Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement October 19 2014: How Open are those Open Skies?



Julian Schroer conducts a cycle tour of Berlin. Berlin Railtours Aer Lingus fam.

Julian Schroer conducts a cycle tour of Berlin. Berlin Railtours & Aer Lingus fam trip.

The headlines this week…

*Berlin 25 years later with Railshop

*Willie Walsh declares game on for DUB-LCY

*Fever Pitch for Scotland-Ireland

*Northern Delights at Newcastle


Travel Extra TV

basejump-videoOur video of the week shows American base jumper John Van Horne jumping from a 330m high skyscraper in Kuala Lumpur and landing at a pool party on the rooftop of a 34-storey building nearby. Watch here.

  • uploaded a promo video for the Discover Ireland Autumn Break. It shows Ryan Tubridy taking the 4×4 challenge. Watch here.
  • How do you get a safari jeep out of the mud? Watch here. Video by Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry.
  • Tour of the suites at Soroi Serengeti Lodge conducted by Ibrahim MuhiliWatch here.
  • Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry talks to Asheri Kilsay about the newly opened Acacia LodgeWatch here. Enjoy the farewell song at the lodge: watch here.
  • The National Print Museum restored Ireland’s only Warfedale stop-cylinder printing press, the type of printer used to print the original copies of the Proclamation produced on Easter Sunday night, 1916. Watch here.
  • Professional sky runner Emelie Forsberg speaks to CNN International about the unique sport. Watch here.
  • KLM uploaded a funny video of what NOT to pack. For example, don’t bring breakables, unless “you want the world’s most expensive porcelain puzzle”. Or an anvil, for that matter – “better get the light travel version…if there is one”. Watch here.
  • The death toll in a blizzard that hit trekkers on the popular Annapurna trail in Nepal rose to 39 yesterday. So far 371 have been rescued but dozens remain missing. English survivor Paul Sheridan caught the blizzard on camera. Watch here.
  • Daredevil Nik Wallenda said he is ready for an untethered night time tightrope walk between Chicago skyscrapers. Watch here. Last year, Nik completed a high-wire walk over the Grand Canyon.
  • The first passenger aircraft to be made in Japan in almost 40 years was unveiled as its maker pushes into the regional jet sector in the hops of taking on giants Embraer and Bombardier. Watch here.
  • Take a look at this tandem with a twist: it’s called the buddy bike, spotted in Poland. It’s a bicycle built for two that has the seats side by side. Watch here.
  • Performance artist Peter Sharp convinced commuters on a train in Perth to take part in a dance party in the hope of bringing people closer together. Watch here.



Berlin is gearing up for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall on November 8. Railtours, Deutsche Bahn and Aer Lingus hosted an agents’ visit to Berlin, sampling the rail service back to Frankfurt before their return home. The group dined in TV Tower Restaurant Sphere, restaurant Fleischerei, tried Berliner Currywurst and finished with melt in the mouth cuisine with truffle cappuccinos in Vox Restaurant. They stayed in the Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz, a gargantuan hotel with a lively bar. They took a city tour with legendary Berlin tour guide Markus Mueller-Tenckhoff, stretched their legs on the Berlin Exposed eBike Tour as far as Templehof airport, organised by Fat Tire Bike Tours, visited the GDR Museum and saw the nerve tingling musical about the fall of the wall, Hinterm Horizont at the Theater am Potsdamer Platz. Picture shows Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra, Paula Dolan of GTI,  Ulrich Teitz of Deutsche Bahn, Jenny Twomey of Premier Travel, Joan Scales of The Irish Times, Grainne Quinn of, Gordan Pullen of GPS Travel, Bernie Burke of Travel Centres, Catherine Grennell-Whyte of ATTS, Gerry Benson of Travelbiz and Julia Vorobjova of ATTS. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

willie-walshWillie Walsh (pictured) was back in Dublin to launch British Airways’ new Embraer service to London City airport at Medley (listen here). Asked by Travel Extra if the London City route was now over-served and would all the competitors survive on the route, he said: “we will anyway”. Martin Skelly, president of the ITAA, thanked British Airways for maintaining contact with the Irish travel trade (listen here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Sunway are using one of the BA Embraers to operate a new service from Dublin to Menorcafor summer 2015.  Flight will operate every Saturday from May 30 to September 26, 2015. Capacity 98 seats.

The olé days are not quite back yet, but interest in the Irish soccer team is back close to peak after John O’Shea’s 94th minute budget night equaliser in Gelsenkirchen. From the few dozen hardy souls who travelled to Tbilisi through Istanbul the ranks will swell to 7,000 for the Scottish match in Glasgow on November 14, and possibly more if tickets can be acquired. Abbey Travel and 747 are running coach tours to Scotland for the next fixture on November 14th. DRS have one night hotel and travel on Stena Line for €99pps. Remember Scotland was where the saga all began in 1987.

Could we finally see the Open Skies agreement between the EU and the US get back on track after many years of sliding off course? In what is being described as an unprecedented move, the European Commission requested an urgent meeting to discuss Norwegian Air International’s pending application for a foreign air carrier permit which has spent eight months gathering dust before the US Department of Transportation. The extraordinary meeting, which is being requested by the Commission on behalf of the European Union as a party to the US-EU Open Skies Agreement, sends a clear message that the European Union is closely watching Norwegian Air International’s application, to fly to the US from several cities in Europe which has been pending for over eight months.

Travel extra cover Nov 2014 300The print edition of Travel Extra arrives in agencies over the coming days, read here. The latest edition features developments in winter cruise including the new Caribbean capital projects, the return of Royal Caribbean to Dubai and updates on Quantum of the Seas, the most technologically advanced cruise ship on the ocean when it launches next month. There are reports from events on travel events from four continents, destination reviews of Dominican Republic and Zanzibar, tropical island destinations in different oceans, and the home holiday section samples some of Ireland’s Eden destinations and a scenic Bus Éireann tour of the Cork-Waterford tail beyond the Wild Atlantic Way. We look at the debate over the length of ski runs, the rapid increase in some European city hotel prices, the implications of Ryanair’s two mega-aircraft orders, the 5,000 extra seats a week between Dublin and London City, Aer Lingus’s A350 implications, Royal Caribbean’s innovative new agent incentive programme and prospective ITAA conference venues, Alan Lynch of Cruisescapes does this month’s busman’s holiday. Our report of the Dreamliner service from Dublin to Los Angeles with Ethiopian Airlines, that “contracts have been finalised,” has been overtaken by developments, the Dublin-Los Angeles-Addis Adaba route was announced while the magazine was being printed.

Group ngorogoro_7683 copy (2)Picture shows the group of international travel trade professionals and their hosts at Ngoitoktok in Ngorongoro national reserve in Tanzania, Oct 5 2014. Pictured: Tanzanian journalists Mousa and Marc Nkwame, Zhao Shaohui from China, Geoffrey Tengeneza of TTB, Beatrice Mwiru of TTB, Kim MacDonald of the West Australian Newspaper, Reuven Sagi of RAS International Tours in Mexico, Front row: Iris Lee from NAC tours in China, Pete MacDonald from Perth, Patricia Mohr of Tramex Germany and Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra in Ireland.

heidi-reiszSwitzerland Tourism hosted an event in Dylan McGrath’s Fade Street Social on Wednesday. It has been a while since they were in Ireland – three years to be precise. Heidi Reisz (pictured) said that Switzerland is celebrating a few anniversaries, namely the 150th anniversary of winter tourism. 2015 will celebrate the first ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper. The Swiss are also marking the first ascent of the Eiger in 1858 – a “much more scary mountain” – by Wicklow man Charles Barrington. Barrington, one of Heidi’s heroes (listen here), was the man who “would’ve climbed the Matterhorn, but ran out of money”.  Corin Ursptrung of Swiss Travel System introduced the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, a panorama experience that is available on ten scenic routes. Four and eight day travel passes are available with free travel by train, bus and boat, a 50pc discount on the mountain rail and public transport and free admission to 470 museums. Routes include the Glacier Express, an eight hour trip from St Mortiz to Zermatt which is “like hiking” but without any strain on the body; and the Bernina Express which takes you from Chur to Tirano in Italy. Jeff Michel of OTP Swiss Holidays, a partner of Swiss Travel System, noted that in Switzerland, you are never any more than 800 metres from a public transport stop. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

poland-eventPicture shows Ada Kostrz-Kostecka speaking at the Invitation to Poland event in Dublin Chamber of Commerce. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Listen here to Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry on Raidio na Gaeltachta talking about the impact of the budget on Irish tourism, the Ebola crisis and the new Ethiopian and Los Angeles routes.

Travel Trade

lowcost-eventPicture shows Paul Riches, Clem Walshe, Grainne Caffrey, and Alex Gisbert of Lowcostbeds, who hosted 17 travel trade and media at Dobbins. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The Northern Ireland Travel News annual awards returned to their traditional Newcastle venue. Topflight won the ski award for the 12th successive year. The winners: Tourist Information Centre Belfast Welcome Centre; NI Tourism Special Achievement Award Alan Clarke; NI Visitor Attraction Award Titanic Belfast; Accommodation only specialist GetABed; Travel Insurance Company Blue Insurance; Cruise Line Royal Caribbean International; Specialist Cruise Company Silversea Cruises; Luxury Operator If Only; UK Domestic Airline Are Lingus; International Airline Etihad; Airline to Europe ex-Belfast EasyJet; Ferry Company Stena Line; Tourist Board Northern Ireland Tourist Board; Worldwide Tour Operator Kuoni; Specialist Tour Operator American Holidays; Short Breaks Tour Operator Travel Solutions; Ski Operator Top Flight; Package Tour Operator Jet2 Holidays; Sales Support Team to the NI Travel Trade World Travel Centres; Travel Internet Booking System Travel Trade representative/Manager of the Year Martin Maclaren NI Travel Industry Award 2014 Linda Henderson Northern Ireland Travel Agent of the year 2014 Knock Travel.

albufeira aileen pic 300 (2)Portuguese tourism delegation led by Carlos Silva e Sousa,  Mayor of Albufeira, Luis Pereira, GM Albufeira Promotion Bureau and Ivo  Faria, Portimao Promotion Bureau met with the Irish travel trade in Cork on Tuesday and Dublin on Thursday. Lorrain Connolly of Kane’s Travel Longford Town won two flights to Faro thanks to Aer Lingus, a stay in a 5-star Pestana Hotel in the Algarve and 2 green fees for a Pestana golf course.

  • Mary Oman was awarded Star Baker in the Falcon Holidays, American Holidays, Crystal and Travel Mood Great TUI Bake off.
  • Dosomethingdifferent launched a new product on the Irish market,, offering agents a cost effective way to book live availability holidays at Walt Disney World Resort Orlando. They say it is unique in its technology, enabling agents to book Disney Free Dining offers through the site and add hotel, ticket and dining options to flights to tailor make an Orlando holiday.
  • Shandon Travel celebrated 40 years in business with a party on Friday.
  • john-galliganJohn Galligan Travel (pictured) also recently celebrated 25 years in business. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • German tourism representatives converged on the German ambassador’s residence on Thursday evening for a presentation and awards ceremony.
  • The Travel Counsellors 2015 conference will take place in Carton Jouse, Maynooth, on April 14-15 2015, marking ten years since the homeworking organisation set up in Ireland. Cathy Burke will lead Travel Counsellors’ biggest ever contingent of Irish Travel Counsellors heading to Manchester next month to celebrate the company’s global 20th Anniversary with 1,400 colleagues.
  • skal-eventPicture shows Nicky Logue GM Gibson Hotel, Margaret Cronin President Dublin SKAL, Charlie Murphy the guest speaker from Dublin Port Authority at the SKAL lunch in Gibson Hotel.
  • There will be no ITAA conference gala dinner on the Saturday evening of the conference on board Quantum of the Seas, which takes place Oct 31-Nov 2.
  • The Europa Hotel in Belfast will host the Visit USA Travel Agent Road Show on November 27. The road show will also head to London’s Chelsea Football Club on Nov 25 and The Crowne Plaza in Nottingham on Nov 26. Over 25 Visit USA Association members will attend, with 100 spaces available for agents at each event.

Deal Watch

  • holiday-villageFalcon’s all-inclusive Holiday Village offer: 7 nights Dublin to Cala Millor, Majorca from €2,208 for two adults and one child, and from €2,810 for two adults and two children. Depart May 16.
  • Thompson’s Family Resort offer: 7 nights all inclusive Dublin to Port des Torrent, Ibiza from €2,139 for two adults and one child, and from €2,739 for two adults and two children. Depart June 3.
  • Sunway bank holiday break: 7 nights Dublin- Tunisia, €399 flight only, €499 B&B or half-board, and €629 all inclusive. Depart Oct 24.
  • ITAA’s ‘Try Something New’ offers7 nights half-board escorted tour of Mystical Albaniafrom €1,239pp incl. transfers and flights, depart Dublin or Cork June 23; 7 nights full-board private beach villa on Kandolhu Island, The Maldives from €2,995pp incl. flights and transfers, travel May or June; and 1 night Dublin-Belfast cruise on board the Fred Olsen Boudiccafrom €99pp for inside cabin and from €149pp for cabin with balcony, depart December 16.
  • Celtic Horizon Tour’s Man Utd B&B packages: Man U v Crystal Palace, 1 night coach & ferry from €209pp, depart Nov 8; Man U v Hull, 1 night coach & ferry from €209pp, depart Nov 19; Man U v Liverpool, 2 night coach & ferry from €399pp, depart Dec 14.


price-indexLittle change in Trivago’s October price index: Venice & Geneva (€248), London (€225) and Paris (€221) remain in the top spots, while Sofia (€61), Riga & Zaragoza (€72), Warsaw (€75) and Bucharest (€76) are at the bottom. Average price for October was €126, down 8pc. In Ireland, prices were mostly down. The only increases were recorded by Wicklow, up 7pc to €102, and Athlone, up 2pc to €86. Galway was down 16pc to €94, Killarney was down 16pc to €105 and Kinsale was down 16pc to €98. Prices in Donegal were down 10pc, but remained the highest in the country at €160. Donegal also recorded the highest year-on-year increase at 39pc. Prices in Dublin were down 9pc to €120. Westport was down 9pc to €86. Average price was down 9pc to €106. will host its first webinar focusing solely on Ireland. The online session takes place on Oct 23 at 11am, and will include data on user trends and search habits, and tips for hoteliers to enhance their online profiles. Andrew Sykes, Hotel Relations Manager for Ireland, will lead the two-part webinar. The webinar is free, and has limited capacity on a first come, first serve basis. Hotel owners and managers can sign up here.

  • Sean McCormickJurys Inn appointed Sean McCormick (pictured) as Head of Engineering. With 25 years’ experience in engineering and project management, Sean has previously worked on a number of Jurys projects including the extention of the group’s  recently refurbished Islington property, and the maintenance of hotels in Belfast, Bradford and Liverpool.
  • The CG Hotel Group, which operates Radisson hotels at Dublin and Shannon airports, recorded operating profits of €1.4m last year, an increase of 54pc.
  • jurys-doubletreeThe refurbished DoubleTree by Hilton London in Islington was officially launched. Picture shows John Greenleaf – global head of DoubleTree by Hilton and John Brennan, Chief Executive of Jurys Inn.
  • Hilton Worldwide launched of Canopy by Hilton, a new hotel brand the streetlamp of the neighbourhood. We are all about being local, through design, food and beverage, art, and local know-how. Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta launched the brand to 1,900 owners and development representatives at Hilton Worldwide’s Global Partnership Conference in Orlando, Florida.
  • Hotel distribution technology provider for the B2B market Hotelzon announced the appointment of local Sales Managers in Paris and Warsaw.


thorne-travelShona Thorne of Thorne Travel said that the agency in Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, Scotland has seen a 110pc increase in bookings since their cheesy promo video went viral last week.

Jamaica, Colomubia, Guyana and St Lucia island banned travellers coming from Ebola-affected countries Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

A 24-metre Christmas tree sculpture on Place Vendôme, Paris caused ructions in the city because of its resemblance to a sex toy. One outraged Parisian reportedly slapped the creator, Paul McCarthy (not the moptopped one), and told him the piece “had no business being in the square”. Unknown saboteurs have since deflated the installation (watch here). McCarthy is no stranger to controversy: His 1976 piece Class Fool saw him cover himself in tomato ketchup and vomit repeatedly, and another sculpture with sexual undertones was installed in Rotterdam in 2001.

  • American tourist David Willis was accidentally locked inside a London bookshop for two hours and used Instagram and Twitter to seek help. He posted a picture of himself on Instagram behind shutters with the caption: “This is me locked inside a Waterstones bookstore in London.” He then Tweeted: “Hi @Waterstones I’ve been locked inside of your Trafalgar Square bookstore for 2 hours now.  Please let me out.” The message was retweeted over 16,000 times, after which police were called to rescue him. His final tweet: “I’m free.”
  • Rail operator Heathrow Express will accept Euros and US dollars for purchasing tickets from Oct 23.
  • Universal Studios announced plans to open a 300-acre $3.3bn theme park in the Tongzhou district in Beijing. The deal was struck after 13 years of talks and is expected to open in 2019.
  • Jakaya Kiwete, President of Tanzania, said “Africa’s tourism is affected by a negative perception of the continent.” Speaking at the Swahili International Tourism Exchange in Dar Es Salaam, he said “The perception is that Africa is a country of 54 provinces rather than a country of 54 states.” Listen here. He said despite Africa’s many attractions, it is lagging behind in attracting international tourists and revenue earnings. Listen here.
  • Travel Extra’s editor Eoghan Corry interviewed Mount Kilimanjaro guide Kambona Mollel. Listen here. Eoghan Corry interviews Philip Chitauga about the importance of the Swahili International Tourism Exchange. Listen here.
  • Next month’s World Travel Market will host two sessions dedicated to youth tourism.
  • The Islands of Tahiti will host the Hawaiki Nui Va’a International Canoe Race on Nov 5-7.
  • London-based taxi-booking app Hailo is to quit the US market and split from co-founder Jay Bregman, saying that costs in marketing the service in America are “astronomical”.
  • Controversial “Zoo Rabbi” Nathan Slifkin opened the Biblical Museum of Natural History in Beit Shemesh, Israel.

Food & Wine

  • Budding chefs urged to go wild in the BurrenBudding chefs are invited to take part in the second Burren Masterchef Cookery Competition. First prize for adults is a half-day cookery course for two at the Ballymaloe Cookery School, and first prize in the junior section is a half-day foraging walk and cookery demo at the Wild Kitchen in Lahinch. The competition is part of the Burren Food Fayre in Lisdoonvarna, which takes place 12.30pm to 5.00pm on Sunday, October 26. Picture shows Jason Horner, organic vegetable farmer from Crusheen (Leen Organics) and Gerry Sweeney, Newquay fisherman and owner of Burren Seafoods.
  • Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare, Co Kerry hosts its Culinary Weekend on Nov 21-23. Umbria chef Lorenzo Polegri will give an Italian cooking demonstration, while chocolatier Benoit Lorge will give a class on chocolate making. Accommodation, truffle, olive oil and wine tasting sessions, classes, a copy of Lorenzo Polegri’s book, a lunch and five-course Italian dinner costs €660 for two sharing. Cooking demo and lunch costs €50 and the gala dinner on Saturday night includes €95 with wine.
  • Food producers and craft workers in Trail Kilkenny will host a Long Table Artisan Feaston Oct 26 as part of the Savour Kilkenny food festival. The event takes place at 7.30pm in the Mill, Bennettsbrige. Includes tastings of Goastbridge trout, Knockdrinna cheese, Laviston sausages, Gerry O’Brian lamb & spiced beef and Mary Walshe duck, all served using pottery and glassware made by local craft workers. Tickets €60.


us-a330American Airlines is to upgrade the former US Airlines Charlotte-Dublin route from B757 to A330 for summer 2015.  Americans  JFK-Dublin service will be reduced to four per week next summer.  Chicago-Dublin and Philadelphia-Shannon will start in May, earlier than planned.

Howard Millar, the departing CFO of Ryanairtold John Mulligan that the two watershed events in Ryanair’s history were the opening of Stansted Airport in 1991, which provided a “credible offering” for London and the decision to by Boeing to give a $27.5m loan to buy six Boeing 737 aircraft, they were pretty old at that stage, but in fairness Boeing stuck their ass on the line. Of the plan to buy Aer Lingus he said: “We thought this could be the EasyJet killer. It would allow us to go into primary airports.” Ryanair has now begun focusing its own expansion at primary airports.

The list of routes in the draft Air France pilots’ union agreement re Transavia France includes Paris OrlyDublin.  The agreement, cobbled together after a ten day strike, would not permit reduction of Air France frequencies on parallel routes from CdeG operated by Air France A320 services. Existing CdeG-Dublin services are operated by CityJet.

Lufthansa’s Munich-Dublin service is to operate daily from next summer. plans to add four new routes from Belfast International in summer 2015 to Rome (2w), Prague (2w), Las Palmas (1w) and Zakinthos (1w).

Aer Lingus Cork-Brussels is showing 2w for next summer.

The Budget provided for an increase in spending on regional airports from €3m in 2014 to €3.5m in 2015.

kenny JacobsRyanair hopes to offer flights from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport by 2015, commercial director Kenny Jacobs (pictured) told Financieele Dagblad. Ryanair will operate 28 routesfrom Krakow In summer 2015, boosting frequency on four routes. Kenny Jacob said that Ryanair would not completely rule out a Cork-Dublin flight but that it is less in demand than people think. “We recently did a survey with customers in Cork on where people would like to see a flight to and Cork-Dublin wasn’t in the top five. Business people would be quite vocal but you can drive to Dublin in two and-a-half hours.”

Meanwhile EasyJet announced it will base three A320 aircraft at Schiphol next spring. The carrier has operated flights to and from the airport since 1996.

Shannon Airport passenger numbers were up 22pc in August and 17pc in September. European passenger numbers were up 73pc in August, and up 51pc in September. Transatlantic  passengers were up 9pc in August, and up 11pc in September. British passengers were up 5pc in August, and up 3pc in September.

Red C research conducted with non-Irish resident transatlantic passengers through Shannon shows that Kerry, Clare and Galway benefit most from the growth in US visitor numbers through the airport since separation last year.

KLM CEO Camiel Eurlings surprisingly resigned with immediate effect as President and CEO “in order to pave the way for his successor”. He has been replaced by 44-year-old Pieter Elbers who was the chief operations officer. It is speculated that Eurlings resigned as a result of his stance during the recent Air France strike which cost the airline €500m.

Egypt and Ireland signed an agreement that allows Irish airlines unlimited flights to the airports of Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh, Luxor and Aswan from Dublin, Cork and Shannon, non-stop or via intermediate points, and eight weekly flights to each of the Cairo and Alexandria. Ireland’s one weekly service to Egypt resumes in December, a Falcon Holidays charter flight to Sharm El Sheikh that was previously affected by travel advisories.

Ryanair confirmed that for the first time in over ten years, fares will be bookable through Amadeus.

  • A group of travel retail professionals consisting of Swiss International Air Lines, Datalex, PROS and HP, has completed the second phase of IATA’s New Distribution Capability or NDC, the XML based data transmission standard which IATA hopes will enhance communications between airlines and travel agents. IATA released its first 20-year passenger growth forecast, projecting that passenger numbers will reach 7.3bn by 2034, annual growth of 4.1pc and double the 3.3bn passengers expected to travel in 2014.
  • christoph mueller h&s iata 001Christoph Mueller (pictured) told Cambridge Executive MBA after-dinner listeners “helping to turn around businesses in trouble excites me as a leader”.
  • CIT Group Inc has agreed to form TC-CIT Aviation Ireland and TC-CIT Aviation US, Joint Ventures between CIT Aerospace and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. Known under the combined title TC-CIT Aviation the group will lease commercial aircraft to airlines around the globe.
  • GECAS GE Capital Aviation Services is to acquire Milestone Aviation Group, the Dublin-based helicopter lessor, for $1.775bn.
  • Airbus said it will reduce production of the A330 from 10 to 9 per month starting in the fourth quarter of 2015 as it switches to the A330neo. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved the new A350-900 airliner for up to 370 minutes.
  • WOW Air the Iceland-based low-cost carrier, which recently announced a service to Dublin, is to fly Reykjavik Keflavik to Boston 5w from March 28, 2015.
  • James Liddane of Aer Lingus took first place in the 10km World Airlines Road Race in Dublin. 950 participants representing 55 airlines from 38 countries took part.
  • Swords native Joseph McKeever’s Spatial Composite Solutions firm secured an €11m contract with Etihad to design and manufacture 14 cabin crew training devices and install them at the airline’s innovation training academy in Abu Dhabi. SCS employs 90 people in the UAE, where McKeever emigrated in 1996. Twenty years ago, McKeever’s American Cake and Muffin Business failed in Dublin. “Don’t talk to me about muffins,” he joked when the Etihad deal was announced on Monday.
  • Etihad - Flying NannyElpida Tsatsaronis became Etihad’s 1,000th Flying Nanny to complete training at the airline’s Innovation Training Academy in Abu Dhabi. Picture shows Vice President of Guest Services Aubrey Tiedt with the latest batch of Flying Nannies, including Elpida.
  • An American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Dallas had to make an emergency landing at San Francisco International airport after the wall panels cracked loose during the flight. Despite how it looked, the problem wasn’t serious – scary, but not unsafe according to the assessment of aviation safety experts.
  • Virgin America is the latest airline to cut ties with SeaWorld theme park following the controversial Blackfish documentary. Virgin removed the park from its Elevate rewards programme.
  • Cityjet will end its Cardiff-Glasgow service on Oct 25, nine months after it was launched.
  • Emirates Airlines CEO Tim Clark told Der Spiegel that he did not believe MH370 was on autopilot when it disappeared and said he does not believe the missing flight went down in the Indian Ocean.
  • During the 2014/2015 winter season, Iberia’s low-cost airline Iberia express will fly up to five times per week from Dublin to Madrid offering a total of 22pc more seats than last winter.
  • A fired Cathay Pacific pilot admitted in a US federal court that he dressed in his uniform and used his ID badge so he could cut a queue at Honolulu Airport Security and “keep [his]shoes on”.
  • London Heathrow suffered hundreds of delays and cancellations on Wednesday due to poor weather conditions.
  • EasyJet added a passport scanning function to its mobile app. Watch the how to video.
  • Picture by Harry Page. Harry Page ImagesEtihad reported passenger numbers were up 30pc to 3.9m for the third quarter this year, and revenues were up 29pc to US$1.8bn. Meanwhile, Etihad’s group of flying butlers (pictured) completed their three-week training course at the Savoy Hotel, London.
  • English airline BMI Regional claimed passengers are avoiding Heathrow and Gatwick because they are fed up of delays, long journey times and the cost of extras like parking.
  • McDonald’s Ireland officially opened its drive through restaurant at Dublin Airport. The project cost €2m and has created 60 new jobs. The 24/7 outlet is based on the main exit road from Dublin Airport. Customers are offered free Wi-Fir and iPads to use.
  • The US Association of Flight Attendants’ bid to reinstate the ban on mobile phones and electronics during take-off and landing was rejected.
  • Virgin Australia said it will acquire the remaining 40pc of shares in Tiger Australia Airways.
  • United Airlines will close its Seattle base, affecting 264 flight attendants based at Sea-Tac.


  • Stena Line launched 2015 Haven self-catering packages with a €50 deposit. Prices start from €410 for two adults and up to four children. Price includes return ferry with car from Dublin/Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead or Rosslare-Fishguard and accommodation at Haven locations including Presthaven Sands in Prestatyn, Wales, Kiln Park in Tenby, Wales or Devon Cliffs in Exmouth, Devon. Book here or call 01 204 77 33.


DONEGAL WELCOMES INFLUENTIAL INDIAN GROUPTourism Ireland hosted ten tour operators from India this week. The group itinerary included visits along the Wild Atlantic Way and a B2B workshop in Dublin.  Picture shows the group with Nilam Patil of Tourism Ireland and Cyndi Graham, who runs a hand-weaving studio in Dunkineely, Co Donegal.

Tourism Ireland hosted tour operators from France, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia on a visit EUROPEAN TOUR OPERATORS GIVE CONNEMARA THE ‘THUMBS UP’!to the West of Ireland. The group’s itinerary included a walking tour of Galway, visits the Connemara Heritage & History Centre, Kylemore Abbey, Killary Harbour, Westport House, cycling along the Great Western Greenway and the Voya Seaweed Baths in Sligo. Picture shows tour operators at the Connemara Heritage & History Centre near Clifden, with Caroline Phelan of Tourism Ireland, Martin Walsh of the Connemara Heritage & History Centre, Anne Melia of Fáilte Ireland, and tour guide Elisabeth Flanagan.

KERRY WELCOMES INFLUENTIAL CHINESE GROUPTourism Ireland hosted 11 Chinese tour operators this week in conjunction with NITBand Fáilte Ireland. The group visited Titanic Belfast, Crumlin Road Gaol, the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula, Adare and Kildare. Picture shows  John Mulvihill welcoming the group to the Kerry Bog Village Museum near Glenbeigh; also pictured are Kila Du of Tourism Ireland and tour guide Min Lin Siew.

Over 3,690 direct appointments between Irish tourism businesses and travel buyers from developing markets including Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa were arranged as part of workshops organised by Fáilte Ireland in Dublin.

Doolin Harley Fest Cheque Presentation - SlainteThe inaugural Doolin Harley Festival raided €37,589 for local cancer charities. 200 Harley Davidson owners from across Ireland, England and USA attended the event. Picture shows members of Saoirse Maria MCC Mark Clancy, Michael Burke, Jimmy Boyle and James Clancy presenting a cheque for €12,000 to Slainte an Chlair – Clare Cancer Support in Kilnamona.

Bad news from the North where their main Festival and Events fund from the Tourism Department has been pulled overnight.

burrenThe Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and Burren Ecotourism Network scooped nine awards at the GHP Responsible Travel & Tourism awards. Picture shows Katherine Webster, Carol Gleeson and Kelly Humphries of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark with Judging Panel Chairperson Duncan Stewart.

NITB Halloween events: Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival, Derry, Oct 25-Nov 2; Fright Night in Jungle NI, Derry, now-Nov 1, Tickets from £5; Paranormal Tours, Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast, now-Nov 5, Tickets £15; Metro Monster Mash, The Slipways, Titanic Belfast, Oct 31; Halloween Concert, The Shambles Yard, Armagh, Oct 27, Tickets £5; Extreme Spooks, Navan Centre & Fort, Armagh, Oct 31, Admission £10pp; Hallowtides Festival, Newcastle, Co Down, Oct 31, free admission; Halloween Family Festival, Cultra, Co Down, Oct 31, Tickets £11 for adults and £6 for children; Halloween Extravaganza, Enniskillen Castle Museums, Oct 31, Tickets £3.50; Halloween Howler, the Share Centre, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, Oct 28-31, Tickets £9pp or £30 family; and Halloween Torch Light Tours, Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Oct 29-31, Tickets £11 per adult and £6 per child.

WATERFORD WELCOMES INFLUENTIAL SOUTH AFRICAN GROUPFive South African tour operators visited Ireland as guests of Tourism Ireland ahead of the New Markets Workshop in Dublin. The group visited the Guinness Storehouse, Powerscourt House & Gardens, the House of Waterford Crystal, Blarney Castle, the Rock of Cashel, SMithwick’s Experience Kilkenny, the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens. Picture shows Donnchadh Ó Ceallacháin of Waterford Museum of Treasures with South African tour operators Wihan Bester of Travel and Sport; Candice Perry and Elana Van Der Walt of United Europe; Alexandra Nava of Travel and Sport; and Kathy Ridler of Bobcat Travel, at Reginald’s Tower, Waterford.

The One Young World Summit opened in the Convention Centre Dublin. 1,400 delegates aged 18-30 from 196 countries will attend the five-day event. A host of high profile public figures will speak, including Kofi Annan, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, entrepreneur Michelle Phan, Bob Geldof and Mary Robinson.

‘NOVEL’ TOURISM PROMOTION TARGETS AUSTRALIAN HOLIDAYMAKERSTourism Ireland in Sydney and book publishers Simon and Schuster have partnered on a promotion targeting holidaymakers in Australia and New Zealand.  The campaign includes a competition to win a trip for two to Ireland. A promotional sticker has been placed on the front cover of 40,000 books in independent shops and chains across Australia and New Zealand, and a full-page ad features inside each book. Online ads and magazine ads will also run in November. The campaign coincides with the release of Reluctantly Charmed, the debut novel of Dublin writer Ellie O’Neill, who is based in Sydney. Watch Simon and Schuster’s interview with the author here.

The Irish tourism industry welcomed the retention of the 9pc reduced VAT rate for hospitality sector in the Budget. The sector also welcomed investment in new South East initiative, Dublin Gateway to Nature, Dublin Heritage Trail, Kilkenny Medieval Mile, Killarney House & further work on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Most Haunted star Steve Parsons will host a series of events at Enniscorthy Castle as part of Halloween in Wexford.

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