TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement October 25 2015: EWR we go, EWR we go (fewer we go) – an Aer Lingus puzzle



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header Oct 25 2015

NCL took possession of Norwegian Escape on Thursday, will Travel Extra be first in the pool.

NINE things you need to know about travel this week:

  • What’s all the fuss about? Aer Lingus might have FEWER seats to North America next summer
  • Lingus move an A330 and lose the JFK daybreak to service new routes
  • United not delighted about Newark invasion
  • NCL prepares for the great Escape
  • China Southern promises fares €100 below the market rate to Australia
  • Pass the Duchy: Luxair goes daily
  • Swiss on a roll with more flights from Dublin
  • The volcano that lit a fire under Iceland tourism
  • Headon Representation storms the Castle at TIGS Golf outing

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week oct 25 2015Check out the $1 flight to nowhere, our video of the week. Former aircraft engineer Bahadur Chand gives New Dehli children the chance to experience a flight using a decommissioned A300. Watch here.

  • Our guide to some of the hotels, visitor and tourist attractions that are said to be haunted in Ireland, some well known, and a few spooky surprises along the way. Watch here.
  • NCL uploaded an aerial view of Norwegian Escape sea trials in the North Sea. Watch here.
  • Japanese dance group World Order throw some synchronised shapes around Europe. Watch here.
  • See American Airlines’ video celebrating US1939, US Airways’ final flight. Watch here.
  • Westjet paints the Disney Frozen-themed jetWatch here.
  • See the Dublin, a Breath of Fresh Air promo video. Watch here.
  • Liverpool John Lennon Airport uploaded a video promoting Aer Lingus US flights with pre-clearance. Watch here.
  • Ryanair uploaded a video of Kenny Jacobs urging customers in Britain not to book flights through eDreams. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Willie Walsh TA announcementAn Aer Lingus puzzle to ponder. Daily to Newark? Up against a twice daily service by United, a partner airline (at least in pre-IAG days) . And starting in autumn? Willie Walsh’s oft-repeated plan for Aer Lingus is to fill it with connecting passengers from provincial England and Europe that would otherwise go through BA’s hub, Heathrow, turning Dublin into Heathrow’s third runway.

Niall Gibbons CEO of Tourism Ireland, Willie Walsh CEO of IAG and Kevin Toland CEO of Dublin Airport at the launch of Aer LIngus trans-Atlantic routes for 2016, October 21 2015

Having initially been promised two new trans-Atlantic routes for 2016 from Dublin by Aer Lingus, we got three: LAX 5w (from May 4, lead in fare €329 one way), Hartford Bradleydaily (from Sept 28, lead in fare €319 one way) and Newark daily (from Sept 1, lead in fare €309 one way). Two of them to start after the summer season, presumably because Aer Lingus has accessed two A330s on the IAG supply chain. Picture shows Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland, Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, and Kevin Toland, CEO of Dublin Airport. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

stephen kavagh willie walsh paschal donohoe TA announceAfter all the self congratulation was over, what exactly has happened? It is not quite the boom Paschal Donohoe, Willie Walsh andStephen Kavanagh would have us believe. Newark’s gain is JFK’s loss and Washington’s A330 has been transferred to Los Angeles. There is no sign of the early Dublin to JFK flight on either the booking engine or the timetable. Before September and two anticipated the A330s arrive there is minimal change in seats to North America, because Shannon-Boston has been reduced capacity might even be BELOW 2015 capacity.

  • The Dublin-Washington 4w A330 is transferred to Dublin-LAX and replaced by a B757.
  • The early morning Dublin-JFK B757 is transferred to Dublin-Washington.
  • Orlando goes from 3w to 2w to boost LAX.
  • Shannon to Boston has been reduced, from the Omni Air B767 to Air Contractors B757.

Leanne Donnelly and Clare Sutton 300What happens next is equally interesting. United feeds as many passengers (15pc) into Aer Lingus’s trans-Atlantic network as Jetblue. How cranky will they be? When Aer Lingus launched Dublin to Dulles, United reacted by launching a Dublin-Chicago service of their own. And will they stop feeding Aer Lingus services in Chicago, Dulles and San Francisco? And whither American, IAG’s partners in this plan? Listen here to Travel Extraeditor Eoghan Corry speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland in advance of the announcement on how Miami would make more sense than Newark. A puzzle indeed. Picture shows Leanne Donnelly and Clare Sutton of Aer Lingus at the launch.

Nick Newman of China Southern Airlines and Paul Weir of APG pictured at the announcement of China Southern Airlines new sales office in Dublin, October 22 2015

Nick Newman of China Southern Airlines came to Dublin to announce a sales and marketing office within their Ireland head office. He promised fares to Australia via Heathrow or Paris and Guangzhou of under €800 to Sydney return, less than the market price by €100: For us the key way into markets is through price point. We are coming with low prices and we have the new Dreamliner from London, A380 from Amsterdam, hopefully with the lowest prices and best airplanes we should be able to entice customers to fly China Southern. China Southern has increased from 400 to 600 aircraft in the past two years and is now the fourth largest airline in the world. Paul Weir, Head of APG in Ireland, has taken on a team of Chinese nationals, adding to the international expertise of this growing business. China Southern Airlines is now the third largest airline in the world, and the largest airline in China and Asia, operating 600 Aircraft to over 200 destinations in 40 countries. China Southern’s fleet includes the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the super Airbus 380, it was the first airline in the world to operate the A380. Watch here Travel Extra’s interview with Nick Newman at the launch. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

tapas day 2Spain’s tourist board hosted two events to mark world tapas day in Dublin this week, showcasing a city wide offer which allows you to get one free tapa plus a glass of Spanish wine when you buy a tapa from one of the participating 10 restaurants. Picture shows Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros Spanish Secretary of State and High Commissioner for Brand Spain, Gonzalo Ceballos Director of the Spanish Tourism Office in Dublin and Javier Moral Escudero Director of the Spanish Commercial Office in Dublin at the world tapas day celebrations in Dublin. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Skellig_MichaelStar Wars will return to Ireland next summer to film their third episode. Film-makers plan to build a village on the Three Sisters cliffs on the Dingle peninsula for their next episode, near where David Lean built he village during the making of Ryan’s Daughter in 1971. The December 15 Star Wars launch featuring Sceilig Mhichíl is likely to be a headache for managers of the fragile UNESCO world heritage site. OPW’s preferred option is to create a Newgrange type centre where you will visit the Skellig experience in Portmagee and uses their boats to be ferried to the island. It gives them more control over access and volume. Currently only 13 licensed boats operate and this years they restricted access to the island from May to September getting rid of 42 days potential work for the ferrymen. There is a High Court case going on at the moment on this. OPW’s best long time move would be to buy out the boatmen.

Gerry Maureen with winnerEmer Farrell and Gerry Headon were the winners of the final Travel Industry Golf Society outing of the year, sponsored by Travel Extra at the Castle on Thursday. The Travel Extra extravaganza (as Shay Mitchell described it), where 49 golfers took the field. Peter O’Hanlon is new president, Tanya Airey is the new TIGS captain while Martin Skelly vice-captain (and next in the succession line). Picture shows men’s winner Gerry Headon with Maureen Ledwith and Gerry O’Hare of Travel Extra. Watch here our video covering the highlights of the day. Also check out Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry’s speech at the event to the trade. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Norwegian escape deliveryAs the excitement builds ahead of next week’s pre-launch cruise, Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of Norwegian Escape. Will Travel Extra be first in the pool? The ship will feature a series of branded dining and entertainment experiences: two new speciality restaurants from chef Jose Garces; the Food Republic emporium from The Pubbelly Restaurant Group; the District Brew House; The Cellars Michael Mondavi Family wine bar; new Supper Club; a craft beer hall from Miami-based craft brewery Wynwood, two Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals; and the musical Million Dollar Quartet, two boutiques, Lacoste and Carolina Herrera, and a Snow Room in its Thermal Suite, which Norwegian Cruise Line is billing as the largest at sea. Picture shows NCL CEO Frank Del Rio with Bernard Meyer of Meyer Werft.

geysir video icelandIn Iceland this week, tour guide Sverrir Ragnallson explained how the Eyjafjallajökul debacle in 2010, with all its glorious mispronunciations, had within two months begun to boost a tourism boom which has continue ever since. He also explained how the Golden Circle attraction and Blue Lagoon (“Iceland’s Disneyland” as he called it) has worked for the travel trade. Watch here.
Travel Extra visited the Geysir geothermal area in Iceland, which gave its name to geysers worldwide (watch here), and the signature Gullfoss waterfall, watch here, returning home on the early morning Wow Airlines flight WW852 to Dublin (watch here).

Eoghan Corry Gylfi gudmundssonWow is marketing low cost flights from Ireland and connections to Boston and from December, Washington DC. Watch here Inga Hlin Palsdottir of Icelandic tourism speaking at ITB on the Impact of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption and Ash Cloud of 2010 on Iceland’s tourism marketing efforts and the challenges facing Iceland’s tourism marketing: ‘it has to be about more than nature.’ (watch here). Picture shows Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra and Gylfi Gudmundsson General Manager of the Skuggi Hotel in Reykjavik (and formerly with the Merrion Hotel in Dublin). And yes the parting glass was sung. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade


Swiss group picture_8718Corinne Genoud, two country director for Switzerland Tourism Ireland and Britain, hosted the trade at Fade Street Social this week. Sara Roloff of the Swiss TB said it was interesting to touch base with the Irish market again and to get more information on trends, ideas and the needs of the Irish. SWISS has introduced new flights Dublin-Geneva and a new group-booking tool. Other exciting news is the Grand Tour of Switzerland and two stages of  the Tour de France we are hosting in 2016. Picture shows the Swiss delegates, Heidi Reisz, Trade Manager for Switzerland Tourism, Silvia Popovic, Channel Manager for Swiss, Corinne Genoud, two country director for Switzerland Tourism Ireland and Britain, Sara Roloff, Media Manager Switzerland Tourism London and Helen Fyfe, Key Account Manager Ireland and Iceland Lufthansa Group

Dominic Burke_1654Travel Centres have organised a cocktail competition at their annual conference in Lyrath Kilkenny on December 3-5.

Amadeus updated their Amadeus Automation Suite and will be extending it beyond pilot customer, Scottish agency Barrhead Travel, Developed specifically for the Irish and British markets, they say it offers reduced operational costs, greater productivity and improved services.

sinead-reillyA year after its launch, Travelport Rich Content and Branding offers 120 network airlines and low cost carriers, more than 50pc of total air segment volumes, including Lufthansa, SWISS, easyJet, Ryanair, Delta, United, Singapore Airlines, Air Canada, Air China and Kenya Airways. Ninety airlines are now live in the system, ready for travel agencies to search, sell and book, with more airlines making their additional branded content available each week.

David O’Grady’s e-travel are running promotions on the Royal Suite available with Royal Caribbean on Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas from May.

Gordon Penney speaking to customers at the Atlas Travel Cuba eventPicture shows Gordon Penney of Cuba Travel speaking to consumers at an event organised by Atlas Travel.

Red Sea Holidays launched their winter schedule to Sharm El Sheikh using seats on the Falcon Holidays charter.

Funway launched their Florida Beaches 2016 brochure.

SriLankan Airlines is to launch a social media competition for travel agents at WTM 2015.

Wendy Wu new brochureWendy Wu tours launched their new Irish brochure and updated To celebrate, they are offering a €50 One4all voucher for every booking made before the end of November.

Aran Brazil of the Irish Sun won the Germany Irish Travel Writers’ Award 2015. Visitors from Ireland are up 7.6pc in 2015.

See further coverage here of the 2015 BTJA award won by Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry in London. Audio of the citation.

Brian surgenor zoomIs this the sweetest award acceptance speech ever? Brian Surgenor of Crumlin Travel was accepting the Roll of Honour award for best luxury holiday supplier at the NI Travel Awards in Newcastle, Co Down last weekend. Watch here.  Also see more pictures from the NI Travel Awards here or connect with the album on Facebook.

True to Michael Caslin’s desire to maintain his sporting programme, 747 travel released details of Direct Flight offers 1 and 2 nights  for michael caslin copyBosnia Herzegovina v Ireland Away match.

German tourism representatives converged on the German ambassador’s residence on Thursday evening for a presentation and awards ceremony.

Travelport signed a new long term agreement with Tripsta.

Travel Extra’s action replay

paschal donohoe with pressMinister Paschal Donohoe responded to suggestions that Dublin was unable to meet requirements of the Web Summit lost to Lisbon. Watch here. Minister Donohoe launched the Dublin Tourism ‘Breath of Fresh Air Campaign” October 16 2015 (watch here). See more pictures from the Dublin brand launch here or connect with the album on Facebook.

liam lonergan and eoghan corryFor those who weren’t at the ITAA conference in Jerez (and even if you were). you can view video highlights of the event (watch here), or catch up with Liam Lonergan’s “turnover is vanity, profit is sanity” analysis of the industry (watch here, with more video highlights of the event). Guess which Ballinasloe based travel agent led the charge on to the dance floor? Or, more accurately ship deck, as agents celebrated on board on board CroisiEurope‘s MS Belle de Cadix at an event organised by Alan Lynch and Celine Kenny of Cruisescapes (Watch here). Fionnuala Carter updated ITAA members on the Skillnet programme (watch here). Irish travel agents dined at the Carriage Museum at Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre (watch here). See more pictures from the ITAA Conference here or connect with the album on Facebook.

More video on Travel Extra’s YouTube channel.


Denis Kane Chairman IGTOA Presents K Club Director of Golf Sharon Smurfit with IGTOA Best Golf Resort Award Oct 2015The Irish Golf Tour Operators Association Awards on Monday night in the Sieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle Co Down was a swinging occasion, The K Club in Straffan won Golf resort of the year on the back of news it will stage next year’s Irish Open from May 19-22. William Hastings gave an emotional speech as he received the lifetime achievement award and the festivities continued until 5am, some suppliers leaving directly to the airport from the après-conference exuberance. Picture shows Sharon Smurfit, golf director at the K Club receiving the award from Denis Kanechair of the IGTOA. Watch here Michael Davern of the K Club interviewed by Travel Extra in advance of the announcement.

ashford castleThe National Hospitality Awards awarded Ashford Castle the Best Overall Hotel at an event in Dublin’s InterContinental Hotel. See full list of 27 winners here.

Eamonn Gillespie is new GM of the four-star Manor House Country Hotel in Co Fermanagh.

Louise McClean of the Clarion Hotel Liffey Valley won the Business Woman of the Year, Employee Category, at the Network Ireland Awards. Picture shows President of Network Ireland, Olwen Dawe, Employee Award Winner Louise McClean, Sale & Marketing Director, Clarion Hotel Liffey Valley, Dublin and awards judge Louise Glennon, Leadership Officer at National Women’s Council of Ireland.

Responsible travel award winners copySandymount Hotel, Dublin won the Green Hospitality Responsible Travel & Tourism Member of the Year award in a ceremony at The Marker Hotel in Dublin. Picture shows the prize winners with Maurice Bergin and Minister Paschal Donohue.

Five hotels were honoured at the EFQM Excellence Awards ceremony was held recently in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Northwood, Dublin: Lake Hotel Killarney with a EFQM 5 Star Excellence Award, Crowne Plaza Dundalk and the Pembroke Kilkenny, while Skylon Dublin and the Westport Woods Westport were both accredited at ‘Committed to Excellence’ level

Amazon, which in April moved beyond selling deeply discounted hotel rooms into a more well-rounded hotel-booking business, abruptly shut down its Amazon Destinations service entirely with no warning. A notice on the site states: “Amazon Destinations stopped selling reservations on and the Amazon Local app. If you have a reservation, your reservation is valid and will be honoured by the hotel. No action is required on your part.” homepageAccording to, Chinese visitors were the highest spenders on hotel rooms in Ireland for the first six months of 2015, up 27 YOY to €161 per room per night. Indian visitors spent an average €143 per night, US and Mexican visitors spent €137 and Singapore visitors spent €133. Visitors from Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan and Finland spent between €122 and €132.

trump resortTrump International Golf Links and Hotel was listed number two in Condé Nast Traveler’s top 10 resorts in Europe. Ashford Castle was listed number four, Powerscourt number 8 and Sheen Falls Lodge at number 10. The K Club, Dromoland Castle, Adare Manor and Mount Juliet featured in the top 20.

Aloft New York guests can now request room service using emoji.

Hilton will open a hotel in Bournemouth centre in December.


Tragedy struck honeymoon couple John Rodgers, 28, and his wife Lynette, 26, from Holywood, Co Down who drowned when they got into trouble in rough seas in Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape Province.

chinese passportThe cost of two year multiple entry visas for Chinese visitors to Ireland and Britain will be reduced from £324 to £85 from January 2016, the cost of a standard six month visa.

Tourists visiting Puerto Vallarta In Mexico and other vacation spots on Mexico’s Pacific coast were evacuated or escaped to shelters Friday before Hurricane Patricia (which irongically has the Irish heritage town of San Patricio in its path of destruction).

Vietnam is lowering visa fees for international tourists from November 23, to US$25 (down fromUS$45) for a single-entry visa and US$50 (down from US$95) for a visa valid for three months.

Disney is looking at surge pricing, charging different prices depending on what day of the week and what time of year guests visit its theme parks in Anaheim, California and Orlando, Florida, the Wall Street Journal. and GetYourGuide’s ranking of locations used throughout the Star Wars franchise David Bowie isranked Lars Homestead and Tatooine Desert Scenes in Tunisia as lead location behind Legoland (lead Star Wars attraction destination). Rancho Obi Wan, USA was third. Skellig Michael next?

The Victorian and Albert museum’s David Bowie exhibitionmakes its final stop in Groniger Museum, Netherlands. It opens December 11 and closes March 13 2016.

One person was killed and five others injured after a shooting at Zomicon festival, Fort Myers, Florida.

At least 43 people were killed in Friday’s fatal bus crash in France, the country’s worst road crash in three decades.

Australian traveller Paul Goudie returned to Tiger Kingdom in Phuket to hold out the olive branch to the tiger that bit him last year.

barbie exhibitionArgentinian artists Emiliano Pool Paolini and Marianela Perelli opened the controversial Barbie: The Plastic Revolution at an exhibition in the La Boca district, Buenos Aires. The show includes depictions of Barbie doll as the Virgin Mary and Ken as Saint Sebastian.

aviation policeIn honour of Back to the Future Day, Oliver Smith of The London Telegraph listed the funniest predictions for the future of travel, including the aviation police (pictured).

The programme was finalised for the Destination Europe summit.

SOTIC 2015 started in Curazao.

Food and Wine

K Club executive chef Finbar Higgins launched his new book, Producer to Plate The K Club Cookbook.

muckross waw award005Picture is of Muckross Hotel winner of the Wild Atlantic Way restaurant award which the Yew Tree Restaurant won at the Hotel and Catering Review Awards ceremony in Dublin. Executive chef John O ‘Leary is pictured with GM Sean O’Driscoll, Brian Miley, András Tóth, Sheila Sheahan, Dwayne Mulcahy, Joanna Jarosz, Ibrar Suleman, Kevin Diagne. Joanna Grabowska, Mandharan Veerayah, Ramune Balkerishna, Zsolt Zidek, Maeve Foley, Lina Dalton, Siobhan Ardener, Valerie O’ Rahilly, Ahmed Sharif and Krisztián Reczetár.

The National Hospitality Awards awarded Patrick Guilbaud’s as restaurant of the year at an event in Dublin’s InterContinental Hotel. Doheny & Nesbitt’s won pub of the year. See full list of 27 winners here.

ITT Culinary Masters 03The Institute of Technology Tallaght released details of its Masters Programme to enable chefs to innovate food for health and wellness, with Derry Clarke, Domini Kempand Neven Maguire acting as patrons. The programme started in September as a part-time programme, two evenings a week over two years. Contact Annette Sweeney. Pictures shows Domini Kemp, Nevin Maguire and Derry Clarke at the launch.

Sea View Guesthouse in Doolin won the Green Hospitality Responsible Irish Breakfast award in a ceremony at The Marker Hotel in Dublin. Hotel Doolin & Cliffs of Moher won the award for most Sustainable Menu; and Dromoland Castle won the award for most Responsible Tourism Destination.

NO PLACE LIKE ‘HOME’ FOR TOP NORTHERN IRELAND FOOD WRITERSixty French food and lifestyle journalists joined Antrim food writer Trish Deseine for the launch of her cookbook Mon Irlande. Tourism Ireland, Bord Bia and Hatchette Cuisine co-hosted the event in the Irish Embassy. Picture shows Monica MacLaverty of Tourism Ireland, Noreen Lanigan of Bord Bia, Trish Deseine, Shane Clarke of Tourism Ireland and Isabelle Canavesi of Elle magazine at the launch.

Food on the edgeEight chefs in training were selected by Fáilte Ireland to attend the two-day Food on the Edge symposium in Galway City. Mark Moriart, San Pelligrino’s world’s best young chef 2015 held a workshop with the students and their lecturers.

Susan Bell was appointed executive chef of Howth Castle Estate. Chef Cormac Rowe is hosting a two-hour demo and masterclass at the Howth Castle cookery school on November 4, 7pm-9pm. Tickets €50. On November 14, participants will recreate the school’s meant at a class from 1pm-6pm. Tickets €150 incl. dinner with wine. Visit or call 01 839 6182.


Lufthansa inline banner ad-

Aer_Lingus_Airbus_A330-300Aer Lingus may have to reduce their service to 2w from 3w to Orlando in summer 2016 to meet fleet requirements for their new Los Angeles service.

Ryanair have dropped two routes Shannon to Poitiers and Nice and cut frequency on three routes to Memmingen, Manchester and Paris for Summer 2016.

Brussels Airlines service from George Best Belfast City Airport to Brussels Airport from March 27th will reopen links to the EU capital. Picture shows Lucy Spratt celebrating with passengers in the terminal who were treated to traditional Belgian waffles.

dublin airport skybridgeDublin Airport will handle 300,000 passengers this October Bank Holiday Weekend up 10pc on last year.

BA is adding a daily Gatwick to JFK B777 flight on May 1. BA now has 22 trans-Atlantic flights; of interest is the fact that Austin is 70pc inbound traffic to London.

The Loop at Dublin Airport won Airport Retailer of the Year at the Frontier Awards in Cannes, see winners hereIf airport traffic grew by 6.2pc and global duty free and tax free airport sales were down 2.1pc, this effectively means that the important indicator of sales per passenger dropped by 6.7pc This must be a major industry concern,” TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortensen told delegates to the airport retail conference.

Aer Lingus re-commenced operations between Dublin and Liverpool.

Tony Tyler told the IATA World Passenger Symposium in Hamburg that airlines will carry 3.5bln passengers in 2015 and the figure will double in 20 years.

Warren East told Aerodays 2015 in London that It takes 10 years to develop a new aeroplane engine and bring it to market.

ETIHAD AIRWAYS NEW BUSINESS CLASS KITS S+FEtihad Airways introduced new business class amenity kits in conjunction with Luxe city guides

Shannon has an Aer LIngus A320 rather than a A319 based since last week.

Etihad Airways and flybuys joined in a loyalty partnership.

luxair-groupLuxair announced a sixth flight per week from Dublin to Luxembourg for winter 2015/16 with prices from €149 return. See here Travel Extra’s review of Luxembourg in the November print edition. Picture shows Paul Weir of APG, Marie Baillet of APG, Patricia MacKay of Belgium and Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and Eileen Penrose of APG.

In addition, Austrian media outlets have reported that the AOC of Intersky will be cancelled if it fails to sell, which would generate enough cash to keep it operating. German investors Intro Aviation (also Cityjet investors) sold out of Intersky in recent weeks.

Gazpromneft-Aero increased the volume of aviation fuel supplies for all QATAR Airways and Air India flights in Russia by 40pc, to 9,000 tons.

Ryanair claimed 82pc of consumers were fooled into thinking the eDreams website is

qantas barbie kenBarbie and Ken dolls helped Qantas showcase 95 years of uniforms.

Aer Lingus may not longer be part owned by Ryanair, but they have inherited Ryanair’s old (and renounced) trick of double-counting. The Aer Lingus blog says the airline will operate 28 flights per day after this week’s expansion which is 14 round trips (September only). Peak capacity would be up about 8pc, not the more than 17pc stated in the Aer Lingus blog.

  • ba new mealBA will add the Taste of the Far Easy meal option for long haul economy passengers from October 26.
  • United reported a record third-quarter net income of $1.7bn.
  • Expedia will display airlines’ extra feesalongside base ticket prices in a search, starting with Delta Airlines and Airberlin.
  • Singapore Airlines confirmed it will resume its 19-hour Newark-Singapore and 18-hour LA-Singapore routes (A350-900ULR) in 2018.


Empress of the Seas is to return to Royal Caribbean after seven years with sister line Pullmantur. Pullmantur is undergoing a restructuring and will not be able to use the ship.

Norwegian epicNorwegian Epic re-entered service on Monday after a three-week dry dock to be fitted with entertainment, dining and technical updates.  Fat Cats bar has been renamed the Cavern Club complete with Liverpool themed furniture after the venue for The Beatles’ early shows. Award-winning musical “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” replaces the long-running Blue Man Group.

silver museSilversea Cruises’ new 596 passenger Silver Muse will have eight restaurants, two more than Silver Spirit when it launches in April, 34 silver suites, a Silver Muse news service by email. and will serve as its flagship.

MSC’s new match loyalty programme, originally due to be launched Monday, has been delayed by a month.

Aerial Splendor of the Seas in Buzios (Brazil)Thomson Cruises is to homeport Thomson Discovery, currently sailing as Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas, in Barbados for the winter 16/17 season after spending the summer sailing from Palma.

Oceania Cruises is upgrading Owner’s and Vista Suites on board Sirena.

Norwegian epic

Miami processed 2.5m passenger embarkations in 2014, up 26.5pc and Port Everglades 1.94m, according to CLIA’s 2014 Economic Impact Analysis, Miami will be homeport to more ships in the coming years, including Norwegian Escape and new ships expected from MSC, Carnival and Royal Caribbean while Virgin Cruises has said it will base its line in Miami when it launches in 2020. The cruise industry contributed US $119.9bn to the global economy in 2014 . The industry engaged 939,232 full-time equivalent employees earning $39.3bn in income.

WHAT NOT TO WEAR BRAND SHOOT 2012Princess Cruises has launched Style at Sea with TLC from stylist Stacy London in a bid to attract more females to its Discovery at Sea customers. The line’s Runway at Sea fashion show, where passengers can try on clothes and accessories sold onboard and model them down a red carpet, will be revamped.

Carnival has been testing a pilot programme that allows passengers to customise their cabin service experience on four of the line’s ships.

The 166-passenger Avalon Passion will launch on April 13, 2016, in Linz.

Deal Watch

Budapest, City Centre, Christmas marketTravel Department offers: 3 nights B&B 3* Hotel Silken Torre Garden, Madrid from €299pp incl. taxes and charges, depart November 4 or 12. 3 nights in a 3* or 4* hotel, Prague from €329pp incl. taxes, charges and transfers, depart November 5. 4 nights 4* Hotel Clarion Congress, Prague from €369pp no single room supplement incl. transfers, taxes and charges, depart November 15. 4 nights 3* Hotel Chopin, Krakow from €509pp incl. taxes, charges and transfers, depart November 8. 3 nights 3* Hotel Rialto, Barcelona from €299pp incl. taxes, charges and transfer on arrival, depart November 13 or 27. 3 nights B&B 3* Hotel de Suede, Nice from €319pp incl. taxes, charges and transfer on arrival, depart November 13. 3 nights in 3* or 4* accommodation, Lisbon from €299pp incl. taxes, charges and transfers, depart November 20. 3 nights B&B 4* Hotel Palazzo Zichy, Budapest from €459pp incl. taxes, flights, transfer on arrival and excursions, depart November 26. 3 nights B&B 4* Falkensteiner Hotel Wien Margarethen, Vienna from €399pp incl. taxes, flights, excursions and transfer on arrival, travel in November. 3 nights 4* Berlin Mark Hotel from €329pp incl. taxes, flights, accommodation, transfers and guides, depart November 30. 3 nights in 4* accommodation, Budapestfrom €319pp incl. taxes, flights, transfers and guides, depart November 27 or 29. 5 nights 4* Grand Hotel Liberty, Riva Del Garda from €439pp incl. taxes, flights, transfers and guides, travel in November and December. 3 nights B&B 4* Hotel Clarion Congress, Prague from €299pp incl. taxes, flights, transfers and guides, depart November 30 or December 7.

Turkish Airlines is offering Dublin-Durban from €562 return, depart October 28 2015 to January 31 2016 (excl. December 11-27). Book up to December 15.

Sunway Club Med all inclusive ski offers: 7 nights Valmorel, France from €2,099pp, depart December 14. 7 nights Cervinia, Italy from €1,499pp, depart April 9 2016. 7 nights Wengen, Switzerland from €1,669pp, depart March 6 2016. 7 nights Arcs Extreme, France from €1,669pp, depart March 13 2016. 7 nights Val Thorens, France from €1,899pp, depart April 9 2016. 7 nights Ptragelato Vialattea, Italy from €1,695pp, depart December 13 2016. 7 nights Tignes Val Claret, France from €1,499pp, depart April 9 2016. Visit or call 01 236 6800. Sunway is offering a 7-night all inclusive 5* Christmas markets River Rhine cruise from €1,749pp, depart December 16. 7 night self catering 2* Tilila Studio Apartments, Morocco from €369pp, depart November 28. 7 nights B&B 4* Agadir Beach Club Hotel, Morocco, depart November 28. 7 nights self catering 2* Maxorate Beach Apartments, Fuerteventura from €529pp, depart November 28. 7 nights self catering 2* Los Pueblos Apartments, Lanzarote from €499pp, depart November 28. 7 nights self catering 2* Los Pueblos Apartments, Lanzarote from €499pp, depart November 28. 7 nights self catering 2* Los Pueblos Apartments, Lanzarote from €499pp, depart Cork November 28.  7 nights self catering 2* Monte Verde Apartments, Gran Canaria from €499pp, depart Cork November 27. 7 nights 2* Monte Verde Apartments, Gran Canaria from €549pp, depart November 27. Visit

Falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €299pp, depart December 13. 7 nights self catering 3* Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €399pp, depart December 19. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Xperience St George, Sharm El Sheikh from €579pp, depart January 13 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,609pp, depart June 19 2016. 7 nights 4* Atlantica Princess, Ialyssos, Rhodes from €1,679 for two adults and one child and from €2,379 for two adults and two children, depart June 1 2016. Visit or call 1850 45 35 45.

Thomson deal watchThomson offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Izaro, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €409pp, depart December 6. 7 nights self catering 3* Cay Beach, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €399pp, depart December 19. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Jaz Mirabel Beach, Sharm El Sheikh from €689pp, depart January 15 2016. Lapland Day trip to Rovaneimi from €639 per adult and €539 per child, depart December 5, 12 or 18. 7 nights all inclusive 2* Karras Hotel, Laganas, Zakinthos from €889pp, depart June 14 2016. 7 nights half board 5* Aqu Rithyma Beach, Crete from €949pp, depart May 29 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Riu Helios Bay Hotel, Bulgaria from €889pp, depart June 13 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Palladium Jamaica, Lucea from €2,019pp, depart June 3 2016. 7 nights full board Continental Coasts cruise on board Thomson Spirit from €1,209pp, depart July 17 2016. Visit or call 1850 45 35 45.

Royal Caribbean offers: 7 nights Arabian Gulf cruise on Spendour of the Seas from €1,199pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and $100 on board spend per room, depart February 15 2016. 9 nights Greek Isles cruise on Jewel of the Seas from €1,207pp incl. $100 on board spend per room, book by November 2, depart June 1 2016. 7 nights Western Caribbean cruise on Freedom of the Seas from €1,299pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and $100 on board spend per room, depart January 31 2016. Visit or call 1800 555 604.

Tour America Easter 2016 offers: 7 nights Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €699pp incl. return flights, depart March 22 2016. 3 nights in LA, 2 nights in Santa Barbara and 2 nights in San Francisco from €899pp incl. return flights and fully inclusive car hire, depart March 22 2016. 7 nights Emporio Hotel & Suites Cancun from €999pp incl. return flights, depart March 21 2016.

Click and Go offers: 2 nights B&B 3* Van Belle Hotel, Brussels from €149pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in December. 7 nights half board 4* Beatriz Playa & Spa Hotel, Lanzarote from €459pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes, charges and airport transfers, travel in December. 3 nights B&B 4* Quality Hotel Nova Domus, Rome from €219pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in December. Visit

Insight Vacations is offering an 8-day tour of Turkey from €1,525pps incl. flights, transfers and accommodation, depart May 15 2016. Visit insight or call 1800 98 98 98.

Lowcostbeds self catering winter sun offers: 2* Paradero Apartments, Playa de Las America, Tenerife from €16pppn. 3* Oasis Duna, Caleta de Fuste, Fuerteventura from €20pppn. 3* Castello del Sol, Puerto Rico from €28pppn. See

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering an 8-day Parisian cruise on board the River Baroness from €1,711pps incl. flights, transfers, meals, beverages and shore excursions, depart December 20. Visit or call 1800 98 98 98.

Contiki is offering a 13-day Mediterranean highlights tour from €1,570pps incl. flights, transfers and 7 nights accommodation, book by November 9, depart January 8 2016. Visit or call 1800 98 98 98.

Irish Ferries deal watchIrish Ferries is offering €249 off 7-night breaks in a deluxe holiday home at Preshaven Sands or Moarton Mere, arriving June 27 2016. Book by November 2. Visit or call 0818 300 400.

ITAA offers of the week: 4 nights 4* hotel, Las Vegas from €1,595pps incl. return flights ex Dublin and ticket to Conor McGregor’s UFC fight against Jose Aldo, depart December 10. 7 nights B&B Centra Coconut Beach Resort Samui, Thailand from €849pps incl. return flights, return transfers, taxes and charges, travel in December. 3 nights Hotel Edison, New York from €699pp incl. return flights and a Central Park ice skating ticket, travel in January. Visit

Tourism NI deal watchTourism NI offers of the week: 1 night self catering Windsor Townhouse, Belfast from £180 for two people incl. logs for open fire, bottle of Prosecco and box of chocolates on arrival, available until December 13, cll 078 9104 1899. 2 nights B&B Bayview Hotel, Portballintrae, Bushmills from £109pps incl. four course Table D’Hote dinner and tickets for the Bushmills Distillery tour, available until December 13, call 028 2073 4100, quote promo code Autumn Leaves when booking. 3 nights B&B Enniskeen Country House Hotel, Newcastle from £149pps incl. two evening dinners, available until November 8, call 028 4372 2392.

The Westin Christmas offer: 2 nights B&B from €535pps incl. Christmas Eve dinner in The Exchange Restaurant, five course Christmas Day lunch in The The Westin deal watchBanking Hall with live entertainment, light evening supper on Christmas Day and stockings filled with surprises for all guests. 3 nights package from €735pps incl. all of the above and afternoon tea on Stephen’s Day and a chef’s tasting evening dinner. Call 01 645 1129 or email Visit 


dublin coachDublin coach is going to London, courtesy of a Tourism Ireland initiative, and we don’t mean Jim Gavin. Watch out for a few development sin the coming days about London’s Lord Mayoral 800th anniversary show.

New GPO Witness History Exhibition Centre opens advance bookings ...Tickets are now available for GPO Witness History visitor centre commemorating the 1916 Rising.

The Wild Atlantic Way Expo in Galway hosted 60 overseas buyers and adventure travel agents, where they undertook 2,100 face to face appointments. The youth and adventure buyers are pictured with Geraldine Lardiner of Failte Ireland at the Killary Adventure Centre, Leenane, Co Galway. Operators could choose from a number of experiences including abseiling and sea kayaking at Killary Adventure Centre in Leenane and deep sea fishing with Connemara Wild Escapes. Additionally some adventure fun will be had down Dingle Way, which includes surfing, a boat journey around Dingle Bay and kayaking in Dingle Harbour. A weekend of culture and heritage in the North West, such as exploring Sliabh League Cliffs, Donegal and coasteering in Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo and stand up paddleboarding on Strandhill beach. The group will also participate in a Beara Peninsula Looped cycle taking in the most scenic of views around Lough Inchiquinn, Co Cork and a nature walking tour of the Burren in Clare, by foot with an expert guide to discover the rugged interior of the national park.

Paschal Donohoe dublin launchIn the aftermath of the Dublin Tourism brand launch last week, some tourism veterans are recalling that Dublin previously used the “breath of fresh air” slogan in the aftermath of the smoking ban on Dublin. Watch here and watch here tourism minister Paschal Donohoe’s comments about the new campaign.

The_GAA_&_Revolution_in_IrelandThe GAA & Revolution in Ireland 1913–1923 (Collins Press, see here), whose authors include Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry, was launched at Croke Park museum on Wednesday. It as a chance to check in on John Henry Boyle and Andrew Leonard‘s renovation of Croke Park’s meeting and event spaces. The stadium’s two flagship suites in the Hogan Stand have ben augmented by four  luxury All-Star Suites, a lighting system and, for the Hogan suite, new  LED lighting package system,  Tannoy VLS Series Column Array Speaker System, two Lumen HD Panasonic DLP devices, 1,000 square feet of carpet and art installations which  celebrate GAA heroes and “the emotional qualities of the stadium and its games.” Mark Dorman said Croke Park now has 110 event spaces that can host events with up to 2,000 guests. Upcoming events include the Ocean Energy Europe this month, the Hive Conference in April 2016 and the International Association of Credit Portfolio Managers scheduled for May 2016. It is all a far cry from 1998, when Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry storylined the GAA’s museum and fist launched Irish sport into the tourist attraction business.

Micheal O'Muircheartaigh High resKerry sports broadcasters Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh and Aloysius ‘Weeshie’ Fogarty will be joined by Pat Spillane and Dublin’s Tony Hanahoe for the keynote session at the fourth Sneem International Storytelling and Folklore Festivalthis November 6-8: maverick GAA coaches, funny incidents in dressing rooms and tours abroad. Professional storytellers from Australia, Canada, Scotland and Ireland will perform including Clare Murphy, Scotland’s David Campbell and Kerry’s Ray O’Sullivan.

St George’s Market in Belfast will host the first ever Twilight Market on Wednesday November 11.

Twenty-two coach and group tour operators from Germany visited the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens in Kildare, King John’s Castle in Limerick, Blarney Woollen Mills and the Jameson Experience in Midleton, the Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross, Jerpoint Abbey in Thomastown and Glendalough.

Tourism Ireland and VLM Airlines‘ joint campaign to promote the Waterford-Birmingham service will run until the end of November with radio ads on Heart and Smooth Radio, and online video.

aran islands videoIs this the best Irish travel video? Conor Hallahan of Aran Island Ferries thinks so. Judge for yourself.

Darren Doyle of Speirview Ireland had some fun with the soundtrack for Jurassic Park on this video of Glendalough.

Minister of State Michael Ring announced €340k in funding has been approved through Fáilte Ireland’s capital investment programme to renovate the Old Station House at Mulranny as part of the Great Western Greenway, and to develop an indoor visitor attraction at Achill Island.


Lonely Planet India journalists Vinobha Nathan and Anjuman Deodhar visited I Game of Thrones locations, Belfast and the Gobbins Coastal Path. Picture shows the pair at Tollymore Forest Park, Co Down.

Fáilte Ireland’s Dublin Convention Bureauconfirmed two international conferences, the Conference of Cognitive Society in 2017 and the Renaissance Society of America conference in 2021.

€230m Worth of Business Up for Grabs at Ireland’s Biggest Meetings & Incentive Workshop (Kilkenny)Meet in Ireland 2015 kicked off at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Ely Place, on Thursday.

Denis Desmond claimed that half of the tickets for Electric Picnic 2016 have already been sold, before any acts have been announced.

Bram Stoker festivalOverseas media from Trips100 blog, National Geographic Traveler and Dazed magazine visited Dublin this weekend to take part in the Bram Stoker festival.

Reps from the Ulster Historical Foundation, the Ulster Scots Agency, the Belfast Tattoo and Causeway Coast Rentals travelled to SPOTLIGHT ON NORTHERN IRELAND IN ATLANTA, GEORGIAGeorgia with Tourism Ireland to take park in the Stone Mountain Highland Games. Armagh’s Stonewall Folk group provided entertainment. Picture shows Judith McLoughlin of the Ulster Kitchen, Gillian Hunt of Ulster Historical Foundation, Warren Attwell, Feral O’Brien, Colin Slaine, Paul Tully and Kenny Qua, all Stonewall Folk Group, Anita Gibney and Colin Wasson, both the Belfast Tattoo, Mike Hawe of Isle Inn Tours, Keith Walls of Causeway Coastal Rentals, Catriona Holmes of Ulster Scots Agency and Virginia Goff of Tourism Ireland.

Mount Stewart, Co Down featured in a six-page article in French magazine Point de Vue.

The celebrated Queen of Technicolour Maureen O’Hara, star of The Quiet Man, died aged 95.

pic-1-FRENCH-TOURISM-LEADERS-VISIT-IRELAND-S-ANCIENT-EASTTours operators, air carriers and sea carriers from the French Marketing Partnership Group visited Ireland’s Ancient East this week as guests of Tourism Ireland. Their itinerary included visits to Loughcrew, Slane Castle and Russborough House. Picture shows Christophe Vieville of Odigeo, Finola O’Mahony of Tourism ireland, Sarah Fitzpatrick of Fáilte Ireland, Séverine Tharreau of Tourism Ireland, Richard Carayon of Quartier Libre, Eoghan O’Mara Walsh of ITIC, Serge Fonseca of Tourism Ireland, Thomas Bergeal of Opodo, Francis Gouhier of Vacances Transat, George Allen of Loughcrew, Mark McGovern of Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny, Caitriona Butler of Irish Ferries, Monica MacLaverty of Tourism Ireland, Emily Naper of Loughcrew, Maud Lucchitta of Opodo, Farida Chikhaoui of Aer Lingus, Barbella Grenie of Kuoni Celtic Tours and Florence Gourdon of Brittany Ferries.

What we learned this week

tubePerhaps it is a Hallowe’en thing, but Heathrow Terminal 1 (cue horrific flashbacks) is still in existence, according to the signage and announcements on the London Tube.

Travel Extra received an email saying we have been chosen as a potential candidate to represent our state and profession in the upcoming edition of “Women of Distinction” for 2015. Must order that sex change operation.

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