax, calculations that Tourism Ireland’s journalist hosting programme costs €2m and yields €234m watch here. Also watch here Shane Ross speaking on the extensive travel programme for Ireland’s cabinet ministers this St Patrick’s Day and watch here comments on the 9pc VAT rate and aviation tax by Tourism Minister Shane Ross agus Agallamh le aire Joe McHugh, An tAire Stáit um an Diaspóra agus Forbairt Idirnáisiúnta. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The Cliffs of Moher visitor, Ireland’s second most visited attraction in 2016 with 1,427,166 visitors, celebrated ten years on a brisk and sunny Wednesday. watch here Katherine Webster, manager of the centre, interviewed by Travel Extrawatch here Katherine Webster speaking at the event, watch here Bill Chambers, Cathaoirleach Clare County Council, and watch here Ger Dollard, director of services with Clare County Council. Picture shows Patricia Nolan and Katherine Webster of the Cliffs of Moher at the tenth anniversary event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Topflight are preparing for their Copper Face Jack’s ski trip on is March 5th to Arinsal, Andorra where guests will include Paddy Casey and DJ Mark McCabe. All-inclusive prices start from only €959 per person sharing. Topflight are officially announcing a new trade promotion to the trade on Monday morning via e-mail and doing some Facebook teasers. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade

Kathrice Gunning of Cassidy travel is the January finalist in the competition to win a Polo Magnifico run by Blue Insurances joining 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 in the competition for a new car. Blue Insurances reminds agents to have their own unique login to make bookings count for their monthly draw. Agents can win a bonus place at the final by posting humourous pictures or videos featuring themselves with a car to Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #DontRenewUnlessItsBlue.

The seven suppliers who are members of Travel Partners brought their roadshow to Cork and Waterford this week. Next two are Sligo on March 29th and Ballinasloe on March 30th, hotels to be decided yet. Picture shows Jason Whelan of Blue Insurances, Olwen McKinney of Amadeus and Niall McDonnell of Classic Collection during the Travel Partners roadshow tour of Waterford and Cork.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Catch up with the Eoghan Corry Travel Summit at Holiday World in Dublin. Audio files on Sounddloud or check out the individual sessions (audio only) on Youtube: Ryanair with Robin Kiely (watch here), Aer Lingus with John Keogh (watch here), Kathryn Thomas (watch here), Vincent Harrison of Dublin airport (watch here), Grainne Morrison of Dublin Airport guest services (watch here), cruise with Jennifer Callister ofRoyal Caribbean International, Lorraine Quinn of Celebrity Cruises, Rebecca Kelly of MSC Cruises and Alan Lynch of Cruisescapes (watch here), discussion on Solo travel with Sharon Jordan and Brian Hynes of The Travel Corporation and Marie Claire Porter of Sunway Travel (watch here), ski and snow with Orla Markey of Crystal Holidays, Aileen Eglington of Ski Club of Ireland, Catherine Murphy, ski journalist and Anthony Collins of Topflight (watch here), what’s new in the USA (watch here), Irish Attractions with Alex Connolly of Fáilte Ireland, Colette Coughlan of Guinness Storehouse, Dervla O’Neill of EPIC and Maire Hennessy of Hertiage Island (watch here), Flying West in 2017 with Ivan Beacom, of Aer Lingus and Catherine Grennell Whyte of ASL (watch here), Africa with Dawn Wilson of Botswana Tourism and Tony Flynn of Ethiopian Airlines (watch here), Far East with Enda Corneille of Emirates and Chris Lee of Tourism Authority of Thailand (watch here), Europe with Kathryn MacDonnell of the Spanish Tourism Office Dublin, Mary Denton of Sunway and Charlotte Brenner of Falcon (watch here), Vaccinations & Visas with Beth Sunday of the US Consular Office and Siobhan Grehan of the Tropical Medical Bureau (watch here), Ireland’s Regions with Joe Dolan, President of the Irish Hotels Federation and Managing Director of Bush Hotel, Adrian Cummins, CEO of The Restaurant Association of Ireland and Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, CEO of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (watch here).

Brand USA are asking agents to register here for the seven-itinerary 2017 Megafam, their fith, at. Register bookings made to the USA until April 3 with American Airlines or British Wairways, complete the megafam 2017 badge, and pass on as many specialist badges as you can.

Cork airport’s holiday show in the Cork International Airport hotel was among the best attended travel events in the city for years with cruises and river cruises very popular.

Kate Wooldridge of Fred Olsen

Fred Olsen have promoted Kate Wooldridge to the new role of sales services communications manager and  Carla Ball to specialist sales manager. Zoe Allum becomes trade support executive.

Barclaycard is putting in place a new percentage-based charge for debit cards following the EU’s capping of interchange fees between debit card issuers and merchant acquirers at 0.2pc.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is investigating Thomas Cook and Tui Group, over hotel pricing.

Strange world

Lithuania department of tourism admitted that some of the pictures they shared on social media were of Finland and Slovakia. The images ran under the slogan “Real is Beautiful”

International

Visitors to China will have their fingerprints collected starting this week, China’s Ministry of Public Security announced Thursday.

Eoghan Corry on the RTE history show

English fighter jets escorted a Pakistan International Airlines airliner to Stansted Airport near London on Tuesday after a passenger became disruptive.

Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry will be on RTE 1 radio The History Show this Sunday evening speaking about major anniversaries in 2017 including the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 thesis on the door of the Castle church, which is expected to bring 350,000 visitors to Wittemberg this year. Watch here Travel Extra video of press group visit to Martin Luther monuments and homestead last April.

  • Haven Holidays plans a £3m efurbishment of the indoor swimming pool complex at their popular all-action park of Hafan Y Mor in North Wales
  • Some ski high jinks by Irish skiers, watch here.

Food & Beverage

Sales of Jameson Irish whiskey rose 20pc in 2016 the eighth year of double-digit growth helping boost Pernod Ricard’s profits which are up 4pc. Chief Financial Officer Gilles Bogaert anticipated Jameson shipments would rise to 5m cases from 3m.

Italy’s Head Coach Conor O’Shea took time out from his pre-match schedule to join Bord Bia for an Irish beef promotional event in Rome. Conor and top Italian chef Andrea Fusco co-hosted the Chefs’ Irish beef Club (CIBC) event which attracted a number of influential Italian food writers. Guests were served an Irish beef dish inspired by tomorrow’s Six Nations clash. Pictured at the event were (l-r ): Ambassador of Ireland to Italy Mr. Bobby Mc Donagh, Former Irish rugby star and Italy’s Head Coach Conor O’Shea, Italian chef Andrea Fusco, Nicolas Ranninger, Manager, Bord Bia Italy.

I

Former Irish rugby star and Italy’s Head Coach Conor O’Shea took time out from his pre-match schedule to join Bord Bia for an Irish beef promo event in Rome. Conor and top Italian chef Andrea Fusco co-hosted a Chefs’ Irish beef Club (CIBC) lunch which attracted influential Italian food writers. Guests were served an Irish beef dish inspired by the Six Nations clash. Italy is Ireland’s fourth largest export destination for Irish beef, after Britain, France and the Netherlands and at €172m in 2016 accounted for 56pc of our food and beverage exports. Picture shows Ambassador of Ireland to Italy Mr. Bobby Mc Donagh, Former Irish rugby star and Italy’s Head Coach Conor O’Shea, Italian chef Andrea Fusco, Nicolas Ranninger, Manager, Bord Bia Italy.

Pamela Byrne CEO of the Food Safety Authority

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland served five closure orders in January, Hot Spot (take away), Parnell Street, Limerick, Polonez (retailer), 20 Moore Street, Dublin 1, Pacinos Restaurant, 18 Suffolk Street, Dublin 2, Beachview Tandoori (take away), Strand Road, Laytown, Meath and Kavanaghs Fine Foods Cork Ltd manufacturing unit 9 Pearse Square, 9 Pearse Street, Ballyphehane, Cork. The authority received 3,202 complaints by consumers relating to food, food premises and food labelling in 2016, up 17pc and food poisoning was up 45pc.

  • Bollinger are to Sponsor the ‘Best Dressed Lady’ atThe Punchestown Festival 2017
  • Dine in Dublin Festival from February 27 to March 5 will have 70 dining experiences on offer from Pichet, Rustic Stone, Zaragoza, The Woollen Mills, Fade Street Social, Carluccios, Brother Hubbard, Saba, Fallon & Byrne and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill. Participating chefs include Andrew Rudd of Medley, Tom Meenaghan of Fallon & Byrne, Alan Redmond of Flanagan’s, Ana Filpe of Zaragoza, Alfredo Donna of Gino’s, Temple Garner of San Lorenzo’s and Stephen Gibson of Pichet
  • Michelin starred Jean-Christophe Novelli is to take charge of Belfast Harbour’s hotel restaurant at the new four-star AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast to open spring 2018.
  • The Draft House in Strandhill was awarded the Just Ask Restaurant of the Month for February by Bord Bia
  • Morrissey’s annual review of the Irish pubs market lists 35 licensed sales in 2016 with a combined value of €62.17m, down from 39 in 2015 but 43pc up in value. Prominent sales included Howl at the Moon in Dublin to Paddy McKillen jr and Matt Ryan, Limerick’s Sin Bin nightclub to Alan Clancy; Dublin’s The Black Lion and The Gate to the Chris Kelly group, and The Beer Trader and The Gasworks in Grand Canal to Jason O’Connell and Niall Walsh ‘s Galway Bay Brewing Company.
  • The Licensed Vintners Association and the Vintners Federation of Ireland launched their annual ‘About Time’ campaign, calling on the 90-year-old Good Friday alcohol ban to be lifted. Research by Anthony Foley of DCU estimated that the Good Friday pub closure costs publicans €30m and results in €6m excise lost to the Exchequer.
  • David Walsh opened Ballykilcavan Brewery on a farm at Stradbally, Co Laois, with plans to sell its first beers in April.
  • Italian restaurant Dunne & Crescenzi opened a 350sqm location in Blackrock Centre bringing to six restaurants in Dublin and Kildare.
  • Fonté Coffee Roaster opened a café on Parliament Street, Dublin, the group was founded in 1992 by Paul Odom in Seattle.
  • The building that houses Salamanca Tapas Bar and Restaurant is for sale for €2.8m
  • Seamus O’Hara’s Carlow Brewing Company bought over Craigies Cider in Blessington.
  • FivePointsCoffee, in partnership with 3fe, is to open a new café on Harold’s Cross Road, previously home to The Brick House
  • Dada Moroccan Restaurant on South William Street is to open a second location, Moro Kitchen, on Camden Street, taking over from Fontana Café.
  • AIL Group plans to open 30 stores across Ireland after trialling the Oasis of Taste brand at three Maxol service stations. The group currently has 130 Abrakebabra, Bagel Factory and O’Briens Sandwich stores in Ireland.
  • Domini Kemp’s Itsa Bagel reported a profit of €200,000 across a portfolio that includes Alchemy Juice, Hatch & Sons and Joe’s Coffee.
  • Donal Doherty’s Harry’s Shack in Portstewart and Stephen Toman’s Michelin-starred OX in Belfast were picked for a top 100 list Britain and the north list by the Sunday Times.
  • The 2017 World Whiskies Awards due to be announced on March 30 reported stage one winners in the Irish categories: Blended 12 & under Winner Tullamore D.E.W., 12 Years Old Special Reserve, 40pc Gold Jameson, 18 Years Old, 40pc 13 – 20 Winner Tullamore D.E.W., 15 Year Old Trilogy, 40pc No Age Winner Jameson, Black Barrel, 40pc Gold Tullamore D.E.W., Phoenix, 55pc Silver Jameson, Signature, 40pc Jameson, Caskmates, 40pc Jameson, Bold, 40pc Bronze Jameson, Cooper’s Croze, 43pc Jameson, Round, 40pc An Fear Ciuin The Quiet Man, Traditional Irish Blend, 40pc Blended Teeling, Single Grain, 46pc. Single malt 12 & under Winner Dunville’s, PX, 46pc Gold The Whistler, 7 Years Old – The Blue Note, 46pc. Last year Green Spot Château Léoville Barton won the world’s best single pot still at the world whiskies award.
  • Sad news. Restaurateur Keith Lawless, who ran the popular Dillinger’s restaurant in Ranelagh, has passed away at the age of 44

Hotels

Noel McMeel, Lough Erne Resort; Ruth Moran, Tourism Ireland; Julia Cosgrove, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, AFAR magazine; Maren Rudolph, President, Travel Classics; George Stone, Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic Travel; Kevin Dundon, Dunbrody Country House Hotel,

Dunbrody House, the four star country house hotel operated by celebrity TV chef Kevin Dundon and his wife, Catherine, reported record profits of €180,000 in 2015 up from€160,660 in 2014 employing 50 people in peak season.

The group that operates the Oliver St John Gogarty pub in Dublin’s Temple Bar reported profits of €4.9m in 2016 up  57pc. The Martin Keane-controlled Drayton House Holdings operates the well-known Dublin pub named after the Dublin literary figure immortalised in James Joyce’s Ulysses where he appeared as Buck Mulligan. Revenues increased from €12.92m to €15.18m in year to February 29 2016.

  • Paul Collins of CBRE updated media on the Irish Hotel Market watch here
  • Planning permission was granted for a 175-bedroom, five to seven-storey hotel in Dublin’s Smithfield at 6-11 Hendrick Street
  • Tullyglass House Hotel in Antrim is planning a £5m refurbishment.
  • Ashford Castle is offering legos on silver trays as part of its room service.
  • Jerry Conlon’s Central Hotel on Dublin’s Exchequer Street has applied for planning permission to increase it bedrooms from 70 to 116
  • Accor is in talks to acquire Travel Keys, a broker of private luxury villas in locations including the US, Caribbean and Mexico, for 12m.
  • The Irish Hotels Federation in association with the Irish Hospitality Institute, IT Tralee, Cork IT and Regional Skills hosted 250 students at a road show in Killarney and showcased the online interactive free programme Tourism Insight, which provides videos and interactive tutorials on working in tourism which can be delivered as part of class in school or for students to complete in.
  • Tourco holidays is to join the Hotelbeds Group.

Aviation

The Airlines for Europe summit in Brussels brought together Europe’s largest airlines (“we agree on more topics than we disagree”)  to request EU action on taxes, ATC strikes (22 separate strikes in Europe in 2016), the ICAO deal, airport charges and the prospect of foreign flights slipping under the radar of EU emissions limits. Thomas Reynaert told the summit that A4E “managed to push successfully for the removal of the €2.50 increase of the Italian boarding tax.” Michael O’Leary had a field day, producing the quote of the conference when he said, whilst sitting beside Carsten Spohr: “our job in Germany will be to keep Carsten honest.” Spohr retorted: “O’Leary used to talk about Lufthansa disappearing ‘now he needs lawyers to stop us talking about the Air Berlin wet lease. In case Jean-Marc Janaillac would feel left out, O’Leary interjected a discussion on low fares: “even Air France offers the occasional low fare.” O’Leary reiterated the Ryanair and Norwegian plan to start joint feeder flights from summer 2017 onward (watch here), talking up Donald Trump among other subjects, and declaring “I think that legacy carriers such as Air France-KLM and Lufthansa will work within five years with Ryanair and EasyJet. We’ll feed them their long haul because we can do it much cheaper.” He said Ryanair is ready to buy more Boeing planes if others defer and prices are cheap, but that’s not yet happening. Watch here Michael O’Leary’s views on Donald Trump.

Surprise route announcement of the week was the Ryanair’s 2w winter service from Kerry airport in Farranfore to Berlin to commence in November. Shannon-Schonefeld remains bookable.

Bjørn Kjos CEO of Norwegian

Norwegian Air International’s announcement of direct services offered from Cork and Shannon to Boston/Providence and New York/Stewart International were postponed again but seemed to get a breakthrough on Friday when Donald Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer describing the services as being “a major economic interest in the United Stateswe are talking about US jobs both in terms of the people who are serving those planes and the person who is building those planes.” The chief executives of several airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines as well as executives from air cargo companies, were invited to a breakfast meeting with Trump on Thursday. Norwegian Air confirmed that Providence will become the second of two new bases for trans-Atlantic flights that the airline plans to operate with its new Boeing 737 MAX jets. Watch here Shane Ross say there are no further road blocks on Norwegian AI’s proposed routes. Apparently Gulf carriers, Norwegian, and travel restrictions did not come up in Donald Trump’s meeting with airlines and airports.

The Journal’s FactCheck asked if Michael O’Leary and Ryanair are right about Dublin Airport charges and concluded Ryanair claimed that the DAA’s charges were rising did not provide evidence to support the claim that charges were rising, but rather figures showing their annual payments had been increasing, which is not the same thing.  Just one fee, the third party reduced mobility fee, has increased from 35c to 44c per passenger. Where in 2016 the DAA charged separate rates per passenger for departures from Terminals 1 and 2, from March 27 this year, those rates are consolidated.

Anna aero analysis showed that Ryanair has 1,486 routes operating during summer 2017, 150 more routes than it served summer 2016, ahead of American (1,040), Delta (979), United (940), Easyjet (840), Southest (738), China Southern (573), Wizz (536). Thomson (512) and China Eastern (499). At a press conference in Rome Michael O’Leary offered to fly Pope Francis on his Ireland visit.

  • Wrights of Howth opened ‘A New Taste of Ireland’ airside in T1, beside the 300 gates.
  • WOW air said they are to introduce cut price business class on their Keflavik one stop services to the USA.
  • Passengers numbers are up for Irish airports in January, with Dublin Airport reporting overall numbers up by 9pc and on course for 30.4m in 2017, North America up 28pc and transfer passengers up 45pc, for January. Belfast is Ireland’s fastest growing airport with numbers up by a colossal 34pc, largely thanks to Ryanair’s Gatwick route, putting the airport on track for 54m passengers in 2017. Cork was up 6pc with their English services up 7pc and on course for 32.36m in 2017. Donegal airport numbers for 2016 increased 21pc to 45,000.
  • Willie Walsh said IAG Group will not be using Aer Lingus for its planned low-cost long-haul airline as it is not well known enough outside of Ireland
  • Ryanair’s latest travel insurance partner Europ Assistance offers cover on an unlimited number of European trips, of up to 28 days each in duration.
  • Air Canada got a new look to tie in with the nation’s 150th birthday. The Air Canada Rouge brand which operates out of Ireland with 14 flights a week from Dublin to Toronto and Vancouver in peak summer season and year round service to Toronto is unchanged.
  • Iran and Ireland signed an aviation MoU to broaden cooperation.
  • Ryanair’s finance chief Neil Sorahan said the sale-and-leaseback market is ‘hot’ at the moment.
  • Shannon CEO Matthew Thomas told Limerick City and County Council that half of all foreign direct investment in Ireland can be found within 60 miles of Shannon Airport.
  • Spirit Airlines says it now has four complaints per 100k pax, down from 11.
  • Irish Remote Tower two airports with one controller.
  • Rockwell Collins said the self-bag drop at Dublin Airport reduces passenger check-in time by 60pc
  • Roadworks were postponed at Belfast airport.
  • Conor McMahon: Here’s why foreign airlines are queuing to set up operations in Ireland.
  • Watch here Dublin airport CEO Kevin Toland presentation at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin.

Afloat

Eamonn Rothwell of Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries upped the game on Irish sea crossing with an Everybody Free motorist fare that charges only for the car involved, with all accompanying passengers, including driver, travelling absolutely free-of-charge, up to a limit of six persons.

Dublin’s last remaining dry dock closed after 160 years to facilitate the redevelopment of the port. Watch here.

Celebrity Silhouette will be visiting Belfast, Dublin, Waterford and Cork during 2017 and Celebrity Cruises is planning to host three seminars in Ireland. Watch here interview with Jo Rzymowska at Holiday World Dublin.

Closing date is Wednesday February 15th for Royal Caribbean’s Club Royal competition to win three pairs of tickets to attend the inaugural ‘Trade Partner & Club Royal Awards Ceremony on Thursday March 23rd 2017 at The Gherkin in London. Club Royal members can enter by nominating their most extraordinary colleague and explaining what makes them stand out from the crowd by video, email or photos to myclubroyaluk@rccl.com

CLIA’s Executive Partner Conference brought together 200 delegates including 46 cruise executives from 21 countries.

  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises launched 100 summer 2018 and spring 2019 itineraries aboard Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator, and the newly launched Seven Seas Explorer.
  • Carnival Cruise Line’s next new ship, will offer a series of four-night Bermuda cruises from New York in the spring and summer of 2018,
  • P&O Cruises will open a new seafood restaurant, Shell & Bones, on Pacific Dawn.
  • Beauty and the Beast will be performed on Disney Dream sailings from November 6.
  • Ponant has appointed sailing expert Olivier de Kersauson special advisor on the design of its four new 184-passenger expedition ships
  • The 2,240-passenger Norwegian Star was towed back to Melbourne for urgent repairs to its propulsion system after breaking down and drifting off the coast of Australia.

Ireland

Ciara Gallagher and Paul Keeley of Fáilte Ireland hosted MICE stakeholders at a briefing at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Fáilte Ireland will identify 550 leads for industry partners to pursue (up 10pc), and set a target of earnings of €157m from business tourism.

Picture shows Grainne Kelleher of Airfield House feeding the estate’s new born calf with the trophy which they won at the Tourism Ireland awards last weekend. Airfield Estate, winner of Best Food & Beverage Experience at the awards. For Irish Tourism Awards roundup video (watch here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

  • Dublin Bus launched DoDublin, a rebrand of its city and coastal tours which have been operating in the capital since 1988.
  • New Wild Atlantic Way story panels have been installed at discovery points in Clare, adding to the photo points that were developed last year.
  • A survey by German online florist Bloomy Days of pre-Valentine’s Day prices found Dublin is among the most expensive cities in the world. Cork and Belfast are among the cheapest.
  • New exhibition Humans need not apply at Science Gallery Dublin explores the idea of computers creating culture, from algorithm-driven artworks to responsive robots and animatronic desk lamps.
  • Westport house the tale behind the sale.
  • Dozens of applications were received for the first Killarney jarvey horse and carriage licence to have been advertised in generations

Deal Watch

BA fares ex Dublin, Shannon and Cork for travel until November 30, book by February 28: Johannesburg from €190. Shanghai from €250. Beijing from €250. Hong Kong form €200. Bangkok from €270. Kuala Lumpur form €205. Penang from €205. Singapore from €300. Dubai from €150. Abu Dhabi from €110. Check your GDS for full details. Prices exclude taxes and surcharges.

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 3* Berjaya Eden Park London Hotel, London from €199pp incl. return flights, depart March 16. 3 nights 4* Mediterranean Hotel, Budapest from €269pp incl. return flights, depart March 17. 3 nights 4* San Marco Trevi Hotel, Prague from €279pp incl. return flights, depart March 17.

Emirates offers, book by February 22 for travel between June 2 and December 9: Bali from €679. Cape Town from €619. Dubai from €409. Sydney from €989. Visit emirates.ie.

Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Lanzarote Princess Club, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €379pps, depart Shannon May 22. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Gran Muthu Golf Plaza Hotel, Golf Del Su, Tenerife from €589pps, depart February 24. 7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA Interclub Atlantic, San Agustin, Gran Canaria from €569pps, depart March 4. 7 nights self catering 3* Ola Bouganvillia, Santa Ponsa, Majorca form €469pps, depart May 6. 7 nights self catering 3* Smaragdi Studios, Lambi, Kos from €389pps, depart May 20. 7 nights self catering 2* Lanzarote Princess Club, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €379pps, depart Shannon May 22. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,489pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Gran Bahia Principe, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,579pps, depart June 14. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 2* Marian, San Antonio, Ibiza from €269pps, depart May 25. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 8 day Greece holiday from €1,882pps incl. flights and transfers. Book by February 28, depart June 6. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 7 nights full board Copenhagen city break and cruise on board MSC Fantasia from €1,640pp incl. 1 night pre stay in Comfort Hotel Vestebro, depart April 29. 4 nights B&B Lisbon Coast from €301pp, depart February 28. 2 nights London West End theatre break from €259pp incl. show ticket package.

Sunway offers: 9 nights Lima, Peru from €2,510 per adult and from €2,379 per child, depart August 11. 14 nights Beijing to Hong Kong, China from €3,115 per adult and from €2,717 per child depart July 8. 8 days Galápagos from €3,447 per adult and from €2,947 per child, depart July 15.  9 nights Salt Lake City to Denver Wild West holiday from €3,219 per adult and from €3,033 per child, depart Jun 26. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

Thomson offers: 7 nights half board Sensimar Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €969pps, depart Cork February 16. 7 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Vistamar, Amadores, Gran Canaria from €819pps, depart March 4. 7 nights half board Sensimar Riviera, Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol from €679pps, depart February 12. 7 nights full board Colourful Coasts cruise from Tenerife on board Thomson Majesty, depart February 24. 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul, Cala Bona, Majorca form €349pps, depart Cork May 6. 7 nights self catering Silver Springs, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €389pps, depart May 22. 7 nights self catering Planet Studios & Apartments, Tsilivi, Zakynthos from €409pps, depart May 23. 14 nights all inclusive Riu Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,739pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive Riu Lupita, Playacar, Mexico from €1,519pps, depart June 14.

Topflight offers: 5 nights all inclusive super cruise on board Silver Spirit from €1,399pp incl. 1 night at 5* Sina Berini Bristol, Rome with breakfast, private sightseeing tour of Rome, depart November 10, call 01 254 6312. 7 nights self catering 3* Apartments Crest, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €335pp, depart February 19. 7 nights self catering 4* Residence La Riviera, Chamonix, France from €399pps, depart March 11. 7 nights self catering 3* Le Hameau du Mottaret, Meribel, France from €399pps, depart March 11. 7 nights B&B 3* Landhotel Martha, Zell am See, Austria from €599pps, depart February 25. 7 nights B&B 3* Pension Hochwimmer, Zell am See, Austria from €399pps, depart February 25. 7 nights self catering 2* Frontera Blanca, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from€339pps, depart February 19. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 9 nights Caribbean cruise on board MSC Seaside from €1,389pp inc. 2 nights pre stay in Miami, depart December 21. 7 nights Med cruise on board MSC Merviglia from €979pp, depart October 27. 3 nights New York from €599pp, depart October 13. 4 nights Las Vegas from €549pp, depart November 22. 7 nights Orlando from €689pp, depart December 20. Visit touramerica.ie.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Danube cruise on board SS Maria Theresa from €3,119pps incl. flights, airport transfers, meals and beverages, shore excursions. Book by February 28, depart April 16. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned

Of the 1.4m annual visitors to the Cliffs of Moher, 40pc stay locally. Now for the other 60pc. Watch here.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday supplement: Aer Lingus pull the cork on Porto route before it starts

 

Paul Gallagher chair of ITIC addressing the Irish Tourism Industry Awards in Dublin, February 3 2017

 

 

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

  • Things to know about Travel this week 
  • Aer Lingus pull the cork on Porto route before it starts
  • Holiday World numbers up by 11pc
  • Brussels Airlines pulls its Belfast route
  • Newly sold Westport House wins at awards
  • Ryanair hits unthinkable 8.77m passengers in January.
  • T1 or T2? The Qatar conundrum.
  • John Booty is Wendy Wu’s world champion
  • Politicians dither again on aviation tax & 9pc VAT
  • Airline crew rosters hit by Trump order
  • SAS applies for Irish AOC 

Travel Extra TV

  • Aer Lingus had a special announcement for these passengers en route to Edinburgh. Watch here.
  • Two kind Aussies helped a poor kangaroo that got its head stuck in a watering can. Watch here.
  • Rugby Travel Ireland put together a gas promotional video for its Lions Tour 2017 New Zealand packages. Watch here.
  • The barman at Tully’s pub in Carlow kept the punters happy with this phenomenal trick. Watch here.
  • As seen on Australia’s Sunshine Coast: two lizards battle it out to win the affection of a female. Watch here.
  • BA tested Formula 1 driver Jenson Button’s piloting skills. Watch here.
  • Lamborghini escorts an Emirates B777 to the gate at Bologna airport. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

So much for the Douro dealfest we all expected this summer. Porto was all set to be one of the bargain destinations from Dublin of summer 2017 with Aer Lingus due to launch 2w and Ryanair responding to the arrival of a competitor by increasing capacity to 5w “due to increased demand.” This week the shamrock withdrew from the duel of the Douro, as it politely put it: due to insufficient demand to sustain the route. Ryanair responded with a “rescue fare” sale.

Holiday World 2017 in Dublin recorded 35,000 visitors, 11pc up on last year, almost exactly the same increase as that enjoyed in Belfast the previous week. The trade experienced strong bookings over the three days with crowded aisle on Friday and Saturday. Exhibitors report increases in business as people feel more confident when it comes to booking holidays for the year ahead. Picture shows Cormac Meehan of Meehan Travel Bundoran, Tourism minister Shane Ross and Maureen Ledwith of Business Exhibitions during the show. Watch video of show here.

Eoghan Corry’s Travel Summit had 40 speakers on 17 different over the three days. In a lively Q&A Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said no to on-board Wi-Fi, to transatlantic routes or flights from Waterford. One audience member asked Ryanair about the conundrum of parents being forced to purchase priority boarding to sit with their children. Revelations included Enda Corneille’s news that 80pc of all his passengers

transferr onwards through Dubai and the A380 was a distinct possibility in Dublin airport when the facilities were ready, probably by mid 2018. One old man asked if the tenements experience to open in Dublin in 2017 would be sanitised. We wonder if recreating the smell of a tenement, the characteristic ash can odour that clung to your clothes and hair and never could be washed out, would increase visitor numbers. Methinks not. Picture shows Kathryn MacDonnell of The Spanish Tourist Board, Mary Denton of Sunway, Eoghan Corry, and Charlotte Brenner of Falcon Holidays. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

A week after the outbound travel industry in Ireland (value €750m) celebrated the champions of the industry, led by champion travel agent Sandra Mooney and travel agency winners Marie Grenham and Michael Doorley, this week it was the turn of the inbound travel industry (value €5bn). At a function organised by ITIC they awarded gongs to candidates chosen from an extremely long shortlist by an active judging panel that included Lonely Planet’s Nóirín Hegarty. There were 14 awards in all, and no one got more emotional among the 550 people in the Clayton banquet room all night than Nora Heraty, as the Best Leisure Tourism Innovation award went to Westport House. She worked in the house for 45 years, and with Eileen Fahy (holding the award) they have nearly 90 years experience between them. Also in the picture is Biddy Hughes and Tourism Minister Shane Ross. Full details of the awards are available here. Dublin Airport received the award for Best International Access Initiative (watch here). For Irish Tourism Awards roundup video (watch here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The formalities included a terse exchange on the subject of the 9pc VAT, Paul Gallagher (watch here) declaring it should not be a political football during each December’s budget discussions and Minister Shane Ross (watch here)who gave a recycled version of the speech he used for Tourism Ireland’s marketing launch, and was strident in his dimissal of the VAT rate of “9pc, 7pc or 6pc.”

Enda Corneille of Emirates continued his round of interviews celebrating five years on the route (watch here). The big reveal from his appearance at the Travel Summit at Holiday World last week was that the A380 is a probability rather than a possibility at Dublin airport. He expects it to arrive in late 2018. They included an appearance on the Pat Kenny show on Wednesday. Picture shows Emirates team which won the best long haul airline award at the Irish travel industry awards: Helena Sweeney, Jennied Guzman, Lisa Rabbitte, Jane Masterson, Enda Corneille, Noeleen Daly, Aurelie Tommasino, Anita Thomas, Front: Filippo Rocchi and Lotfi Temimi with Vincent Harrison of Dublin Airport.

For all the headlines that it created, newly elected US president Trump’s 17th executive order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days had surprisingly minimal effect on passengers, 200 affected people around the world detained in US airports and in transit around the world on the first day and just one detained in Dublin, where human rights group rallied to assist any refugees. Some airlines (mainly from the Middle East) changed crew rosters to avoid members of staff being refused admittance. Donald is still trailing FDR in the number of executive orders he has issued in the first month but seems intent on catching up. Iran’s reciprocal ban on US citizens will not extend to those who have already booked travel. Meanwhile media focus was mainly on the “entrapment” of legal US residents unable to return. Dual citizens who also hold Irish passports can still travel even if they are from the seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, but visas will NOT be issued by the US embassy in Dublin and the embassy is urging those with visa appointments not to attend. Enda Kenny’s proposed review of US pre-clearance (pre-denial?) in Ireland set off some alarm bells, including Kevin Toland speaking to the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin. Travel Extra‘s Mark Evans told the BBC here why calls to look at US pre-clearance at Dublin and Shannon are short-sighted. Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry, eagarthóir Travel Extra ar Adhmhaidin ar Raidio na Gaeltachta.

Ryanair’s January passenger numbers casually shattered their monthly record once again, with what has become routine predictability: passengers up 17pc to 8.77m, load factor up 2pc to 90pc, rolling annual traffic up 15pc to 118.3m. The number was double the January figure for 2014. Michael O’Leary’s gung ho predictions for 2017 (watch here) suggest that each month will break a new record.

Europe’s ski resorts saw fresh snow this week, but temperatures as high as +7C in areas such as the Ski Welt has meant that resort runs have become increasingly soft. Topflight’s Today FM 18th annual ski trip brought 530 holiday mkaers to a week-long party in Kirchberg in Tirol in Austria.

Lucan based band The Riptide Movement rocked The Arena 365 on Wednesday night as a lunchtime mountain gig from the Harleys turned into a real party, Pump up the Jam revisited the 1990s and nine time All-Ireland winner Tommy Walsh conducted the only official GAA Poc Fada on snow.

READ  Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement June 1 2014: The Crack is 103 in Chicago & Aer Lingus Union Dances in 5:3 time

Incoming alert. Finance Minister Michael Noonan raised the prospect of reintroducing the air travel tax, claiming the aviation industry is under-taxed, The Irish Times reported.

Travel Trade

John Booty and John Warr of Wendy Wu

Wendy Wu Tours Ireland managerJohn Booty was named best of the group’s 16 regional sales people in 2016. Most popular destinations in the Irish market are China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan and India and the most popular tour is the 16-day Wonders of ChinaJohn Warr of Wendy Wu Tours says “The plan is to keep doubling the numbers John Warr says. This year we will do 1m worth and more and we are on track to hit our target. We have achieved two thirds of our target for 2017.” John Warr explained how Wendy Wu is a real person (watch here), and while China is big in 2017 (watch here), Japan is trending (watch here). He told the story of the origin of the Chinese New Year (watch here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Strange world

A woman alleged that Spirit Airlines threw her off a flight from New Orleans to Fort Lauderdale in Florida for showing too much cleavage.

International

A Dutch tourist on the MV Ortelius in Antarctica suffered a suspected stroke 3600km south of New Zealand. The ship sailed 620km towards the US Antarctic research centre McMurdo Station to transfer the 66-year-old woman who was flown to New Zealand for treatment.

  • Vienna recorded 28,439 Irish visitors last year up 8.4pc, bed nights are up 9.8pc to 65,108.
  • Casinos in Nevada won $11.3bn from gamblers in 2016, still short of the pre-recession record set in 2007,
  • Thailand has changed its 30-day visa exemption rule, tourists can only re-enter the country via a land border twice in a calendar year to prevent long stay visitors from  visiting neighbouring countries and qualifying for another visa-exemption period when they return.
  • Michael Palin won the Edward Stanford travel writing award.

Food & Beverage

Diageo’s premium-priced brand Roe & Co, to be distilled on a site on the Guinness Brewery in St James’s Gate, will begin selling in major European cities next month. Diageo is to invest €25m in a whiskey distillery in the former Power Station at St James’s Gate in Dublin.

Derry company, Niche Drinks received permission for a £12m whiskey distillery and visitor centre in the historic Ebrington square in Derry with first distillations due early next year.

The Irish Food is Medicine programme was launched by Creacon Lodge Wellness Centre in New Ross.

  • Italian casual dining restaurant chain Zizzi, which opened in Dundrum Town Centre last April, is to open a second restaurant on the site of Pizza Hut at 24 Suffolk Street.
  • The former Aungier House pub in Dublin (once known to locals as Danger House) is set to reopen on 43 Aungier Street after two decades following a €1m redevelopment by Matthew Ryan and Patrick McKillen Jnr’s Rustic Way group. It was recently sold for €831,000.
  • Guinness is to open an Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore, Maryland in October with a Guinness visitor experience, tasting room for experimental brews and retail store. It will brew new beers created for the US market, including Guinness Blonde American Lager, the first time Guinness has been brewed in America since 1954.
  • While the Irish rugby team lost narrowly to Scotland, the whiskey sector is well behind. Representatives from the Irish trade (5,000 jobs & €500m in exports) met the Scots (40,000 jobs & £4bn in exports) before the kick-off at Murrayfield.
  • Frank Fredriksen and Joan Harrington’s Clonakilty Brewing Company will launch a new Belgian Blond Beer Inchydoney Blond at the Alltech Craft Beers & Food Fair in Dublin at the end of February.
  • Ballygowan led a strong growth in Britvic revenue in Ireland, up 6.4pc.
  • Industry tracker IWSR says Irish whiskey is the fastest-growing spirit category in the US and could grow market share from 4pc to 12pc by 2030.
  • Etto restaurant’s four-storey building on 18 Merrion Row is being sold by Finnegan Menton.
  • Heineken renewed its sponsorship of the soccer European Champions League until 2021.

Hotels

Tripadvisor’s readers’ choice lists continue to issue, this week the peer- review group described Helen & Brian Heaton’s Castlewood House as, “a truly stunning place, a very warm welcome, and a room with an amazing harbour view. The breakfast was the most imaginative and lavish we have encountered.”  TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Small Irish hotels: 1 Castlewood House, Dingle, 2 Bellingham Castle, Co Louth, 3 Lough Lein Country House, Fossa, Co Kerry, 4 Heaton’s Guesthouse, Dingle, 5 Ballyfin Demesne, Co Laois, 6 Talbot Hotel, Belmullet, 7 Fernhill House Hotel, Clonakilty, 8 Roundwood House, Mountrath, 9 MacNean House & Restaurant, Blacklion, Co Cavan 10 Currarevagh House, Oughterard, Co Galway.

B&B Ireland reported bookings were up 15pc in 2016, revenue rose 19pc to €9,002,646, foreign visitors account for 90pc of bookings and demand exceeded supply in Galway, Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Clare, Donegal, Antrim and Kilkenny,

  • Liverpool based Signature Living hotel group is to open a George Best-themed hotel in Manchester
  • IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts continues on the expansion trail, and is to open another hotel,  the IBEROSTAR Club Palmeraie Marrakech, in Morocco in April. The group also reported a 10pc rise in turnover to €2.03bn in 2016.
  • Developer Jerry Conlon is planning a major multi-million euro upgrade of the Central Hotel on Dublin’s Exchequer Street.

Aviation

Lufthansa rolls out the A350, January 2017

Lufthansa rolls out the A350, January 2017

Brussels Airlines has pulled its Belfast route less than year after launch.

Ryanair said it is cutting seats fromand reducing services at Athens and Thessaloniki despite new routes to Katowice & Krakow, expanding in Italy and Spain with a record Barcelona schedule and Madrid Schedule, launched their winter schedules for Milan Malpensaexpanding in Israelwith 15 new routes from Eilat and Tel Aviv and confirmed that London-Osjiek was cancelled. Ralph Anker’s Anna Aero analysed the “best, most and worst” Ryanair airports over the past ten years, 2,800 air services, from 250 airports including 80 bases.

Terminal 1 or Terminal 2? Despite a confirmed Qatar airways schedule from Dublin to Doha to commence June 12, it is not yet clear which terminal at Dublin airport Qatar wil be using. They are most likely to be in Terminal 1 but with Qatar’s relationship with IAG owner Aer Lingus the airline may seek be added to the queue to use the overcrowded wide body gates at Terminal 2. Qatar’s flgiht times outbound from Dublin QR20 are 8.50 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and 15:25 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, return QR19 at 01:25 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and 07:20 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and  Sunday. Arrival times in Doha are 18:05 and 00:40, arrivals in Dublin at 07:25 and 13:20.

READ  Ireland seeing 17pc growth in tourism, reports European Travel Commission.

Shannon Group lodged a planning application for a new aircraft hangar, the airport’s tenth, with the capability to accommodate the A380. All of the airport’s hangars are now fully occupied and Shannon Group recently appointed a design team to meet demand for additional space, draw up plans and seek planning permission for a new hangar brining capacity to 50,700sqm.

SAS Scandinavian is seeking an air-operator certificate in Ireland with sites in London and Spain to counter a cost base that is 20pc higher than rivals.

Norwegian are to increase Dublin-Oslo from 3w to 6w from late March. The New York Times reported Belfast among transatlantic destinations being considered by Norwegian. The 61-day cooling off period for Norwegian subsidiary NAI’s Cork and Shannon services expired without being countermanded by Donald Trump but Norwegian has a new problem with FAA approval for operations out of Stewart Airport on the Hudson north of New York to European destinations, expected to include Cork and Shannon. Knock Airport reported a profit of €112,206 in 2015 thanks to State Public Policy Remit operational funding of €598k.

Stephen Kavanagh said Aer Linguare considering a winter seasonal route to Las Vegas (see newspaper interview here) when the airline’s A330s are not deployed on other routes. Kavanagh said that Dublin airport should privatise its terminals, and drew a predictably unimpressed reaction from SIPTU.

Kevin Toland told the Institute of International and European Affairs that constraints restricting the number of flights between 11pm and 7am could make things horrific and a huge disaster as current planning permission conditions terms reduce flights from 100 to 65 during runway rush hour, 5:30am to 7am.

  • Flybe blamed a slow start to 2017 on bad weather and poor consumer confidence. Load factors are down.
  • Norwegian is expected to open four new bases in 2017, Stewart (for New York) Providence RI (for Boston), Edinburgh and Riga.
  • Deutsche Lufthansa and Etihad Airways announced a catering and aircraft maintenance partnership that could lead to a broader alliance.
  • Wizz Air‘s 19pc growth in 2016 was the fastest among Europe’s top 20 airline groups, average growth rate was 22pc over the past decade.
  • The Irish Independent reported passenger charges at Dublin Airporwill rise to fund the planned €320m runway development
  • American Airlines dropped seatback video screens in new B737s, claiming that 90pc of passengers now bring their own device.
  • Aer Lingus January traffic up 12.3pc over same month in 2016. The Centre for Aviation estimated that Aer Lingus was IAG’s star after the first full year and analysed its rivalry with Icelandair, Airberlin and Norwegian to be the leading North Atlantic value carrier
  • Sean Whelan pondered the problems aviation leasing poses for Ireland’s national accounts and the international accounting rules in the wake of the Central Bank’s report into the aviation industry.
  • A Eurocopter 135 helicopter emergency medical service helicopter visited Cape Clear, West Cork, and Cork City, as part of a promotional tour of Munster.
  • A documentary premiered in Dublin about Dublin-born Brendan Finucane who became a poster boy for the RAF during the war when he shot down the German fighter pilot Adolph Galland.
  • In the course of his route announcements Michael O’Leary promised free flights for passengers (again) and said collective insanity has taken place in US and England. For his opinion on Donald Trump, watch here.
  • Rolls-Royce unveiled LessorCare in collaboration with Gus Kelly’s AerCap
  • Shane Cassells TD told the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee that the former government Gulfstream IV jet was plagued by breakdowns and “we are well shot of it. It broke down before leaving for Paris just five years after it was bought, leaving then Taoiseach John Bruton on the tarmac. On another occasion, it blocked Air Force One on a runway.
  • Norwegian Air Argentina was officially registered as a company in Argentina and will fly both domestic and international flights
  • British Airways launched seasonal flights from Manchester to Alicante, Malaga, Ibiza, Palma, Mykonos and Nice.
  • CNN Aviation Editor Jon Ostrower said airlines are petrified of being in a @realDonaldTrump tweet. One has even developed a crisis comms plan if they are.
  • Bombardier and CityJet finalised their purchase agreement for up to 10 CRJ900 Aircraft
  • Colm Barrington, former chairman of Aer Lingus, is to join the board of Finnair.
  • Fifty North American airports will have a non-stop connection with at least one airport in Europe this summer, up from 46 in 2012.
  • DAA staff sent €2m in donations to Irish charities.
  • Bmi regional increased its baggage allowance from 20kgs to 23kgs,
  • IATA said global airline passenger demand was up 6.3pc in 2016 with 700 new routes.
  • United Airlines two-day 2017 Global Leadership Conference in Chicago saw 700 leaders from around the world, including Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz pack more than a quarter of a million meals for children suffering from malnutrition in El Salvador.

Afloat

Dublin Port reported volumes up 25pc over four years and 13pc ahead of the peak year of 2007. Areas to be examinedduring the current masterplan consultation are the proposed development of a unified ferry terminal for the Port’s main ferry operators incorporating immigration, customs, security and other border inspection functions and the development of the 44 hectare Dublin Inland Port adjacent to Dublin Airport for port-related activities. Picture shows Lorraine Quinn of Celebrity Cruises and Pat Ward of Dublin Port at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards. Watch here interview from Holiday World show with Jo Rzymowska of Celebrity Cruises and Pat Ward of Dublin port, spekaing about Celerbity cruises’ mini season form Dublin in Aoril-June 2018.

Royal Caribbean patented four “of the Seas” ship names including Symphony of the Seas (likely name for the line’s next Oasis-class ship), Valhalla of the Seas, Sunrise of the Seas and Icon of the Seas. Watch here interview  from Holiday World show with Ben Bouldin of Royal Caribbean about plans for the Irish market in 2017.

MSC Cruises officially began construction of MSC Seaview at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone. Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, told invited journalists that the Mareviglia class will feature wearable technology, single cabins and more family restaurants.

Doolin Express, due to offer the fastest surface crossing time to the Aran Islands in just 15 minutes from April, is still awaiting clearance from the Department of Transport which could impact on the viability of the route. The new ferry is to shave 25 minutes from the old 35 minutes crossing time from Doolin Pier to Inis Oírr. Doolin ferries acquired the fast ferry Blanche Hermine from Vedettes du Golfe having served islands in the Golfe du Morbihan, an almost enclosed sea near Vannes in southern Brittany.

A new £6.2m ferry commenced service between Strangford to Portadownreplacing the aging MV Strangford, which was built in 1969 and had seen better days.

  • Silversea will homeport Silver Muse, in Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades for two years from October 2017. It will end the 2017/2018 season with a transatlantic leaving Fort Lauderdale and visiting New York and Newfoundland on the way to Dublin.
  • Adventure travel specialist G Adventures, headed up in Ireland by John Grehan, will restart Swan Hellenic cruises in 2018 having acquired the English cruise line following the collapse of All Leisure Group.
  • Carnival Cruise had added the Seafood Shack to Carnival Liberty, Carnival Glory, Carnival Victory, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Triumph and Carnival Valor.
  • Actress Joan Collins will be godmother to Uniworld’s new 128-passenger river cruise ship, SS Joie de Vivre to launch in March, designed to sail the Seine from Paris.
  • Russian river cruise company Vodohod is to build a new 342-passenger ship to sail between Moscow and St. Petersburg on the Volga River.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line offered passengers $500pp in onboard credit, and a 100pc future cruise credit to be used within five years instead of three after propulsion issues hit Norwegian Star’s Asian itinerary.
  •  Riviera offered an advance look at MS Thomas Hardy
READ  TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Back to the trenches, Ryanair reignite the battle one the second carrier bag

Ireland

Vincent and Roisin Callaghan of Green Light Events

Roisin Callaghan of Green Light Events is relaunching her brand next week after a successful decade which saw her company win Best Business Tourism Innovation on Friday night. The company is appointing a new CEO, a new creative director and opening an office in San Francisco.

Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons unveiled marketing plans to stake holders in New York, while Fåilte Ireland is aiming to lure the big-spending business travel market here.

Tourism Ireland told MICE stakeholders at a briefing at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham that Fáilte Ireland will identify 550 leads for industry partners to pursue (up 10pc), and set a target of €157m from business tourism.

Picture shows Rachel Deegan, Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau; Danielle Neyts, Tourism Ireland; Letitia Wade, Fáilte Ireland; and Seamus Heaney, Cork Convention Bureau, at the Meeting Matters networking event in Brussels where 40 international associations based in Belgium met with ten different destinations, including Ireland, and 23 convention bureaux, including Cork Convention Bureau and Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau.

Enda Kenny announced Fáilte Ireland’s €500,000 strategic partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Services to grow tourism revenues areas where the parks are located.

The Westport250 Launch Celebration take place on St. Patrick’s weekend, exactly 250 years after an advert was placed in Faulkner’s Dublin Journal by the 2nd Earl of Altamont Peter Browne Kelly advertising for tradesmen to build a new town as designed by architect William Leeson. This is considered the foundation year of Westport Town.

Tourism and Hospitality Sectoral discussion in Dundalk on England’s EU referendum result (breat-imeacht) stressed preservation of the Common Travel Area, avoiding additional tax or regulatory burdens on industry and reducing key operating costs such as insurance and utilities. See here the presentation from Niall Gibbons CEO of Tourism Ireland. Sign up for information service or contact Department on this issue brexit@dttas.ieor tourismpolicy@dttas.ie

  • Tourism NI Quality Grading Scheme awarded Crumlin Road Gaol a five-star visitor attraction rating, joining Belfast’s Lyric Theatre, HMS Caroline, Belfast Food Tour and Titanic Belfast.
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral visitor numbers increased 7pc in 2016 to 565k making it Ireland’s 12th most visited attraction slightly ahead of the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin.
  • Is the superpub threatening the traditional Irish tourist product? Listen here to a discussion between Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry and Gavin Grace of Clare FM.

Deal Watch

Insight Vacations is offering 10 days Best of Germany holiday from €2,229pps incl. flights, transfers and accommodation. Book by February 28, depart June 16. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Irish Ferries is charging per car not per passenger on sailings to Britain booked by February 21 for travel until May 26. Up to six persons per car. Visit irishferries.com or call 0818 300 400.

Falcon offers: 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,579pps. 4 nights self catering 3* Bali Hotel, Benalmedena, Costa Del Sol from €389pps, depart February 5. 7 nights self catering 3* Heperia Bristol Playa, Carraleio, Fuerteventura from €689pps, depart February 14. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €419pps, depart February 10. 7 nights self catering 2* Laguna Park II, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €429pps, depart May 19. 7 nights self catering 3* Rocamar, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €429pps, depart May 11. 7 nights all inclusive 2* Lanzarote Paradise, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €389pps, depart Shannon May 22. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decamerom Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,579pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Grand Riviera Princess, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,719pps, depart June 21. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 3* Hotel Palazzo, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €439pps, depart May 22. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Stena Line is offering 7 nights Haven Holiday from €495 2+2 incl. return travel by car. Book by March 6. Visit stenaline.ie/haven or call 01 907 5399.

The Westin Hotel is offering The Boodles luxury diamond experience from €319 incl. overnight accommodation, jewellery experience with champagne in Boodles boutique, two cocktails and breakfast for two. Available until March 31. Click here or call 01 646 3333.

Thomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,819pps, depart June 8. 7 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Vistamar, Amadores, Gran Canaria from €819pps, depart February 18. 7 nights self catering Colon II, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €529pps, depart March 3. 7 nights half board SBH Crystal Beach, Costa Calma, Fuerteventura from €829pps, depart February 14. 7 nights half board Hotel Cala Bona, Majorca from €439pps, depart Cork May 2. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €389pps, depart May 25. 7 nights half board Fiesta Milord Hotel, San Antonio Bay, Ibiza from €469pps, depart May 25. 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,819pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Tequila, Playacar, Mexico from €1,619pps, depart June 14.

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Apartments Crest, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €299pps, depart February 12. 7 nights self catering 4* Residence la Riviere, Chamonix, France from €349pps, depart February 11. 7 nights B&B 2* Pension Konrad, Soll, Austria from €449pps, depart February 11. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Austria, Soll, Austria from €549pps, depart February 11. 7 nights catered chalet, 3* Chalet Bouquetin, Plan Peisey, Les Arcs, France from €949pps, depart February 11. 7 nights half board 4* Grand Hotel, Zell Am See, Austria from €1,219pps, depart February 25. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 7 nights Courtyard Family Suire, Universal’s Cabana Bay from €559pp incl. return flights, depart April 29. 4 nights the Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €559pp incl. return flights, depart October 12. 3 nights the Sheraton New York Times Square, New York from €599pp incl. return flights, depart March 9. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Cancun, Cancun, Mexico from €1,299pp, depart October 19. Visit touramerica.ie.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Rhine discovery river cruise on board the River Ambassador from €3,149pps incl. flights, airport transfers, meals and beverages and shore excursions. Book by February 28, depart May 28. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned

The US Embassy in Dublin processed visa applications from 120 nationalities last year. So said Beth Sunday during the travel summit at Holiday world in the RDS.