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Patrick Kavanagh, Robyn Byrne from Malahide and Dermot Merrigan of Irish Ferries launch the competiton to find a name for the largest ferry to sail on the Irish Sea

Things to know about travel this week

  • Cathay Pacfiic launches longest Dublin route
  • Ryanair goes to war on Air Berlin
  • Ireland is now Spain’s fastest growing tourism market
  • Ryanair to grow by 4pc for Dublin in 2018
  • Miami route launched
  • Family fun day raises €30,000
  • Hotel rates in Dublin higher than boom
  • Irish tourism growth slows in July

Travel Extra TV.

Watch here as Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs and David O’Brien don their Munich Oktoberfest hats, flown over specially from Bavaria, as they announced the Ryanair 2018 summer schedule from Dublin. Stuttgart daily and Munich were the focus of a lively press conference that followed. See below.

Behind the Headlines

Irish Ferries launched a naming competition for €144m cruise ferry due for launch next Summer for operation Dublin-Holyhead and Cherbourg. Dermot Merrigan of Irish Ferries said: “we want a big, Irish, literary sized name to go on the biggest ferry ever on the Irish Sea.” Suggestions here. The winner will get free travel on Irish Ferries’ services for life, while 20 more will get runner-up prizes. Entries are accepted up to Friday September 29. See report here. Watch here Dermot Merrigan of Irish Ferries speaking about the competition.

Dublin Airport’s second marquee route launch of the summer on Friday, Aer Lingus 2w to Miami, was quieter than we are used to, without even a gate ceremony to see off the inaugural flight. Watch here Yvonne Muldoon thanking the trade for their support of the new route. Seeing as you asked, the other marquee was Dublin-Qatar in June.

Last week’s competition to name “three beer-related destinations” on Cathay Pacific’s Facebook page was prophetic after all, Cathay Pacific are to fly Hong Kong-Dublin non-stop 4w from June 2, using a three-class A350-900, overnight in both directions. Cathay is also adding Brussels 4w, Copenhagen 3w also with A350 and ending Dusseldorf. Dublin-Hong Kong is 1,000 miles longer than Dublin-Los Angeles and very slightly shorter than David Slattery’s Dublin-Cape Town weekly charter operated by Air Berlin’s predecessor LTU in winter 2004-05, which stopped in Tenerife on the outbound leg. Times and connections: what you need to know here.

The Saturday night stopover, that relive of aviation in decades past, made a quiet return this week with Aer Lingus new low saver fare for transatlantic flights, announced to the trade on Tuesday and to the public on Thursday. It is available on a round-trip basis only with extra charges for checked baggage, seat selection, blanket, headphones, at additional cost but meals are free, as are 10kg cabin baggage and in-flight entertainment.  Passengers can then choose from a range of added on Available now for flights from 1 Oct. with a Sat night stay required.  From €199 x 2, but our bag will then cost €39 extra. See report and table of charges here. For the explanation of the new fare structure by Aer Lingus’ Declan Kearney Watch here.

This week’s €3.79bn question (or, alternatively, the 117-strong fleet and 50-destination question), is how much of Air Berlin’s 27pc share of the German market can Ryanair take while being excluded from the process of divvying up the assets. Kenny Jacobs said Ryanair was aiming to take Air Berlin’s market share despite being excluded from the process (watch here) and said Ryanair would be interested in some of the assets of Air Berlin should they be allowed into the process (watch here). David O’Brien described Air Berlin is a stitch up (watch here) and said the process of divvying up the assets of Air Berlin began before it was announced (watch here). He said as Germanys second largest carrier failed German airports see an opportunity in Ryanair (watch here). David O’Brien said Ryanair are making their way through the data room on their bid for Alitalia (watch here).

Irish visits to Spain in July were up by a record 36.5pc to 304,031, year to date is up 22.3pc to 1,232.991. Ireland is Spain’s fastest growing market ahead of Russia (23.9pc) and Switzerland (17.7pc) and is now Spain’s eight most important market. As the growth of Irish visits to Spain in the peak summer months are accelerating rather than slowing, if current trends continue, there will be 2.2m visits to Spain from Ireland this year. Picture shows Teresa Gancedo and Kathryn McDonnell of the Spanish Tourism Board in Dublin.

USIT advised Irish graduates that they are not taking bookings for 2018 for people looking to move to the United States on a graduate visa. The Wall Street Journal said the US administration was eyeing “major reductions” for five of the employment-based cultural exchange visas in the J-1 visa program, citing unnamed sources. The focus is said to be on seasonal workers, trainees, interns and au pairs arriving in the US on a J-1 visa,

Travel Trade

Is Romania the new Lake Garda? Travel Department has been surprised by just how popular the country is among Irish clients, and said the Eastern European country’s combination of scenery and value is proving a hit. Managing Director Sara Zimmerman watch here launched the 2018 programme at the Dean Hotel in Dublin and said confidence is back, and clients are booking ahead, with the company having to add more tours after the Vietnam explorer sold out. Pictuyre shows Sara Zimmermann of the Travel Department. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Eva Adriaans of Sense of Africa, Marc Reading of Talking Stik Markeitng and Tony Flynn hosted travel trade and media a Namibia information evening in Dublin. Picture shows Marc Reading of Talking Stick Marketing, Eva Adriaans of Sense of Africa, Karl Lonergan of Club Travel and Tony Flynn of Ethiopian Airlines  (watch interview with Eva here)

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The Commission for Aviation Regulation published a consultation paper and a detailed report on the possible reforms to the travel trade licensing and bonding regime.  Picture shows who have been appointed to represent Suon Tours form The Gambia and promote the Gambia as a tourist destination out of Ireland.

  • The Department of Transport released their Annual Report for 2016.
  • Datalex said total revenue rose 24pc to $30.3m in the first-half.
  • The travel trade fun day raised €30,000 for charity.

Strange World

Disneyland apologised for banning a boy from their Princess experience.

  • Ryanair CCO David O’Brien recalled the price of a lemon in Munich airport the last time Ryanair flew to Munich (watch here).
  • An unruly passenger, James August from New Jersey, was ordered to pay Hawaiian Airlines $97,817 for forcing a New York-bound aircraft to turn around and return to Honolulu.


The European Consumer Centre in Dublin said disputes around car hire charges are the second-biggest issue they have to deal with every year, and said: The difficulty in proving there was no damage is compounded by the fact that rental companies often do not provide a check-out report confirming the vehicle was returned in good condition. Hard-selling techniques used by car rental firms to get people to take out insurance have also been complained about. Rory Boland of Consumer group Which? found a variety of catches when he analysed 40 car hire contracts from 18 providers, prime among them were a €5,000 deposit charged by Spanish firm Del Paso, a €2,500 deposit charged by Goldcar in Malta, an admin fee of €150 on top of the charge applied to repair any damage to a vehicle  by Goldcar in Greece, a refilling fee of €50 (Goldcar again), and terms and conditions that are 31,000 words long. Avis and Budget both charge €15 plus a whole extra day’s hire if drivers return a car more than 29 minutes late.

Picture shows the Roving Soles on the Gatterl hike up the Zugspitz. Watch here interview with Christoph Stöeckl of Kirchberg Tourism and watch here interview with  Fritz Minard of Active World Holidays. Watch here interview with Gernot Reidel and watch here interview with Stephan Bannach.

A Turkish Airlines pilot at Heathrow received thousands of messages of support when he refused to take off after finding out that passenger Samim Bigzad was an Afghan asylum seeker being forcibly deported by English authoirities who faced being beheaded back home.

The Thin Green Line, a documentary about Irish embassies around the world said 40 Irish passports that have fallen out of back pockets in pubs and clubs are handed in every weekend and the figure climbs to hundreds after a major event.

  • The debate emerged again whether world heritage status does cities more harm than good?
  • Irish passport applicants will need a public service card from the fourth quarter of 2018
  • Uber appointed Expedia’s Dara Khosrowshahi as CEO
  • Officials in Los Angeles are testing out airport-style body scanners that screen subway passengers for firearms and explosives.
  • Listen here to the discussion on ethical tourism with Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra, Suzanne Power of Keep NI beattiful, Lynn Hughes of Wanderlust and the Revd Chris Hudson.

Food & Beverage

West Cork were named Ireland’s top foodie destination. See report here. Picture shows Nora Rice and her daughter Nora Collins, who accepted the award on behalf of West Cork at the Restaurants Association of Ireland Foodie awards. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

  • Nutty Delights in George’s Street Arcade in Dublin made it into Deliveroo’s top 12 wackiest in the world list
  • Figures from the European Commission confirm that alcohol consumption in Ireland continues to drop Ireland is 18th out of the EU’s 28-member states.


Crowe Horwath‘s annual report on Irish hotel rates said Dublin requires 5,000 new rooms to cope with increasing demand and rates will continue to rise for the next five years. Room rates are up 14pc to €128 and up 5.7pc on the record €121 on 2006. Occupancy rates are 82pc in Dublin and 69pc elsewhere. See report here.Picture shows Mairea Doyle-Balfeand Aiden Murphy of Crow Horwarth.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Dalata has received clearance from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to acquire the Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane, Dublin 2, and the Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley, Dublin 22.

  • Dromquinna Manor Co Kerry plans a new luxury tent experience at its ‘glamping’ site next year for €450 per night per couple.
  • Rule changes in how hotels are categorised in Ireland included a 25pc reduction in the minimum bedroom size in basic hotels.
  • Austrian investor Thomas Roeggla bought the 95-bedroom, four-star Anner Hotel in Thurles from PJ, Michael and Seamus Maher.
  • Gerry Barrett’s assets in his G Hotel battle with Deutsche were estimated at €60m.
  • The suspicion that wherever you travel, the rooms are the same was investigated in pictures.
  • The Temple Bar Inn in Dublin has applied to add a further six-storeys to its premises to increase from 101 to 190 rooms.
  • Gibson Hotel in Dublin’s Docklands has a €87m price tag.
  • The timing of a move to halt the running of Dublin’s Hampton Court Hotel was criticised in a Dublin Court.
  • Noel Smyth submitted plans for a nine-storey hotel on Liffey Street and Abbey St.
  • Great to see Aidan Doyle, ex Burlington Hotel GM, at the All Ireland Polo Club President’s Day (watch here).


The Board of DAA appointed Dalton Philips as the company’s new Chief Executive. He will take up the role on October 2, succeeding Kevin Toland, whose departure was announced in May. See report here. Outgoing Dublin airport CEO Kevin Toland made a valedictory appearance at the Ryanair press conference in Dublin this week. He talked about plans for passport control e-gates at Dublin airport (watch here), said the second runway would be delayed until 2021 because of delays in legislation (watch here), the proposed third terminal at Dublin airport is a distraction (watch here), Brexit (watch here) and paid tribute to Ryanair (watch here). in reply to a question from Travel Extra he said Michael O’Leary could do his job “and would be successful” (watch here).

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Norwegian are to increase Dublin to Stewart International  from 5w to 7w in summer 2018, and Shannon to Stewart International from 2w to 3w, Edinburgh to Providence increase from 4w to 6w. Belfast is losing a rotation to Stewart and Edinburgh is losing 2 to Providence. Norwegian expects its first A321LR to enter its fleet in 2019.

Ryanair say their summer 2018 programme from Dublin will deliver 12.9m annual passengers (+450,000, up 4pc) with 27-based aircraft on 90 routes, more than there are short-haul routes at Heathrow. Three new routes (Munich twice daily from Oct 29, Paphos 2w, Stuttgart daily from Nov 23), one resumed (Marrakech) and Naples increased from 2w in winter to 5w. Hamburg was increased from 4w to daily, Munich route 2 daily, Stuttgart daily, Memmingen is reduced from 4w to 1w. The map used in the presentation of the routes also included Nuremberg. Do they know something in Swords they are not telling us? See report here.  Topics covered by Kenny Jacobs included Ryanair cutting fares by 5pc (watch here),issues facing Ryanair in summer 2017 (watch here), voice recognition and the Get Me Home app (watch here), aviation in post Brexit Britain (watch here), plans for 4pc growth in Dublin in 2018 (watch here), the fact Ryanair have no plans for onboard wifi (watch here), Brexit Irish concerns (watch here). Topics covered by Ryanair Chief Commercial Office David O’Brien included Ryanair support for the second runway at Dublin (watch here), the 11,000 jobs Ryanair say they have created at Irish airports (watch here), why Ryanair returned to Marrakech (watch here). In reply to a question from Travel Extra on the Alitalia process he denied Ryanair had closed down Buzz but rather acquired its asssets (watch here). He said Dublin airport can never do enough for Ryanair (watch here). For Ryanair full press conference (watch here).

Powdair Ireland which is still not listed by CAR as holding a license, is to launch new service from Sion to London City and Zurich in winter 2017/18,

Ryanair London summer 2018 schedule offers 168 routes, five new routes Stansted to Aalborg, Dusseldorf (Weeze), Frankfurt, Oradea and Pardubice, and a Luton route to Bydgoszcz, which will help deliver 24.8m customers through Ryanair’s three London airports. Michael O’Leary said Theresa May should be doing the Brexit deal, not drinking sake

David O’Brien of Ryanair told a press conference in Dublin that interlining with Norwegian and Aer Lingus is delayed until end of 2017 (watch here). Ryanair received permission to start service in Ukraine in 2018, principally from Kyiv Borispol and Lviv.

  • KLM are to hire two more CityJet Avro RJ-85 aircraft, additional to the two that have been rented for a long time.
  • Ryanair say ALL of their incidents on aircraft relating to drunkenness are by English passengers, despite the airline having a larger market share in Poland, Italy, Spain and Ireland  (watch here).
  • The University of Limerick will host the second annual Shannon International Leasing Conference on November 10.
  • Pre-tax profits at the Lufthansa group of companies in Ireland rose by 20pc to €40.8m.
  • A Roadmap for Emerging Space States produced by the 110 participants of the nine week International Space University’s Space Studies Program 2017 in Cork County Hall provides a roadmap for Ireland to build and expand space sector capacitye.
  • Grant Thornton initiated an advertising campaign targeting business travellers at Dublin Airport’s T2.
  • Travel software company Datalex reported revenue up 24pc to $30.3m withplatform revenue up 9pc to $12.8m.
  • SKY Aviation Leasing issued $780.8m to help acquire a portfolio of 21 Airbus and Boeing aircraft worth approximately $1bn. The portfolio includes eight different aircraft models and 18 of the 21 aircraft are narrowbodies.
  • Finnair announced extra frequency to Dublin and a new service to Nanjing in summer.
  • BA is to restore Gatwick-Las Vegas and add Gatwick-Toronto for summer 3w with B777-200ER.
  • Airberlin’s frequent flier program, topbonus, filed for insolvency.
  • Airberlin closed bookings for many of its Berlin long-haul routes. Higher-fare categories only are avaialble on  long-haul routes from Dusseldorf.
  • Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar al-Baker has been elected chairman of the board of governors of IATA.
  • Qantas plans to extend its partnership with Emirates for a further five years, switching its daily Sydney-London flight to transit through Singapore rather than Emirates’ Dubai hub. The daily Melbourne-Singapore flight will be upgraded from an A330 to an A380.  Qantas will no longer fly to Dubai.
  • Loganair said those flying without luggage will no longer need to show photo ID prior to boarding.
  • Norwegian plan to hire 40 pilots.


Irish Ferries half year results showed car volumes up 2.3pc to 174,500 during the summer months.  See report here.

  • Queen Mary 2 set sail on her annual transatlantic fashion week voyage
  • Grand Circle are testing bikes on river and small ship cruises
  • Teppanyaki restaurant will debut on the Carnival Horizon cruise ship


Tourism Ireland signed a partnership with Kodaline. See report here.

CSO figures indicate Ireland’s inbound tourism is up 3.1pc to end July. Britain is down 6.2pc, North America 17.4pc (but slowing in July, up 4pc), Europe up 4.3pc (down 2pc in July) Australia 17.5pc (7pc in July).

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Fianna Fáil’s transport policy focused on what he calls the inadequacy of the Government response to the challenges of Breat-imeacht/Brexit. See report here and watch Transport Spokesman Robert Troy talking exclusively to Travel Extra at the Dail here.

Ireland should keep the 9pc VAT rate for tourism businesses, Kenny Jacobs of Ryanair told a press conference in Dublin (watch here). He called on the Irish government to double investment in tourism (watch here) said Irish tourism is not performing in German market (watch here) and said Irish tourism needs to concentrate on Europeans (watch here)

  • Irish Rail says it can save €17.6m a year by shutting down Limerick to Ballybrophy, Limerick Junction to Waterford, Ennis to Athenry on the Limerick to Galway route and Gorey to Rosslare on the Dublin to Rosslare route.
  • ITIC warned Irish tourism will suffer a €100m Breat-imeacht/Brexit blow this year thanks to the decline in English visitor figures. See report here.
  • George Best’s home at 16 Burren Way in east Belfast opened for visitors.
  • Giants Causeway was named the most overrated and underwhelming tourist attraction in a social media survey.
  • The swimming ban at Rush South, Co Dublin, was lifted

Deal Watch

Falcon winter sun

Falcon offers: Dublin to Ibiza, 14 nights self-catering 3* Apartamentos Del Rey, Portinatx, from  €499pp, depart September 21. Dublin to Majorca, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Hotel Lagotel, Playa De Muro, from €659, depart September 20. Cork to Lanzarote, 7 nights all inclusive 4* Los Zocos Club, Costa Teguise, from €899, depart September 21. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Villa Del Mar, Patalavaca, from €359, depart October 12. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 3* Labranda Oasis Mango, Los Cristianos, from €479, depart October 13. Shannon to Lanzarote, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Be Live Experience Lanzarote Beach Hotel, Costa Teguise, from €629, depart October 2. Visit, Call 1850 45 35 45

Thomson offers: Dublin to Campania, 4 nights B&B 3* Hotel Panorama, Maiori, from €409, depart October 16. Cork to Costa Del Sol,  7 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel Polynesia, Benalmadena, from €719, depart September 10. Dublin to  Majorca, TUI FAMILY LIFE, 7 nights self-catering 4* Coma Gran, Sa Coma, from €549, depart September 27. Dublin to Corfu, 7 nights self-catering 3* Roda Oasis, Roda, from €559, depart September 29. Dublin to Crete, 7 nights self-catering 2* Ourania Apartments, Gouves, from €369, depart October 1. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 4* Colon II, Playa De Las Americas, from €469, depart October 20. Shannon to Lanzarote, 7 nights B&B 4* Hesperia Lanzarote, Puerto Calero, from €569, depart October 2. Visit, Call 1850 45 35 45.

Sunway offers: Dublin to Turkey, 7 nights self-catering 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, from €379, depart October 14. Depart October 14. Dublin to Iceland, 3 nights B&B 3* hotel, excursions, from €829, depart October 27. Dublin to New York & Las Vegas, 4 nights Edison and 4 nights Excalibur, from €829, depart February. Montenegro & Greece Fly Cruise onboard Rhapsody of the Seas, from €855, depart November 3. Western Med Fly Cruise onboard NCL Epic, including premium all inclusive drinks and gratuities, from €1095, depart October 15. Monaco Grand Prix Fly Cruise onboard Azamara Quest, 4 nights sailing from Nice, from €2185, depart May 24, 2018. Dublin to Iceland Cruise onboard Celebrity Eclipse, 10 nights ex Dublin, depart May 10, 2018, from €1599, depart May 10. Miami , Las Vegas & Caribbean Fly Cruise & Stay onboard MSC Seaside, 12 nights, with 3 in Las Vegas, 2 nights Miami plus 7 night Cruise sailing from Miami,
From €1570, depart June 4 June 2018.

Topflight offers: Dublin to Adriatic Riviera, 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Senior, from €559, depart September 16. Dublin to Adriatic Riviera, 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Bagli from €629, depart September 16. Dublin/Cork to Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Eden, from €549, depart September 16. Dublin/Cork to Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B 2* Hotel Alpino, from €599, depart September 16. Dublin/Cork to Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Astoria, from €699, depart September 16. Dublin/Cork to Lake Garda, 7 nights full board 4* Park Hotel Casimiro, from €799, depart September 16. Dublin/Cork to Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Villa Maria, from €849, depart September 16. Dublin/Cork to Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Mayer & Splendid, from €869, depart September 16. Dublin/Cork to Venetian Riviera, 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Harrys, from €599.

What we learned

That 44 deaths in Texas are more newsworthy than 1,200 dead in India.: One dead in Ballyfermot equals 10 dead in Paris equals 100 dead in Turkey equals 1,000 dead in India equals 10,000 dead in China. Or as Monty Python once reported: No parrots were involved in an accident on the M1 today when a lorry carrying high-octane fuel was in collison with a bollard. That’s a bollardand not a parrot. A spokesman for parrots said he was glad no parrots were involved.




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