Tag Archives: Topflight

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair predicts average fare will drop to €37


Dermot Lee, Jenny Raffter and Yvonne Muldoon of Aer Lingus who hosted 106 agents at the Aer Lingus Miami event in House, Leeson St, Dublin, July 24 2017

  • Things 

Things to know about travel this week.

  • Ryanair predicts average fare will drop to €37
  • Irish tourism growth beats Tourism Ireland predictions
  • Falling like a stone, British visitors down by 200,000 this year
  • Michael O’Leary sitting pretty on €3.2m pay pot last year
  • Aer Lingus brings some Miami cool to Dublin
  • Celebrity Silhouette hosts the capital’s business chiefs
  • Distillery boom continues with Pearse Lyons opening
  • Fidelma is latest winner in Topflight competition
  • Travel Extra TV.

Glimpse inside The First Wing ,the new exclusive check-in area for British Airways’ First, Gold Executive Club and Oneworld Emerald customers at Heathrow Terminal 5, leading directly into the Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room.

Pilots can be anoraks too – and four from Arsenal partner airline Emirates were happy to fly their English Premier League heroes. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Latest CSO figures reinforce the view that Brexit (Breat-imeacht) is already having  a huge detrimental impact – in inbound tourism. The headline figures will tell you that Ireland’s visitor numbers grew 4.2pc in January-June, double Tourism Ireland‘s growth guidance. But that’s only part of the story, with US growth (up 20.9pc to 629,000, Europe up 10.1 and Germany up 9pc masking the fact that Ireland’s largest inbound market is in decline. Visitor numbers from Britain fell 6.4pc to 949,000 and are likely to be down by 200,000 in 2017, and this follows recent dire warnings from DAA CEO Kevin Toland that British numbers are “falling like a stone”. Watch here  

Tourism Ireland boss Niall Gibbons conceded that  “the currency challenge for Irish tourism is very real and the drop in British visitor numbers (-6.4%) for the January to June period reflects that”, while Failte Ireland boss Paul Kelly was more gloomy, saying: “This growth of 4.2pc is to be welcomed and it has certainly been buoyed up by a very impressive North American performance. That performance is masking a worrying trend downwards in the British market as a weakening sterling makes Ireland more expensive for British visitors.”

How do you know you’re doing well? When your share price slips, ever so slightly. Just ask Apple, Facebook, Amazon – or our own Ryanair. Making hundreds of millions each year isn’t enough to quench the thirst of the Wolves of Wall Street. Ryanair shares dropped during the week, when CEO Michael O’Leary revealed that the average fare will drop to €37 this summer. Despite the knee-jerk reaction on the markets, the airline’s latest bottom line is looking more than healthy, with passenger numbers hitting 35m in the first quarter of the year, costs down and load factor up 2pc to 96pc. O’Leary continued his wake up about Brexit campaign, saying if there’s no clarity on Open Skies, “we may be forced to cancel flights and move some, or all, of our UK-based aircraft to Continental Europe from April ’19 onwards.  We have contingency plans in place and will, as always, adapt to changed circumstances in the best interests of our customers and shareholders.” Read the full report here. 

Travel Trade

Dublin’s House venue turned South Beach as Yvonne Muldoon, Jenny Rafter and friends launched the latest Aer Lingus destination in North America – Miami. Many of the passengers will be tying in with cruise departures from the city, and the route has already attracted many non-Irish passengers, who’ll be connecting from British cities, plus many through Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, Picture shows Jenny Rafter, Yvonne Muldoon and Dermot Lee of Aer Lingus. See more pictures here or connect with the album on FacebookWatch here the prize winners on the night. Watch here video of the event. Watch here speech by Yvonne Muldoon. Watch here speech by Seb Sarassin of Miami CVB.

Fidelma Brady from Travel Counsellors is the latest winner in Topflight’s ‘Win a Holiday’ Travel Agent Incentive. She joins Eva Jancichova from Cassidy Travel & Judith Hall from Thompson Travel who were the first two winners. Fidelma wins a holiday for 2 to the stylish 4* Grand Hotel Croce di Malta in Montecatini Terme, Tuscany. The final winner will be announced on Friday 4th August, and the draw will take place live on Topflight’s facebook page at 3pm on Friday 4th August. The final holiday in the ‘Win a holiday’ travel agent giveaway is a holiday for two to Sicily. The winner and their guest will stay in the Hotel Delle Palme in the resort of Letojanni. Agents who

Agents who book a Topflight last minute holiday (departure within 14 days of booking) and e-mail your booking reference to travelagents@topflight.ie. There are also numerous spot prizes. Shauna Kelly is about and doing deliveries, so keep booking and watch out for Topflight calling to your door.

The Aer Lingus discount offer for delegates travelling to the ITAA conference expires on July 31st and that there are a limited number of seats being held on the Ryanair flight Porto to Dublin on October 15.

  • Qatar Airways have a premium business class competition to the trade effective from Monday, July 31st . Agents who sell a premium  ticket, first/business before August 9 for travel before March 31 2018 are elgible to win a business class ticket themselves and a prize.
  • Austria expert Aileen Eglington hosted travel trade, media and walking group leaders to showcase Austria’s hiking and cycling product. Picture shows  John Barrett of Ski Club of Ireland, Patricia Duffy of The Roving Soles Walking Club, Ruth Whelan of Moutaineering Ireland, Jessica Keeffe of Limerick Climbing Club, Harry Dillane of Bishopstown Walking Club, Ailbhe Roche of Extreme Ireland, Catherine Murphy travel writer, Jim Gallagher travel writer, Blathnait Ni Murchu travel writer, Dan King travel writer,, Front Frank Lynch of Independent Organised Trips, , Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland, and tour guide Johnny Hagsteiner. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • Celebrity Cruise Line hosted busies leaders and travel agents at separate events on board Celebrity Silhouette in Dublin port. Picture shows Declan Curtin, Chartered Land; Lorraine Quinn, Ireland Sales Manager, Celebrity Cruises; and Mary Rose Burke, Dublin Chamber onboard Celebrity Silhouette, Dublin Port. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • Indonesian tourism hosted Irish travel trade at a golf event in Portmarnock to showcase the country’s 160 world class golf courses. Picture shows John Spollen of Cassidy Travel, Maria Mayabubun Deputy Director of Wonderful Indonesia tourism ministry, Martin Skelly of Navan Travel, Igde Pitana Deputy tourism Minister of Indonesia, Gordon Penney and Philip Airey of Sunway. Watch here interview with Igde Pitana Deputy Tourism Minister of Indonesia. Watch here Igde Pitana speech at the event.  Watch here his comments on the safety of visitors to Indonesia. Watch here speech by Miranda Hough about relations between Indonesia and IrelandSee more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • Blue Insurance boss Ciaran Mulligan‘s carhireexcess.com, is calling on the EU to regulate car hire companies and the selling of ‘excess’ insurance at car hire desks.  “Holidaymakers are being charged up to €25 a day at the rental desk abroad and they should avoid these last minute rip off charges imposed by going online before they trave,” he says. Ciaran Mulligan’s alarm over the sector was echoed by Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath who expressed his concern regarding the regulation of the car rental sector following reports of dubious practices  on the part of some car hire firms, such as staff being given €4.50 each time they spot ‘damage’
  • Celtic Horizon Tours has been appointed by Manchester City as the sole “Official Supplier of Supporter Travel” in Ireland.
  • Revenues at the Irish arm of Trailfinders in the year to end Feb17 rose by 11.5pc to £75.33m.
  • London’s Foreign Office has changed its advice against travelling to large parts of Tunisia, including Tunis and beach resort Sousse. Sami Tounsi, trade manager for the Tunisian National Tourist Office in Ireland and Britain, said: “We’re overwhelmed by this great news and it represents a great excuse for a big party in Tunisia.” 
  • Overseas trips by Irish residents are up 7.3pc to 2,119,000.

Strange world

A US man stands accused of killing his wife during a Murder Mystery dinner onboard the Emerald Princess Alaska cruise. Video report here.

  • Be careful on those hikes: A brown bear is being hunted in the Italian Alps after biting a hiker’s arm and leg following several other attacks on holidaymakers. The man was saved by his dog, who drew the bear off, allowing him to escape.
  • The twinned towns of Dull (Scotland) and Boring (Oregon) have been joined by Bland (Australia) to form the “League of extraordinary communities” to promote tourism.
  • Switzerland is anticipating an unwanted tourism boom from neighbouring nations after a supermarket chain is now legally selling marijuana cigarettes.


  • Uber’s cheap Madrid airport transfer service has been referred by the city council to the country’s national antitrust watchdog for review, Reuters reported.
  • Venice is to crack down on misbehaving tourists after Belgian holidaymakers were seen swimming in the Grand Canal. Littering, dawdling and jumping in the canals will now invite fines of between €25 and €500. Tourists will also have to cough up if caught picnicking in public places, cycling through pedestrianised areas and flaunting too much flesh.
  • Europcar reported a net loss of €27m due to one-off restructuring costs and ‘transformational’ merger and acquisition-related fees.

Food & Beverage

  • Adare Manor has been granted a new bar licence for the Halfway House bar, between the ninth and 10th holes.

  • The Irish Brewing Association has welcomed cabinet support for the introduction of a new law which will allow craft brewers and distillers to sell their produce onsite to visitors.
  • The distillery tourism business continues to boom with the opening of the Pearse Lyons distillery in Dublin’s Liberties area.
  • The Restaurants Association of Ireland has announced the top 10 finalists in the ‘Foodie Destinations’ competition 2017. They are: Boyne Valley, Cong, Galway’s Westend, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Loop Head Peninsula, Monaghan, Sligo, West Cork and West Waterford.
  • Online sales now make up over 55pc of Domino’s Pizza’s total sales in Ireland, the company reported.


  • Radisson Blu has got the go-ahead for a €35m makeover of its Golden Lane hotel in Dublin.
  • Wicklow County Council refused planning permission for developer Johnny Ronan’s €50m sports-themed hotel with 141 bedrooms at St Valery’s, Enniskerry.

Cork City Council has granted conditional planning permission for Ireland’s first floating hotel on the city’s northern quays. It would allow for the berthing of a 105 metre, three-deck river cruiser with 96 cabins and accommodation for 156 people at Penrose Quay, next to the Michael Collins Bridge.

  • The proposed €50m refurbishment of Cork’s Metropole hotel would feature 400 new bedrooms.


Etihad’s new Irish CEO Ray Gammell says the market is challenging. Although the Abu Dhabi airline carried a record number of passengers, it suffered a loss of $1.87bn due to one-off charges and fuel-hedging costs. Full story here.

  • Delta Air Lines, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic announced plans for a 15-year partnership on routes between Europe and the US and equity deals which will see them take stakes in each other. The joint venture will see the three carriers share their profits on transatlantic routes.
  • British Airways is giving travel agencies an option to avoid the airline’s $10 GDS booking surcharge, to be put in place November 1. The airline has partnered with TPConnects to establish a direct connect to British Airways’ res system. The connection has IATA’s New Distribution Capability standards, giving agents access to ancillary services, rich content like photos and videos, and personalsed preferences.The European Commission, in response to a complaint from Ryanair, found that the exemption for transfer and transit passengers from the defunct Irish air travel tax was in line with EU state aid rules.  The exemption was in line with the underlying logic of the Irish air travel tax which was to tax journeys by air originating from Ireland.
  • A 49-page Labour Court submission by Aer Lingus said short-haul operation is “structurally unsustainable” and has been negatively impacted by Ryanair’s improved customer focus. Aer Lingus is also concerned about the threat it faces on US routes from Norwegian Airlines.  The document says cabin service managers in Aer Lingus earn €63,000, 38pc more than in EasyJet and cabin crew on €38,000 earn 31pc more than EasyJet.

    Powdair virtual airline, based in Ireland, which plans flights from Sion to eight destinations from December, will now partner with the Danish Backbone Aviation to which Powdair will provide 2 Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets. The airline plans to secure an Irish AOC to be able to operate with its own aircraft as from the winter of 2018/2019.

    Ireland West Airport Knock and Stewart International Airport NY established the first Sister Airport Relationship, forming a strategic alliance to facilitate the exchange of information and promote and develop air access between the airports.

    AWAS chief executive David Siegel is stepping down and will not join the lessor’s acquirer Dubai Aerospace Enterprise when the transaction is completed in August

  • IAG is converting three Airbus A330-200 longhaul aircraft options into firm orders for new long-haul low-cost brand Level. 
  • The aviation sector did more than any other to damage its reputation over the last year through poor customer service and increasing complaint levels, a new study by design consultancy Engine found.
  • The US Court of Appeals in Washington has ordered aviation regulators to consider setting minimum standards for the space airlines give passengers. “This is the Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat,” Judge Patricia Ann Millett wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel. “Aircraft seats and the spacing between them have been getting smaller and smaller, while American passengers have been growing in size.”
  • Trade union Unite on Monday said it will fight a temporary lay-off of four staff at Waterford Airport, a move blamed on the delayed launch of Air Southeast services to England.



Cork Port is to build a new terminal to cater for cruise arrivals, with Cork likely to attract a record 100-plus arrivals next year. With 97 ships booked in, over 200,000 passengers are expected to visit the area.

Norwegian Cruise Line are testing a flat-fee surcharge at Margaritaville



  • The push is on to attract high-spending golf tourists to the country. Failte Ireland, in conjunction with Tourism Ireland, invited a team of golf media from a key target market, the US, to play on courses in Dublin and the Ancient East.

The golf media have a combined audience of 20m in the States, and Failte Ireland says 200,000 holidaymakers play the game while visiting the country. The trip is showcasing of some of our courses including Portmarnock Golf Club; Woodenbridge Golf Club, Wicklow; County Louth Golf Club, Baltray and the Royal Dublin Golf Club.

Included in the visiting US golfing media, are representatives from leading online outlets such asSports Illustrated and Yahoo Sports,  TV channels such as Golfing the World and Golf Chicago TV as well as a representative from leading radio station, CBS and their The 19th Hole Show. Full story here.

Guinness Storehouse managing director Paul Carty, who’s also the Chairman of the Association of Visitor Experiences & Attractions, has been appointed to the board of the National Tourism Development Authority, along with Sean Boland of Hertz Ireland.

  • The latest Dublin Economic Monitor showed that the city’s hotel market remained buoyant in Q2 2017 as occupancy rates exceeded 82pc and Average Daily Room Rates reached a new post-recession peak. Click Here for graph
  • It also showed that public transport trips reached a new peak of almost 51 million passenger journeys in Q1 2017 in spite of industrial action in the quarter, reflecting a strong tourism market.Click Here for graph

Deal Watch

Falcon offers: Dublin to Bulgaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Poseidon Apartments, Sunny Beach, from €639, depart August 28. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, from €549, depart August 28. Dublin to  Algarve, 7 nights self-catering 3* Ouratlantico Apts, from €559pp, depart August 27. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Rocamar, Puerto Rico, from €459, depart August 31. Cork to  Costa Dorada, 7 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou, from €499pp, depart August 29. 04-Sep-17, Shannon to  Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 2* San Marcial Apartments, Matagorda, from €439pp, depart September 4. Visit www.falconholidays.ie, or 1850 45 35 45

Thomson offers: Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 4* Colon II, Playa De Las Americas, from €479pp, depart September 22. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 2* Puerto Plata, Puerto Rico, from €599, depart August 24. Shannon to  Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 3* Morromar Apartments, Matagorda, from €439pp, depart September 25. Dublin to Zakynthos, 7 nights 3* Hotel Roseland, Kalamaki, from €769pp, depart August 29. Dublin to Costa Dorada, 7 nights self-catering 3* Sunclub Apts, Cap De Salou, from €639, depart August 29. Visit www.thomsonholidays.ie, or 1850 45 35 45

Sunway offers: Dublin to Fuerteventura, 7 night self-catering 2* plus Villa Florida Apts, from €549, depart August 12. Dublin to Sicily, 7 night self-catering 2* Carmen Miosotis Apts, from €549, depart August 12. Dublin to the Algarve, 7 night self-catering 2* plus Bayside Apts, from €449, depart August 11. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 night self-catering 2* Monte Verde Apts, from €549, depart August 12. Dublin to Bulgaria, 7 night B&B 3* Lira Hotel, from €549, depart August 12. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 night B&B 3* Londra Hotel, from €589, depart August 12. Dublin to Vietnam, 10-day private tour from Hanoi to Saigon, including flights and tours, from €1939. Eight-night Miami, Caribbean Fly Cruise & Las Vegas, sailing on Norwegian Sky premium all inclusive, from €1340, depart May 22, 2018. Book online at www.sunway.ie

Topflight offers: Dublin to Tuscany, 7 nights self-catering 4* Fattoria Castiglionchio, was €877 now €599pps (2 adults & 2 children sharing), depart August 11. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights self-catering 4* Bella Italia Bungalow, was €739 now €599pps (2 adults & 3 children sharing), depart August 26. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights self-catering 4* Camping Cisano & San Vito, was €729 now €569pps (2 adults & 4 children sharing), depart August 12. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, from €969, depart August 12. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4* plus Hotel Bristol, from €1149, depart August 13. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic, from €799, depart August 6. Dublin to Rimini, 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel de France, from €729, depart August 5. Dublin to Lido di Jesolo, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Eden, €799, depart August 5. Dublin to Madeira, 7 nights self-catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, €899, depart August 3. Call Topflight on 01 240 1700, or visit www.topflight.ie

ITAA offers: Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights half board 4* Majestic Palace, from €899, depart July 29, with The Travel Broker. For more info, check www.itaa.ie/2017/07/18/lake

Dublin to San Giovann, 7 nights B&B, from €945, depart September 3, with Joe Walsh ToursFor more info, click www.itaa.ie/2017/07/17/san

Click and Go offers: Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Maracaibo Apartments, Puerto Rico, from €399, September departures. Dublin to the Algarve, 7 nights B&B 5* Real Marina Hotel & Spa, from €289, depart November.

Visit www.clickandgo.com or call (01) 539 7777

Cassidy Travel offers: Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 2* Colina Mar, from €1799 for two adults and two children, depart August 23. 8786888.

Uniworld offers: All inclusive Paris to Paris river eight-day cruise onboard the SS Joie de Vivre, was €2709 now €1349, depart December 13. All inclusive 15-day cruise,  Budapest to Amsterdam. Cruise was €7,409, now €3,699, depart September 27. (01) 7753803.

Insight Vacations offers: Nine-day Italian trip, visiting Puglia and the Neapolitan Riviera, was €2075, now €1869, depart September 2. Ten-day Best of Germany tour, was €2025, now €1,819, depart August 18. To book, (01) 7753803.


TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Can Spanish bedbank deal REALLY turn Ryanair into the ‘Amazon of travel?’


On board Uniworld Antoinette sailing the Rhine during the 2016 ITAA conference




  • Things to know about Travel this week 
  • Qatar’s Dublin route still bogged down by A350 delays
  • Ryanair Holidays revives the ghost of Lowcostbeds.
  • Mary McKenna’s headline advice on hiring staff
  • American updates trade on Premium Economy & other matters
  • Cork to launch Boston AND New York as NAI finally gets license

Travel Extra TV

  • video-december-4Our video of the week is dramatic stuff. See this Emirates A380 crosswind landingWatch here.
  • Check out Tourism Ireland’s mannequin challenge in Belfast. Watch here.
  • See this cute wombat enjoy his bottle. Watch here.
  • Kereama Te Ua performs a solitary haka in protest of the installion of a multibillion-dollar oil pipe at Standing RockWatch here.
  • See Emirates’ tribute to the shortest A380 flight, Dubai to Doha. Watch here.
  • Ever wonder how a surfboard gets madeWatch here.
  • Tourism NI’s Year of Food and Drink continues. Watch here.
  • See Ryanair’s video from the launch of Ryanair Holidays. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Bjørn Kjos CEO of Norwegian

Bjørn Kjos CEO of Norwegian

As departure delays go three years is as long as it gets to wait at the gate. When Norwegian Air International were suddenly awarded their license to operate to the United States at 11PM on Friday night, tt became clear that the landscape had changed, not just for Cork, anticipating its first transatlantic services, but for the entire aviation industry. The timing caught everyone by surprise. NAI reacted quickly to say they intend to get the Boston 4w service up and running by end June / early July with tickets on sale early new year. They must have wondered why the announcement was not last April when it appeared that all the hurdles had been cleared. The ball is back in Norwegian’s court and Cork is readying itself for the launch of both Cork-Boston and Cork-New York for summer 2017, subject to an aircraft availability. Norwegian originally planned to operate Cork-Boston 4w using a 186-seat B738. They promised a Cork-New York to follow and a Cork-Barcelona 4w feeder service.

Violete Bulc

Violete Bulc

Who dunnit? Violeta Bulc. The decision of the EU commission to seek arbitration on Norwegian’s application was what pushed it over the line. The Americans had 20 days to respond and with a regime change looming with new Transport Secretary Elaine Chao arriving on Capitol Hill, it must have seemed easier to concede the license for which all arguments against smacked of protectionism. Celebrations can only really start when we see if Norwegian intends to operate a meaningful service out of Cork and Shannon airports or whether this was just an attempt to establish a bridgehead against a hostile regulatory system and whether the Cork service was just a testing ground, using the lobbying skills of Irish America to get the flights in the first place. Time will tell. See roundup of reaction hereWatch here Eoghan Corry speaking about the development on RTE’s six-one television news. Listen here to Eoghan Corry speaking about the EU action on RTE’s News at One.

Tomeu Benassar CEO of Logitravel

Tomeu Benassar CEO of Logitravel

Unbeknownst to Ryanair, they raised the spectre of the Lowcost group debacle when they announced they were moving into the package holiday business with Ryanair Holidays, or, as the newspapers who came along for the ride so eagerly reported, became ‘the Amazon.com of aviation.’ Kenny Jacobs told guests that Ryanair is prepared to invest its commission on holidays to optimise conversion and growth of the sector, brining down package holiday prices by 10pc. Ryanair threw not one, but TWO, Spaniards into the worksThe bed banks, to which Ryanair awarded the tender were surprising both in the scale and the scope of their operation. Tomeu Benassar‘s Logitravel is well known in Ireland as third biggest outbound operator from Spain. World2meet is headed up by the wife of Paul Evans, who was chasing the Ryanair accommodation contract as CEO of Lowcost Beds before it went so spectacularly pear shaped last July and stormed the Irish travel industry for €400,000. Last December Patricia Roselló moved from Lowcostholidays to the NT incoming and New Travellers companies which had been acquired by the Iberostar group where she helped launch its new brand World2meet at Fitur in Madrid in January. She is daughter of legendary Spanish travel agent Rafael Roselló. She was joined by Mark Nueschen, former CEO of Global Met and previously in Hotelbeds. The group turned over €250m in 2015 in 15 holiday destinations in Spain. It distributes its products through 10,000 travel agencies in Spain with a substantial portfolio in the Middle East and Thailand. To add to the puzzle Logitravel are licenced for just 11,560 passengers from England. Ryanair drive a notoriously hard bargain, and all of their previous accommodation contracts have ended up in dispute. Once penalty clauses kick in for not reaching targets the Ryanair website can be a very lonely place to have your brand. No doubt Benassar and Roselló are well aware of this.

six-one-newsRyanair has a licence from the Commission of Aviation Regulation by the school’s group business which was an early signal that something bigger might be afoot. Traditional Irish tour operators have been wary of airlines who dabble in their markers, with good reason, especially those with long enough memories to remember the Aer Lingus holidays debacle. How much damage Ryanair beds will do remains to be seen. Selling package holidays is a complex business and complexity has not been Ryanair’s forte in the past. See launch coverage here.

img_3266Take aways from the Irish Travel Agents Association conference held on board the River cruise ship Antoinette included:

  • Mary McKenna’s assertion that, when recruiting staff, it is not the skill set that matters but how they fit in the organisation
  • Sarah Slattery pointed out the value of authentic content in the babble of internet holidayspeak.
Cormac Meehan, president of the Irish Travel Agents Association speaking at the ITAA 2016 conference on board Uniworld Antoinette

Cormac Meehan, president of the Irish Travel Agents Association speaking at the ITAA 2016 conference on board Uniworld Antoinette

There was a surprisingly clear and frank discussion between suppliers and agents moderated expertly by Clare Dunne, where the suppliers did not hold back in saying they found agents unresponsive to promotions and incentives while agents repeated the mantra that there were not enough incentives and what used to be the only perk in the travel industry, the opportunity to travel, seems to have been whittled down over the years. ITAA CEO Pat Dawson contended that every European country, with the possible exception of Sweden, is as unprepared for the package holiday directive as Ireland is. Ireland is not alone in sitting on its hands waiting for the complex business of travel regulation to be pulled together. Ireland’s travel agents are proposing a tax per ticket to replace the existing bonding system. Social highlight of the conference was the perfect A hit right in the middle by Mary Denton and Rebecca Kelly as they sang Steve Perry’s Don’t Stop Believing (E, B, C#m,  A), and held the note as the musicians continued. All we missed was Joe Hogan (RIP) on the piano. The venue for the 2017 conference will be announced at the Irish Travel industry awards on January 26. Watch here video of the conference. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airlines, speaking at the CAPA ACTE aviation summit in Amsterdam, October 27 2016Qatar have slots to operate Dublin-Doha from March next and confirmed the route on Monday, as first reported by Travel Extra. A delay in A350 deliveries means there is no start-up date. Qatar need more A350s to release a B787 for the route. Watch here Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker speaking to Travel Extra about the Dublin Doha service.

Travel Trade

Peter O'Hanlon, Loraine Cunningham and Volker Lorenz playing during the TIGS outing sponsored by Travel Extra at The Castle gofl club, December 1 2016Volker Lorenz and Tanya Airey won the TIGS event at the Castle golf club sponsored by Travel Extra, or as Shay Mitchell called it, the Travel Extra extravaganza. At the TIGS AGM Martin Skelly became TIGS captain for 2017 and Dave Conlon became vice captain and captain elect. TIGS President Peter O’Hanlon entered the second year of a two year term (“I have been asked to keep this meeting short so let’s start with Any other Business.”) Watch video report of the event here. Picture shows Peter O’Hanlon, Loraine Cunningham and mens winer Volker Lorenz playing the ninth. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

las-vegas-fam-grand-canyon-copyEthiopian Airlines, Las Vegas CVA and Visit USA hosted a fam trip to Nevada and Arizona at the Grand Canyon, Tony Flynn of Aer LIngus was showcasing the ease of connection into Vegas via Ethiopian’s early morning service. “Because we are so early in the morning we don’t clear immigration in Ireland. But I honestly don’t think we would take them up on the offer. Because we land so early in the morning there is only one other international flight arriving at that time. You are in and out of LA in an hour and a half. We work very closely with Virgin America. We get our customers into Las Vegas at two in the afternoon. Dublin Los Angeles Vegas is no different from Dublin London Las Vegas, you still have to take the extra flight. So try us. We have everything on offer.” Picture shows Lyndsey Martin of Clubworld, Yvonne Tully of Club Travel, Dee Burdock of American Holidays, Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel, Rachel Tracey of GoHop, Thomas McEvatt of Sunway, Tryphavana Cross of Las Vegas CVA, Tony Flynn of Ethiopian Airlines, Lorna O’Brien of Sunway and Clodagh Oxley of Visit USA. Watch here interview with Tony Flynn of Ethiopian. Watch here interview with Tryphavana Cross about developments in Las Vegas.

topflight-_-melissa-whelan-jill-russell-maurice-shiels-michelle-anderson-shauna-kelly-topflightTopflight entertained the Belfast trade at an après ski party in the ski-themed Baltic Bar on Wednesday celebrating the launch of the ski season with a focus on the Salzburg ski route from Belfast City Airport. The tour operator a complimentary bar, DJ, spot prizes, a ski-themed photobooth and some games on the night. Picture shows Melissa Whelan, Jill Russell, Maurice Shiels, Michelle Anderson and Shauna Kelly. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

colman-caitrionaCaitriona Toner of American Airlines briefed the trade on the airline’s plans for 2017 including the move to premium economy. From the US to Europe, customers travelling in Business Class and Flagship First are provided with a menu created by restaurateur Maneet Chauhan. Picture shows Caitriona with Colman Burke of Club Travel.. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Departing on the Turkish fam trip to the Seychelles: Roisin Carbery from Tropical Sky, Jennifer O’Brien of Travel Counsellors, Onur Gul of Turkish Airlines, Siobhan Emma Doyle of Trailfinders, Sonya Walsh of World Travel Center and Usha Panicker of Club TravelPicture shows agents departing on the Turkish Airlines fam trip to the Seychelles: Roisin Carbery from Tropical Sky, Jennifer O’Brien of Travel Counsellors, Onur Gul of Turkish Airlines, Siobhan Emma Doyle of Trailfinders, Sonya Walsh of  World Travel Center and Usha Panicker of Club Travel.

Cork Skal Christmas President’s Lunch 2016 will take place on December 11 in  Fitzgerald’s Vienna Woods Hotel. Dublin Skal Christmas President’s Lunch 2016 on Tuesday December 13 in the Talbot Hotel in Stillorgan.consort_0286

  • Picture shows a group attending the Consort conference in Alicante. Peter Freidrich, Ciaran Mulligan, John McKibbin, Sandra Corkin and Murkesh Sharma.
  • Kenya regional roadshow comes to Dublin on December 6th with drinks, food and an exciting competition.
  • john-grehan-selfiesG Adventures, represented in Ireland by John Grehan, revealed 18 new itineraries for National Geographic Journeys for 2017. John is pictured at Machu Pichu en route to the company’s annual conference and with a friend he encountered along the way.
  • Amadeus released Graham Floater and Lisa Mackie’s report: Travel distribution is it really the end of the world as we know it? See report here. See debate here.
  • The Commission for Aviation Regulation renewed the expired license of Atlantic Sky Team Tours in Galway.group_2733
  • Picture shows a group of Irish travel writers hosted by Madrid tourism on a visit to Spain on the ground fo the royal palace at Aran. Sra Rivero of the Spanish Tourist Board, Sean Dunne of the Mail on Sunday, Yvonne Gordon, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra, Edwina O’Connor of Lifeoffstuff and Emma Nolan of the Dublin GazetteWatch here video of Salamanca district in Madrid. Watch here Sean Retana, first generation Irish tour guide, explaining the basics of olive oil.

Strange world

  • It was estimated that NHS translators cost the NHS £9.3m in three years in Northern Ireland.
  • A dramatic advance in beaver evolution- an enterprising beaver wreaked havoc among the artificial Christmas trees in a shop in Maryland. He has been sent to a wildlife rehabilitator, presumably to learn the error of his ways. “Plastic. Wood. Plastic. Wood.”
  • A woman opened an emergency exit and jumped out of a taxiing United flight on to the tarmac after landing at Houston airport.
  • Airline regulations that alcohol levels of over 70pc alcohol by volume mean that Rivers rum from the Antoine Distillery in Grenada is simply too strong to travel.
  • A teenager dangled over the side of a Carnival cruise ship for a dare.
  • An airline kicked a disabled boy off a flight home from his first ever holiday because his service dog was too big.
  • A Guam judge sentenced a Korean Air passenger who pleaded guilty to fighting with a flight attendant who refused to serve him beer more than two years prison time.
  • Lucky Air pilot in China was suspended after telling delayed passengers to mount a protest when a bigger airline was given priority by air traffic control.
  • David Tait. a columinst with Canada’s Travel Industry Today likened Michael O’Leary to Donald Trump.
  • Mexican airline Interjet launched a FindMika campaign after losing dog. The dog has apparently been found. 
  • British Airways could serve passengers a digital pill to monitor in-flight happiness.
  • A 700ft high Hindu temple in India is set to become the world’s tallest religious building and include a theme park.


  • The Australian government lowered backpacker tax to just 15pc.
  • Bikes outnumber cars for the first time in Copenhagen.marcelo-rech
  • Palma de Mallorca city on the Mediterranean tourism island of Mallorca is to be called simply Palma – again
  • Wynn Resorts says it’s joining a growing number of Las Vegas hotel-casinos by ending free parking valet service
  • Newark fast food workers protests for higher wages led to 26 arrexts.
  • Our sympathy to family and colleagues of Marcelo Rech, leading Brazilian journalist and victim of the Medellin aircraft accident.
  • GoEuro Citybreaks index rated Barcelona, Prague and Berlin as their top three. Bucharest was top for transportation, Kiev for accommodation, Belrin for nightlife, London for day activities and Barcelona for food and drink.
  • The city with the most tattoo parlours per capita was Miami Beach, USA with 28.48 per 100,000 citizens.

Food & Beverage

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland and Food Safety Authority of Ireland drew up guidelines on terms to describe their food in the marketplace, most notably Artisanal, Farmhouse, Traditional (your recipe or method of food preparation must be at last 30 years old) and Natural.

The Licensed Vintners Association claimed that insurance premiums for pubs have increased by 47pc over last two years, with one publican seeing their insurance premium rise by 81pc. Average premiums have increased from €17,000 in 2014 to €25,000 this year

JD Wetherspoons is to open a new three-floor pub in Waterford city in two buildings located on Broad Street and Arundel Square, removing the party walls between them, introducing pavement cafe areas at ground floor level and a new customer garden area on the first floor. JD Wetherspoons was granted permission to open a new €4m bar and hotel on Camden Street and sold five of its nine pubs in the north to the Granny Annie’s group for £3m.

  • Pimento Wine & Tapas, which opened in November 2015 in Carlow, is looking to open a second venue in Kilkenny,
  • Northern Ireland Hotels Federation award for Hotel Restaurant of the Year 2016 went to Lough Erne Resort.
  • Euro-toques Ireland named 23-year-old Maeve Walsh of Restaurant FortyOne at Residence as Young Chef of the Year 2016. Judges included two Michelin starred-chef Nathan Outlaw; Graham Neville of Euro-toques Ireland, Paul Kelly of the Merrion Hotel; and Wade Murphy of Limerick’s 1826 Adare,
  • Teeling Whiskey’s Global Brand Ambassador, Kevin Hurley was named Industry Legend of the Year at the Irish Craft Cocktail Awards. Teeling teamed up with Chinese distributor Summerage Fine Wines & Spirits to create a new oriental infused malt.
  • Esquires Coffee chain opened four new Dublin-based stores in the past eight months, a fifth store is planned for Talbot Street in first quarter of 2017


The head of AIB’s hospitality division Owen Travers said AIB continues to be ‘very supportive of the Irish hospitality sector’ and has approved over €300m in loans to the hotel sector in 2016.

Marker Hotel GM Charlie Sheil was enrolled into the Irish Hospitality Institute’s college of fellows at its annual Founder’s Banquet and Hospitality Management Awards. Lifetime Achievement Award went to Peter Malone. Hospitality Manager of the Year was  Des McCann, Clayton Dublin Airport

  • Airbnb said hosts will need a license to rent their homes in London for more than 90 days a year, and homes in Amsterdam for 60 days.
  • Zanzibar which has planning permission for the development of an 89-bedroom hotel. on Dublin’s Ormond Quay is on sale for €10m having been on offer for €5m last August.
  • Ireland’s Travelodge franchise, taken over by Irish hotel group Tifco, nearly doubled pre-tax profits to €4.155m.
  • The 289 room W Hotel Las Vegas opened. “If there are two things in this world that were truly made for each other, it’s W Hotels and Las Vegas,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. Carton House appointed Éanna Hassett as Director of Operations, Matthew Murphy as Executive Chef, and PGA professional David Kearney is the new Director of Golf.
  • Bedsonline announced total revenue growth in some markets of up to 200pc for its key product, accommodation, in the financial year ending September 30, 2016.
  • The five-star 192-bedroom Conrad Dublin hotel saw pre-tax profits double to €2.28m.
  • Mount Juliet pre-tax losses last year declined by 23pc to €1.9m as revenues increased by 5pc to €9.47m.
  • Shanghai-based Fosun Group is to create Fosun Tourism and Culture Group.
  • Marriott’s global brand officer, Tina Edmundson said eight of Marriott’s 30 brands are being designated luxury brands ahead of a major announcement on how the company’s 30 brands will be divvied up and categorised.
  • Property developer Johnny Ronan has applied for planning permission to press ahead with plans for a 141-bedroom hotel at Enniskerry, close to where Treasury Holdings, his former business, developed the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel.
  • Radisson Blu hotel at Dublin Airport reported a 44pc profit rise.


Dublin’s summer 2017 slot allocations include Qatar’s planned service from March and Hainan’s prospective Beijing service via Manchester. A proportion of these slot allocations will not be taken up.

iceland-route-pic-2Pictured at the announcement of the new Icelandair 3w route from Belfast City Airport to Reykjavik to start June 2017 are Ciaran Doherty, Head of Co-operative Marketing, Tourism Ireland, Anne McMullan, Director of Marketing and Communications, Visit Belfast, and Ellie McGimpsey, Business Development Manager, Belfast City Airport.

Expect great access fares to Northern Portugal next summer. In response to Aer Lingus decision to fly Dublin to Porto Ryanair have increased their service from 2w to 5w for summer 2017.

  • The Avro RJ. aircraft involved in the soccer team tragedy in Medellin was formerly EI-RJK.
  • Aer Lingus transferred their gold circle members to a 4-tier avios system on Tuesday, meaning future points will be accumulated on revenue, not mileage.
  • The EU is to press airlines to sell €1 bottled water on board, voluntary, for now,
  • CityJet is to take delivery of 3 Sukhoi SuperJet 100 aircraft in the first half and five in all in 2017 funded by Vnesheconombank.
  • Aer Rianta International profits increased to €23.7m up 10.5pc.
  • CityJet reduced its losses from €30m in 2014 to €10m and said it was going to reshape into a profitable and sustainable operator. Pat Byrne said: “within two years we will be the largest regional wet provider in Europe, and we will probably be the number-two regional sized airline in Europe, just behind FlybeWe will carry about 1m passengers and 4m or 5m for other airlines.”Yvonne Muldoon of Aer Lingus speaking at the ITAA 2016 conference on board Uniworld Antoinette,
  • Kevin O’Malley, Betty McLaughlin of the Institute of Guidance Councillors, David Rook of Riot Games, Yvonne Muldoon, Director of Sales Aer Lingus (pictured), and Brian MacCraith, President of DCU  are among guest speakers at StudentLife Summit (website) sponsored by Aer Lingus will include US Ambassador to Ireland. Admission to the Student Life Summit is €5 and Teachers can register their classes at www.slsummit.com. To celebrate its sponsorship, Aer Lingus is also giving away two tickets to any North American destination of your choice for teachers registering classes before December 19.
  • Profits at ground handling service firm Sky Handling Partner are up 26pc to €882k.
  • Ryanair launched their 86th base In Naples.
  • American Airlines flight attendants union called on the airline to recall its new uniforms claiming the garments are to blame for a string of health problems including headaches, rashes and respiratory problems
  • Spain’s EASA authorised FTEJerez to train multi-crew pilots for Aer Lingus.
  • See here Oireachtas Transport committee discussion with Dublin Airport Authority: Chairman Designate Pádraig Ó Ríordáin.
  • Flying in Ireland reviewed Public Service Obligation air services routes and capacity needs at Ireland’s State Airports.
  • Ryanair was involved in a subsidy row at Zadar.
  • Aer Lingus won Best Sports Team or Athlete Sponsorship at the Irish Sponsorship Awards.
  • Listen here Richard Curran interview with Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh.
  • Newstalk podcast Michael O’Leary in the Midlands, and podcast with Henry McKean.
  • Vueling signed up for Travelport’s merchandising produce, Travelport Rich Content and Branding.
  • A life in aviation, watch Tony Fernandes CEO of Air Asia here and Akbar Al Baker CEO of Qatar here.


Jo Rzymowska, Pat Ward and Loraine Quinn at the Celebrity Cruises event in L'Ecrivain.Dublin’s first homeported big ship will be Celebrity Eclipse operating five rotations from April to June 2018 including a 10-night Ireland and Iceland sailing calling at Belfast, Reykjavik, Iceland; Akureyri, Iceland; Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland; and Cork, as well as offering an eight-night Norwegian Fjords itinerary. Eclipse, after eight years of homeporting in Southampton, will split its time between Dublin and Amsterdam. Celebrity Silhouette will replace Eclipse based out of Southampton from summer 2018. Picture shows Jo Rzymowska, Pat Ward and Loraine Quinn at the Celebrity Cruises announcement. Watch here interview with Lorraine Quinn.

  • Construction began of Oceanwide Expeditions’ newest cruise ship the Polar Class 6 vessel Hondius at Croatian shipyard Brodospli.
  • MSC Cruises steel cutting ceremony to mark the start of construction of MSC Bellissima, the second of the Meraviglia class of ships, took place at the STX France shipyard in Saint Nazaire. Construction of the new MSC cruise ship terminal begins at port of Miami.
  • Princess Cruises pleaded guilty to pollution charges and paid a $40m fine.
  • Royal Caribbean and Celebrity are to include Gratuities on cruises from Australia and NZ.
  • A Welsh woman was washed up near Lawrenny after falling overboard from the Irish Ferries Isle of Inishmore between Pembroke and Rosslare
  • Fred Olsen Cruise Lines launched its New Year promotional campaign with free upgrades to its all-inclusive drinks package for bookings of five nights or more, and a waiver of single supplements on some sailings for bookings made until March 1 2017.
  • Lindblad Expeditions‘ new cruise ship National Geographic Endeavour II sailed out ahead of schedule.
  • Rosslare Europort is to waive charges for cruise ships for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  • Royal Caribbean’s North Star attraction has broken the record for being the “Highest Viewing Deck on a Cruise Ship.
  • Seabourn laid the keel for Seabourn Ovation. Seabourn received its newest luxury cruise ship, 600-passenger Seabourn Encore, from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.


titanic-belfast-ceo-tim-husbands-mbe-and-vice-chairman-conal-harvey-celebrate-titanic-belfast-being-crowned-king-of-the-worldTitanic Belfast became the first Irish winner of a World Tourism Award when they were named best visitor attraction at a marathon ceremony in the Maldives where 195 winners were named, following up their European award last month. Guinness won the European attraction award in 2015 and were shortlisted as a world finalist in 2016. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers was named the world’s leading hotel, Etihad the world’s leading airline and Changi Airport, Singapore the world’s leading airport. Norwegian Cruise Line won the large cruise ship award. The United Arab Emirates won 19 awards, three more were picked by Emriates airlines.

Viewing Platform Sliabh LeagueCounty Donegal was named number one in National Geographic Traveller’s Cool List: 17 for 2017, citing filming of the latest Star Wars movie in Malin Head and the county’s “weather-nibbled coast spotted with sea stacks, Blue Flag beaches and offshore-islands,” ahead of 2 Santiago; 3 Helsinki; 4 Greenland; 5 Peru; 6 Aarhus; 7 Canada; 8 Portland, Oregon; 9 India; 10 South Africa; 11 Iran; 12 New Zealand; 13 Seoul; 14 Sudan; 15 Düsseldorf; 16 Sicily; 17 USA. Picture shows viewing platform on Sliabh League.

  • Inis Mor’s beleaguered ferry service was given a stay of execution until January 4.
  • The Hidden Ireland collection of 32 country houses and 22 self catering properties launched a coffee table book.
  • Shane Ross hit back at his critics over his performance as tourism minister at the announcement of Tourism Ireland’s marketing strategy for 2017. The body anticipates 10.5m visitors to the island in 2016 and growth of 11.5pc and expects double digit growth again in 2017 despite some challenges. Watch here Tourism Ireland’s Jump into Ireland 2017 advertisement scheduled to go live in 23 markets and featuring scenes from scenes from Antrim, Clare, Dublin, Galway, Kerry and Mayo.
  • Ireland won ‘Best Luxury Destination’ at the Travel+Leisure India’s Best Awards 2016 in India.
  • A bogus taxi was intercepted and siezed while taking passengers to Dublin Airport yesterday.
  • The CEO of Belfast International Airport Graham Keddie launched a broadside against Tourism Ireland which is chaired by the CEO of Belfast City Airport, Brian Ambrose.

Deal Watch

thomson-deal-watchThomson offers: 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cala Bona, Majorca from €4459pps, depart Shannon May 6 2017. 3 nights half board Hotel Nerja Club, Costa Del Sol from €331pps, depart December 15. 7 nights self catering Cay Beach Princess, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €544pps, depart December 15. 7 nights all inclusive Clubhotel Riu Vistalmar Amadores, Gran Canaria from €1,069pps, depart December 24. 7 nights half board Hotel Barcelo Santiago, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €539pps, depart January 13 2017. 7 nights half board Hotel Ifa Catatrina, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €449pps, depart January 28 2017. 7 nights half board Hotel H10 Timanfaya Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €699pps, depart February 5 2017. 7 nights half board Hotel Golden Donaire Beach, La Pineada, Costa Dorada from €679pps, depart Knock June 27 2017. 14 nights all inclusive Riu Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,789pps, depart June 15 2017. 14 nights all inclusive Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya, Playacar, Mexico from €1,499pps, depart July 5 2017. 7 nights Mediterranean Secrets cruise on board TUI Discovery from €1,409pps, depart Shannon July 15 2017. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

falcon-deal-watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel H10, Playa Meloneras Palace, Gran Canaria from €1,429pp, depart December 24. 7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA Interclub Atlantic, San Agustin, Gran Canaria from €489pp, depart January 28 2017. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €389pp, depart January 13 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Globales Tamaimo Tropical, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €389pp, depart February 3 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Cinco Plazas, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €419pp, depart February 5 2017. Lapland day trip from €559 per adult and €459 per child, depart December 16. 7 nights B&B 3* Sellas Hotel and Apartments, Sidari, Corfu from €429pp, depart May 19 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Ouratlantico Apartments, Praia D’Oura, Algarve from €469pp, depart May 28 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,549pp, depart June 15 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,729pp, depart July 5 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 5* El Dorado Royale, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €2,469pp, depart June 7 2017. 7 nights 4* Holiday Village Kos from €2,319 2+1, from €3,249 2+2, depart June 10 2017. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Hotel Saturno, Alcudia, Majorca form €2,079 2+1, from €2,659 2+2, depart June 14 2017. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 2* ICandy Apartments, Malia, Crete from €459pp, depart June 11 2017. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

tourism-ni-deal-watchTourism NI offers: 1 night B&B Charlemont Arms, Co Armagh from £99 per room incl. bottle of Prosecco on arrival, valid until December 31, quote Discover NI when booking, call (028) 37 522028. 2 nights B&B Westville Hotel, Co Fermanagh from £125pps incl. 3 course meal on evening of choice, available until December 31, call (028) 66 320333. 2 nights B&B Maryville House Tearooms and Boutique B&B, Belfast from £180 incl. glass of mulled wine and shortbread and festival afternoon tea, valid until December 29, call (028) 90 681510.

Sunway offers: 7 days 4* Trafalgar tour of the Best of the US Canyonlands from €2,459pp, depart May 30 2017. 8 nights self catering 2* Intouriste Apartemnts, Morocco from €399pp, depart December 30. 10 nights half board 4* Aqua Suites, Lanzarote from €1,599pp, depart Cork December 28. 7 nights self catering 2* Villa Florida Apartments, Fuerteventura from €769pp, depart December 29. 8 nights self catering 2* Oasis Apartments, Lanzarote from €909pp, depart December 30. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Marina Elite, Gran Canaria from €1,214pp, depart December 30. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

Travel Department is offering 7 nights 3* half board hotel accommodation Lake Maggiore, Italy from €919pp incl. transfers, excursions and taxes and charges. Travel May to October 2017. Book here or call 01 637 1600.

ITAA offers: 3 nights Beatles Magical Mystery Bus Tour, Liverpool from €165pp incl. accommodation at Days Inn Hotel, tour ticket and admission to the front stage of the Cavern club, depart February 5 2017. 9 nights Norwegian Fjords cruise with Eurovision winner Dana from €779pp incl. entertainment and a captain’s cocktail party, depart June 5 2017. 4 days 4* Mercure Nemzeti Hotel, Budapest from €769pp incl. return flights, taxes, transfers, 2-course dinner in Callas Cafe, half day sightseeing tour with lunch, guided tour of Hungarian Opera House, excursion to the Danube Bend towns with lunch and ticket to see José Carreras in concert, depart January 19 2017.

Topflight offers: 7 nights 4* Bella Italia, Peschiera, Lake Garda from €499pps, depart May 6 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Villagio Verde, Sorrento from €529pps, depart May 7 2017. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcesine, Lake Garda from €799pps, depart May 13 2017. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €799pps, depart June 10 2017. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Milton, Rimini, Adriatic Riviera from €799pps, depart June 10 2017. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €1,099pps, depart April 30 2017. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €879pps, depart May 7 2017. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Melia Madeira Mare, Funchal, Madeira from €799pps, depart May 11 2017. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Insight Vacations is offering 8 days Easy Pace Russia tour from €2,229pps incl. flights, transfersand accommodation. Book by January 27 2017, depart May 14 2017. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Burgundy Provence cruise on board the SS Catherine from €3,049pps incl. flights, airport transfers, all meals and beverages and all shore excursions. Book by December 31, depart March 26 2017. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803. 

See travelextra.tv for more video.

Email editor@travelextra.ie to have your say or it is @TravelExtraIre on Twitter if that’s your bag.


TRAVEL Extra Sunday Supplement: Delta shuts down, so who forgot to put a nickel in the metre?


White Strand, Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, August 9 2016

White Strand, Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, August 9 2016



  • Agents hosted on four cruise ships
  • Delta outage brought down 1,170 flights
  • DFA urges high degree of caution after Thai tragedy
  • Ireland’s 13pc tourism growth
  • Ross distracted by doping

Travel Extra TV

video of the week august 14 2016Lots of headlines generated from footage of a passenger jumping off a disconnected gangway and running across the tarmac to catch a Ryanair flight in Madrid. The man, who was allowed board the flight, was arrested on arrival at Gran Canaria and issued a fine. The footage was captured by baggage handlers. Watch here.

  • Looking for some thrills? Why not skateboard on top of a Hong Kong high-rise building? Watch here.
  • If that doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping, try some rooftopping. Watch here.
  • Still not pumped? Go cliff jumping in Vermont (obviously, don’t try any of these daredevil feats at home). Watch here.
  • The windy weather in Scotland sent this kite flyer airborne. Watch here.
  • Nibbles the duck enjoys a dip in a paddling pool. Watch here.
  • Fishermen in San Diego capture the incredible moment a hooked shark jumps through the air. Watch here.
  • Next in Ryanair’s humorous airport athletes series, the kayaker (watch here) and the weightlifter (watch here).
  • See Aer Lingus’s promotional video for Connecticut. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland briefs visitors on the Irish weather. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

oceania visitTravel agents were hosted on four cruise ships this week, part of a roster of 22 cruise ships calling to Dublin this month. HL, Celebrity, Fred Olsen and Oceania Cruises entertained agents at separate events. See more pictures or connect with the album on Facebook.

Who did not pay the light bill at Delta? A power outage brought down 1,170 flights, we were told. Then Delta revealed that a fire at Atlanta headquarters took down the carrier’s flights globally and the new CEO apologised for itineraries run amok. the Dublin and Shannon flights were unaffected but customers had to be rerouted.

paulhudsonPaul Hudson of private consumer group Flyersrights claimed that the Delta outage is only one out of many suffered by USA airlines due to ageing computer systems—and warned that there are more to come. A critical piece of equipment failed at the airline’s Atlanta headquarters, the airline said. The wait for passengers to talk to a representative was two hours at peak on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Two Thais died and seven foreigners were wounded after four bombs exploded in a popular night-life section of Hua Hin, a resort 117km south of Bangkok. Two were said to be from England but the nationality of the others is unknown. Two bombs hidden in plant pots 50 metres apart were detonated using mobile phones. There have been other bombings on Patong beach, the most popular of the 17 sandy beaches on the island of Phuket and the southern provinces. One man was killed and five other people were injured when a bomb went off in Muang district in Trang on Thursday. There were further reports of explosions in Surat Thani, where one person was killed, and a number of blasts in Phang Nga. Irish visitors are advised to exercise a high degree of caution. A statement on the DFA website said: There are no indications of any Irish casualties. Any Irish citizens in Thailand should avoid the affected areas, monitor the media, follow the advice of local authorities, and let people back home know you’re safe.

passports landscape2Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs received 503,596 applications for Irish passports up to the end of July, up 10.7pc from 454,931 in the same period in 2015. The biggest year-on-year increase came in May largely from soccer fans travelling to support the Irish soccer team at Euro 2016. Applications in May 2016 rose 21.4pc to 91,056 from 75,016 in May 2015. There was a 63pc increase in demand for Irish passports from the North in July, as the implications of the British referendum vote became apparent. Applications in Britain rose 73pc from 4,070 in July 2015 to 6,638 in July 2016. Overall July was the first month when total applications fell for the first time compared with the corresponding month in 2015.

shane ross tourism ireland_6067When Minister for Tourism Shane Ross arrived for his first tourism appearance to talk to media about Ireland’s 13pc tourism growth in 2016, he was best with questions about Olympics doping and tickets. Niall Gibbons retrieved the situation with some video. Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry, eagarthóir Travel Extra ar Raidio na Gaeltachta ar na statistici. After the King’s Road was damaged by Storm Gertrude, here is the video about the restoration. Watch here Dublin film, which Tourism Ireland been sharing via our social channels. Watch here the video about Ireland’s Ancient East. See more pictures on Facebook.

holiday show ad

Travel Trade

sunway Philip and Tanya Airey and Jim Furlong cakeSunway celebrated its 50th birthday on the Celebrity Silhouette. Picture shows Philip and Tanya Airey and Jim Furlong marking the occasion. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The ITAA Conference on board Uniworld SS Antoinette has sold out . The river cruise line, headed up in Ireland by Sharon Jordan, will be hosting 154 passengers at the conference.

Travel agents report that August has been a slow month with high prices and low availability curtailing bookings.

The next ITAA board meeting will be held in Cork on September 8 with agents getting together on evening of September 7.

ITAA is warning members of increased instances of cyber fraud and advising members to guard against or insure against breaches of their security system.

Blue Insurance Polo Magnifico July Winner - Mandy Walsh 03July winner of the Blue Insurances monthly draw for a chance to win a car was Travel Counsellor Mandy Walsh. June winner. June winner was Claire Mulligan from ClubWorld Travel. May winner was Rose Kane from Kane Travel in Longford, celebrating 60 years in business this year and April winner was Helena Kilduff from Skytours. Agents win an iPad Mini and are invited to the Grand Final in Dublin in April 2017 to compete for a Volkswagen Polo Magnifico. Blue Insurances reminds agents to have their own unique login to make bookings count for their monthly draw, every five Blue Insurances policies sold each month automatically generates an entry. Agents can win a bonus place at the final by posting, to Facebook or Twitter, a humorous picture or videos featuring themselves with a car with the hashtag #DontRenewUnlessItsBlue. See here.

fun dayThis year’s travel industry fun day target is €70,000 on Sunday August 28 2016 at Wanderers Rugby Football Club, Merrion Road, Dublin 4. The committee say would like see more of the industry get behind this event, which is the only dedicated charity event across the industry. Five-aside football teams wishing to compete should register now at as there is a limit of 16 teams in four groups. There must be one lady on the team of five and two substitutes. Trainers only to be worn. Silver sponsorship is €1,500 and Headline sponsorship is €3,000. In addition to the usual games, a new nine-hole mini-golf is being added, together with more inflatables and games.

charlotte brennerFalcon Holidays say demand for their summer 2017 programme, which went on sale at the end of April, almost two months earlier than last year, has been consistent across all booking channels. Charlotte Brenner of Falcon says: It is not just families. Our platinum/premier range is strong. Falcon say feedback form their long haul programme to Cancun and Montego Bay which ended last week has been excellent and weddings and honeymoon booking are going well now for next year’s programme.

caminoCamino de Santiago specialist CaminoWays.com sponsored the Galicia GAA team at the Etihad Airways GAA World Games.

As previously reported by Travel Extra, the third annual Irish Travel Industry Trade Show will take place at Hall 3, RDS Main Hall on March 22 2017.

Outbound trips were up 12.8pc in Q1 with 1.5m foreign trips taken by Irish citizens, according to CSO data.

Adventure travel company Exodus Travels, which concentrates on solo travellers, says bookings are up 39pc this year. Abbey Travel is Exodus’s agent in Ireland.

Agent Promotions

Madeleine Roast, Graham Balmforth and Wendy Cameron of Superbreak at Holiday World in RDS

Travel agents can win a €50 gift card by liking SuperBreak‘s agent’s Facebook page for Ireland, which has just been set up to inform agents on product developments and short break ideas.

In order to join agents can either click ‘like’ on the Facebook page SuperBreak for Travel Agents – Ireland, or email with their agency name and account number and SuperBreak will add them. A winner will be selected by lottery at the end of August.

Travel Media


Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry appeared on Today with Sean O’Rourke, presented by Katie Hannon, to talk about the Thai attacks, booking a cheap holiday and other travel market news. Listen here.

A German think-tank poured cold water on Dublin’s hopes of becoming a major financial centre post-Brexit. Conor McMahon reported on the issue for Fora.ie, The Journal’s business website.

Strange World

  • chinese passportA passenger at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China was caught trying to smuggle his pet turtle past airport security by disguising it as a KFC chicken burger.
  • A man was killed on the Gatwick Express after he stuck his head out the window and was struck by an oncoming train. Despite some news reports, inspector James Tyrrell from London Transport Police confirmed that the man was not decapitated.
  • A small monkey was discovered in the cabin of a Frontier Airlines flight from Columbus to Las Vegas. A passenger snuck the monkey onboard in a duffel bag and said it was an emotional support animal, but failed to inform the airline.
  • Twycross Zoo in England granted free entry to visitors with red hair to mark World Orangutan Day.
  • A Chinese tourist whose wallet was stolen spent a week at a refugee camp after accidentally filling out an asylum seeker’s application instead of a police report.
  • The head of Poland’s computer emergency response team, Przemek Jaroszewski, created a fake QR code boarding pass to gain entry into the Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul. He filmed the hack, which you can view here.


  • sirbnb projectIs Airbnb building a hotel? No—it’s building a “communal housing project” in Japan. The purpose of the project is to create a community centre in rural Japan where travellers can stay while the local residents could serve as hosts to the tourists.
  • Room prices in Paris have halved as visitor numbers dropped after the recent terror attacks in France. The occupancy rate in the capital was 32pc in the second half of July, according to junior tourism minister Matthias Fekl.
  • The hospitality group that operates the Fitzwilliam Hotel, Ampleforth, reported an 80pc in profits last year.
  • Lemeul’s bar opened at the Conrad hotel as part of an €8m renovation plan.


Surin Putsuran former head of ASEAN speaking at TTM Plus in Chiang Mai, June 8 2016

The UNWTO has supported Indonesia’s grant visa-free travel to citizens from 169 countries, including Ireland. The visa-free policy allows for a maximum stay of 30 days and has no restriction on the number of visits per year.

The move is seen as the first step towards a common visa for the ASEAN countries. Visa facilitation in ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) is projected to increase tourist arrivals by 10m  in the upcoming years, thus increasing tourism revenue by US$12bn, suggests UNWTO/WTTC Report Impact of Visa Facilitation in ASEAN Member States

  • The Canary Islands Statistics Institute predicts that 14m people will visit the Canary Islands by year-end. 13.3m visited the archipelago in 2015, inclusive 457,000 Irish tourists. Over 238,000 Irish tourists visited in the first six months of 2016, up 8pc.
  • SeaWorld Entertainment shares dropped 14pc to its lowest level ever. Attendance is down 7.6pc.
  • Disney World Florida started building a wall around the lake where a toddler was tragically killed by an alligator last June.
  • Holidaymakers in St Ives, Cornwall were warned not to get too close to a group of seals swimming in the harbour.
  • New York’s Independent Drivers Guild, which represents Uber drivers in the city, launched an online petition calling for an electronic tipping function to be added to the app.
  • Vienna Zoo celebrated the birth of a rare giant panda, born to mother Yang Yang and father Long Hui.
  • Mount Rushmore turned 75 this week.

Food & Wine

Pamela byrneA prohibition order was issued to a Waterford restaurant by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. The authority served a prohibition order under the EC Regulations 2010 to Kearney’s Restaurant, Main Street, Tallow. Closure orders were issued against four restaurants and three take-away businesses last month. A butcher in Longford and a wholesaler in Donegal were also issued with closure orders and Cork pub was forced to stop its food production, handling and storage due to the FSAI order.

dylan mcgathDylan McGrath’s Fade Street Social was one of 12 venues ordered to close on Friday July 15 but re-opened the following morning after a drainage issue was resolved.

A report commissioned by the Support Your Local campaign, and written by Tony Foley, lecturer in Economics at DCU, stresses tourism’s dependence on  the hospitality and drinks sector. The report states that Brexit will potentially have a negative effect on possible growth on tourism, and that the sector should be supported appropriately so that it can contribute to this growth. According to the report, the pub was mentioned as a positive distinguishing feature of Ireland by almost one in three visitors surveyed, in 2015, and that ‘listening to Irish music in the pub’ was the top-ranked experience.

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with (from left) BBC broadcaster Nigel Barden; Tourism NI chairman Terence Brannigan; Laura Briggs of BBC Good Food magazine and Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell at the launch of the Tourism NI year of food and drink in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, January 14 2016

Tourism NI selected August to be ‘Love NI Meat’ month as part of its Year of Food and Drink campaign.


  • Dublin Airport PassengersThe Irish Aviation Authority reported a 9pc increase in traffic handled by Irish air traffic control in July to 109,806 flights. Commercial terminal flights at Dublin were up 7.6pc to 650 average daily movements. Cork up 14.4pc to 68 average daily movements. Shannon down 1.3pc to 68 average daily movements.
  • American Airlines launched its renovated arrivals lounge at London Heathrow T3.
  • Virgin Atlantic is rolling out live TV on its Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with Sport 24, BBC World News and CNN International available. Live TV is accessed via passengers’ own devices using onboard WiFi.
  • Monarch extended the cancellation of its services to Sharm el Sheikh until February 2017. It is offering refunds for bookings.
  • AerCap reported earnings of $1.46 on revenues of $1.23bn in their Q2 results. The company posted earnings of $1.73 on revenues of $1.34bn for the same quarter of last year.
  • The world’s longest aircraft was brought out of the hangar for the first time. The aircraft, the Airlander 10 (nicknamed the Flying Bum) took 10 years and $43m to develop and build.


  • aida cruises china marketingAIDA Cruises launched a marketing campaign in China ahead of AIDAbella’s deployment in China from April 2017, operating all year round in cooperation with Costa Asia.
  • Crystal Cruises scrapped plans to renovate the SS United States ocean liner, calling barriers to restoring the ship “insurmountable”.
  • An elderly Princess Cruises passenger was left behind in Juneau, Alaska after getting lost on a day hike.
  • P&O Cruises cancelled Azura’s call at Funchal because of a wildfire in Madeira.
  • Carnival Cruise Line added an election-themed educational programme to its Seuss at Sea programme. Activities include face painting and the for chance to vote for their favourite Dr Seuss book.
  • Seaborne announced a spa experience in partnership with Dr Andrew Weil.
  • Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society members will no longer be offered discounts on balcony cabins or suites, starting from September 1.


  • Fáilte Ireland estimated that the GAA World Games generated €600,000 in revenue and brought 7,000 visitors to Dublin. Fifty-six teams from 20 countries participated in the week-long competition.
  • CSO figures for H1 2016 show a 13pc increase in overseas visitors to Ireland. Visitor numbers from Britain were up 16pc, North America up 15pc and Mainland Europe up 11pc. Domestic trips were up 1.2pc to 2m trips in Q1 2016, according to the CSO’s latest Household Travel Survey.
  • Ireland's Ancient East Orientation Sign at Wicklow Gaol (7)Fáilte Ireland began the first phase of rolling out signs along Ireland’s Ancient East with signs installed at the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience, New Ross, Wexford; Ferns Castle, Wexford; and Wicklow Gaol.  Another 80 signs are expects to be in place by year-end.
  • David McGowan, the man who hauled a Boeing 767 from Shannon to Sligo, said he is looking to refurbish a helicopter as accommodation at his Quirky Nights Glamping Village.
  • AN INDIAN SUMMER FOR IRELAND – AS TOP TOUR OPERATORS PAY A VISITSeven Indian tour operators visited Ireland this week as guests of Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI. Picture shows Lyandra D’Souza of Tourism Ireland with the group at Adare Heritage Centre, Co Limerick.
  • Maureen Cournane, Killarney Cycling Festival, Gleneagle Hotel, with Fionnbar Walsh, LiveLife Foundation, Adam King, Champion Hammer Thrower and Neilie Fitzpatrick, Ballinscelligs, at the launch the Killarney Cycling Festival
  • The Killarney Cycling Festival on Saturday August 27 offers two routes for cycling enthusiasts: The Wrong Way Round and the Hard Way Round, so there’s no winning. The Wrong Way Round is 160km, from The Gleneagle Hotel through Molls Gap, Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen, Glenbeigh, and Killorglin. The Hard Way Round is 180, and diverts from the Wrong Way Round by going through the heart of Kerry to Ballaghoisin, and around the Skellig Ring. The Donal Walsh LiveLife Foundation is the official charity of the festival.

Deal Watch

Sunway offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel Riu Cancun, Mexico from €1,449pp, book by August 19, depart March 14 2017. 7 nights self catering 2* Bayside Apartments, Algarve from €399pp, depart August 26. 7 nights self catering 3* Tamaimo Tropical Apartments, Tenerife from €399pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 2* Monte Verde Apartments, Gran Canaria from €429pp, depart August 27. 7 nights B&B 3* San Fermin, Costa Del Sol from €449pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 2* Carmen Apartments, Sicily from €449pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 3* Oasis Dunas Apartments, Fuerteventura from €469pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 2* Carmen Apartments, Sicily from €449pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 2* Binimar Apartments, Minorca from €479pp, depart August 28. 7 nights self catering 3* Bellevue Apartments, Majorca form €499pp, depart August 27. 7 nights B&B 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, Turkey from €559pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 4* Clube Do Lago Apartments, Lisbon from €559pp, depart August 27. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1833.

falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Fiesta Tanit Hotel, Cala Gracio, Ibiza from €869pp, depart August 25. 7 nights half board 3* Aeolos Beach, Lambi, Kos from €569pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 3* Ouratlandico Apartments, Praia D’Oura, Algarve from €629pp, depart August 28. 7 nights self catering 3* Golden Bay, Gournes, Crete from €489pp, depart August 28. 7 nights self catering 3* Hotel Palazzo, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €299pp, depart September 20. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Calypso, Salou, Costa Dorada from €529pp, depart Shannon September 2. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Globales Hotel Pioneer and Santa Ponsa Park, Majorca from €679pp, depart Cork September 3. 7 nights self catering 2* Sun’s Gardens, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €569pp, depart January 7 2017. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 2* Ekati 2, Kavos, Corfu from €449pp, depart August 26. Lapland day trips from €659 per adult and €559 per child, depart December 10, 16 or 17. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

thomson deal watchThomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive 4* ClubHotel Riu Tequila, Playacar, Mexico from €1,839pp, depart June 14 2017. 7 nights self catering 2* Tamanaco, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €469pp, depart September 1. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Hotel Villa Dorada, Salou, Costa Dorada from €769pp, depart September 2. 7 nights half board 5* Grecotel Kos Imperial, Thlasso, Psalidi, Kos from €829pp, depart September 3. 7 nights B&B 3* Elkomi, Malia, Crete from €399pp, depart September 4. 7 nights self catering 2* Rafael Studio, Lindos, Rhodes from €409pp, depart September 7. 7 nights self catering 4* Family Life Coma Gran Sa Coma, Majorca from €629pp, depart Cork September 9. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Hotel Villa Dorada, Salou, Costa Dorada from €639pp, depart Shannon September 2. 7 nights full board Moorish Delights cruise on board Thomson Majesty, depart September 6. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Cataonia Oro Negro, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €1,219pp, depart December 23. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call  1850 45 35 45.

TDactive Holidays and Dublin Photography School are offering 3 nights photography tour in Tuscany with demos and tutorials by Stewart Kenny from €799pp incl. B&B hotel accommodation, return flights, transfers, excursions, taxes and charges, depart March 25 Yoga Dublin Studios are also offering 5 nights yoga holiday in Lake Garda with Emma Burke Kennedy from €799pp incl. 3* B&B hotel accommodation, return flights, transfers, taxes, charges, twice daily yoga sessions and half day boat excursion, depart September 14 2016. Call 01 637 1600.

Royal Caribbean offers: 7 nights Greece and Croatia cruise on board Rhapsody of the Seas from €1,279pp incl. return flights for first and second guests and transfers, depart July 29 2017. 12 nights Western Mediterranean cruise on board Brilliance of the Seas from €1,429pp incl. return flights for first and second guests and transfers, depart May 1 2017. 12 nights Canaries Adventures on board Independence of the Seas from €1,649pp incl. return flights for first and second guests and transfers, depart May 15 2017. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.

Cruisescapes offers: 8 nights Norwegian Fjords cruise on board 4* Boudicca from €1,349pp, depart Belfast April 30 2017. 8 nights Lochs of Scotland cruise on board 4* Boudicca from €1,479pp, depart Belfast May 8 2017. Call 01 294 1000.

Topflight offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Ambassador Suite Hotel, Riva, Lake Garda from €699pps, depart August 20. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Garda, Riva, Lake Garda from €1,029pps, depart August 20. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Senior, Cattolica, Adriatic Riviera from €669pps, depart August 20. 7 nights B&B 4* Vila Gale Marina, Vilamoura, the Algarve from €939pps, depart August 20. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Portofino, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €769pps, depart August 20. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Tysandros, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €669pps, depart August 20. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Sant Alphio Garden, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €699pps, depart August 20. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €659pps, depart August 21. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €1,199pps, depart August 21. All prices include return flights, transfers, taxes and rep service. 7 nights Outsider Magazine hiking trip, Ehrwald, Austria from €749pps incl. half board accommodation at Sonnenburg Hotel, return flights, return transfers, baggage, welcome drinks and snacks, and guided hikes and excursions, depart August 21. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

ITAA offers: 2 nights B&B 4* Hotel Senator Gran Via 70, Madrid from €359pps incl. category C match tickets to see Real Madrid v Real Sociedad, depart January 29 2017. 1 night hotel stay, Liverpool from €299pps incl. mate ticket to see Liverpool v Chelsea, depart February 1. 2 nights B&B accommodation, Barcelona from €229pps incl. match ticket to see Barcelona v Alavés, depart September 10.

Email editor@travelextra.ie to have your say or it is @TravelExtraIre on Twitter if that’s your bag.

See travelextra.tv for more video.

Upcoming events of interest to the trade


  • Aug 28 Travel trade fun day
  • Aug 30 MSC Splendida in Dublin
  • Aug 31 MSC Splendida in Cork
  • Sept 1 Virgin Atlantic golf day
  • Sept 3-4 Air Waves, Portrush
  • Sept 6-8 Seatrade Europe, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Sept 7-9, PATA Travel Mart, Jakarta
  • Sept 13 Aer Lingus Los Angeles trade event
  • Sept 14-16 Travelmart Latin America, Iguassu Falls, Brazil
  • Sept 15 United cup@Carton
  • Sept 29-Oct 2 Top Resa, Paris
  • Sept 10-13 FITA, Santa Cruz
  • Sept 19-22, Adventure Travel World Summit, Anchorage
  • Sept 25-27 World Routes, Chengdu
  • Sept 26-30 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Madrid
  • Sept 28 Sunway 50th Birthday Media & Suppliers Lunch, TBA
  • Oct 11 Skal function, Herbert Park Hotel
  • Oct 21 NI Travel Trade Awards, Newcastle, Co Down
  • Oct 29-Nov 1 Skål World Congress, Monaco,
  • Nov 7-9 WTM London
  • Nov 8 Skal tour of Guinness Storehouse
  • Nov 10 Scottish Travel Trade Awards,
  • Nov 11-12 Travel centres conference, Mulingar
  • Nov 19 Worldchoice conference, Sealed, Co Wexford
  • Nov 19-21 CLIA rivercruise conference, Amsterdam
  • Nov 25 ITTN Awards
  • Nov 26-28 ITAA conference, Uniworld Antoinette
  • Nov 29-Dec 1 IBTM World, Barcelona
  • Dec 2 American airlines trade event
  • Dec 9 Star alliance event
  • Dec 13 Skal president’s lunch
  • Dec 16 The Travel Corporation event


  • Jan 20-22 2017 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25 2017 Irish Travel Industry Awards, Mansion House, Dublin
  • Jan 27-29 2017 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • Feb 19-20 2017 Holiday Show in Association with Shannon Airport UL Limerick
  • Mar 22 2017 Irish Travel Industry Trade Show, Hall 3 RDS Main Hall Complex
  • June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC


  • Jan 19-21 2018 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 26-28 2018 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • May 19-23 2018 IPW (Pow Wow), Denver

2019 – 2024

  • Jan 18-20 2019 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25-27 2019 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim
  • May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas
  • April 24-28 2021 IPW (Pow Wow), Chicago
  • June 4-8 2022 IPW (Pow Wow), Orlando
  • May 20-23, 2023 IPW (Pow Wow), San Antonio
  • May 4-8, 2024 IPW (Pow Wow), Los Angeles

2019 – 2024

  • Jan 18-20 2019 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25-27 2019 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim
  • May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas
  • April 24-28 2021 IPW (Pow Wow), Chicago
  • June 4-8 2022 IPW (Pow Wow), Orlando
  • May 20-23, 2023 IPW (Pow Wow), San Antonio
  • May 4-8, 2024 IPW (Pow Wow), Los Angeles

Previous editions of TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday supplement

Previous issues

June 2016: USA issue
May 2016: Canada issue
April 2016: Cruise issue
March 2016: Awards issue
February 2016: Holiday World issue
December/January 2015/16: Bridal issue
November 2015: Winter cruise issue
October 2015: Ski issue
September 2015: Accommodation issue

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Green sweep, FIVE of the 25 nominees for Routes International aviation awards are from Ireland


header july 31 2016

Today expected to be the 2nd busiest day in the history of Dublin Airport with 99,500 passengers passing through

  • Four Irish airports and Tourism Ireland nominated for World Routes awards
  • Parents that travel with children on Ryanair forced to purchase €8 reserved seat
  • Air France warns of last-minute cancellations and delays
  • Outbound travel from Ireland is up 7pc
  • Aer Lingus operating profit for H1 was €42m

Travel Extra TV

video of the week july 31 2016Video of the week: This French bulldog is a superb little swimmer — too bad there is no water in the pool. Watch here.

  • Amazing footage of a tiger shark attacking a hammerhead shark. Watch here.
  • See the Gauteng tornado sweep towards Kempton Park in South Africa. Watch here.
  • This frightening footage captures the dramatic moment lightning struck a Chicago train line. Watch here.
  • Cork Airport posted its launch video for the 2016 Global Startup Gathering. Watch here. Now check out AirCam Ireland’s footage of Cork Airport from above. Watch here.
  • See shocking footage of a delayed passenger attacking airport police at a check in desk in Frankfurt airport. Watch here.
  • Here is British Airways’ funny guide to beach etiquette in Brazil. Watch here.
  • Introducing London Heathrow’s own Mr Men character, Mr Adventure. Watch here.
  • Richard E Grant explores the Wild Atlantic Way as a guest of Tourism Ireland. Watch here.
  • July was Seas, Rivers and Loughs month in N Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

The headline on the Ryanair press release on Thursday went: Ryanair cuts the cost of reserved seats for passengers travelling with children (under 12) as fares fall 10pc (€4) in 2016. Of course, this being Ryanair there was a catch. Every parent who travels with a child will be forced to purchase an €8 reserved seat.