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TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Le $30bn shopping spree, Irish air heads spend big at Paris air show.


Things to know about travel this week

  • Irish aviation’s 30bn spending spree in Paris
  • Dublin airport’s new record, 102,000 passengers in one day
  • KLM to stay 5 daily on Dublin Amsetrdam in winter, and use B737
  • Dubin-Southend back on the departure board
  • Delta/AF/KLM BBQ with chicken on the menu and hens among the guests
  • TIGS in Straffan
  • Etihad to end chauffeur service
  • Thailand on show to TTM delegates
  • Komodo dragon turns out to impress travel trade in Bali
  • Qatar best Emirates at Skytrax awards
  • Stuttgart’s finest, Volker Lorenz, will stay in Ireland after leaving Amadeus

Travel Extra TV

  • Here are the highlights from Airbus’s flying display at Paris Air Show. Watch here.
  • Qatar Airways posted highlights from the launch of its Dublin to Doha daily service. Watch here.
  • BA posted a guide to New York with US journalist Dan Rookwood. Watch here.
  • Take a look at Tourism Ireland’s promotion for the Causeway coastal route. Watch here.
  • Etihad celebrated its Skytrax awards. Watch here.
  • These  paddle-boarders got up close and personal with some orcas. Watch here.
  • Have you even seen a squid on a surfboard? Watch here.
  • Grange Stone Circle in Lough Gur, County Limerick played host to a dawn greening for the summer solstice. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Boeing’s new Max 10 was king of the bling unveiled at Paris Air Show, which fired up the engines with characteristic swagger this week. Boeing’s Ray Conner (Tipperary ancestry) celebrated his last air show by topping John Leahy (Kilkenny ancestry) and Airbus for the first time since 2012, order commitments from Boeing were 766 and Airbus 331, excluding 229 order conversions announced during the show, and $58m-$25bn in sales (and re-announcements, some deals were being aired for the second or even third time round, in fact letters of intent and MoUs tend to outweigh actual orders).  Just under half of the buyers were from Ireland with Clare ordering 225 aircraft (ahead of the Munster hurling final) and Dublin 160. The option to convert to the Max 10 was floated by Domhnal Slattery’s Avolon as it ordered 75 single-aisle B737 Max 8 aircraft and options to acquire an additional 50, bringing the fleet to 925. Aengus Kelly’s AerCap ordered another 30 Boeing 787-9 making it the largest customer for the Dreamliner. Gecas placed an order for 100 A320neo bringing its A320 fleet to 600. CDB Aviation, based in St Stephen’s Green, ordered 42 737 MAX 8s, 10 737 MAX 10s and eight 787-9 Dreamliners. Viva Air, founded and backed by Declan Ryan, ordered 50 A320’s for Viva Colombia and Viva Peru. Ryanair used the air show to highlight their purchase of ten Boeing 737 Max 200 jets. John Mulligan estimated the Irish spending spree at the show at $30bn, without the discounts everyone knows they are getting. Watch here Pilots Warm Up for Paris Airshow 2017. Watch here Lockheed Martin’s F-35A Flying Display at Paris. Watch here the new Boeing 737 MAX 10. Watch here new aircraft at the show.

Anyone with an interest in the finer points of the industry can acquaint themselves with a variety of products from “DryCleaning” an aircraft with no water, to a self locking nut. In fact almost every single facet of aviation is covered at the event The majority of visitors come to see the big ticket aircraft types. The Paris (and Farnborough) shows have traditionally launched new aircraft types and the public get to view these new types up close. This year was no exception. Visitors got a chance to see some of the latest new aircraft types up close and personal including Airbus‘s A350-100, A321NEO, Boeing‘s B737 MAX 9, B787-10, Embraer E195E2, Sukhoi SSJ100, and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet 90. Of course it was not all civil aircraft. Noise and excitement was provided by, among others, the new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning flown by company test pilot Billie Flynn. A stunning, albeit very noisy display was flown by the Dassault Rafale C of the French Air Force. If noise, after-burners, steep climbs and fast turns do not excite you, the sight of a small electric plane, the extra 330LE towing a glider and releasing it to soar gracefully in silence above the crowds might just be your cup of tea. As the 2017 show comes to an end, it was time to sit back relax and tend to the sunburn and weary feet.

Volker Lorenz will remain in Ireland after deciding to leave his positon as Amadeus chief in Dubin to look for a new challenge after 12 very successful years with Amadeus. I have recently been involved in the IAG Negotiations for Amadeus and this project has now ended, so it is a good time to look for a new venture. After 23 years in Ireland I have no plans to move anywhere. For the summer he will be taking a bit of time off and will enjoy various beaches and pools around Europe. Volker grew up near Stuttgart and became hooked on Ireland after encountering Irish fans at Euro 88. After joining Lufthansa in global contact centre management he became MD for the main European call centre for Lufthansa located in East Point in Dublin. He joined Amadeus in May 2005, and among his big projects was the launch of m-Power on top of the day job.

Einar Adalsteinsson was the unlikely Déise hero as he introduced a new airline to serve three routes from Waterford to Birmingham 3w, Luton 5w and Manchester 3w. Aer Southeast is, a subsidiary of Slovenia crew training and airworthiness management company Aer Lipican (website). They also intend serving the Irish charter market. Waterford has been without commercial service since now-bankrupt Belgian airline VLM withdrew in mid-2016. it was recently awarded a 1m grant from the Department of Transport for safety and security upgrades. It can also access an additional e870,000 once scheduled services are resumed. Aer Southeast will use Saab 340 S5-BBS 33-34 seater aircraft, of which one was mocked up with a logo for the website. Ticket prices to all destinations will start from €79 one-way.

Qatar Airways regained top spot from Emirates in the annual (and controversial) awards run by Singapore-based ratings company Skytrax (both have won four times). Aer Lingus retained its much flaunted four-star staus, climbing 11 places to 38th at the awards, which took place at Paris air show and placed Qatar ahead of perennial rivals Singapore (three times champions), ANA and Cathay (three times champions). Nine airlines won five star status. The top ten:  1 Qatar, 2 Singapore, 3 ANA, 4 Emirates, 5 Cathay Pacific, 6 EVA Air, 7 Lufthansa, 8 Etihad, 9 Hainan. 10 Garuda Indonesia, Etihad won best first class, Qatar best business class, Thai best economy class, AirAsia best low-cost airline, Bangkok Airways best regional airline, Eva Air the cleanest cabins, Emirates best in flight entertainment and Garuda best cabin crew. Turkish Airlines won best business class airline lounge, best business class onboard catering and best business class lounge dining. Seat awards went to Etihad for first class, Qatar for business class, Qantas for premium economy and Japan Airlines for economy.  Best airline in Europe was Lufthansa.

One year on since Britain voted to exit the EU, Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry spoke to business site about why Michael O’Leary is right to worry that post-Brexit flyers could be back “chasing the boats”. Read here.

Travel Trade

Social highlights of Thailand Travel Market 2017 in Chiang mai included the Centara Event at Khum Phaya (watch here) and the Hmong Hill tribe experience (watch here). A party on Phi Phi island (watch here) and a boat trip to the iconic Maya Bay on Phi Phi (watch here). For the high jinks of the post-TTM Island hopping trip to Phuket by British and Irish travel trade and media watch here. Picture shows Brendan Barry of Discover Travel with Chris Lee of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra at Paradise Koh Yao and Tree House Villas on Koh Yao, Phuket.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

KLM‘s Dublin to Amsterdam service will remain five daily for winter and a B737-800 will replace the Embraer on one of the rotatations. The news was dleivered by Siobhan Scanlon, country manager for AF/DL/KLM at the airline group’s fifth annual summer barbecue. They hosted 163 agents on Friday night in the Trinity Capital Hotel with chicken on the grill and hens in the audience. The guests included a hen party for one of four brides-to-be currently on the FCM team (pictured) Clair Delaney. Emma McDonnell, Danielle Smyth and Roz Drew. Big prize winners on the night included Rachel McAnespie of American Holidays who won the Delta tickets, Dajana Szekeres of USIT Travel who won the Air France tickets, Reneta Pereira of RCSI who won the KLM prize, Sarah Jane Jones of Cassidy Travel who won the Transavia prize and Deirdre Gunn of American Holidays who won the Platinum Services prize. The event included a series of quiz questions designed to raise awareness of Air France, Delta, KLM and Dublin Airport product. One great unanswered question on the night is how did Lisa and Maureen McAuley of FCM ending up wearing similar tops? Watch here interview with Siobhan ScanlonWatch here speech by Edel Redmond of Dubin airport. Watch here speech by Siobhan Scanlon.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Eimear Farrell and Paul Dawson were the winners from a field of 62 golfers at the TIGS President’s Day outing to the Smurfit Course at the K Club, where Paul shot what Gordon Penney described as an amazing score of 44 points playing off 16. Picture shows the winners with TIGS president Peter O’Hanlon, TIGS captain Martin Skelly and Beatrice Cosgrove, Ireland country manager of sponsors Etihad. Watch here video of the event including another classic Peter O’Hanlon golf joke. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Picture shows Deborah Harris from Belfast International Airport and Michael O’Neill, Station Manager, celebrating the tenth anniversary of Jet2holidays out of Belfast with a cake which was handed out to departing customers. and Jet2holidays also celebrated four route anniversaries from Belfast, the 10th anniversary of its Majorca and Ibiza routes, and fifth anniversary of Alicante and Faro.  The airport has handled 800,000 and Jet2holidays customers.

Picture shows Douglas Hastings and Travel Counsellors Ireland General Manager, Cathy Burke at the Travel Counsellors Ireland mini-conference at Dunboyne Castle, where the company’s latest training resource, TC coach was unveiled. The my TC app 2.1, wil be released in the coming months with personalised information, real time flight information and accommodation reviews. Cathy Burke says Travel Counsellors has invested €4.8m in technology in the past year, Tyrone born Jim Eastwood moderated a panel discussion with Sherry Meagle, Mary Foyle, Sharon Tiernan-Murphy and Brenda Murray-Flynn. The mini-conference was sponsored by MSC Cruises, G Adventures and Emirates Airline with the evening meal and fun quiz sponsored by Turkish Airlines. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel folk aren’t used to being on the menu, but that was the fate facing the European media pack who came face to face with the dreaded Komodo dragon, one of the few lizards that are harmful to humans. After the Bali and Beyond Travel Fair, they were treated to a Garuda flight from Denpasar in Bali to the Komodo International Airport, an hour and a half away on Flores island. They were in the capable hands of the guides from locally based Komodo Tours, who showed them the sights of Flores, including the Mirror Cave, which rose up from under the sea about 1m years ago. Flores is something island – a place that looks more like a Caribbean island than, well, the Caribbean itself. Frederick Horipun from Komodo Tours explained that reggae rules on the tiny island. “No woman, no cry is our anthem,” he told Travel Extra. Indeed, the view from the island’s Paradise Bar is pure Caribbean – think St Lucia, except with the local beer, Bintang, and potent firewater, Arak (think poitin meets grappa).

It was like something from King Kong’s Skull Island as the group took an early-morning boat, complete with Nile-style deck cabins, from Flores to Komodo National Park. The first stop en route was to lonely Padar island, remote and untouristy, and home to the odd dragon. It’s not the kind of place where you’d expect to feet a fellow Irishman, but the Irish do have a tendency to get everywhere.  And it was on top of a mountain where we bumped into Loughrea man Alan McGrath. Taking a career break from the Defence Forces, the nephew of Minister Finian McGrath is packing in as much of Indonesia and the Far East as possible during a two-year career break.

And then on to the dragons themselves, at Komodo island. They look lazy and slow, but they will take a bite out of you, and death from venom and disease could be just hours away. Indeed, the rangers on the island told of the last biting victim – Lon Lee Alle, a 50-year-old Singaporean touris, was attacked by a dragon. He survived,  but his left leg was severely injured. That was in May. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Closing event at the Bali & Beyond trade fair (watch here) and a close encounter with a Komodo dragon (watch here)

  • Intercontinental Hotel GM Nicky Logue will host the annual Skal summer barbecue on Tuesday 11th July. Meet at 18.00 for BBQ at 18.30Hrs, members €30, guests €35.
  • Europcar is to boost its presence in low-cost market with a Goldcar deal
  • The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota is promoting special offers through the trade to celebrate their 25th Anniversary.
  • The Munster travel golf society, STAGS have an outing in Douglas Golf Course Cork on Friday August 11 at 3pm, home club of Noel McAuliffe and Paul Dawson.

Strange World

Julia Buckley decried the new social media travel phase- taking a picture of your exposed rear in a famous place.

  • Five English army guardsmen faint during the trooping of the colour in Buckingham Palace, during England’s hottest day in 40 years.
  • Ocean Conservancy said it removed 1.86m cigarette butts, 56 toilets and a piano from beaches and waterways around the world.
  • Genoa airport lifted the liquids ban for pesto (and only pesto genovese), provided passengers make a donation to a local children’s charity.


Irish tourism numbers to Spain in April were up 44pc on April 2016 to 181.271.  Figures for the first four months of the year were up 17.7pc, according to Spain’s Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica.

Irish Tourism Numbers to Portugal were up 19,5pc in April and bed nights also up 20.6pc making Ireland the third fastest growing market after Brazil and the US, according to Portugal’s Instituto Nacional de Estatisticas. The dominant Algarve market was up 14.2pc and bednights 16.3pc; Porto, where ITAA Conference will be held, up 68.2pc and bednights up 72.8pc; Centro up 27,9pc and bednights 71.9pc; Lisbon up 22.2pc and bednights 24.6pc; Madeira up 20pc and bednights up 25.4pc and Alentejo up 14.2pc and bednights up 16.3pc.

Spanish bullfighter Ivan Fandino was gored to death after tripping on a cape, the second Spanish matador to die in the ring in the past year. After Victor Barrio was killed after being gored by a bull last July.

  • Uber reversed its longstanding policy in allowing tips for drivers as founder Travis Kalanick resigned as chief executive after months of chaos.
  • China based Young Pioneer Tours (“budget trips to destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from”)  is reconsidering sending North America tourists to North Korea following the death of Otto Warmbier,  see statement on website.
  • The passport office said 65,916 outstanding applications are not affecting waiting times of 14 working days for renewals and 20 days (four weeks) for first time applicants. Applications in May are up 7.6pc, British applicants for Irish passports so far this yeat up 55pc.
  • TravelBird’s 2017 beach price index showed suncream is most expensive when bought from beaches in the Seychelles, costing €25.12 for a 200ml bottle.

Food & Beverage

Details were announced of Food On The Edge symposium (website) in Galway on October 9 and 10.

  • Teeling Whiskey Distillery will host the “Spirit of Dublin Summer Craft Fair” on Saturday July 8.
  • English based travel trade organisation ABTA urged the Westminster government to close a legal loophole which allows bogus food poisoning claims against all inclusive resorts by holiday makers, which could lead to a ban on English holiday makers. TUI recorded 15 times more illness claims in 2016 than in previous years.
  • Entries are open until August 1 for the fifth Irish Whiskey Awards in 20 categories at the newly refurbished Jameson Distillery on Thursday October 19.
  • Voting opened here for the Irish street food awards.


Nama is to sell Dublin’s Gibson Hotel for €80m.

Fingal County Council started enforcement action against the owner of a property in Malahide following complaints the house was being used exclusively for short-term lettings on Airbnb.

Hastings Group said the 304-bedroom Belfast Grand Central Hotel will open on the first week of June, 2018.

Daithí Downey of Dublin City Council told the Oireachtas Committee on Housing that 48pc of Airbnb rentals in Dublin city are available more than 90 days a year. There are 5,300 rentals in Dublin city and 6,700 in Dublin county. The average number of days per year that a “highly available” listing is booked for is 132 days, with entire homes being taken for 236 days.

  • Family Vacation Critic named Dromoland Castle the best Hotel for Families in Europe.
  • A £2m refurbishment began at Galgorm Resort and Spa in Co Antrim.
  • Cork City Council are planning a budget hotel and hostel for three buildings it intends to sell at Parnell Place
  • McKeever group purchased Antrim’s Dunadry hotel from the Mooney Group.
  • Marriott joined competitors in extending its cancellation deadline from 24 to 48 hours
  • Skift estimated that TripAdvisor non-hotel revenue could reach a third of the total by 2020.
  • The Residence on Stephen’s Green halved its pre-tax losses in 2015 to €150,030
  • Arrivals by Travel Extra’s hard working team of travel writers this week include Le Coral beyond Phuket (watch here), Holiday Inn Chiang Mai (watch here), the Racha Koh Racha (watch here), Paradise Koh Yao (watch here), Phi Phi Island Village (watch here).


Dubln airport handled a record number of passengers in a single day, 102,000 last Sunday June 18 2017. The airport has four days over 100,000 so far this year and the record is likely to  be broken again in the coming weeks.

Stobart Air’s new Dublin to London Southend Airport route under the Flybe brand with an Embraer 195 leased from Flybe will operate up to three flights per day, commencing October 29, part of a three-year growth strategy which includes a €25m investment, 60 new jobs and the addition of two new Embraer E195s jet aircraft to its fleet. Lead in fares start at €29.99 one way, including taxes and charges.

Ryanair’s purchase of 10 more Boeing 737 Max 200 aircraft, five to deliver in the first half of 2019, and five in the first half of 2020, offers 197 seats per flight compared with 189 at present. The Max will reduce fuel consumption by 16pc and reduce noise emissions by 40pc. The order is on top of the existing firm order for 100 Max 200s (and 100 options), allow Ryanair to grow its traffic to 200m customers by 2024.

Shannon Group’s International Aviation Services Centre and DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs are partnering with Boeing and Datalex to assist new start-up aviation and travel tech companies at Shannon.

  • Heatwave in south-western US causes flight cancellations, limited sales on flights which are still running, and reductions in amount of luggage carried.
  • The Business Travel Coalition urged the EU to block booking fees from BA and Lufthansa.
  • Heathrow Express has partnered with British Airways to launch €15 ticket for British Airways’ day tripper passengers.
  • Everest hotelier conqueror John Burke and his wife Aoibhín led 2,000 runners and walkers at the Bank of Ireland Night Run at Shannon Airport.
  • Norwegian confirmed the first 737 MAX delivery date for June 29. Bjorn Kos said at Paris Air Show Norwegian’s partnerships would be in Paris Charles de Gaulle and Gatwick with Easyjet and in Ireland for Ryanair. He said he expected two hours would be plenty for transfer times.
  • GECAS signed signed a commitment letter to create a US2bn global aircraft financing platform with CDPΩ.
  • Peter Bellew’s Malaysia is nearing an A330Neo Deal
  • Vladislav Masalov of Sukhoi told Flight Global that CityJet’s use of the SuperJet is expected to stir interest among other carriers.
  • Nicholas Davis’s Sion based virtual airline Powdair plans to apply for an Irish air operator’s certificate, operate using two wet-leased Embraer 170 and fly from Dublin to Sion for winter 2017-8.
  • Tony Fernandes said in Paris that AirAsia now has no intention of returning to London or even Europe (he had negotiaed with Dublin airport in the past). We will stick to the 8 to 9 hours. Our focus will be Asia, with the odd route like Hawaii which is actually 8 hours from Japan. We let the full service guys fight it out over Europe. Many of them bleeding so much.
  • Analysis by Ralph Anker’s Anna Aero listed three countries with the highest proportion of international seats provided by home-based carriers  Iceland 80.0%pc, Turkey 78.6%pc and, Ireland 77.7pc.  Towards the other end of the range, 19.5pc of seats to/from Spain, and 13.4pc to/from Italy, are on home-based carriers.
  • Failte Ireland’s new tourism facts release show that 23pc of North American visitors arrive via Britain and 22pc via Mainland Europe, with 53pc arriving on direct trans-Atlantic flights.
  • TrueNoord closed a financing facility for two Embraer E190 aircraft leased by Air Astana
  • Aer Lingus awarded Dublin Aerospace a five year landing gear contract
  • Aergen launched a new website.
  • Bombardier Belfast’s pay dispute ended.
  • is planning a one off Belfast – Newark flight.
  • Catherine Deane of McCann FitzGerald was named Best in Aviation at the European Women in Business Law Awards.
  • Hemmed in? Qatar Airways launched a video: no borders, only horizons (watch here).
  • Icelandair cited research showing four in ten air passengers regard the flight as wasted time and 78pc say cabin crew can make or break their journey. Passengers can now change their boarding pass for an Icelandair stopover pass.
  • Gavin Haines of the English Daily Telegraph declared a ”secret button” underneath the armrest, towards the back of the seat that allows passengers sitting in aisle seats to adjust what appears to be a fixed armrest: about as much use as a wallet full of drachma.
  • Dublin Airport is inviting tenders to research and develop new techniques to keep wildlife off the airfield.
  • Luke Ming Flanagan engaged in twitter banter with Aer Lingus after branding them #chancers


Avalon Waterways launched its 2018 brochure, and a newly designed website with trade portal, backed by a mainstream TV ad campaign, to raise awareness of the brand.

  • Stena Line is offering savings up to €175 on their summer holiday this June and July with Haven holidays four and seven night breaks.
  • Celebrity Cruises Caribbean shore excursions are offering complimentary cocktails and local delicacies, with the added treat of $300 on-board spending money.
  • CMV announced a series of child-friendly sailings, from August 2017.
  • American cruise lines launched American Constellation.
  • Antarctica XXI ordered a new polar vessel.
  • Ritz-Carlton announced new cruising yachts to launch in 2019
  • Viking Ocean named their cruise ship Viking Sky
  • Emerald Waterways’ newest ship, Emerald Radiance, was named in Portugal
  • Seabourn announced their new 2018-2019 itineraries including cruises to Asia.
  • Celebrity Cruises marked the keel laying of Celebrity Edge
  • Former NBA star Yao Ming and his wife are to name the new Princess cruise ship
  • Tropical storm Cindy affected cruise ship itineraries in the Caribbean.


Bleeperbike is to introduce a stationless bike-sharing scheme in Dublin city centre over the weekend despite a warning by Dublin City council it may remove the bikes from the streets Users log onto an app to find the nearest bike, that has GPS beacons fitted, and lock it up when they’re done.

  • Conor McMahon reported from a bizarre press conference with Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave, who suggested that financial technology conference Moneyconf could some day become a 20,000-person event in Dublin.
  • English pop-rock stars Scouting For Girls have been confirmed to perform at the closing ceremony of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush on Sunday July 9.
  • Dingle based Brendan Griffin was appointed new Minister of State for Transport, Tourism & Sport by Taoiseach (and former tourism minister) Leo Varadkar.
  • Shannon Heritage losses doubled to €400,000 in 2016.
  • The warm weather brought out the comedians. Picture is from the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth.

Deal Watch

Falcon offers: 14 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou, Costa Dorada from €789pp, depart Knock July 25. 7 nights half board 3* California Apartments, Salou, Costa Dorada from €579pp, depart Cork September 5. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €649pp, depart August 25. 7 nights B&B 3* Sellas Hotel & Apartments, Sidari, Corfu from €459pp, depart August 25. 7 nights self catering 3* Ambavris I, Kos Town from €419pp, depart August 26. 7 nights self catering 3* Poseidon Apartments, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €429pp, depart August 28. 14 nights B&B 3* Cassablanca Hotel, Santa Ponsa, Majorca from €959pp, depart July 19. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €519pp, depart Shannon September 4. 7 nights self catering 2* Playa Sol Apartments, Es Cana, Ibiza from €419pp, depart September 28. Visit or on 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 10 days Germany tour from €2,369pps. Depart August 18. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 8 nights Sol Principe Hotel, Costa del Sol from €599pp, depart October 9. 7 nights half board Hotel Kaktus Albir, Costa Blanca from €869pp, depart October 16. 3 nights B&B accommodation Iceland from €579pp, depart October 12.

Sunway offers: 8 nights Switzerland tour from €2,150pp, depart September 30. 7 nights full board 5* Danube river cruise from €2,035pp, depart November 1. 10 days Vietnam tour from €1,529pp, depart October 10. 7 nights all inclusive Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from €1,527pp, depart September 4. 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Hotel, Kusadasi from €399pps, depart July 1. 7 nights self catering 2* Monte Verde Apts, Gran Canaria from €549pp, depart July 1. 7 nights self catering 2* Los Mocanes Apts, Gran Canaria from €639pp, depart July 8.  4 nights Las Vegas for Conor McGregor v Mayweather UFC fight from €765pp, travel August. 3 nights Duba Rugby 7 package from €939pp, travel November. 10 nights Western Caribbean cruise and stay on board Oasis of the Seas, depart September 28. 8 nights Fort Lauderdale and Virgin Islands fly-cruise on board Allure of the Seas from €1,325pp, depart October 28. Visit

Thomson offers: 7 nights self catering Mayflower Apartments, Tingaki, Kos from €419pp, depart August 26. 7 nights self catering Cosmos Maris, Lardos, Rhodes from €419pp, depart August 26. 7 nights self catering Cosmos Maris, Lardos, Rhodes rom €419pp, depart August 30. 7 nights self catering Ionian Blue Studios, Kalamaki, Zakynthos from €479pp, depart August 29. 7 nights B&B Jupiter Hotel, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €439pp, depart August 28. 14 nights half board Hotel Son Baulo, Ca’n Picafort, Majorca from €889pp, depart July 26. 7 nights half board H10 Salou Princess, Salou, Costa Dorada from €929pp, depart Knock July 25. 7 nights B&B Hesperia Lanzarote, Puerto Calero, Lanzarote from €709pp, depart Cork August 31. 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cal Bona, Majorca from €549pp, depart Shannon August 26. 7 nights self catering Jardin Del Sol, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €459pp, depart September 28. 7 nights full board Mediterranean cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €929pp, depart July 25.

Topflight offers: 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Senior, Adriatic Riviera, Cattolica from €549pps, depart July 1. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Ninfea, Adriatic Riviera, Cattolica from €569pps, depart July 8. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Villa Linda, Sicily, Giardini Naxos from €599pps, depart July 1. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €599pps, depart July 9. 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Hermitage, Sorrento from €669pps, depart July 2. 7 nights self catering 3* Ambassador Suite Apartments, Lake Garda, Riva from €599pps, depart July 8. 7 nights self catering 4* Belvedere Village, Lake Garda, Castelnuovo from €699pps, depart July 8. 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Riva, Lake Garda from €769pps, depart July 1. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Cambridge, Venetian Riviera, Lido di Jesolo from €863pps, depart July 1. Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 7 nights Orlando from €469pp, travel February 2018. 3 nights New York and 3 nights Las Vegas from €659pp, travel February 2018. 3 nights New York and 7 nights Orlando from €689pp, travel February 2018. 3 nights New York City and 3 nights Boston from €819pp, travel February 2018. 7 nights Baltic Capitals fly-cruise on board MSC Preziosa form €649pp, depart September 22. 12 nights France, Italy and Greek island cruise on board Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas from €1,349pp, depart October 28. 10 nights Dubai and the Emirates fly-cruise from €1,529pp, depart November 27. 9 nights Orlando and Caribbean fly-cruise from €1,059pp, depart February 26 2018. Visit

Travel Department is offering 7 nights B&B 4* accommodation, Sorrento Coast from €699pp, depart July 3. Click here or call 01 637 1600.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering an 8 day Danube river cruise on bard SS Maria Theresa from €2,699pps. Book by June 30, depart October 22. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned

Less than 10pc of world’s population has flown in an aircraft. China has built over 115 new airports over the past twenty-five years, going from 94 airports to over 210.


TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement Dippity Doha, Qatar Airways join Dublin’s burgeoning departures board


Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry Kayaking on the LIttle Blackwater river during the IPW 2017 post-famil to Maryland’s Atalntic Coast and Chesapeake Bay, June 7-11 2017


Things to know about travel this week

  • Dublin-Doha commences with connection options to grow
  • Teflon Thailand continues to grow tourism despite death of king
  • Bali celebrates its hinterland
  • Eamonn Brennan becomes DG of Eurocontrol
  • BA’s £80m IT headache

Travel Extra TV

  • To celebrate Father’s Day, Emirates posted a short video about two brothers that decided to follow in their father’s footsteps and became Boeing 777 pilots. Watch here.
  • Stunning shots of a heavy fog covering the Grampians in Victoria, Australia. Watch here.
  • Can you ‘skimboard’ like this border collie? Watch here.
  • Highlights from Airbus of the first A320neo delivery to Easyjet. Watch here.
  • BA has posted a series of guides to New York City. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s ad for golfing on the island. Watch here.
  • Traditional musicians Daoirí Farrell, Geoff Kinsella and Robbie Walsh entertained passengers with an impromptu session when a flight from Newcastle to Dublin was delayed by two hours. Watch here.
  • A camera on a weather balloon over Newark, NY near Rochester, NY (not Newark NJ) captured footage of DL159 passing just 500 feet above. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Was it coincidence that Qatar Airways inaugural flight from Doha to the Guinness capital had the registration number A7-ALE? Qatar sent senior vice president for Europe Jonathan Harding to shrug off questions about the blockade of the country by its Middle eastern neighbours amid a gate ceremony attended by Niall Gibbons CEO of Tourism Ireland. Picture shows Niall Gibbons, CEO, Tourism Ireland  pictured with Jonathan Harding, Qatar Airways SVP Europe and Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison at the launch of the inaugural Dublin to Doha route at Dublin Airport. Although an A350 was used on the inaugural flight, the route will be served by a 254-seat 787 in 22-232 configuration. Following the Dublin launch, Qatar Airways will be adding flights to two Thai destinations, Chiang Ma and Utapao south east of Bangkok as well as Abidjan on Ivory Coast; Accra in Ghana; Canberra in Australia; Chittagong in Bangladesh and Mombasa in Kenya.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Watch here pictures from gate ceremony for Dublin-Doha inaugural. Watch here takeoff and landing.

What is there to see in Doha when you get there for those who avail of the free 48 hour stopover on offer by the airline? Travel Extra went to find out and will be featuring Qatar in the next print edition. Some of the sites we visited and people we met: the Museum of Islamic Art watch here, Katara Village (watch here), a dhow trip (watch here), Souq Waqif Doha (watch here), adune bashing at Khor Al Adaid (watch here Shangri La Doha (watch here), Four Seasons Hotel Doha (watch here), Nobu Restaurant Doha (watch here), Argan Restaurant Doha (watch here). Watch here interview with Valentina Bambuchova of Argana Restaurant Doha. watch here interview with Jenna (Ji Sun) Li of the Shangri La,

Thailand’s Tourism Authority hosted international travel trade and media, including Brendan Barry of Discover Travel, in Chiang Mai. This was the second successive year that Thailand Travel Market has moved to the provinces from the capital and the fair will be heading to Pattaya next year. Regional connectivity was the big topic of the week with four carriers now serving Phuket over the middle east avoiding a time consuming Bangkok stopover, Etihad, Emirates, Qatar and, form July, Turkish. Chris Lee of Thailand tourism is planning his first fam with Turkish Airlines this autumn. And yes the parting glass was sung. Watch here interview with Seila Hul of Cambodia Tourism. Watch here interview with Krisada Khuiaphai of Hmong Hilltribe Lodge. Watch here the visit of Thailand tourism minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul to the Maiiam Museum Chiang Mai. Watch here the free the frogs campaign. Travel Extra raised the issue of the prospect of a single visa for ASEAN countries (watch here). Picture shows Brendan Barry of Discover Travel el with David Kevan of Chic Locations. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Tourism Authority of Thailand London office director Chris Lee took time to talk to Travel Extra about the prospect of direct Flights to Dublin (watch here, are you listening Norwegian?), air services to regions through the Middle East (watch here), the wisdom of TTM in Chiang Mai (watch here), Teflon Thailand’s ability to continue to grow tourism through a coup and the death of its king (watch here), developments in Phuket and Krabi (watch here), on itineraries Travel Agents Can Sell (watch here), its green tourism initiatives (watch here) and the affinity between Ireland and Thailand (watch here). Picture shows Chris Lee and Pataraporn Sithivanich European Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

While the Thailand Travel Market may dominate the headlines, it’s not the only game in town in terms of Asian tourism fairs. Nearby Indonesia arguably has even more potential to become a major destination. It’s got 18,000 islands – there’s so many they’re still counting them all – with Bali obviously the jewel in the crown for now. The country hosted its fourth annual Bali and Beyond Travel Fair, in Nusa Dua on the island, attracting 230 buyers from 55 countries and 179 sellers from all over Indonesia. The country is hoping that the event will become more international and reckoned this year’s BBTF would create €500m worth of business. Inbound Irish figures are lumped in with Britain, but the latest total is 34,803 – a rise of 35.8pc, so roughly 3,000 Irish visit each year, and the aim is to raise that. And it’s clear that Bali is not that far off the beaten track for the Irish, with the return flight from the capital, Denpasar, to Dubai on Emirates hosting at least a dozen Irish voices.

The Tourism Ministry’s Renata Permadi and her crew hosted the European media – with Travel Extra the only representative from Ireland (or even our neighbours in Britain), along with two journalists from the Netherlands, one from Austria and Russia. See here  as the group visited paddy fields, sun-drenched beaches and historic villages. It was just a taster for what was to come. Discover next week if the press pack survived a man-eating dragon (yes, really) and find out why the Irish are everywhere – even on the top of a mountain on a deserted island.

The 60mph Viking Voyage €8m flume ride opened at Tayto Park. This is a big step up for Ireland’s eighth most visited attraction, they are moving in to position to become the first real theme park in Ireland. Westport House always had a few rides but Tayto’s numbers of 762,000pa is close to giving them critical mass similar to some of the smaller European theme parks.

Travel Trade

Clem Walshe is to host an event to launch Teletext holidays in Ireland.

The Spanish Tourist Board hosted Tapas day with chefs from Lanzarote. Picture shows Yvonne Muldoon of Aer Lingus, Teresa Gancedo, Jenny Rafter of Aer Lingus and Katheryn McDonnell of the Spanish Tourist Board.

Travel Counsellors hosted an Irish conference in Dunboyne Castle. The business was ranked in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 in  164th  place.

Augustin Garcia of the Soanish Tb in London, Katerina Bomstein of Gran Canaria Tourism and Maureen Ledwith.of Business Exhibitions at the Big Event in Templepatrick, Co Down, June 15 2017

Picture shows Augustin Garcia of the Spanish Tourist Board in London, Katerina Bomstein of Gran Canaria Tourism and Maureen Ledwith of Business Exhibitions at the Big Event in Templepatrick, Co Down.

Skal’s postponed cruise ship visit will take place in Dublin on Thursday August 10th. Dublin club’s next function will be the BBQ in the Intercontinental Hotel on July 11th.

Sandals Resorts is to be made available on GDS for first time.

Tui completed the sale of Travelopia for €369m.

Travel Extra‘s post family after IPW in Washington DC included a trip along Maryland‘s Atlantic coast and the plush eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay.  People we met along the way included Angela Crenshaw of the Harriet Tubman Centre who says he learned all she knows about visitor centres from working in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin (watch here), Marci Ross of Visit Maryland who explained how the state originated and why Maryland is smaller than Pennsylvania and Virginia (watch here), Susan Meredith of Blackwater Paddle & Pedal (watch here)  Lloyd Deveigne of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (watch here), Todd Powell of Perry Inn by Belmond St Michael’s (watch here) and Cassandra Banhooser Talbot County Tourism (watch here). Picture shows Back row: Maha Shihabi of Jerusalem Express Travel in Jordan, Susan Seifried of Annapolis Tourism, Marlon Mejia of Arrecife Tours Honduras, Hiba Abualsoud of Jerusalem Travel Express Jordan, Jose Ballesteros of Revista Enfoque Del Café Colombia, Ana Maria Madalina Nicolescu of Panolimpic Tours Romania, Hiba Abualsoud of Jerusalem Travel Express Jordan, Scott Balyo of Captial Region tourism, Henning Ktretschmer of Revista Vivir De Viaje Honduras, Carmen Demetriade of World Travel Romania, Henning Ktretschmer of Revista Vivir De Viaje Honduras, Lucia Ballesteros of Revista Enfoque Del Café Colombia, Beatrix Bourguignon of BAV Events France, Anuj Bang of Rooms SML India, Carsten Andersen of TTO Scandinavia Denmark, Aileen Clemente of Rajah Travel Philippines, Alban Tapin of Senso Day Events France, Nicolae Demetriade of World Travel Romania, Marci Ross of Maryland Tourism, Esther Kalt of Hotelplan Suisse, Front row: Ismail Abusaoud of Jerusalem Travel Express Jordan, Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland, Alena Parobekova of USA Experts Slovakia, Pavel Parobek of USA Experts Slovakia, Alberto Lapenta of Linkviajes Argentina. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Bali & Beyond trade fair (watch here)

Strange World

An AeroMexico flight from Mexico City to Chicago O’Hare was carrying a scorpion which managed to sting a passenger in the elbow two hours before the aircraft reached its destination

  • A brawl broke out between English tourists and Turkish hotel staff after one of its maids allegedly pushed over a female guest. Watch here.
  • Rome starting imposing fines for frolicking at famous landmarks, (the English Guardian called it the Trevi levy).
  • American tourist Tommy Schlather found a kilo of cocaine washed up on a beach near the Minaun Cliffs in Dookinella on Achill Island.
  • A 40 year old woman Louise Borrett flew from Heathrow to Munich on her 14-year-old step daughter’s passport


Helen McGrath told Joe Duffy on RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline that her Marbella hotel ‘had no record of €2,500 five-star holiday booking’ made through website

  • A survey by price comparison site found that 61pc are unaware of the new law to scrap mobile roaming costs around Europe.
  • Days after a post IPW fam visited Ocean City Maryland  the US attorney general Brian Frosh said the resort can legally ban topless women.
  • Daredevil Erendira Wallenda hung by her teeth from a helicopter over Niagara Falls.
  • Gervais Dylan Gatete, 21, of Raleigh, North Carolina suffered severe burns after falling into a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park.
  • The White House released a memorandum saying the effective date of the executive order banning travellers from six Muslim-majority countries “is delayed or tolled” until all relevant court injunctions “are lifted or stayed.”
  • The famous neon sign of a cowgirl on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas has been taken down as part of the construction of a planned casino-resort.

Food & Beverage

Legislation permitting Ireland’s pubs to open on Good Friday from 2018 has been extended to all premises and not just pubs.

  • The Restaurants Association of Ireland claimed a shortage of chefs is forcing restaurants to close on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Osprey Hotel Naas plans a 130 seater restaurant called Herald & Devoy as part of a €3m investment by Prem Group to include a ‘casual chic’ brasserie in the lobby area.
  • Applications are now open for the restaurants Association of Ireland Foodie Destination awards, until Thursday July 13th.
  • The Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy aims to work with distilleries around the South West to attract 190,000 visitors to four locations, Dingle Distillery, the Jameson Experience Midleton, Clonakilty Distillery and West Cork Distillers.
  • Empathy Research claimed 80pc of Irish adults surveyed and 97pc of 18-24 year olds surveyed order take-away food on a regular basis.
  • JD Wetherspoon were granted permission to open a two-story pub in a former Baptist church and an adjoining building on Dublin’s Lower Abbey Street.
  • Louis Fitzgerald pub and hotel group reported pre-tax profits of €7.8m.
  • Paul Byrne, Fiona McHugh and Frank Murphy of Fallon & Byrne say they “feel the group is now very well positioned to take advantage of further opportunities for growth” after growoing turnover to €13.2m.
  • Delphi Resort in Leenane on the Galway Mayo border named Daniel Willimont, formerly of Mount Falcon, as executive head chef.
  • Conor Boyle is chef at the newly opened The Gallery café and bar on Belfast’s Dublin Road.
  • Restaurant magazine named Stephen Harris’s The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent as England’s best restaurant


Dublin finished 23rd in a survey of accommodation costs by campsite online booking platform Campsy which compares the price of accommodation in over 200 cities and regions. Dublin hostels cost €18, one star €300, two star €372, three star €437, four star €527 and five star €861. Peer to peer costs €100 according to the survey.

  • German budget boutique hotel chain Motel One is considering opening in Dublin.
  • Jurys Inn launched a new integrated “Stay Happy” marketing campaign following a £2.9m investment.
  • Lawrence Kenwright said his £80m investment in four new hotels in Belfast will add 500 new bedrooms and create 350 jobs, 150 at the refurbished Crumlin Road courthouse, over 200 at two hotels in Waring Street, one of these themed on George Best, and 80 at the Scottish Mutual Building.
  • The Dylan Hotel showcased its €10m extension as part of a celebration of a decade in business, increasing the number of bedrooms from 44 to 72.
  • Castlemartyr hotel applied to Cork County Council for a wedding-and-conference centre to two-storey gym, a 61-space car park and extensions to the Knight’s Bar, Franchini’s Restaurant, and spa area.
  • Sam Field Corbett is seeking to raise €2m to convert the former Aran Islands ferry Naomh Éanna, into a boutique hotel/hostel, café and restaurant to be berthed beside the CHQ building on Dublin’s north quays.
  • Rajesh Rana of Andras Hotels plans to demolish the Londonderry Hotel building in Portrush and replace it with a 103-bedroom £8m hotel. million.
  • Cork’s Metropole hotel is planning a €50m development to replace the wings of the heritage building running from MacCurtain Street to St. Patrick’s Quay to doubling its room count, adding shops to the ground floor and adding a three-star sister hotel, The M, to be linked by two bridges above Harley Street.
  • Naas’s Osprey Hotel plans to redesign its dining space and lobby, which will hold a new 130-seater restaurant called Herald & Devoy. The owners of the four-star Kildare hotel, The PREM Group, have started the redesign which is part of an overall €3m investment into the Osprey.
  • Ireland’s  Blue Book appointed Shannon Sweeney as Marketing Executive.
  • Connacht Hotel, Galway won The Tourism & Hospitality Category Award at the Gaillimh le Gaeilge Awards, Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh.
  • NH Hotel Group opened the NH Collection Grand Sablon, in Brussels
  • Arrivals by Travel Extra’s hard working team of travel writers this week include Hmong Hilltribe Lodge near Chiang Mai (watch here), La Vela Khao Lak (watch here), the Grand Hyatt Chesapeake Bay (watch here), Perry Inn by Belmond in St Michael’s Maryland (watch here), Robert Morris Inn Oxford Maryland (watch here), Holiday Inn in Ocean Beach (watch here), Phillips Crab house in Ocean beach (watch here), the Waterfront in Annapolis (watch here), the Hilton Washington (watch here) and Atlantic Hotel Berlin Maryland Washington (watch here)


Graham Keddle led Belfast International Airport came under fire for a billboard campaign targeting people in the border counties: “choose BEXIT and enjoy more destinations and greater savings than ever before when you EXIT from Belfast International (Belfast’s airport code is BFS not BE and the majority in the north voted remain)

  • The cost of British Airways IT failure was estimated at €91.5m.
  • Heathrow had a a baggage system failure at terminal 3 and terminal 5.
  • Norwegian names Jonathan Swift and Tom Crean as low-cost airline’s ‘tail fin heroes’
  • Almost three-quarters of dads want a weekend away for Father’s Day, Ryanair said (unsurprisingly) in a survey. Just 11pc wanted match tickets, while a tiny 1pc wanted another child.
  • The hunt is on to replace Eamonn Brennan as head of the Irish Aviation Authority. The Chief Executive is off to Brussels to become Director General of air traffic control giant Eurocontrol.
  • Hong Kong based rankings site AirHelp Score ranked Aer Lingus 9th and Ryanair 83RD of 87 airlines for on-time performance, customer service efficiency and quality of service. Singapore finished top followed by 2 Etihad, 3 Qatar, 4 Austrian, 5 Transat, 6 Dolomiti, 7 BA, 8 Virgin,  and 10 TUI Netherlands.
  • Cork Airport won the ACI Airport of the year in the under 5m passenger’ category. Naples and Aiicante won the other categories.
  • Galway born Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive of the Irish Aviation Authority wil become Director General of Eurocontrol from January 1.
  • Michael Kerkloh, President & CEO of Munich Airport was elected to lead the organisation as President.
  • Turkish Airlines, which operates 14w from Dublin to Istanbul, plans to increase to 17w next year.
  • British Airways expect to maintain full services in the face of a threatened strike by mixed crew from July 1.
  • An Irish company is to maintain Boeing’s Dreamliners
  • Aer Lingus launched an Irish Filmmaker Competition with Irish Film Board
  • Reuters reported that Ryanair is in talks with Boeing about placing an order for its proposed new 737 MAX 10 airliner.
  • The European Union proposed new rules to tackle alleged unfair competitive practices by foreign airlines after complaints about Gulf carriers receiving illegal government subsidies,
  • Qatar Airways closed bookings for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and UAE until October 28 2017.
  • Air Transat will operate charter flights from Dublin to Toronto on December 20, 2017 and return on January 2, 2018.
  • The IDA released a video on Ireland’s influence on the Aviation industry
  • Acceptance at last? Tallaght’s finest aviation prodigy Alan Joyce was named a Companion of the Order of Australia
  • Ryanair appointed Chiara Ravara senior sales and marketing manager.
  • ACI ranked Dublin Airport among the top 20 for airport connectivity.
  • CityJet got its sixth Superjet
  • SMBC Aviation Capital reported profits up 48PC
  • A survey by flight delay compensation company AirHelp rated Kuwait the worst airport of 76 in the world with Gatwick second, Manchester was third and Edinburgh fifth. Sinapore, Munich and Hong Kong are rated the top three.
  • An art exhibition opened in Donegal Airport. It was claimed airline investment could provide positive knock-on effects for Donegal
  • Ferghal O’Connor forecast turbulence ahead for Kevin Toland’s successor as DAA boss
  • JetBlue’s chairman claimed loyalty programs have made airlines ‘lazy’
  • Online travel company eDream said their survey showed one in ten passengers claimed to have had a fling on an aircraft
  • Question and Answer section on Aviation Security at the IATA congress in Cancun watch here
  • Donald Trump’s plans to overhaul US air traffic control, watch here.


P&O Cruises’ 710-passenger adults-only ship Adonia returned to its homeport of Southampton this week following a refit, which includes a new restaurant and new entertainment.

  • In an unusual move, P&O is charging for entry to one of the shows onboard Pacific Explorer. Tickets run from $15 to $29pp for adults-only cabaret Love Riot, but will include a cocktail and souvenir glass ($15 ticket). The dearer ticket is branded as  VIP and includes dinner, a cocktail and souvenir glass.
  • Royal Caribbean floated out the world’s biggest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas
  • English newsreader and Angela Rippon officially named CMV Columbus
  • P&O introduced cover charges for shows on Pacific Explorer.
  • Lindblad Expeditions delayed the launch of first new cruise ship, National Geographic Quest
  • Seabourn cancelled zodiac-only ventures excursions in Alaska
  • Norwegian Cruise Line changed ‘free at sea’ inclusions for passengers in The Haven
  • Pacific Princess emerged from dry dock with new suites and restaurants.
  • Cunard’s Queen Victoria returned to Service after refurbishment
  • Cruisescapes are inviting agents to join them in Dublin to board Port Fred Olsen’s Black Watch on July 12th and Balmoral on August 12th commencing about 10.30 for a presentation, ship tour and lunch ending shortly before 2pm. Details here or contact Cruisescapes on Dublin 01-2941000. Fred Olsen new sales campaign Free On Shore Spending Money & Added Benefits is available for new bookings until June 30, 2017, on cruises of seven nights and more departing from April 3, 2018 until end 2019.
  • Watch here the video of the moment Amanda Lacey won a ticket to board Symphony of the Seas next year during a levitation stunt on South King Street in Dublin’s City Centre by TV Personality, David Meade.


CSO figures for inbound toruism to Ireland show a decline in British visitors in January to March by 7pc, North America is up 13pc, Europe up 65pc and Australia up 16pc. Overall visits are down 1pc.

The OPW expressed concern over the impact of Star Wars was as visitors to Skellig rose from an average of 11,100 to 12,560 in 2015 and 14,678 in 2016.

There was lots of reaction to the claim by Australian academic Michael Hall who told the Tourism and Hospitality Research in Ireland Conference in Sligo that Dublin was a rip-off and questioned Ireland’s dependence on dead writers.

Picture shows Gretel O’Sullivan of Gleneagle Group; Catherine Moylan of Listowel Writers Week; Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Joan O’Shaughnessy Chairman of Tourism Ireland; and Breffni Ingerton of the Gleneagle Group, before the Tourism Ireland board meeting at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel in Killarney.

  • The husband of an American woman who died in a cycling accident while holidaying in Kerry paid tribute to the people of Killarney and local gardaí.
  • Sligo  joined the Amalfi coast, Marbella, Puglia and The Cote d’Azur on the  Vogue magazine list. Of the county it purred: “Think dramatic mountains, glimmering beaches, rolling green hills, magical woodlands and vibrant seaside towns.”
  • Minister Patrick O’Donovan unveiled the Shannon Estuary Drive through 207km through , Limerick City, Kilcornan, Askeaton, Foynes, Tarbert, Killimer, Labasheeda, Killadysert, Ballynacally, Clarecastle, Ennis and Bunratty. Click HERE to view brochure.
  • Terence Doorley of NUI Maynooth is hosting the Historic Houses of Europe conference in Dublin Castle next week. Travel trade are welcome.
  • Cork Convention Bureau expects a 25pc increase in exhibitors at its Keep Cork Meeting event in Devere Hall, UCC on June 21. A picture shows Trade Liaison Officer Anne Cahill, Executive Chairman Seamus Heaney, Cork Convention Bureau, Chloe Isaacs, Vienna Woods Hotel and Business Development Manager Evelyn O’Sullivan, Cork Convention Bureau.
  • Duncannon Village in county Wexford will host Ireland’s first Gourmet Beach Market on August 27.

Deal watch

Click and Go offers:  7 nights self catering Luz y Mar Apartments, Lanzarote from €389pp, travel August. 3 nights B&B 4* Simms Hotel, Vienna, Austria from €289pp, travel December. 7 nights half board  3* Royal Costa Hotel, Costa del Sol from €679pp, travel December. 7 nights half board 4* Regina Gran Hotel, Salou, Spain from €2,369 2+2, travel July. Visit or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Garden Nevis Hotel, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €2,999 2+2, depart July 24. 7 nights self catering 3* Porlamar Apartments, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €559pp, depart July 6. 7 nights all inclusive Zafiris, Sidari, Corfu from €829pp, depart July 7. 7 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou, Costa Dorada, depart Knock August 1. 7 nights all inclusive 3* El Trebol, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €769pp, depart Cork August 24. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Hotel Haiti, Ca’n Picafort, Majorca from €699pp, depart Shannon August 26. 7 nights self catering 2* Emmanouel Studios, Lambi, Kos from €459pp, depart August 26. 7 nights self catering 2* Emerald Studios, Kremasti, Rhodes from €429pp, depart Shannon August 30. Visit or call 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 7 days Switzerland from €2,149pps. Book by August 25, depart November 19. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 21 nights New Zealand tour from €5,859pp. 8 days Warsaw and the Baltic states tour from €1,235pps. 13 days Nepal tour from €2,499pp.

Sunway offers: 9 nights imperial highlights tour from €1,409pp, depart September 1. 7 nights Danube river cruise from €1,979pp, depart November 6. 8 days Cuba tour from €1,479pp, depart September 30. 7 nights Sandpiper Bay, Florida from €3,980 2+2, depart September 2. 7 nights self catering 3* Tamaimo Tropical, Tenerife from €499pp, depart July 5. 7 nights self catering 2* Puertocarmen Apts, Lanzarote from €499pp, depart July 1. 5 nights Memphis Elvis 40th anniversary holiday from €959pp, travel November. 3 nights New York from €539pp, travel February 2018. 12 nights Abu Dhabi & India fly-cruise on board Celebrity Constellation from €1,759pp, depart September 6. 10 nights eastern Caribbean fly, cruise and stay on board Celebrity Equinox from €1,815pp, depart March 14 2018. Visit

Thomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive Bella Vista Beach Club, Sinemorets, Bulgaria from €729pp, depart June 26. 7 nights self catering Jardin Del Sol, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €789pp, depart July 13. 7 nights half board Hotel Platanista, Psaldi, Kos from €899pp, depart July 15. 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cala Bona, Majorca from €789pp, depart July 12. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €839pp, depart Knock August 1. 7 nights self catering 3* Protur Bahia Azul, Cala Bona, Majorca from €539pp, depart Cork August 12. 7 nights self catering Morromar Apartments, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €569pp, depart Shannon August 28. 7 nights self catering Planet Studios & Apartments, Tsilivi, Zakynthos from €489pp, depart August 29.  7 nights B&B Elkomi Malia, Crete from €429pp, depart August 27. 7 nights full board Spanish Delights cruise from €1,019pp, depart July 18.

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, Madeira, Funchal from €349pps, depart June 29. 7 nights B&B 4* Jardins d’Ajuda Suites, Madeira, Funchal from €469pps, depart June 22. 7 nights B&B 4* Four Views Monumental, Madeira, Funchal from €659pps, depart June 29. 7 nights B&B 4* Four Views Monumental, Madeira, Funchal from €659pps, depart June 29. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel D’Annunzio, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €499pps, depart September 16. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Harry’s, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera depart Cork July 15. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Harry’s, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from £517pps, depart Belfast June 24. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Manzoni, Montecatini, Tuscany from €699pps, depart June 23. 7 nights B&B 4* Blu Lake Sirmione, Sirmione, Lake Garda from €849pps, depart Cork June 24. 7 nights half board 4* Majestic Palace, Malcesine, Lake Garda from €869pps, depart Cork June 24. 7 nights half board 4* Grand Hotel Hermitage, Sorrento from €699pps, depart June 25. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Ninfea, Cattolica, Adriatic Riviera from €569pps, depart June 24. Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Travel Department flights-only offers: Dubrovnik Airport, Croatia from €259pp, depart June 26, return July 3.Catania Airport, Sicily from €249pp, depart June 27, return July 4. Palma Airport, Majorca from €239pp, depart June 28, return July 5. Call 01 637 1600.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 10 days highlights of Eastern European cruise on board the River Beatrice from €3,699pps. Book by June 30, depart October 4. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned

You cannot put sunbeds on the beach in two places in Thailand, Khao Lak and Krabi.

Phrase of the week

Between the devil and the DUP.


TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Dublin-Doha route launch to go ahead despite Qatar kafuffle & He who shall not be named at IPW


Liz Wright, Veronica Flood and Linda Ryan of Tour America at the closing party for IPW 017 in the Nationals Ballpark in Washington DC, June 7 2017

Things to know about travel this week

  • Direct flights to Doha with Qatar Airways to go ahead despite surprise move to isolate Qatar and ban overflights by neighbouring countries.
  • International Pow Wow, International Air Transport Association congress occur.
  • If Only announces threefold expansion.
  • Office manager for Feherty Travel pleads guilty to stealing 85,000 from business to pay for his lifestyle, writing company cheque to his credit card company.
  • Vietnam extending visa exemption for Irish visitors
  • Dog bites man- emotional support animal bites man on plane during boarding.
  • Etihad pulls out of talks with TUI group.

Travel Extra TV

  • This pilot turned an “engine failure” into something special. Watch here.
  • A little girl lost her toy monkey and created a great marketing opportunity for Emirates. Watch here.
  • Meet the master of the drone. Watch here.
  • A lucky escape for the man who was attacked by a shark in Florida. Watch here.
  • Here’s Aer Lingus’s ad for its Dublin to Miami service. Watch here.
  • Airbus published a video package on the winner of its ‘fly your ideas’ competition. Watch here.
  • Tourism NI posted an ad for the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Watch here.
  • Etihad put together a short workout video for Muslim passengers that might be feeling a bit lethargic from their Ramadan fast. Watch here.
  • Qantas promoted its new Adelaide to Kangaroo Island service. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

The marquee route launch of the summer from Dublin airport, direct flights to Doha with Qatar Airways, will go ahead as planned tomorrow morning with an A350 taking the initial flight and subsequent service by a Dreamliner, despite the surprise move to isolate Qatar and ban overflights by neighbouring countries led by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is not a member of the 1944 transit accord which enshrines the right to overfly another country for civil transport.

Roger Dow speaking at IPW 2017 in Washington DC

Like a parody of Harry Potter’s dark lord, Voldemort, he who shall not be named dominated International Pow Wow in Washington DC. It says a lot about the mood of America’s biggest inbound conference that nobody batted an eyelid when the CEO of US Travel Roger Dow compared the damage done to inbound travel in recent months to the WTC attacks of September 11 2011 (watch here).  Two entire press conferences, US Travel and Brand USA, were dominated by Donald Trump’s travel policies without the man himself being named. Roger Dow name checked Barak Obama three times but preferred to refer to the “new administration” and, on two occasions, the Trump administration. The appearance of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross was seen as a significant breakthrough, although he did not have much to say on the issue causing most damage he did name-check the record of tourism and travel in creating non-exportable jobs and Dow pointed out “the speech was cleared by the White House.” Dow was determined and reassuring in separate speeches to the 6,000 delegates and the 600 press delegates, saying that Brand USA is here to stay, the travel industry has had to overcome White House opposition in the past (watch here), vowed to work with Trump administration Washington (watch here) and claimed “We will bring president Trump around” (watch here). He said US immigration are NOT asking for passwords on devices and social media despite reports (watch here) In reply to a question from Travel Extra he outlined what the impact of the travel ban would be on inbound travel to the USA (watch here) and said America is open for business travel is NOT dying `(watch here).

The subject that dominated the congress of the International Air Transport Association in Cancun was not even on the agenda: the dramatic decision of the Gulf states to close its airspace and facilities to Qatar Airways forcing Qatar Airways to reroute dozen of flights through Turkish and Iranian airspace.  Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker mingled with IATA delegates late on Sunday in Cancun but left overnight by business jet.  As IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said “it completely surprised all of us.” Aercap CEO Gus Kellyl who is suprisingly under-exposed in Qatar, said “you can read too much into a short-term event. Global travel is resilient. We have been through so much in the last decade: Russia, Brazil, Eurozone crisis, Turkey. A lot of capacity has been going into the Gulf region. Some carriers in the Gulf recognised about a year and a half ago that there wasn’t an endless growth model of 15p a year.” Peter Harbison of CAPA said there has always been a significant concern that Gulf aviation is, if not on a knife-edge, then on a fairly narrow plane.” The congress, whose panellists included Willie Walsh and Peter Bellew, then returned to the agenda items of laptop bans, emissions and air cargo modernisation. Oil price, which dominated previous agendas, was almost entirely absent from the discussions.  The laptop ban imposed earlier this year appeared to hurt traffic on the Middle East-US route but overall monthly data indicated a 10.7pc increase in demand for air travel and profitability outlook for the airline industry was raised to $31.4bn from the earlier forecast of $29.8bn. Resolutions were passed to accelerate the modernization of the air cargo industry, to urge governments to collaborate better on security, and to ask governments to do more on sustainable alternatives fuels for aviation. IATA estimated a worldwide electronics ban would cost US$3.3bn. Watch here Interview with Peter Bellew and watch here interview with Christoph Mueller at the IATA Congress in Cancun. Watch here the SkyTeam presentation at the IATA AGM in Concun. Iran Air CEO Farhad Parvaresh was elected to join the fine body of gentlemen pictured here, IATA’s board of governors. Yes, we mean it when we say gentlemen. Not a lady in sight.

The cruise event of 2017, the launch of MSC Meraviglia In Le Havre, was, like the cruise industry itself, gloriously over the top and laced with bling and glitz. Sophia Loren presided, as is usual at MSC events, defying age. Mike Kelly of Travel Extra went along to see, see his pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Highlights of the ship itself include the two-story Promenade, reminiscent of a small town centre lined with shops, restaurants and bars, a redesigned yacht club, and Cirque du Solieil as signature entertainment. The speciality restaurants have a la carte price options, rather than the fixed dining charges employed by other cruise lines. Picture shows Steve Williams, Director of Sales MSC Cruises London, Erica Oglesby MSC Ireland and Antonio Paradiso two country Managing Director MSC Cruises Ireland and Britain.

Travel Extra was the only Irish flag-flier as Indonesia showcased its tourism offering to the world, with media from the Americas and Europe attending the Bali and Beyond Tourism Fair in Nusa Dua on the holiday island. No one from Britain joined the media pack (was something else on back there??) Of interest is the fact that massive Indonesia is aiming to partner with tiny neighbour Singapore which would see the city state being the departure point for cruises around Indonesia’s numerous tropical islands. Catch the first album from the event here

Travel Trade

If Only, which is headed up in Ireland by Martin Penrose, announced a spectacular three fold expansion, creating 40 new jobs at its HQ in Milngavie just outside Glasgow, with several recruitment days planned over the coming weeks. Andy Freeth has been appointed as CEO and will join If Only in early December 2017.

Mary McKenna’s Tour America was presented with a chairman’s circle award at a pre-IPW event in the cathedral in Washington DC. Picture shows Veronica Flood and Linda Ryan with the award. As always the social scene at IPW was among the best on the international calendar with the Irish group of 17 trade and media leading the charge. Delegate entertainment included a lunch performance by Ne-Yo sponsored by Kissimmee and, for the sixth year, a cavalcade of Broadway performances from Blue Man Group, Waitress, Beautiful, Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Anastasia. The agenda of 40 event and private parties included a raucous pre-opening night party by DC Cool, press brunch at the Newseum followed by city tours (Washington’s mayor and former tour guide Muriel Bowser guided the tour joined by Travel Extra) an opening party and concert at the National Air and Space Museum, a rousing event by the Gay and Lesbian community which replaced the traditional lavish San Francisco party, a Disney dinner in a spectacular location on Constitution Hill with views over the Capitol, a lively New York party, and a closing party at the Nationals baseball stadium where one proud delegate managed three hits of four throws, and an impromptu Irish and British closing party in Rebellion on 18th street. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Get a flavour of the the Irish Travel Trade at IPW 2017 in this video.

Addressing IPW 2017 press conferences Roger Dow said the Visa waiver programme must be safeguarded Washington (watch here), America’s air traffic infrastructure needs to be addressed in Washington (watch here)  and it was time to remove the I visa requirement for media, a legacy of the cold war (watch here). Geoff Ballotti also joined the team of airport infrastructure (watch here). Amid the gloom Roger Dow mentioned progress in the extension of pre clearance & global entry extended Washington (watch here) hailed better than expected April figures (watch here) the attendance of 6,300 at IPW 2017 (watch here)  and said the experience of each person who has just been in US will hope overcome the negativity (watch here). He said the big challenge in Mexico is peso dollar exchange rate Washington (watch here) but America continues to offer good value (watch here). Best performance of IPW was from Bill Talbert when he hosted the Miami Press conference (watch here). Chris Thompson in his Brand USA presentation (watch here) said that arrivals Halls need updating (watch here). Caroline Beteta hosted the California press conference (watch here). Miami CVB brought some dancers to their press conference at IPW 2017, this is what happened (watch here)

The Capital District IPW post fam joined by Travel Extra’s editor Eoghan Corry travelled to the Maryland Atlantic coast and eastern shore of Chesapeake and included kayaking amid the blue heron and largest concentration of Bald Eagles on the continent, a visit to the O’Callaghan Hotel (one of three hotels of the seven strong group which are off-island) in the Maryland state capital Annapolis, a visit to the naval museum, taking afdvatage of the soft shell crab season to fine dine in Ian Fleming and Mark Salter’s Robert Morris Inn, in Oxford Maryland, ancient haunt of George Washington and oldest still functioning inn in the USA (1710), swimming the brackish waters of Chesapeake Bay, and a visit to the new interpretative centre on the life of slave-era civil rights leader Harriet Tubman, run by Angela Crenshaw who says her time at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin 2004-8 taught her all she knows about running a visitor centre. And yes the parting glass was sung. Picture shows Mark Salter and Ian Fleming of the Robert Morris Inn with Marci Ross of Maryland tourism who hosted the group . See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

May winners of the Globe Hotels educational to Crete in October are Linda Mc Namara from Ace Travel and Celine Kenny from Travelescapes. Two agents will be drawn at the end of each month for the next four months so keep booking with Globe Hotels and every booking will be entered into the draw.

Livigno in Italy is the venue for the Topflight Copper Faced Jack’s ski trip with live bands, mountain parties, lip sync battle, sledding and Limerick’s Irish comedy hip-hop duo ‘Rubberbandits on March 3rd – 10th 2018. See here +3531 2401700 or +4428 9752 1168

Turkish Airlines invited agents to compete to win two tickets for the Kings of Leon on the 1st of July with access to the 1878 lounge. Answers by June 26.

Classic Collection Holidays, represented in Ireland by Niall McDonnell, restructured their agents Incentive to reward revenue value rather than the number of passengers giving sales staff the chance to earn up to €100 worth of M&S vouchers per booking. Additionally Classic Collection Holidays are continuing with their offer of free access to the airport executive lounges at Dublin, Cork and Shannon for all Summer and Winter 2017 bookings. Up to €3,999  €10, €4,000 to €5,999 €15, €6,000 to €7,999 €20, €8,000 to €11,999 €40, €12,000 to €15,999 €60, €16,000 to €19,999 €80, €20,000+ €100.


Picture shows Teresa Gancedo of the Spanish Tourist Board, Tanya Airey of Sunway, Philip Airey of Sunway, Siobhan Byrne Learat of Adams and Butler and Eileen Vaughan at the Spanish Tall ship visit to Dublin.

Neil Walker former director of Feherty Travel in Down pleaded guilty to stealing £85,000 from the business to pay for his “high lifestyle”.

Cork Skal Club’s June event will be an artisan evening in West Cork on June 29.

Galway Skal Club Summer BBQ & Members evening will be held on Wednesday June 28.

Strange world

Marlin Jackson of Daphne, Alabama, had to have 28 stitches on his face after he was bitten by an emotional support dog on a Delta flight when the dog was in the middle seat.

Figures released by VisitBritain about the number of tourist day trips were re-issued after it identified problems with the original data.


Mobile roaming charges are to be scrapped when travelling Europe but  roaming charges out of the EU could soon face a 20% VAT on top, making other countries much more expensive to use data.

A new iOS Siri update is bringing a language translation element for holidaymakers abroad.

Vietnam extended the visa exemption for Irish visitors

Malta is top of Europe’s Rainbow Index for 2017 for the second consecutive year. The gay-friendly ranking places Norway in second place. Ireland is in 15th place.

Food & Beverage

A shortage of chefs is forcing some restaurants to close on Mondays and Tuesdays, the Restaurants Association of Ireland says. It also calls for training agency CERT to be brought back

Dragon’s Den personality Gavin Duffy joined actor and Celebrity Masterchef star Simon Delaney and chefs Gearóid Lynch (The Olde Post Inn), Neven Maguire (MacNean House), Eddie Attwell (St Kyran’s Country House), Shane Smith (Airfield Estate), and Adrian Martin (RTÉ’s ‘Chef Adrian Eats Ireland’) to launch the 2017 Taste of Cavan event which takes place in Cavan Equestrian Centre, Cavan Town on Friday, 11th and Saturday, 12th August.


Dublin’s Dylan Hotel, celebrating its 10th birthday, officially unveiled a 10m renovation with the addition of 28 new guest bedrooms, the creation of 15 hotel industry jobs and interior updates 

Cork’s Metropole hotel is reportedly set to double its room count, add shops and get a three-star sister hotel in a €50m investment


As well as looking west, Norwegian is sticking with its roots, launching a new 2w service year-round from Dublin Airport to Stockholm. The new route, plus the increase in frequency of its Dublin-Oslo service, represents a 50pc rise in capacity on its routes between Dublin and Scandinavia

Departing DAA CEO Kevin Toland told a Seanad Special Select Committee on Brexit that airlines will be offering fewer routes to Britain at higher prices from next spring.  Duty-free shopping between Ireland and Britain should commence immediately after the UK leaves the EU, and that Ireland should position itself as the ‘business destination of choice’.

  • Alan Joyce and Qantas will host next year’s IATA congress in Sydney, June 3-5  2018.
  • Airbus John Leahy says he will retire “sooner rather than later” on the advice of his doctors. Current deputy Kiran Rao is to replace him, meaning the great aviation sales hurling match will no longer be contested by sales chiefs of Kilkenny (Leahy) and Tipperary (Connor) ancestry.
  • Etihad Airways pulls out of talks with TUI Group aimed at creating a new joint venture holiday airline. Under plans outlined last year, TUI’s own airline TUIfly was to be merged with Air Berlin’s leisure airline Niki
  • Lufthansa to boost capacity on Dublin-Frankfurt route from winter.
  • Aer Lingus is still an IAG poster boy as airline group reveals extent of IT failure at British Airways
  • Dublin-based Stobart Air, which operates the Aer Lingus Regional service, is to create 60 jobs and invest €25m as it boosts its relationship with Flybe. Stobart Air heralded a new phase of growth, adding jet aircraft to its fleet as part of a €25m expansion
  • A record 2.6m passengers travelled through Dublin Airport in May, 5pc up on last year. The number of passengers using it as a hub increased by 51pc to 330,000 passengers.
  • In a bit of a role reversal, Belfast International Airport said it’s attracting more passengers from south of the border. The airport is expecting to handle a record 2.3m passengers between now and the end of September.
  • ACI Europe welcomes new measures adopted by the European Commission to further support air connectivity, including  a proposal to allow the Commission to investigate unfair competitive practices in aviation from non-EU countries
  • The Irish Aviation Authority publishes the State Safety Plan 2017 – 2020 containing safety actions to address key safety risks in aviation identified from the analysis of safety performance at national, European and global levels.
  • The Irish Aviation Authority also said that total air traffic handled through Irish airspace and at the main airports increased by 3pc (103, 191 movements) in May 2017 compared to the same month in 2016. Since the start of the year it’s handled almost half a million flights.
  • Waterford Airport said talks with a potential carrier were at an advanced stage.
  • Kerry Airport handled 59,000 passengers in the first three months of this year
  • Leo Varadkar’s call for a ban on air traffic control strikes was opposed by trade unions.
  • CityJet announced new pilot recruitment
  • Peter Bellew said Malaysia Airlines are close to a deal for more widebody Airbus Aircraft .
  • Willie Walsh told the IATA AGM that he believes that there will be no disruption on flights between England and Europe due to Brexit.
  • Qantas CEO Alan Joyce predicted the share price will keep rising as airline focuses on more cost cutting
  • Ryanair and Lufthansa are in the running for Alitalia assets
  • Ryanair May 2017 traffic grew 11pc to 11.8m customers
  • EU airports made up 35pc of all global runway incursion reports during 2016.
  • Aer Lingus is extending its Dublin Bilbao route to winter
  • Willie Walsh used the IATA congress to criticise the media coverage of the BA systems shutdown
  • Ireland and Iceland launched full virtual joint communications
  • Norwegian said their Irish flights will use Boeing 737 MAX 8 from September 1
  • IATA was told that a glut of lessors was fighting for deals.
  • United’s Scott Kirby said 30pc of passengers are booking basic economy which has been rolled out to all markets in continental USA
  • Watch here Desmond Ross on the Qatar airways ban.
  • Watch here Dublin Airport Central


Royal Caribbean’s 5,497-passenger Symphony of the Seas, which will be the line’s fourth Oasis-class ship, was floated out of dry dock for the first time during the week, at the STX shipyard in France.

The second of Cunard Line’s three ships to be refurbished — Queen Victoria — has returned to England boasting additional cabins and suites and a new restaurant. The third ship, Queen Elizabeth, will go in for its refit late next year.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company carries 14,037 motorcycles, a 6pc increase on 2016, and 36,500 passengers, a rise of 2.8pc, to the Isle of Man TT from Dublin, Belfast, Heysham and Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin.

In an effort to streamline the way travellers pay for their cruises, Carnival Cruise Line has introduced EasyPay, a payment plan that automatically charges the credit card on file in three instalments. Customers can opt out at any time, the line says.


The Guinness Storehouse was confirmed as the country’s most popular attraction – but lesser known sites around the country are showing the biggest growth

  • Enda Kenny supports a Tourism Ireland promotion in Chicago – and says the next time he’ll be in the Windy City will be as a tourist, not a Taoiseach.
  • The Seanad was told British tourism to Ireland is in freefall.

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 5* Real Palacio Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal from €379pp, travel August. 7 nights self catering 5* Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort, Albufeira, The Algarve, Portugal from €299pp, travel December. 7 nights B&B 5* Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa, Gran Canaria from €1,979 2+2, travel October. Visit or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Zafiris, Sidari, Corfu from €829pp, depart July 7. 7 nights self catering 2* Emmanouel Studios, Lambi, Kos from €589pp, depart July 15. 7 nights self catering 3* Polarmar Apartments, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €559pp depart July 13. 7 nights self catering 3* Protur Atalaya Apartments , Las Caletillas, Majorca from €659pp, depart July 11. 7 nights half board 4* Villa Romana, Salou, Costa Dorada from €669pp, depart Knock July 25. 7 nights half board 3* More Hotel , Alcudia, Majorca form €599pp, depart Cork August 12. 7 nights self catering 3* Protur Bahia Azul, Cala Bona, Lanzarote from €599pp, depart Shannon August 12. 7 nights self catering 3* Poseidon Apts, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €429pp, depart August 28. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €499pp, depart Shannon August 28. 7 nights self catering 3* Monte Feliz, Bahia Feliz, Gran Canaria from €2,959 2+3, depart July 6. Visit or call 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering a 7 day Mediterranean ‘legends cruise’ from €2,149pps. Depart August 9. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 10 nights family camping in La Loubine campsite, Vendée, France from €1,265 per family, depart June 14. 10 nights Puerto del Carmen Apartments, Lanzarote from €1,499 2+1, depart June 17. 7 nights self catering Cye Holiday Centre hotel, Salou from €2,420 2+2, depart August 20.

Sunway offers: 11 nights ‘Highlights of Vietnam’ tour from €3,425pp, depart September 16. 7 nights Rhine river cruise from €3,225pp, no solo supplement, depart August 26. 8 days Inca tour from Lima to Cusco from €2,579pp, depart September 14. 7 nights all inclusive Kamarina, Sicily from €2,529pp, depart June 17. 7 nights B&B 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, Kusadasi from €399pps, depart June 17. 7 nights self catering 3* Tenerife Sur Apts, Tenerife from €349pp, depart June 17. 7 nights self catering 3* Oasis Dunas Apts, Fuerteventura from €349pp, depart June 17. 7 nights Cuba tour from €2,099pp, travel November. 7 nights Spain, France and Italy cruise on board Freedom of the Seas from €1,099pp, depart September 24. 7 nights Mediterranean cruise on board MSC Mervaviglia from €875pp, depart November 3. Visit

Thomson offers: 7 nights half board Sensimar Los Gigantes, Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €869pp, depart July 7. 7 nights self catering Jardin Del Sol, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €599pp, depart July 13. 7 nights half board Hotel Platanista, Psaldi, Kos from €899pp, depart July 15. 7 nights self catering Protur Atalaya Apartments, Cala Millor, Majorca from €659pp, depart July 11. 7 nights half board Hotel Mediteran, Porec, Croatia from €809pp, depart September 26. 4 nights all inclusive Holiday Village, Cala Milor, Majorca from €719pp, depart June 15. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €669pp, depart Knock July 15. 7 nights self catering Cinco Plaza Apts, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €529pp, depart Cork August 31. 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul, Cala Bona, Majorca from €569pp, depart Shannon August 12. 7 nights half board 3* Fiesta Hotel Milord, Es Cana, Ibiza from €649pp, depart August 31. 7 nights self catering 2* Ourania Apts, Gouves, Crete from €459pp, depart August 27.  7 nights full board Spanish Delights cruise from €1,059pp, depart July 18.

Topflight offer: 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €499pps, depart June 18. 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Hermitage, Sorrento from €699pps, depart June 25. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Ascot, Sorrento from €739pps, depart June 25. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic, Sorrento from €799pps, depart June 18. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €1,069pps, depart June 18. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Ninfea,Cattolica, Adriatic Riviera from €549pps, depart June 17. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcesine, Lake Garda from €969pps, depart June 17. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Astoria from €599pps, Desenzano, Lake Garda. 7 nights B&B 4* Four Views Baia, Funchal, Madeira from €469pps, depart June 15. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Harrys, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €599pps, depart June 17. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Cambridge, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €899pps, depart June 17. Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 7 nights hotel accommodation Orlando from €509pp, depart December 6. 3 nights hotel accommodation New York City from €569pp, depart February 16 2018. 4 nights hotel accommodation Las Vegas from €649pp, depart February 1 2018. 10 nights Orlando and Caribbean cruise on board Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas from €1,139pp, depart November 23. 11 nights Miami and Caribbean cruise on board Celebrity Equinox from €2,139pp, depart October 26. 10 nights Spain, Canaries and Moroccan fly cruise on board Norwegian Spirit from €1,539pp. 8 nights Miami & Caribbean fly cruise on board MSC Seaside from €1,579pp. Visit

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering an 8 day Danube river cruise on board the River Empress from €2,549pps. Book by June 30, depart October 22. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned.

Broadway’s shows which run in 41 theatres support 85,000 jobs when staffing and costume manufacture are taken into account, thank you Broadway inbound at IPW.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair vows to bring fares below €40 as profits soar



View of Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas and Dublin port from onboard Silver Whisper. There will be 24 cruise ship calls to Dublin during June

  • ThingTHito Things to know about travel this week
  • Who was responsible for the British Airways power outage? And the high vis jackets you need to wear in IT. 
  • Dublin Airport launching Doha route
  • From tourism minister to Taoiseach: is this an elevation or a demotion? 
  • Print edition of Travel Extra coming out
  • IAG’s proposed €9.50 distribution charge on GDS bookings will not apply to Aer Lingus.
  • The Commission for Aviation Regulation will meet the Irish Travel Agents Association next week as part of the consultation process for reform of the licensing and bonding scheme for Travel Agents
  • Strike by fuel tank drivers in France may lead to petrol shortages
  • ACLU issues travel alert for tourists visiting Texas 
  • Over three-quarters of chief executives in the food and drinks industry believe the sector is inadequately prepared for the impact of Brexit
  • Cappuccino and latte prices in Ireland rose 4pc to over €3
  • Applications open on June 15 for the Restaurants Association of Ireland Foodie Destinations award
  • Ryanair launched a 60-day check-in service for those who pre select seats
  • IATA says worldwide demand is up 10.7pc on April 2016 with “indications that passengers are avoiding routes where the laptop ban is in place.” IATA’s 73rd Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit is taking place in Cancun Monday. 
  • Dublin Airport will handle 370,000 passengers this June bank holiday weekend.
  • An English court ruled that Ryanair compensation claims must be heard in Ireland. 
  • Paul Carty of Guinness Storehouse will chair the new Association of Visitor and Entertainment Attractions.

Travel Extra TV

  • Take a look at these two chilled out lizards. Watch here.
  • This croc gave two fishermen a fright in west Australia. Watch here.
  • Introducing asset care at Cork Airport. Watch here.
  • What makes Ireland special in the summertime, according to Tourism Ireland. Watch here.
  • See Qatar Airways’ guide to Dublin. Watch here.
  • Check out Ryanair’s guide to Malaga. Watch here.
  • This seagull tried to make off with a beachgoer’s iPhone. Watch here.
  • Behind the Headlines


Ryanair’s €1.3bn profit is due to rise and average fare of €41 due to fall by 15pc, according to gung-ho CE Michael O’Leary after his trading year results this week. Issues raised by Michael O’Leary included negotiations with Boeing for extra aircraft, Ryanair’s revised passenger targets, expanded feeder deals with other airlines, his concerns about Brexit including his fear flights will be halted and the prospect Europe will use aviation as a pressure point to bring home the implications of Brexit to England’s electorate.

The blame game continues at British Airways for the power outage that saw the airline cancel over 800 flights, including eight from Dublin, and strand 75,00 customers. But CBRE, the contractor which manages the facilities at BA’s ageing Boadicea House data centre near Heathrow, said claims that a maintenance worker had inadvertently switched off the power supply were “not founded in fact”. In an internal email to staff, Bill Francis, the head of IT for BA’s parent company, IAG, said an uninterruptible power supply to a core data centre at Heathrow was over-ridden.

The GMB union said IT outsourcing had contributed to the failure. Much of the comment was about Alex Cruz’s high vis jacket. “BA chief wants you to know he takes today’s IT meltdown, and cancellation of all flights, so seriously he has donned a florescent jacket.” What’s so dangerous about British Airways offices that you need to wear hi-vis? The tea trolley?  Watch here Eoghan Corry speaking about the BA shutdown & Ryanair results on the Marian Finucane Show on RTE radio 1.

Rebecca Kelly led the MSC-hosted Irish delegation to Le Havre this weekend for the launch of MSC Meraviglia. Meraviglia  is one of the six new ships due to come into service between 2017 and 2020. She is due to set sail towards the Port of Le Havre for her christening ceremony on 3 June. She will then begin her first sailing along the Atlantic coast, calling at Vigo (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal), all the way to the Mediterranean, calling in Barcelona (Spain), Marseille (France) and eventually Genoa (Italy). She will commence the first regular 7-night itinerary on 11 June, sailing from Genoa on to Naples (Italy), Messina (Italy), Valletta (Malta), Barcelona, Marseille and back to Genoa on 18 June.

And so, it came to pass that Enda Kenny (Tourism Minister No 17, 1994-7) was succeeded by Leo Varadkar (Tourism Minister No 23, 2011-4). Being a tourism minister is apparently an advantage in the Fine Gael party. Another former Taoiseach John Bruton was tourism minister No 10, 1983-7 and Garret FitzGerald acted briefly as tourism minister. Leo is on record as saying Ireland should join Shenghen but could not because of the border with Britain. Travel Extra, which feels Ireland should be in Shenghen, will watch developments with interest.

Danielle Favier and Kathryn Chambers of Failte ireland hosted travel writers on a tour of Ireland’s Ancient East. The tour included Dunmore Caves where the tour guide improvised with a tune on a  tin whistle, the Beresford family’s Curraghmore House and Shell House, the Viking 3D Virtual Reality in Waterford City, a cliff tour of Ardmore with Liam Suipéil (Watch here agus féach anseo an leagan gaeilge) and a stay at the Michelin and AA Rosette honoure Cliff House Hotel where they were hosted by Adriaan Bartels. Picture shows the group at the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore. Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland, Danielle Favier of Failte Ireland, Ruth O’Connor, Kathryn Chambers of Failte Ireland, Yvonne Gordon and Barry Coughlan at Cliff House Hotel during the Failte Ireland media visit to Ardmore. Watch here walk around of the Cliff House hotel See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Dublin airport’s marquee route launch of summer 2017 will be Doha from Qatar Airways, to start on Monday June 12. Travel Extra sneaked out in advance to have a look on an itinerary that included the Museum of Islamic Art, (watch here), Katara Village (watch here), a dhow trip (watch here), Souq Waqif Doha (watch here), and dune bashing at Khor Al Adaid (watch here) Watch here interview with Valentina Bambuchova of Argana Restaurant Doha. Jenna (Ji Sun) Li of the Shangri La hotel in Doha Qatar talks about the hotel, (watch here).

The print edition of Travel Extra (see here) will reach travel agencies in the coming days.  Highlights in this month’s issue include a guide to what’s new in USA 2017, a guide what’s happening with theme park openings of 2017 including Universal’s Volcano Bay and Disney’s Pandora, a navigation through the complicated world of river cruise offerings, developments in car hire, Ryanair’s surprising numbers, Busman’s holiday from Sara Zimmermann of the Travel Department, Ireland’s hotel sales boom and what it means to the Irish tourism industry  and the latest industry news and competition winners. Travel Extra‘s team of award winning travel writers and photographers are already trotting the globe preparing the July issue. Travel Extra is dedicated to offering the broadest and most extensive (by a distance) coverage of the Irish industry through its ten print publications each year, the most widely read ezine, the largest reach among industry media on social media and the most comprehensive video coverage of the industry on, 185,000 views and counting. We have the largest and most experienced team, we are the most invited, most widely travelled, and most importantly, the most respected source of news and information in the travel industry. We offer professional travel industry coverage BY professionals FOR professionals.

Travel Trade

IAG’s proposed €9.50 distribution charge on GDS bookings will not apply to Aer Lingus (Irish agents cannot book Aer Lingus on GDS short haul). The charge takes effect on November 1.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation will meet the Irish Travel Agents Association next week as part of the consultation process for reform of the licensing and bonding scheme for Travel Agents, who currently bond 4pc of turnover, and tour operators, who bond 10pc. The ITAA is asking licensees to join their lobby to change a system that was brought in, as CEO Pat Dawson says, to repatriate passengers stranded in the event of a tour operator failure in a pre-internet, pre credit card age. The ITAA wants a 50 cent charge on all departing passengers to replace the current bonding system, which cost agents between €3 and €5 a passenger. CAR received 2015 regulated entity accounts for Dublin Airport.

Bookabed had a record turnout in Cork for their event co-hosted with Do Something Different, AA/BA and Seaworld, and one of the biggest in Ireland for a trade event. The event continued late into the early hours at famous travel industry hostelry Crane Lane where some of the oldest swingers in town were embedded in the heart of the action. Picture shows Graham Hennessy of DSD, Michaela Gray of SeaWorld, Caitriona Toner of American Airlines, Tara Magee of British Airways and Lee Osborne of Bookabed.

Delta and Massachusetts hosted a group of agents in Boston to mark their new daily Dublin flight. Pictures shows Teresa Murphy of Delta, Edel Shanahan of American Holidays, Andrea Dixon of Cassidy Travel, Patricia Purdue Massachusetts Tourism, Sue Morrell, Rachel Fitzgerald of American Sky, front row Carla Kidd of Trailfinders and Diane Bowman of Travel Counsellors. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Aer Lingus and Universal hosted agents in Orlando at Universal’s new onsite hotel Sapphire Falls Resort. Aer Lingus has increased their service to Orlando to 4w. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Holidaymakers could be choosing their global destinations based on what switches on their brainwaves when plugged into software, Adventure specialists Explore claimed as they showcased the EEG technology in Dublin.


Andalusia and the Spanish Tourist Board hosted travel agents and media for a Flamenco evening in Trinity College. Picture shows Teresa Gancedo and Antonio Martin.

Peter McMinn’s Balkan Ski have expanded their capacity to Pamporovo and Borovets in Bulgaria and Poiana Brasov in Romania with direct flights from Dublin to Sofia and a separate programme from Belfast to Plovdiv. Prices start €749 half board with full ski pack.

Picture shows Olivia Price, Clubworld Travel, Lurgan, Claire Cartin, Thomson, Omagh, Paul Keenan, Falcon Holidays and Thomson, Emma Deighan, Natalie Davis, Oasis Travel, Lisburn, Janine Barr, Terra Travel, Newry, Emma McHugh, Atlantic Travel, Letterkenny and Diane McCafferty, Thomson, Derry on the Falcon/Thomson fam trip to Gran Canaria. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The Travel Corporation’s summer agent incentive offers the chance to win €1,000 to the agent who books Insight Vacations or Luxury Gold escorted tour, Uniworld river cruise, Contiki trip or Red Carnation Hotel stay by July 31. Send booking details here with booking reference number.

Picture shows Veronica Culleton of Hilary Murphy Travel with Janet Tobin Martin winner of a €2,500 cash contribution towards her holiday to Orlando this summer with Sunway Holidays which she booked through Hilary Murphy Travel in New Ross and Deirdre Murphy of Hilary Murphy Travel.

Skal Dublin members will join Holland America Princendam at Dublin Port for their cruise ship event this Thursday June 8. Cost is €30 per person for both members and guests

Picture shows on a post Indaba fam trip which involved shark cage diving at Rocky Bay, Mandela Capture Site, uKhahlamba-Drakensberg, Giants Castle bushman art, Spioenkop Dam and Game Reserve, Three Trees Flagship Battlefields Tour and Eseweni Safari Lodge: Umang Gossain, Sarah Longbottom, Simon Coyle, Alan McGowan, Harriet Mallinson and Vivian McCarthy.

American Express Global Business Travel has appointed Martine Gerow as its new Chief Financial Officer, she was previously CFO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

Kathleen O Rourke and Shona Fagan of Tour America

Picture shows Kathleen O Rourke and Shona Fagan celebrating Tour America’s win for “Best Use of Social Media” at the 2017 Social Media Awards.

TIGS President Peter O’Hanlon, invites all members to join him for Presidents Day in the K Club on June 22,  sponsored by Etihad Airways. First Tee Off: 11.00am. Dinner: 6.30pm. Members: €65. Guests:  €90

A new online booking platform claims to be “turning people into travel agents the way Airbnb is turning people into hosts and Uber is turning people into drivers.”

Strange world


Photo by Louise Acheson with brilliant pun and claim that she had found a hare smoking a cigarette at Dublin airport (it is an overgrown tooth by the way).

The mayor of Florence mayor proposed keeping picnicking tourists at bay with hosepipes.

A group of 18 women on a hen party was kicked off a flight from East Midlands to Majorca for wearing “bitches on tour” T-shirts.

  • A New York City carriage horse broke free and ran through rush hour traffic before making her own way eleven blocks home.
  • JetBlue diverted a flight to Grand Rapids after a lithium battery in a passenger’s laptop started a fire.
  • The owner of Blackpool’s Lolly’s Hotel was given a 26-week jail sentence for six health and safety offences when he rigged makeshift cables to bypass the electricity meter at his establishment after it was cut off.
  • A naked passenger was caught on camera lounging in arrivals at Majorca Airport.
  • Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue was covered in red paint in a protest against whaling.


Drivers to France were warned of petrol shortages due to a strike by fuel tanker drivers.

  • Queensland government officials say Coral bleaching on Great Barrier Reef is worse than expected.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union issued a travel alert to tourists in Texas after state-wide regulation SB4 gave police officers the right to question the immigration status of anyone they arrest or detain.
  • Tourists to Morocco were warned by several government of the risk of violent protests. DFA advice is to exercise a high degree of caution in Morocco.
  • Drivers to France were warned of petrol shortages due to a strike by fuel tanker drivers.
  • Discover Los Angeles released the Discover L.A. app
  • The Cyprus Tourism Organisation predicts 2017 will be a record-breaking year from Ireland.
  • Visit Jersey launched a four-part content series, ‘Find Your Freedom’

Food & Beverage

Former Munster and Ireland rugby international Alan Quinlan launched new food offerings at Cork Airport aimed at showcasing local producers and other Irish suppliers.

  • Over three-quarters of chief executives in the food and drinks industry believe the sector is inadequately prepared for the impact of Brexit. The Love Irish Food members’ survey also found that 89pc food and drinks business leaders had already felt an impact of Brexit.
  • Cappuccino and latte prices in Ireland rose 4pc to over €3, according to research by Allegra World Coffee Portal. Allegra predicts turnover will rise to €600m by 2021 and branded coffee shops from 632 to over 800.
  • Applications open on June 15 for the Restaurants Association of Ireland Foodie Destinations award and will be accepted until Thursday July 13th. To download a template of the form please visit here.
  • Glendalough Distillery’s new gin Wild Botanical won gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Peter Byrne is new Executive Chef at Restaurant FortyOne in Residence, Stephen’s Green.


Savills Hotels predicted that the number of hotel rooms in the capital will rise by over 3,000 before the end of 2019. It said 55pc of new bedrooms will come from new hotels in 2018 with the rest coming from extensions to existing hotels.

  • Supermac’s owner Pat McDonagh will invest €6m in Limerick’s Castletroy Park Hotel, increasing its current size by almost 50pc over 18 months.
  • The GM of the Radisson Blu Little Island, Shane Fitzpatrick, talked to the Irish Examiner about his general manager of the year award for western Europe at the Carlton Rezidor Awards in London.
  • Arrivals by our hard working staff this week include the Shangri La Doha (watch here), Four Seasons Hotel Doha (watch here), Nobu Restaurant Doha (watch here), Argan Restaurant Doha (watch here) and Orient Pearl restaurant Doha (watch here)


Ryanair launched a 60-day check-in service for those who pre select seats. Pre-booked seats cost from €2 for rows 6-15 and 18-33, €7 for rows 2 (A,B,C) to 5, and €11 for extra legroom rows 1, 2 (D,E,F) and 16-17. Passengers may check in for free between four days and two hours before departure. Ryanair has changed its system of randomly assigning seats for customers who do not reserve seats.

Michael O’Leary told CNBC there is not a chance in hell fares will go up, there is another risk of a laptop ban on airlines. He said he may buy an extra four or five aircraft from Boeing and repeated an offer to take over Alitalia’s short-haul business. John Mulligan reported that Ryanair held clinics with more than 180 airport operators from across Europe to invite them to pitch for extra business,. Michael O’Leary wants a ‘beauty parade’ to decide who builds Dublin Airport’s third terminal. He said summer demand spiked from the BA outage. The Centre for Aviation Analysis concluded Ryanair sees more growth opportunities than their fleet plan can accommodate. ATWonline reported Ryanair is in talks to accelerate fleet growth.

Willie Walsh will chair IATA’s 73rd Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit which airs at Cancun on Monday. It will kick off with keynote addresses by Gerardo Ruiz, Mexico’s Minister of Transport and Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organsation. Wicklow born Malaysia CEO Peter Bellew features on the the CEO Insight panel which also features Oscar Munoz of United, Enrique Beltranena of Volaris and Rickard Gustafson of SAS. Watch here interview with Peter Bellew.

Dublin Airport will handle 370,000 passengers this June bank holiday weekend.

Avolon CEO Dómhnal Slattery was confirmed as speaker at the Institute of Directors on September 22. Avolon delivered an Airbus A320-251N to Garuda. Avolon is to become the first tenant at Number one Ballsbridge.

An English court ruled that Ryanair compensation claims must be heard in Ireland. Liverpool County Court dismissing an application by Hughes Walker to have their cases heard in England. Ryanair said “claims chaser” firms are charging up to 50pc of their compensation by forcing them to sign liens and deliberately bringing them through the courts. Customers with valid claims who claim directly from Ryanair will receive 100pc of their EU261 compensation entitlement without the deduction of these excessive “claims chaser” fees.

  • Swiss commenced Cork to Zurich seasonal service 2w until October 2.
  • Icelandair commenced Belfast City Airport (to Keflavik year-round 3w on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
  • international investment manager 3i Group plc took ownership of George Best Belfast City Airport.
  • Belfast City Airport won a responsible company of the year at the Community NI Responsible Business Awards.
  • Iberia published Excelente’s Special Edition – Iberia’s 90th Anniversary
  • IATA says worldwide demand is up 10.7pc on April 2016 with “indications that passengers are avoiding routes where the laptop ban is in place.”
  • United added Boston–San Francisco to its premium transcontinental route network, upgraded meal service and amenities in business class and added complimentary hot meal and beverage service for customers in Economy Plus.
  • Gatwick Airport and Lyon-Saint Exupéry become the latest carbon neutral airports in Europe bringing the total to 27.
  • Delta appointed Corneel Koster as Senior Vice President Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.
  • Dublin Airport was expecting its busiest weekend of the year and issued tips to passengers.
  • Cork Airport is aiming to attract more Swiss visitors to Ireland with the launch of Zurich service with Swiss. Connect to the album of Facebook.
  • EI-FWF, the latest Cityjet Sukhoi Superjet appeared in Brussels Airlines livery
  • Another week, another transatlantic sale, this time with WOW offering one-ways from Dublin Airport and Cork Airport, via Reykjavik, to LA, Miami, San Francisco, New York, Pittsburgh, Montreal and Toronto.
  • Level, the low-cost transatlantic arm of IAG, commenced flights from Barcelona to Los Angeles with a full A330 flight of 314 passeners. The airline is looking at Paris Orly and Rome Fiumincino as additional bases.
  • ESA business incubation centre announced its first client, DroneSAR.
  • Knock Ireland West Airport is to hold its annual charity 5k runway fun run this weekend
  • Leonardo and Sloane helicopters partnership sees a stronger presence in Ireland’s VIP helicopter markets
  • US stalled a further decision on Norwegian Air International
  • Norwegian‘s 737MAX 8 inaugural date was moved to June 15.
  • Dublin Aerospace reported profits up 20pc
  • Foynes airshow details were announced with 16 acts and 29 aircraft on Sunday July 22.
  • Knock Airport is leading Irish passenger growth. A Strategic Development Zone was confirmed for Knock airport and three new Directors were appointed to the board.
  • There were calls to name a park in Dublin after Rescue 116 victim Paul Ormsby.
  • John Drysdale was appointed new Business Development Manager at International Aviation Services Centre
  • Over 500 people have prepared for a runway run at Belfast City Airport
  • American is eliminating full beverage service on short haul flights effective June 1.
  • Finland concluded a deal with Russia to increase Siberian overflight rights from 65w to 80w, critcial for Finnair growth but they need more.
  • Stefan Pichler returned to the Middle East from Air Berlin to be CEO of Royal Jordanian Airlines.
  • Air Canada will replace Air Canada Rouge on the Dublin-Toronto route from 30 October with A330-300
  • Airport passenger numbers are up across the board but down slightly in Shannon and Cork
  • ASG received approval to operate as an Approved Training Organisation of the European Aviation Safety Agency.
  • Datalex Labs released details of their airline retail platform for airlines and their start-up partners.
  • Norwegian revised their planned Boeing 737MAX 8 operations, previously due to the delay of aircraft delivery, selected routes will be operated by Norwegian Air Shuttle 737-800 (DY 73H), affecting Belfast – Providence, Cork – Providence, Dublin – Providence, Shannon – Newburgh Stewart and Shannon – Providence.
  • Ryanair CFO David O’Brien said there are lots of opportunities for expansion all across Europe
  • Swiss International is to operate once-off Geneva-Dublin Bombardier CS300 service on June 21
  • Norwegian is to increase Dublin – Newburgh Stewart to 6w for Winter 2017
  • SMBC Aviation Capital concluded a two aircraft deal with new customer Philippine Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic is to increase flights between Belfast and Orlando
  • United is to start providing free meals and alcohol to Economy Plus passengers on Premium Transcon flights.
  • Russia’s challenger to 737 and A320 made its first brief flight.
  • Emirates’ new first class cabin will feature six private suites in 1-1-1 layout, compared to 8 private suites in 1-2-1 on its existing 777 fleet.
  • Ryanair’s CFO David O’Brien said traffic is up strongly
  • Ryanair expanding European fleet with new Boeing jets (watch here).
  • Aer Lingus Viscount Awards 2017 (watch here).
  • Belfast City Airport was sold to an international investment fund as part of £700m deal
  • Pat Byrne said CityJet is eyeing new airline acquisitions in 2017.
  • Aer Lingus became a benefactor member of Flight Safety Foundation.
  • Willie Walsh said IAG’s budget long haul airline Level is to increase its fleet to five in 2018 – CEO
  • Inspire Mind your Mind music tour will include Belfast City Airport.
  • Cabin crew who are members of Unite in the mixed fleet at British Airways have announced they will hold a four-day strike on June 16-20.
  • Virgin Atlantic will treble seats on Belfast – Orlando route from next summer
  • Willie Walsh broke his silence on the fiasco to praise Cruz and the British Airways leadership.
  • BA’s online claim forms instruct applicants to first seek compensation via their travel insurance – leaving many liable to pay an excess.
  • B&F featured 60 seconds with Enda Corneille
  • CityJet marked the occasion of flying its 500,000th passenger from Antwerp International Airport to London City Airport at a reception in the Belgian city. The service began in 2008.
  • HNA said it is to acquire 25pc of Aegean Airlines, according to them, one of the few profitable and sound European investments.
  • Qatar Airways launched their Discover Dublin video in advance of their June 12 inaugural. Watch here.
  • Gardaí hosted a conference to prepare Dublin Airport staff for terror attack
  • Malaysia is the cheapest country to book an air ticket at €3.84 per 100km according to Online travel agency, followed by 2 Bulgaria, 3 India, 4 Turkey, 5 Romania, 6 Indonesia, 7 Portugal, 8 Thailand, 9 Sweden and 10 Spain. Ireland was in 36th place.


MSC used the presence of French President Macron at the flag ceremony for MSC Meraviglia to announce two 6,850-passenger LNG-powered mega cruise ships in 2022 and 2024, with options for two additional vessels. The four ships will become MSC Cruises’ World Class.

Watch here interview with Amanda Middler on board Silver Whisper in Dublin. Watch here walk around of the Silver Whisper in Dublin.

  • Emerald Star is aiming for 12pc growth in the Irish market, and will have a new class of ships, Horizon, in three sizes on Irish waterways this season. Watch here presentation by Mark Roding of Emerald Star
  • The 2017 hurricane forecast predicted above normal storm activity.
  • New York cruise terminals received a $38.5m investment
  • Ponant‘s ‘Blue Eye’ underwater lounge will have hydrophones and  ‘body listening’ couches which will vibrate to the sounds of the sea and marine animals.
  • Saga cruises disclosed more about new ship Spirit of Discovery
  • Carnival‘s newest cruise ship will have new cabin category for families and more Havana cabins.
  • Tim Rice show is now fleetwide on Seabourn Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean gets whimsical with operation Little Bear– a spy-themed trailer has been released for a muster drill movie.
  • Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises confirmed a return to Lifou in 2017/2018
  • Celebrity Cruises appoints Sam Otter as director of marketing and PR for Ireland and Britain.
  • Princess Cruises offered up to $350 onboard spend on 2018 sailings.
  • Mentalist David Meade invites people to a levitation stunt to launch Royal Caribbean’s 2018 brochure on July 1 where passers have a chance to win the Royal Caribbean ‘Golden Ticket’ to board the soon to be launched, Symphony of the Seas, while other shoppers and passers-by can post pics to win a €100 voucher for Jamie’s Italian in Dundrum Town Centre.
  • Seven Seas Explorer call to Dublin has been cancelled.



Tourism Ireland’s Julie Wakley as new Head of Britain. Julie joined Tourism Ireland in January 2016, as Deputy Head of Great Britain – Consumer Marketing. Previous senior managerial posts have included Marketing Manager – BBC Politics & Current Affairs, where she led the marketing activity on TV, radio and online around the Scottish Referendum and the 2015 English General Election. She was also part of the team responsible for the Westminster Government’s ‘GREAT Britain’ campaign, promoting trade and tourism in international markets to maximise economic benefits during 2012.

Minister Paul Kehoe, and Andrew Lloyd Webber unveiled a €1.6m Fethard Horse Country Experience designed by Event.

Paul Carty of Guinness Storehouse will chair the new Association of Visitor and Entertainment Attractions. Membership is open to all Visitor Attractions and Experiences including Gardens, Leisure & Entertainment Visits, Museums, Galleries, Historic Buildings & Estates, Monastic Sites, Cathedrals/Churches, Farm Visits, Themed Trails (guided), Boat Trips, Evening Entertainment & Theatres. Watch here interview with Paul Carty at the launch of AVEA. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

  • The late Dermot Morgan’s son and grandsons were guests of honour at the opening of the National Wax Museum Plus at a new location, Lafayette House on Westmoreland Street in Dublin. Watch here interview with Paddy Dunning of the Wax Museum, which opened in a new location, Glimpse inside here or connect on Facebook here.
  • Trim-based youth group Gluais treated stranded passengers to renditions of Paint the Town Green and ‘Oró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile’ and a dance in Charles de Gaulle Airpor when returing from performing at Disney Paris. See their Facebook page here.
  • Belfast is among the cities shortlisted for the title of Europe’s leading city break destination in the World Travel Awards.
  • Turkish Airlines Sponsors Best International Film at the Fastnet Film Festival in Schull on  May 21-29.
  • The National Competitiveness Council report published The Costs of Doing Business in Ireland 2017.
  • Lord Pirre’s 18 ct gold pocket watch, two original launch day tickets and a broken Rivet from RMS Olympic have been added to Titanic Belfast’s galleries to mark the 106th anniversary of the ship’s launch.
  • IT Sligo will host annual Tourism & Hospitality Research Conference on June 15th & 16th where Michael Hall from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand will be keynote speaker. See here.

Deal Watch

Emirates summer sale: Dubai from €459. Phuket from €709. Kuala Lumpur form €559. Perth from €999. Johannesburg from €589. Click here.

Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Labranda Oasis Mango, Los Cristianos, Tenerife from €539pps, depart June 9. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €639pps, depart June 16. 7 nights B&B 4* Pestana Vila Sol, Vilamoura, the Algarve from €689pps, depart June 18. 7 nights half board 4* Villa Romanam, Salou from €739pp, depart Knock July 25. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Cala Font, Cap De Salou, Costa Dorada from €629pps, depart Cork June 13. 7 nights self catering 2* Costa Volcan, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €489pp, depart Shannon June 19. 7 nights self catering 3* Monte Feliz, Bahia Feliz, Gran Canaria from €3,059 2+3, depart July 6. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal by Don Pablo Collection, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €2,239pp, depart July 5. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,959pps, depart July 12. Visit or call 1850 45 35 45.

Haven/Irish Ferries is offering 7 nights Hafan Y Mor park in North Wales from €899 for a family of six incl. return car ferry. Book by July 1, travel between June 9 and July 28. Visit or call 0818 300 400.

InterContinental Dublin is offering a Father’s Day Cuban-themed brunch from €47pp incl. Havana Club rum station, Cuban-style suckling pig, Cuban sandwiches, mouth-watering Latin shrimp cocktail, traditional ropa vieja and churros. See

Insight Vacations is offering 8 days Greece tour from €2,159pps, depart July 25. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 7 nights B&B 5* Madeira from €879pps, depart October 5. 8 nights all inclusive 4* Bali Mandira Beach Resort & Spa, Bali from €2,299pp, travel between September and October. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Corfu from €3,009 2+1, depart August 18.

Sunway offers: 9 nights Nashville to New Orleans tour from €3,269pp, depart September 20. 7 nights Inca Trail tour from €1,950pp, depart October 9. 5 nights all inclusive Sandpiper Bay, Florida and 2 nights Cabana Bay, Orlando from €4,799 2+2, depart September 19. 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Hotel, Kusadasi from €299pps, depart June 10. 7 nights self catering 3* Luna Da Oura  Aparthotel, Algarve from €399pp, depart June 16. 7 nights self catering 2* Puertocarmen Apts, Lanzarote from €429pp, depart June 17. 7 nights self catering 3* Oasis Dunas Apts, Fuerteventura from €449pp, depart June 17. 4 nights 3* Stratosphere, Las Vegas from €499pp. 7 nights 3* Rosen Inn at Pointe, Orlando from €819pp incl. Universal Park tickets. 7 nights B&B 3* Kata Sea Breeze, Phuket Island from €789pp, travel September. 7 nights Mediterranean Cruise on board Jewel of the Seas from €1,325pp, depart September 3. 10 nights Western Caribbean cruise on board Oasis of the Seas from €1,219pp, depart September 28. Visit

Thomson offers: 7 nights half board Globales Santa Lucia, Palma Nova, Majorca from €669pp, depart June 13. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €669pp, depart Knock July 25. 7 nights self catering Morromar Apartments, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €559pps, depart Cork August 31. 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul, Cala Bona, Majorca from €509pps, depart Shannon August 26. 14 nights all inclusive Platinum Yucatan Princess All Suites & Spa Resort, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €2,069pps, depart June 28. 14 nights all inclusive RIU Caribe, Cancun, Mexico from €2,179pps, depart July 5. 7 nights self catering Driades Apartments, Hersonissos, Crete from €509pp, depart June 11. 7 nights B&B Jupiter Hotel, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €539pp, depart June 26. 7 nights half board Hotel Mediteran, Porec, Croatia from €809pps, depart September 26. 7 nights full board Spanish Delights cruise from €929pp,depart June 13. Visit

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering 4* Madison Apartments, Cattolica, Adriatic Riviera from €399pps, depart June 17. 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia, Peschiera, Lake Garda from €569pps, depart June 17. 7 nights B&B 4* Blu Lake Hotel Sirmione, Lake Garda from €699pps, depart June 10. 7 nights B&B 4* Parc Hotel Gritti, Bardolino, Lake Garda from €869pps, depart June 10. 7 nights self catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, Funchal, Madeira from €329pps, depart June 8. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Baia Azul, Funchal, Madeira from €569pps, depart June 8. 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Hermitage, Sorrento & Amalfi Coast from €699pps, depart June 11. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Conca Park, Sorrento & Amalfi Coast from €799pps, depart June 11. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Delle Palme, Letojanni, Sicily from €499pps, depart June 10. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €899pps, depart June 24. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Cambridge, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €899pps, depart June 17. Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 7 nights Dorchester Hotel, Miami from €899pp, travel November. 7 nights Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €619pp, depart January 18 2018. 3 nights Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €499pp, depart February 16 2018. 4 nights Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €599pp, depart February 9 2018. 7 nights all inclusive Barcelo Maya Grand, Cancun from €1,299pp, depart October 11. 7 nights Miami and Caribbean fly-cruise from €1,629pp on board MSC Seaside, depart February 9 2018. 7 nights Miami & Bahamas fly-cruise on board Norwegian Sky from €1,459pp, depart January 8 2018. 10 nights Miami and Caribbean cruise on board Celebrity Equinox from €1,499pp, depart November 15. 6 nights Miami and Mexico fly-cruise on board Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas from €1,219pp, depart March 10 2018. Visit

Travel Department is offering 7 nights 4* half board hotel accommodation, Tuscanyfrom €999pp incl. live performance of Puccini’s “Tosca” at the Gran Teatro all’Aperto in Torre de Lago. Depart July 26. Click here or call 01 637 1600.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Castles along the Rhine river cruise on board River Empress from €2,549pps, depart October 18. Book by June 30. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned.

Ryanair has been hit by cyber attacks in the past and one of its operations centres has gone down.`

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


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



Things to know about travel this week

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

Travel Extra TV

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

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

Behind the Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Trade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strange world

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


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

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

Food & Beverage

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

The coast guard assisted tourists cut off at Sandymount Strand.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cork summer show was launched.

Blue Flag List 2017

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

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

Deal Watch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

What we learned

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

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



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

Things to know about travel this week

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

Travel Extra TV

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

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

Behind the Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Trade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strange world

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

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


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

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

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

Food & Beverage

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Deal Watch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What we learned

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

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Aviation Nation, ANOTHER Irishman flies to a high place in international aviation


Willie Walsh speaking at the CAPA Aviation conference in Powerscourt, Co Wicklow, May 11 2017



  • Things
  • to

Things to know about Travel this week

  • Kristin wins the car, and her reaction is great
  • Pythons on golf courses
  • Liars, drunks and bullshitters, who excels at aviation? 
  • Inside story of the proposed US-Europe laptop ban
  • German Travel Market in Nuremberg reveals 9pc increase in German visitors to Ireland on 2016. 
  • Gillian Young appointed Visit USA Ireland Executive Director
  • Pilot suspended for sleeping on the job
  • Ireland wins Travel Golf Challenge match
  • End to Zika emergency in Brazil
  • Thomas Cook cancels all Sharm el-Sheikh bookings
  • US issues Philippines travel warning
  • Chapter One wins Irish Restaurant’s Awards
  • Joycean-themed New Ormond Hotel gets approval
  • Skelling Michael to open

Travel Extra TV

Some extraordinary drone footage of a fleet of dolphins thrashing in the water. Watch here.

Meanwhile in South Africa, an enormous python slithers his way onto a golf corse. Watch here.

  • Have a look at Aer Lingus’s promo for its summer seat giveaway at Belfast City Airport. Watch here.
  • Etihad Airways explains Ha Al Laila, a traditional celebration marked by UAE families on the sixth month of the Islamic calendar. Watch here.
  • Here’s a gas video of a seal sunbathing on a car roof. Watch here.
  • Qantas showcases Tasmania’s winter festivals. Watch here.
  • Qatar Airways opened KidzMondo Doha in Mall of Qatar, where children can pretend to be passengers, cabin crew or pilots. Watch here.
  • There were severe storms in Oklahoma recently. Watch here.
  • Spotted in Alabama: an alligator chases a kayaker. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Arise, Kilcoole, and take your place among the nations of the earth. Ray Gammell is interim CEO of Etihad, suggesting the airline wants shot of James Hogan  (third generation Corkman, wouldn’t you know) sooner than expected.  Dublin (two of them, Glasnevin and Tallaght), Meath, Westmeath and now Wicklow have all provided the key decision makers for leading international airlines. Mohammad Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Etihad Aviation Group’s chairman of the board, said the company is now in the “advanced stages” of recruiting a new group chief executive with an announcement expected to be made “in the next few weeks”. Etihad Airways plans to stand by Air Berlin until end 2018. Focus magazine reported that Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr is in discussions with Etihad on how to finance a possible takeover of Air Berlin.  Airberlin Q1 net loss was €293m, €100m worse than last year.  Watch here Ray Gammell speaking at the 2015 All Ireland hurling final. The flying geese continue to soar.

The year-long Blue Insurances Volkswagen Polo competition was won by Kristin Skinner of American Holidays. The announcement was made at an event in Saba on Dublin’s Clarendon Street, attended by the 13 finalsists, including Angela Taylor from Oasis Travel, Helena Kilduff from Skytours, Rose Kane from Kane’s Travel in Longford, Claire Mulligan from Clubworld Travel, Mandy Walsh of Travel Counsellors, Rita Gaughan from Limerick Travel, Kate McGillycuddy from Abbey Travel in Killarney, Nicola Quigley from O’Hanrahan Travel and Ross Waters from Tour America, Kathrice Canning from Cassidy Travel, Caroline Riordan of Sol Travel and Trish O’Reilly from Best4Travel. Picture shows Kristin Skinner with the prize, a Polo magnifico. Watch her reaction here.

What was going through the minds of Washington’s homeland security director chief John Kelly (and fourth generation Roscommon man) on Wednesday when it was leaked that the USA was considering extending its controversial laptop ban to ALL flights from Europe? The US laptop ban differs from England’s in that it is airport specific, ten airports in eight Muslim-majority countries, while London’s is country specific, applied to six named Muslim countries. Ireland is not considering implementing a similar ban. The US initially told European officials they wanted the ban extended to two European airports, Madrid and Brussels. When European officials objected they then threatened to extend it, starting Thursday, to all inbound flights from Europe, affecting inbound (US bound) although perversely, not outbound (US originating) flights. The idea was first reported first by the Daily Beast. And then it melted away, as if the negative reaction had forced a rethink. Listen here to the analysis of Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry on RTE’s news at one.

Willie Walsh and Peter Bellew were the stars of the CAPA Leaders summit in Powerscourt, Co Wicklow. Picture shows Willie Walsh, Peter Bellew and Eamonn Brennan chief of the Irish Aviation Authority. CEO of the DAA Kevin Toland welcomed guests with a speech extolling Ireland’s role in aviation history (watch here). Willie Walsh quoted a more deprecatory version which he attributed to Michael O’Leary (watch here). The aviation industry is dominated by liars, bullshitters and drunks, “and Ireland excels at all three.” Watch here Henrik Hololei of the EU commission who said politicians do not fully understand the implications of Brexit for Open skies. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travelport used the opportunity to launch the new Travelport Business Insights product, giving travel agents opportunities to analyse their booking data and compare it with the national average. Watch here interview with Simon Ferguson, Travelport’s northern European chief, Sinead Reilly head of Ireland and Paul Broughton head of Britain. International media at the event were given a showaround of Travelport Digital, formerly MTT, which has grown from 30 to 200 people in the past five years, by Kathrina Gallogly. Picture shows the Travelport Digital team that hosted a dinner in the Unicorn afterwards: Kathrina Gallogly, Aisline White, Chris Boba, Martina Coogan, Steven Ratcliffe and Neil Gleeson of Travelport Digital. And, yes, the parting glass was sung.

The annual CAPA dinner Q&A concentrated on issues like Brexit and ended with a beer-drinking contest to raise money for charity. “Which charity?” asked MC Richard Quest. “Alitalia,” said one of the comedians in the audience. Who should head up Alitalia in its crisis? The panel session concluded it might be the right job for Conor McCarthy.

One CEO who was not there was Tallaght-born Alan Joyce of Qantas. Watch here why he now probably wishes he had come.

Germany TM in Nuremberg outlined the growth of Germany tourism. For Irish travellers the curve for Germany is definitely upward with 68,290 overnight stays recorded in January and February this year alone, a solid 9pc increase on the same period in 2016. Such statistical nuggets, great and small, were chipped out of the 43rd GTM Travel Mart, Germany’s annual main tourist sales platform, which ran in historic Nuremberg from Friday to Monday last (May 7-9). Over 500 travel industry representatives from 50 countries met up with 330 exhibitors from the hotel and transport industries, both convivially, at some of the prestige cultural venues in the city before doing business at the two-day B2B workshop at the NürnbergMesse trade fair centre, the focal point of the GTM. Picture shows Sean Mannion of Travel Extra, Petra Hedorfer, CEO of Germany Travel; Yvonne Coulin, CEO of CTZ Nuremberg and Jens Huwald, CEO of Bavaria Tourism. Watch here Nuremberg Philharmonic Orchestra performing at Nuremberg State Theatre. Watch here the Town Hall Show for delegates. Nuremberg. Watch here knitting at 300km an hour on the Munich to Nuremberg train. Watch here Christkindlesmarket. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.


Australian Tourism exchange returned to Sydney. Catch up with whom we met at Australian Tourism ExchangeCaitlin Williams of CAPTA group (watch here and see website), Leanne Dyer of Central Coast Tourism (watch here and see website), Brett Ince of Great Southern Touring Route (watch here and see website), Tracy Willis of Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat (watch here and see website), Carolyn Melbourne of Jenolan Caves (watch here and see website), Sab Lord of Lord’s Kakadu and Arnhemland safaris (watch here and see website), Naomi Hammond of Mantra group (watch here and see website), Kirsty Grace of Melbourne Sports Tours (watch here and see website), Kendall Munns of Moonlit Sanctuary (watch here and see website), Alysha Brandenburg of Parks Victoria (watch here and see website), Kylie Schumann of the Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld (biggest wine cellar in the Southern hemisphere (watch here and see website), Steve Lane of Sea Dragon Lodge on Kangaroo island (watch here and see website), Katie Hart of Sunreef Wooloolaba (watch here and see website), Liz Tuckett of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast (watch here and see website), Stephen Howard of QT Hotels (watch here and see website), Emilya Colliver of Sydney Culture Scouts (watch here and see website) and Wade Bowen of Thala Beach Nature Reserve (watch here and see website).

The first guests arriving for Indaba 2017 have been engaged in pre-tamils across South Africa. Picture shows Mark Young of Hayes & Jarvis, Eleanor Hawkins, John Fair of South African Tourism, Jo Austin of Selling Travel, Linda Harris of Discover the World, Alexia Williams of Noble Caledonia, Ginny Russell of Cedarberg, Peter McMinn of Travel Solutions, Rajiv Shah of Citibond and (front) Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland at Maropeng Official Visitor Centre for the Cradle of Humankind world heritage centre.

Just going to visit G Adventures Irish GSA John Grehan and the Polar and Antarctic explorer G Expedition was a gruelling adventure in itself for the media pack accompanying the trade to Edinburgh during the week. The flights were provided courtesy of Aer Lingus – but a missing piece of paperwork, or the click of a mouse, meant no seats onboard for the travel writers en route to Edinburgh. Over the phone from Scotland, John Grehan saved the day (in the early hours, circa 6am), and the writers joined the trade. From the airport they took the No 35 “direct” bus to the city’s Ocean Terminal, with the 10-mile journey taking an hour and 45 minutes, in the company of Edinburgh’s many pensioners and the odd wino. At least the journalists had no problem getting a return flight to Dublin – except that the seats were for two days later. No jokes please about travel journalists having trouble finding the G spot.

Travel Trade

Gillian Young was appointed Executive Director of the Visit USA Committee in Ireland. having worked in the Travel industry for 27 years and specialising in the US market for 23 years with American Holidays. Picture shows Dee Burock chair of Visit USA Ireland with Gillian at the Visit USA roadshow event in Dublin. See picture gallery of the Visit USA event here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Paula Coughlan from Dawson Travel was prize winner at the Insight Vacations Cork Evening in conjunction with the Spanish Tourism Office. She won a 10-day Insight Vacations premium escorted tour to Northern Spain including flights courtesy of the Spanish Tourism Office. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Ireland, captained by Volker Lorenz, won the Ireland v England (captained by Greg Evans), travel golf challenge, the Celtic Cup, by 8 and a half to three and a half at Machynys and Langland Bay golf clubs in Wales. Irish Ferries, whose Dermot Merrigan is the incoming captain for 2018, transported the team on the Rosslare-Pembroke ferry. Picture shows the Irish team: Peter O’Hanlon of Travelfinders, Tony Collins of Topflight, Martin Skelly of Navan Travel, Dermot Merrigan of Irish Ferries, Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel,  Niall McDonnell of Classic Collection, Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA, Clem Walshe of, John Cassidy of Cassidy Travel. Front row: Don Shearer, Volker Lorenz of Amadeus and Philip Airey of Sunway,. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Topflight report a 20pc increase in chalet bookings for winter season 2017/18. The company also reports the trend among guests to request a specific chalet host when re-booking, second only to close proximity to the ski area. Topflight offer over 50 chalets throughout the French Alps in resorts including Plagne 1800, Plan Peisey, La Rosiere 1850, La Tania, Meribel Centre and Val D’Isere offering access to some of the best ski areas in the world. Week long packages start from only €899 per person sharing.

Picture shows travel agents hosted by Sunway at Club Med Sandpiper bay. Carolyn Davis of Liberty Travel, Fidelma Burke of Grogan Travel, Catherine Murray of Globe Travel, Jayne O’Shea of Limerick Travel, Holly Best of Virgin Atlantic, Jacinta McGlynn, Ben Greene of Arrow Tours, Maura Doran of O’Leary’s Travel, Michele Anderson of Sunway and Matt Stuart of Club Med on the Sunway trip to Club Med Sandpiper.

  • Tour America are finalists in three categories in the Social Media Awards, the Sockies. Best Use of Facebook by a Medium+ Business (in-house team managed), best blog of an SME, best use of social media by an SME medium (six employees or more).
  • Topflight launched pre-bookable added extras such as a night at the Verona Opera, water sailing or cycling on Lake Garda, and an excursion to the Amalfi Coast.
  • An ECTAA workshop in Brussels on the Package Holiday directive, due on July 1 2018, pointed out that implementation of the new rules into national legislation is fraught with difficulties.
  • Flight Centre has assigned a new manager, Andy Hegley, to Corporate Traveller.
  • Sabre appointed an ex-airline boss to restore industry relationships.

Strange world

During a thirteen hour flight, a couple swore, spilled drinks, banged chairs, argued when asked to be quiet, and threatened to open the aircraft doors mid-flight unless they were served more alcohol. No reports on whether the aircraft also was carrying squalling babies.

  • A pilot was suspended after being photographed fast asleep in business class during a flight from Pakistan to London. An asleep pilot on a long haul flight may be no bad thing. You don’t really want your pilot to be working without a break for an eight hour flight, so a system of rotations and quick breaks is desireable. But unfortunately this man was being paid to conduct training during that time.
  • Dooagh strand in Achill reappeared after being washed away 30 years ago.
  • Watch here Scotty Knemeyer somersaulting on a hoverboard while drinking a pint of Guinness.


Instituto Nacional de Estadistica reported Irish visits to Spain are up 17.5pc for the year so far and destined for a record 1,742,615. Spain received 4.1m international tourists in February, up 11.9pc.

  • Brazil declared an end to the Zika emergency after fall in cases.
  • Thomas Cook cancelled all flight and hotel bookings for Sharm el-Sheikh.
  • Holiday fraud rose by a fifth last year within the UK.
  • An 11-year-old schoolgirl died after falling off a water park ride.
  • A man and a woman died on two flights diverted to Shannon Airport in the last week.
  • The US Embassy issued a Philippines travel warning.

Food & Beverage

Chapter One on Dublin’s Parnell Square won the overall award at the Restaurant’s Association’s Irish Restaurant’s Awards.

  • Temple Bar’s only ‘temperance hotel’ has applied for- and been granted– a bar licence to stop guests wandering around the streets at night looking for alcohol.
  • Diageo opened a Guinness Export House with in-store tastings at Terminal 2, Dublin Airport.
  • Belfast City Airport announced the ten finalists in a competition offering food and beverage products marketing support and brand visibility at the airport.
  • Clayton Hotel in Cork’s restaurant is to be rebranded as the Globe Restaurant with an emphasis on produce sourced from The English Market.


Tony Fernandes’ Monteco Holdings finally got approval for the 170 bedroom, six-storey New Ormond Hotel on condition it retains a Joycean theme

  • Jim Murphy’s Prem Group is to open Premier Suites Plus in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
  • The 244 bedroom hotel development at Belfast’s Hamilton Dock is on the market.
  • Dalata‘s John Hennessy said  trading performance for the first third of 2017 is marginally ahead of expectations.
  • Estates Gazette reported Accor is sell an 80pc stake in its €6.6bn HotelInvest real-estate business.
  • Best Western bought Swedish hotels.
  • ALTOUR and HRS signed a deal to give corporate hotel programmes gain access to competitive rates at business-grade hotels around the world.


A bust of Sixmilebridge born travel and tourism visionary Brendan O’Regan is to be unveiled at Shannon airport tomorrow, the man who invented Duty Free, Bunratty and Shannon Hotel management college.

CityJet Chief Commercial Officer Cathal O’Connell told the Irish Independentin 2015, we employed just over 500 staff. Today that figure is in excess of 1,200. Aviation is a numbers business and our latest statistics show that 33 of our 44 passenger aircraft – up from 18 in 2015 – operate on wet-lease contracts. It’s a far cry from the past when a solitary contract with Air France supplemented the airline’s extensive scheduled – and own-risk – network.”

Dublin Airport passengers in April were up 12pc to 2.5m, Britain up 5pc to 851,000, Europe up 13pc to 1.3m, transatlantic up 34pc to 234,000, Middle East/Africa up 20pc to 69,000, domestic up 16pc to 8,700.  Connecting passengers are up 52pc to 130,000.

KLM is to add a fifth Amsterdam-Dublin service, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 19 July and daily from 2 September-28 October. The additional frequency will be operated by an Avro RJ85, probably operated by CityJet.

The Commission of Aviation Regulation is to replace the existing trigger, which added €0.59 to the per passenger price cap in the year following Dublin Airport serving 25m passengers with three triggers which increase the price cap in three stages “to better align the remuneration with the timeline for delivery of the parallel runway project”, €24.7m in the year that follows the start of works, €209.7m in the year after the north runway becomes operational, and €12.3m in the year after the project is complete. While the DAA estimates the new runway will cost €320m estimate, CAR’s estimate is €247m, but appears willing to review this when actual tenders have been received.

Malaysia Airlines is considering resuming services to Frankfurt. Speaking to Travel Extra on the margins of the CAPA conference in Powerscourt, Peter Bellew said that the previous European services were using the wrong aircraft but with increased load factors and the right aircraft we could return to Frankfurt and Paris (watch full interview here). Air Asia X is also considering resuming services to Europe. Speaking at the recent WTTC Global Summit in Bangkok, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes saidWe are jealous of Norwegian; they have the right aircraft, Boeing 787-9, We want to go to Europe, but the Ukraine incident put an extra hour on our aircraft. There are many interesting points in Europe, so it may not be a hub airport like London. It may be Manchester or Dublin.”

Kevin Toland told Fingal council Dublin Airport is the busiest bus station in the country, three times busier than Busáras, so Metro north is critical for the airport.

Aer Lingus currently has seven vacancies for Aircraft Engineers to join its Dublin Maintenance Base, EASA CAT A or B1 / B2 engineers.

OAG weekly schedules for Aer Lingus for the winter include increases on San Francisco, Toronto (now A330) and Washington with Miami up to 6 per week post-Christmas and Orlando down to 3 per week.

Andrew Tinkler is to step down after ten years as the head of Stobart Group to be succeeded by Warwick Brady.

Fraport CFO Matthias Zieschang said Ryanair will add a further 10 Boeing 737-800s to its Frankfurt base bringing the total to 12 aircraft next year.

Ryanair launched Travel Labs Spain IT innovation hub based in Madrid city centre, creating 250 new jobs and following Dublin and Wroclaw.

Outgoing Kerry Group chief executive Stan McCarthy is to join the board of Ryanair as a non-executive director at the end of May.

Schenghen tribulations have led to Ryanair updating advice for passengers “due to extended Travel Document Checks by Border Control Authorities, customers are advised to expect possible delays at immigration control points across our European network.” Ryanair advises customers to “arrive at least 3 hours before the scheduled departure time of their flight, to ensure they have sufficient time to arrive at the boarding gate at our recommended 30 minutes prior to their scheduled fight departure time.

  • Cork Airport passenger numbers were up 6pc in April. Passengers on Britain up 5pc, Europe up 8pc.
  • Kerry Airport passenger numbers were up 6pc in 2016 to 325,670.
  • The €15m project has commenced to upgrade the country’s longest runway, the 3,199m runway at Shannon. The airport’s runway was built in 1961 and was last fully rehabilitated in 1983.
  • Two legal actions taken by residents in St Margaret’s affected by the planned new runway at Dublin Airport will be switched to the Commercial Court for a hearing in October.
  • Questions were asked about an Air Corps CASA CN-235 was prevented from landing in Sweden in March to deliver munitions to the Irish Artillery Corps involved in a training exercise there.
  • Tony Fernandes sold his 20pc stake in Dublin Aerospace to Conor McCarthy. Staff numbers at the company have risen to 290.
  • CAE Parc Aviation is to take on up to 80 employees in its Dublin and Shannon offices over the next three years.
  • Commenting on AerCap Q1 results Gus Kelly said “I expect our assets to begin growing again in the second half of 2017 as our forward order books starts to deliver in earnest.”
  • Norwegian Air said its Cork flights to Rhode Island remain on schedule for a July start
  • Comac’s C919, designed to compete with the Airbus 320 and Boeing 737, took off from Shanghai’s Pudong International airport on its maiden flight.
  • BA are re-introducing free seat reservation for Bronze, Silver and Gold Members on a Basic (previously known as Hand Baggage Only) fare from June 14 and will be refunding any seating fees to customers with an upcoming booking to their original form of payment.
  • AerCap delivered a 787 Dreamliner to Hainan Airlines.
  • The European Regions Airline Association’s Director General, Simon McNamara, a first generation Limerick man, will be standing down later this year to take up a senior role at one of ERA’s airline members.
  • Emirates profits fell on oil and militancy concerns, the 2016-17 Annual Report showed $670m profit down 70pc from last year’s record. Emirates will launch a third daily B777-200LR Brisbane service from December 1.
  • Air Canada is to launch its own loyalty rewards plan in 2020 and not renew its contract with the company running Aeroplan.
  • CityJet got its fifth Sukhoi Superjet 100 Joins
  • Lufthansa listed The Irishman in first class lounges
  • Willie Walsh told the CAPA summit personalisation of offers contributed 160 million Euros to IAG in 2016, across 53m customers
  • Belfast International Airport passenger numbers  grew 35pc to March
  • The government signed an oorer to adopt “Alternative A” insolvency provisions of the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol 2001 into Irish law
  • Kerry Airport started talks  on new routes
  • Simon Ryan started a third budget carrier in South America
  • CAE Parc Aviation is to create 80 jobs across Shannon and Dublin
  • German media reported that Level is looking to Paris, Rome and Dublin for expansion.
  • Ryanair hits back at criticism that it was ‘destroying’ cities
  • Aer Lingus said there was no benefit to second runway
  • DAA won two Middle East airport shop contracts
  • The EU is to hold talks with US on removing time limits on wet-lease deals.


Could MSC follow Celebrity’s lead and homeport in Dublin? Pat Ward of Dublin Port put Antonio Paradiso, MD of MSC Cruises for Britain & Ireland, on the spot with a bit of nudging. Paradiso himself wasn’t ruling out the idea, nor in (yet), as he and MSC Preziosa paid a visit to the capital. Watch here as the man from MSC reveals why Ireland is a key market for the European cruise giant. See the welcoming ceremony as 70 travel agents visited the cruise ship. Picture shows Ciara Mooney ofFreedom Travel; Roisin Carberry ofTropial Sky; and Pamela Brownlee of Fly Away Travel and Cruises for You. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Despite the issues faced by the travelling journalists, the trade had a whale (and Polar bear) of a time onboard the G Expedition – represented in Ireland by John Grehan – in Edinburgh. And although the Arctic and Antarctic are niche destinations, travel agents were given key tips (including bring binoculars, sleep masks, and rent big lenses onboard) from expedition experts. Picture shows Sharon Harney of Cassidy Travel and John Grehan of, G Adventures, onboard the G Expedition in Edinburgh. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

    • Dublin hosted the Celebrity Cruise Line president’s cruise. Picture shows Lisa Lutoff Perlo and Jo Rzymowska celebrating the maiden visit of Celebrity Eclipse in Dublin with Paul Hackett of Clickandgo.
    • Dublin hosted the Celebrity Cruise Line president’s cruise.
    • When Celebrity Constellation emerges from dry dock on May 26, it will feature two new restaurants, including the Top Deck Burger Bar which is new to the line.
    • Emerald Waterways launched the Emerald Destiny for the rivercruise season.


The Office of Public Works confirmed that Skellig Michael, the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site located off the Kerry coast, will open to visitors on May 14th.

Dublin-based travel-tech company Stroll claimed a world with a portfolio of tours, called Stroll Exclusive which allows travellers to pick from multiple genres, from spooky strolls through Dublin’s streets after dark, to eye-opening tours of the Irish Silicon Valley.

Sofia Hansson, Tourism Ireland Manager Australia and New Zealand hosted eight travel agents from Australia and New Zealand, winners of a competition run by Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with Emirates, during Tourism Ireland’s sales mission ‘Down Under’ in late 2016, for a Black Taxi Tour of Belfast, a drive along the Causeway Coastal Route, Newgrange, Glendalough and the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience.

A delegation of 11 Irish tourism companies, is meeting with 185 meetings and incentive buyers from North and South America at the annual Meeting & Incentive Forum in Cancún. Picture shows Adrian Mooney of The K Club; Marie McKeown of Tourism Ireland; Sandra Russell of Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links; Sharon Joyce of O’Callaghan Hotels; Gillian Griffin of Adare Manor; Olwyn Horgan of Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge; Stephanie Hughes of The Westin Dublin; Orla Byrne of Druids Glen Resort; Stephanie Hayes of Clontarf Castle; Lynda Reilly of Dublin Convention Bureau; and John Callely of Odyssey International, at M&I Forum in Cancún, Mexico.

Fáilte Ireland’s Capital Grants Allocation announced released €400k for the development of King John’s Castle in Carlingford. Picture shows Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan with Jenny de Saulles, of Ireland’s Ancient East.

Dublin rose five places to 13th in the International Congresses and Conventions Association rankings. Ireland is up six places to 26th. Cork, Galway and Limerick are in the top 100, see here.

Golf Voyager, the Irish booking engine that allows golfers to custom-build their own golf package in minutes,  has been announced as the winner of the ITB China Awards in Shanghai.

Even with almost 1.5m visitors a year, the Guinness Storehouse headcount is still dwarfed by Dublin Airport’s near-30m visitors a year. The Loop in Terminal 2 will be home to the world’s first Guinness Export House, where visitors can learn about the black stuff and try in-store tasting sessions from on-hand beer specialists.

Keith Duffy of Boyzone fame and former Westlife star Brian McFadden entertained would-be conventioneers at a Fáilte Ireland event in London here.

Fáilte Ireland, and Tourism Ireland hosted a group of German media footstepping German writer and Nobel Prize Laureate, Heinrich Boll who wrote the journal Irisches Tagebuch. They visited the cottage on Achill Island where he stayed in 1958, the deserted village at Slievemore, Ceide Fields Visitor Centre, the Museum of Country Life and Ballycroy National Park and met with the Achill Heinrich Boll Association at Bervie Guesthouse, Keel.

Picture shows Joan O’Shaughnessy, Chairman of Tourism Ireland; Richard Hurley, Granville Hotel; Margaret Jeffares, Good Food Ireland; and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, before the Tourism Ireland board meeting at the Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Co Waterford.

  • An iReach survey of the summer holiday plans was published.
  • Maurice Pratt, marketing adviser for Tourism Ireland was a long-term target of Shane Ross’s Sunday Independent column. In an interview with Mark Paul of the Irish Times he calls Ross “the Minister in charge of ignoring tourism”?.
  • The most Instagrammed place in Ireland?
  • Phil Donnelly is collaborating with Dundara productions on a workshop for May 29th in the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth: create a winning brand & produce quality social media content
  • Tourism trade from Co. Tipperary completed Fáilte Ireland’s ‘Champions – Service Excellence’ Programme.
  • A Tourism Ireland campaign is under way in The Daily Telegraph,

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 3* The Edison Hotel NYC, New York from €669pp, travel November. 7 nights self catering  Duna Beach Apartments, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €349pp, travel June. Over 50s offer: 7 nights half board 4* Belver Hotel Boavista, Albufeira, The Algarve from €389pp, travel November. 3 nights 4* NH Wien Belvedere Hotel, Vienna, Austria from €339pp, travel July. Visit or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Labranda Oasis Mango, Los Cristianos, Tenerife from €429pp, depart May 19. 7 nights self catering 2* Tamanaco Apartments, Gran Canaria from €319pp, depart June 15. 14 nights half board 3* Hotel Cala Font, Cap De Salou, Costa Dorada from €799pp, depart Knock August 1. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €589pp, depart Cork August 24. 7 nights half board 3* More Hotel, Alcudia, Majorca from €529pp, depart Shannon August 26. 7 nights self catering 3* Royal Sun Apartments, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €2,059 2+3, depart June 19. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Royalton Riviera Cancun, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €2,179pp, depart June 14. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach, Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,709pp, depart June 15. Visit or call 1850 45 35 45.

Intercontinental Dublin is offering family suite packages from €460 per family per night incl. family day pass to Dublin Zoo, breakfast, Intercontinental picnic and access to leisure facilities. Available from June to August. Visit

ITAA offers: 7 nights The Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, Orlando from €529pp, depart June 12. 4 nights New York shopping trip from €499pp, depart February 8 2018.  California and the Golden West tour from €2,669pp, travel between now and November.

Sunway offers: 6 nights Jews of Italy tour from €1,359pp, depart September 2. 7 nights Melodies of the Danube river cruise from €2,265pp, depart August 14. 5 day adventure tour from Shanghai to Hong Kong from €1,359pp, depart August 30. 7 nights all inclusive Da Balaia, Portugal from €1,315pp, depart May 17. 7 nights B&B 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, Kusadasi from €299pps, depart May 20. 7 nights self catering 2* Villa Florida Apts, Fuerteventura from €399pp, depart May 20. 7 nights self catering 3* Roc Lago Park Apts, Menorca from €499pp, depart May 21. 7 nights self catering 2* Carmen Miosotis Apts, Sicily from €329pp, depart May 20. 3 nights 3* Bond Place Hotel, Toronto from €535pp, travel November. 4 nights 3* Stratosphere, Las Vegas from €599pp, travel November. 3 nights 4* Doubletree by Hilton, Chicago from €645pp, travel February 2018. 3 nights taster cruise from Barcelona on board Norwegian Epic from €799pp, depart April 22 2018. 8 nights Estonia and Russia fly cruise on board NCL Getaway from €1,639pp, depart October 7. 11 nights Dubai fly cruise on board Celebrity Constellation from €1,599pp, depart November 26. Visit

Thomson offers: 7 nights full board Med cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €1,119pp, depart June 6. 7 nights self catering 3* Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €949pp, depart Knock August 1. 7 nights half board Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cal Bona, Majorca from €689pp, depart Cork June 17. 7 nights self catering Cinco Plaza, Puertyo Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €599pp, depart Shannon July 17. 14 nights all inclusive TUI Sensatori Resort Azul , Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,879pp, depart June 14. 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel RIU Ocho Rios, Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,589pp. 7 nights half board TUI Sensimar Los Gigantes, Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €799pp, depart May 19. 7 nights half board San Miguel Beach Club, Puerto San Miguel, Ibiza from €669pp, depart May 25. 7 nights self catering Mariners Club, Alcudia, Majorca from €499pp, depart May 31 7 nights B&B Hesperia Lanzarote, Puerto Calero, Lanzarote from €699pp, depart June 1.

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, Funchal, Madeira from €369pps, depart May 25. 7 nights B&B 4* Jardins d’Ajuda Suite, Funchal, Madeira from €399pp, depart May 18. 7 nights B&B 4* Four Views Monumental, Funchal, Madeira from €449pps, depart May 18. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Melia Madeira Mare, Funchal, Madeira from €799pps, depart May 25. 7 nights self catering 4* Fattoria Castiglionchio, Tuscany countryside, Italy from €449pps, depart May 26. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento, Italy from €469pps, depart May 21. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Ascot, Sorrento, Italy from €669pps, depart May 28. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento, Italy from €899pps, depart May 21. 7 nights self catering 3* Ambassador Suite Apts, Riva, Lake Garda from €469pps, depart May 27. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Splendid Palace, Limone, Lake Garda from €799pps, depart May 27. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Cambridge, Lido di Jesolo, Venetia Riviera from €669pps, depart May 27. Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 7 nights Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, Orlando from €529pp, depart June 12. 4 nights Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €649pp, depart June 9. 3 nights Excelsior Hotel, New York from €699pp, depart June 8. 8 nights Northern Europe fly cruise on board Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas from €1,699pp, depart July 7. 7 nights Miami & Caribbean fly cruise on board MSC Divina from €1,829pp, depart August 25. 7 nights Greek isles and Croatia fly cruise on board Norwegian Star from €1,465pp, depart August 27. Visit

Travel Department is offering 7 nights B&B hotel accommodation in Madeira from €499pp for 4* or €599pp for 5*. Travel May or June. Click here or call 01 637 1600.

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