Things to know about travel this week
- IALPA plays numbers game as it threatens strike at Ryanair
- Clia reports 4pc jump in cruise passenger figures – and the Med still dominates.
- Princess Cruises counts down to Dublin as a homeport – and transatlantic port
- Four Irish entrants win at European leg of World Travel Awards in Athens.
- Cork hotels reap benefit of Norwegian service which is due to end for winter
- Shannon says it’s thriving outside the DAA family
- Varadkar hints at end of special VAT rate for hospitality sector
watch here 140 Aer Lingus staff muck in to transform the school grounds of Holy Family School for the Deaf, Cabra for the Make a Difference Day 2018
- You can now explore Emirates’ aircraft interiors in 3D. The VR technology on its app and website lets you look around seats and cabin before you fly watch here
- VR is getting big – and the Qantas app lets you immerse yourself in some of Australia’s most vivid landscapes watch here to find out more.
- Etihad has teamed up with some of the best attractions, restaurants, spas, beaches and more, to bring you the Abu Dhabi Extraordinary Pass watch here.
- Not a sign of a baggage delay or air traffic strike as Heathrow shows the good side of summer holidays with its out of office video watch here.
Behind the Headlines
Ryanair have not moved to cancel any flights on Thursday despite a strike threat by Irish pilots union IALPA, the culmination of decades of bad blood between the IALPA president Evan Cullen and Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary. IALPA’s Ryanair pilots voted 94-1 for strike action, suggesting that they have the enrolled just under one third of the pilots in the Dublin base in the union. Whether this is enough to halt flights is unclear, but IALPA certainly received blanket media coverage suggesting that they could shut down Ryanair’s Dublin operation creating uncertainty among customers and damaging the Ryanair brand. The Commission of Aviation regulation took the unusual step of issuing a guide to consumer rights during the strike, including compensation claims, suggesting that any attempts to claim that the IALPA strike threat, over the minutiae of holiday entitlements and seniority, might be the exceptional circumstances outlined in Eu2004-261. Ryanair, which flew through a pilot’s strike in Italy in February and a cabin crew strike in Portugal in April certainly have the resources to do so again. Travel Extrabelieves that a last minute deal between Ryanir and IALPA will be struck, enabling the completion of the process of union recognisiotn and a signed agreement. Until the next strike threat. A group of cabin crew unions also announced that they were planning strikes to bring an end to sales targets for ancillary sales on Ryanair flights. ÉIst anseo le Eoghan Corry are Admháidín, Raidio na Gaeltachta. Watch here Eoghan Corry on RTE Prime Time and watch hereEoghan Corry on the RTE Six One news
After all the criticism from commentators in the media, is the end in sight for the hospitality sector’s special 9pc VAT rate? Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, outlining budgetary priorities in the Dáil last week, pointed to it rising, but not to the old 13.5pc rate.
We’re doing very nicely without the DAA appears to be the message from Shannon Airport. It said it’s on track by the end of the year to have grown passenger numbers by almost 30pc from its time grouped with Dublin and Cork. Full story here.
Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess was back in town – and Andy Harmer, Director for the British and Irish markets at CLIA, reported cruise was up 4.3pc last year on 2016. The average age of passengers is falling and holidaymakers are booking further out, seven months on average. The Med made up 37pc of cruises, followed by the Caribbean and Northern Europe – but more exotic long haul destinations are on the rise. Meanwhile, Clia Chair Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ Vice President for Britain and Europe confirmed Dublin will be a homeport with 11 sailings next summer (as first reported by Travel Extra), joining Celebrity Cruises in the market. Dublin will also feature an inbound sailing from Fort Lauderdale and one out of Ireland to the Florida port. Watch here as both Andy and Tony – pictured with Louise Prior of Clia – talk to Travel Extra.
Princess Cruises hosted travel agents and their families onboard Royal Princess as passengers – mainly from America – soaked up the rays on America’s Independence Day. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook. Watch here video roll from the event
Advantage Austria Dublin held a garden party in the leafy grounds of the Austrian Embassy on Ailesbury Road to toast the departure of Advantage Austria Dublin’s departing Head, Wilhelm Nest and the arrival of his successor, Josef Treml. Watch here video roll of the event. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook.
- Royal Caribbean are seeking a regional sales manager for Ireland as the popular Michaela Banks returns to England. Closing date is July 20 2018. Apply here.
- Ciaran Mulligan of Blue Insurance went on TV3 to discuss insurance issues surrounding airline delays and strikes highlighting the disruption cover which is becoming a key part of his portfolio.
- Turkish Airlines’ Onur Gull was the star of the show when a Sunday Independent reviewer took a golfing fam to Antalya, with Onur giving his advice on where to go in his homeland.
- David O’Grady’s eTravel is to sponsor Irish business awards with Virgin Atlantic.
- The annual Skal BBQ will be hosted by GM Neil Lane at the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel, Stillorgan on Tuesday July 10thfrom 1800. Cost; €35.00 per person (members & guests)
- Peter McMinn’s Travel Solutionsare adding Edinburgh and Manchester departures to their Balkan Ski product for winter 2018/19.
- United Airlines took part in the United We RockReception hosted by Reece Smyth at the US embassy.
- Watch here as Sunway & NCL launched the 2018 cruise season.
- Watch here as U by Uniworld hosted agents on a fam. Watch here Travel Corporation’s mystery event in Dublin.
- Watch here Las Vegas CVA in Dublin
- Passengers were injured on a Jet2 flight to Belfast from Tenerife after a cabin crew trolley became loose and rolled to the back of the aircraft.
- The Statue of Liberty was evacuated on US Independence Day after a woman protesting US immigration policy climbed up it.
- Munich councillors want city’s main train station to be future-proofed – with a landing pad for flying taxis.
- The death toll after a boat carrying Chinese tourists sank off the coast of Thailand’s Phuket island has climbed to 41, with 15 people still missing.
- A Belfast mother appealed for help to get her son home from Spain after he suffered severe injuries in a hit-and-run on a family holiday in Salou. The repatriation cost is over €20,000.
- Dublin teacher Jordan Donnelly (25) was deported from China over a ripped page in his passport.
- Corfu has finally cleaned up its rubbish-collection issues after months of pressure from the travel trade.
- China’s embassy in Washington warned its nationals that “public security in the United States is not good. Cases of shootings, robberies and theft are frequent”.
- A British tourist was shot in Benidorm after getting caught in gangland crossfire in the resort.
- US health officials have issued a travel alert for Pakistan after an outbreak of drug-resistant typhoid there.
Food & Beverage
- An Irish pub once named the ‘best bar in the world’ has been damaged in a blaze. The fire broke out in the cocktail bar of the Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog – established in 2013 by Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry in Manhattan last Sunday morning.
Ireland’s first drive-thru Starbucks has opened at the Shannon Free Zone. The 204sq m unit, developed by Shannon Group subsidiary Shannon Commercial Properties, will employ 15 people. Shannon Commercial Properties’ MD Ray O’Driscoll, with Grainne McInerney, Property Development Manager and Gerry Dillon, Head of Operations and Developments are pictured at the coffee shop.
- Bulmers-maker the C&C Group said business has been good in Ireland and other key markets from March to July on the back of the hot weather.
- Supermac’s is to bring in recyclable cups, paper straws and biodegradable burger wraps to cut down on plastic waste.
- Hollywood actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg and chef Paul Wahlberg are reported to be keen to open their burger chain, Wahlburgers, in Ireland.
- The number of Irish breweries producing their own drinks has risen from 15 to 72 since 2012, the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland reported.
- Applegreen and Freshii opened their 5th Freshii together in Rathcoole on the N7.
Ivy Dawson Street, the Dublin branch of London’s upmarket restaurant Ivy restaurant, is to open on July 24. Pictured are Head Chef Nick Lentini, General Manager Jamie Belton and waiters Chloë Weston Doyle, Ryan McFarland, Dayane Martins and Andrei Jonke touring Dublin last week.
Co Kildare’s five-star K Club hotel and golf resort is up for sale with an €80m price tag. The Michael Smurfit-owned 550 acre estate features a 134-bedroom hotel, two golf courses and two club houses.
iNua Hospitality has completed €40min fundraising as it looks to expand. It owns and operates seven hotels in Ireland including Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney and the Radisson Blu hotels in Cork, Limerick, Athlone and Sligo.
The North’s Hastings hotel group paid tribute to its late founder, Billy Hastings, as it posted its latest results. It said he “almost single-handedly built up the group from the 1960s to what it is today. The group was his life and he is sorely missed by directors and staff.” Pre-tax profits rose from £4.9m to £5.2m for 2017 at the group which owns Belfast’s Europa, Stormont, Culloden and Grand Central hotels, Derry’s Everglades, Larne’s Ballygally and Newcastle’s Slieve Donard. It also owns a 50pc stake in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel.
PREM Group has added Kilkenny’s Aspect Hotel to its Irish portfolio which includes the Osprey Hotel in Naas, Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney, Tulfarris Hotel in Blessington, and the Premier Suites properties in Dublin’s Ballsbridge and Leeson Street.
The Gleneagle Group has made history in the hospitality industry by becoming the first business in the world to be accredited by the European Network for Accessible Tourism. Pictured are Patrick O’Donoghue, Director Gleneagle Group, centre, with hotel Managers John Doolan, Gleneagle Hotel, Sinead McCarthy, Brehon Hotel, and Kathleen Lenihan. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan.
- The Naomh Éanna Aran Islands ferry is to be five-star hotel on Custom House Quay in Dublin.
Occupancy rates in the North hit 77pc last year, and the average room rate rose 10pc, according a new report by ASM Chartered Accountants.
M&G Investments, which is part of the FTSE-100 insurance giant Prudential, approachedveteran businessman Allan Leighton about taking on the chairmanship of strife ridden Stobart on a temporary basis.
Ryanair reported passenger numbersup 7pc to 12.6m in June, and load factor of 96pc. Rolling annual passenger numbers to end June were up 7pc to was 132.9m. ATC strikes and ATC staff shortages caused over 1,100 flight cancellations in June compared to 41 cancellations in June 17.
Aer Lingus passenger traffic was up 11.4pc in June with a passenger load factor up 2.2 to 89.1pc.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, flew back home from the United Nations in Manhattan on Tuesday via New York Stewart International Airport near Newburgh and had a private sit-downwith airport General Manager Ed Harrison and Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus.
Ryanair chief operations officer Peter Bellew warned airlines they have to get onboard with better data-sharing technology that helps drive digital sales, or the tech community will “eat your lunch”. He also said an interlining agreement to feed Ryanair passengers from around Europe into Aer Lingus transatlantic services at Dublin should be operational before the end of the year.
US visitor numbers to Cork could overtake British figures, according to the Irish Hotels Federation, underlining the importance of the Boston Providence service to Cork Airport. Full story here.
Shannon Airport aims to cut its energy consumption by a third by 2020 in a partnership with ESB’s Smart Energy Services. Pictured are John Walsh, General Manager Smart Energy Services ESB, Andrew Murphy, Managing Director Shannon Airport and Eoghan McMahon, Customer Solutions Manager ESB. Photo: Arthur Ellis.
- Aer Lingus DH Dragon Iolaris listed to displayat the Bray Air Display on Sunday July 29. The Aer Lingus painted DC-3 is listedfor both Saturday and Sunday and is also listed for Foynes on Saturday.
- Immigration delays at Dublin Airport are back at the news as are delays at US CBP.
- Gráinne Morrison from The Future Factory at Dublin Airport told Inspirefest 2018 what the future faceof the airport will be.
- Cobalt Air is making a full range of services and fares available to travel agencies through a new partnership with Amadeus on its intermediated channel.The Irish Times checked out where’s cheaper to buy your goods – the city or the airport. Read the full report here.
- Emirates has introduced virtual reality technology to show you the layout of cabins – and your seat.
- Irish foodservice, cleaning, security and vending firm Mount Charles has secured a five-year contract with Flybe to provide facilities management and catering to the airline’s Exeter training academy and HQ.
- The future of City of Derry Airport is at risk because there is no minister to sign off on funding, the head of the North’s civil service claimed.
- Americ’a Federal Aviation Administration said it won’t set minimum standards for airline seats and legroom as it’s not a safety issue.
- Airbus is raising its 20-year forecast for total aircraft deliveries by more than 7pc to 37,400 jets, worth $5.8trn (€4.9trn) at list prices.
- Cabin crew member Craig Fitzgerald, aka ‘Avril Nitrate’, is pictured onboard the aircraft-shaped Aer Lingus float travelling in Dublin’s Pride parade last weekend. More than 250 Aer Lingus employees, their friends and families took part in the event.
Aer Lingus grew its passenger revenue by 11.4pc in June, according to parent IAG. The number of passengers carried by IAG’s Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Veuling – rose by 8.9pc to 10.6m compared to June 2017.
- Etihad Airways CEO Tony Douglas revealed in an interview that thousands of jobs have already gone in the past 18 months as Etihad puts the brakes on a long-running and costly attempt to close the gap with larger Persian Gulf rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways. He’s also in negotiations with Airbus and Boeing after concluding that doubling the fleet is no longer viable.
The International Air Transport Association predicts that the world’s airlines will make a combined $33.8bn net profit this year. “But our buffer against shocks is just $7.76,” said IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac. “That’s the average profit per passenger that airlines will make this year -a narrow 4.1pc net margin.”
- Belfast harbour welcomed 94 cruise ships bringing 154,000 passengers last year – up from 82 with 145,000 passengers in 2016.
- A cruise ship worker who went overboard from Norwegian Gateway was rescued 22 hours later.
- Holland America Line‘s 835-passenger Prinsendam, has been sold to German cruise company Phoenix Reisen and left the fleet last week. But it’s being chartered back to Holland America till next summer.
Dublin’s Sandymount Hotel, Convention Centre and Jameson Distillery tour won awards at the European leg of this year’s World Travel Awards, held in Athens, with Irish software firm Datalex being named Europe’s Leading Travel Technology Provider. Gerard Loughran, John Loughran and Ciara Kelly of the Sandymount Hotel with wives Audrey Loughran and Emily Loughran, and the hotel’s Ann McCabe, at the ceremony in Greece.Ireland won just four of 600 awards on the night compared with 19 for Portugal and 11 for Turkey. Full story here.
- Nine journalists and bloggers from Germany – representing various print and online publications with a combined readership of almost 3m – explored Ireland’s Ancient East as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.
- Fáilte Ireland launched the first domestic consumer marketing campaign – costing €1m – for the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands brand.
- Fáilte Ireland has launched a new plan to enhance visitor experiences at Ireland’s National Parks and Reserves. Josepha Madigan, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Brendan Griffin, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport pictured with Michael and Grace Donnelly from Malahide, Dubn at Coole Park, Gort, County Galway, at the launch of a new Interpretative Masterplan to enhance tourist experience at Ireland’s National Parks and Reserves. Josepha Madigan, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Brendan Griffin, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, pictured with Michael and Grace Donnelly from Malahide, Dublin, at Coole Park, Gort, Co Galway, at the launch.
- CarePlus Pharmacy, Ireland’s chain of independent community pharmacists, reported a 147pc increase in sales of sunscreen and a big rise in sunburn cases due to the heatwave.
Fáilte Ireland’s Meet in Ireland team, in collaboration with Tourism Ireland and the Cork Convention Bureau, hosted influential incentive buyers from France to push the area as a conventions and meetings spot. Picture shows Julie Burkard, Karen O’Sullivan Fáilte Ireland, Cadene Sandrine, Mssoud Pascale and Viktoria Varecza, Tourism Ireland.
Itaa over-50s deals: Dublin to Costa Del Sol, 7 nights in 4* adult-only hotel Roc Lago Rojo, full board accommodation including drinks with meals, from €489pp, depart November 5 with The Travel Broker on http://itaa.ie/2018/06/26/over-50s-costa-del-sol/ Dublin to Salou, 7 nights in 4* Hotel Olympus Palace half board, wine with dinner, 1 X 20kg checked bag per person, transfers, from €499pp, depart September with John Galligan Travel on http://itaa.ie/2018/06/21/salou-sept/ Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights in the 4* Beatriz Costa Teguise & Spa Hotel, Costa Teguise, Twin/ double room on a Half Board basis, evening meals, airport transfers, airport taxes and charges, depart November with Click&Go on http://itaa.ie/2018/06/26/lanza-over-50s/
Insight Vacations offers: Best of Germany escorted tour, from €2,509 per person sharing, including flights, transfers and 9 nights’ accommodation in central locations. Flight cost must be paid at the time of booking, depart September 7. http://www.insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.
Sunway offers: Dublin to Portugal, 7 nights all inclusive 4* Club Med Da Balaia, from €970pp, depart October 10. Dublin to Vietnam for ‘Classic Vietnam Hanoi to Hoi Chi Minh’ adventure holiday, includes flight ex Dublin, 1 x 20kg baggage per person, 9 nights’ accommodation twin sharing, some meals and tours as per itinerary. Price is subject to availability and change,from €1779pp, depart September 24. Dublin to Kusadasi, 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Hotel, from €399pp, depart July 14. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self catering 2* Los Pueblos Apartments from €399pp, depart July 14.Dublin to Sardinia, 7 nights B&B 3* San Marco Hotel from €399pp, depart July 14.Dublin to Algarve, 7 nights self catering 3*+ Turim Estrela Do Vau Hotel from €449pp depart July 13.Dublin to Bulgaria, 7 nights B&B 3* Lira Hotel from €399pp depart July 14. Dublin to Costa Del Sol 7 nights self catering 3* Timor Sol Apartments from €429pp depart July 14. Dublin to New York, 3 Nights – Flights and Hotel Package from €499pp, depart February 2019. Dublin to Orlando flights and hotel, from €575pp based in two adults and two children under 12 sharing, depart October.Dublin to Europe for Croatia and Montenegro Fly Cruise, 7 nights onboard Rhapsody of the Seas from €799pp, depart November 24. www.sunway.ie
Topflight offers: Dublin to Riva, Lake, 7 nights self catering 3* Ambassador Suite Apts, from €569pps was €1039, depart July 14. Dublin to Bardolino, Lake Garda, 7 nights self catering 4* Camping Cisano, from €499pps was €838 (2 Adults & 4 Children), depart July 14. Dublin to Giardini Naxos, Sicily, 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Villa Linda, from €529pps was €932, depart July 14. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Astoria from €599pps was €1029, depart July 15. Dublin to Cesenatico, Adriatric Riviera, 7 nights self catering 3* Camping Cesenatico from €399pps was €669 (2 Adults & 2 Children), depart July 13. Dubin to Sirmione, Lake Garda, 7 nights self catering 4* Garda Village from €549pps was €873 (2 Adults & 2 Children), depart July 14. Dublin to Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Principe Palace from €789pps was €971, depart September 15. Dublin to Desenzano, Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B 4* plus Park Hotel Desenzano from €1359pps was €1514, depart August 4. Dublin to Riva, Lake Garda, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Savoy Palace from €1129pps was €1446, depart August 4. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace from €999pps was €1205. http://www.topflight.ie/ www.topflightholidays.co.uk, call Topflight on 01 240 1700/028 9752 1168 or visit your local travel agent.
Tour America offers: Dublin to Canada, 4 nights in Toronto and direct Air Canada flights from €589pp, based on four adults sharing, depart November.Dublin to Canada, 4 nights in Vancouver with direct Air Canada flights, from €599pp, based on four adults sharing, depart October. Dublin to Canada, four nights in Montreal with direct Air Canada flights from €599pp, based on four sharing, depart October. Dublin to Orlando, 7 nights at the Rosen Inn International with flights, from €439pp, based on 2 adults & 2 children sharing, depart January 18. Dublin to New York, flights, 3 nights at the Fitzpatrick Grand Central from €489pp, based on four sharing, depart February 1. Dublin to Florida for Orlando and Caribbean cruise, 3 nights Orlando, car hire to transport to port, 4-night Caribbean cruise onboard Independence of the Seas, from €999pp, based on 2 sharing a promenade view cabin, depart December 3. Dublin to Barcelona for 7 night all inclusive western Mediterranean cruise onboard Norwegian Epic, from €1559pp based on 2 adults sharing an interior cabin, depart May 12, 2019.Dublin to Florida for Miami & Caribbean cruise, 1 night Miami and 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise onboard MSC Seaside, from €999pp based on 2 sharing an interior cabin, depart January 18. www.touramerica.ie
Tui offers: Dublin to Majorca, 7 nights B&B 3* Casa Blanca Hotel Santa Ponsa, from €502pps, depart July 27. Cork to Majorca, 7 nights self catering 3* Ola Tomir, Portals Nous, from €497pps, depart August 28. Ireland West Airport to Majorca, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Picafort Park, C’an Picafort, from €589pps, depart July 20. Dublin to Majorca, 7 nights B&B 3* Casa Blanca Hotel, Santa Ponsa, from €478pps, depart July 31. Dublin to Majorca, 7 nights all inclusive 2* Belluvue Minerva, Alcudia, from €658pps, depart August 3. Ireland West Airport to Majorca, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Globales Playa Santa Ponsa, Santa Ponsa, from €602pps, depart August 3. Dublin to Majorca, 7 nights self catering 3* Deya, Santa Ponsa, from €465pps, depart August 29. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self catering 2* Laguna Park II, Playa De las Americas, from €444pps, depart July 13. Dublin to Ibiza, Sirenis Cala Llonga Resort, Cala Llonga, 3*, AI, 7nights from €846pps, depart July 19. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Suneo El Trebol, Costa Tequise, from €589pps, depart August 30. www.tuiholidays.ie
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises offers: Venice and The Gems of Northern Italy river cruise, was €3,449pps now from €3,039 per person sharing, including flights, airport transfers, all meals and beverages, all shore excursions and 7 nights in a Category 4 stateroom on board the River Countess, depart September 19. Flight cost must be paid at the time of booking. Book by 31 July 2018. http://www.uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.
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