TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair’s pilot leave crisis bites & Operation regulation takes a wrong turn



Travel Industry golf society outing at Headfort

Things to know about travel this week

  • Montreal here we come, Air Canada announces new route
  • Ryanair’s cancellations are culmination of 15 year stand off on pilot hours
  • CAR wants to keep old system with MORE bonding
  • Failte ireland gets Brexit progamme ready for inbound trade
  • Martin and Fionnuala win at TIGS captain’s day

Travel Extra TV.

Tourism Ireland‘s video of the band Kodaline around Dublin is now ready to view, The video, above, will be promoted across the Vevo platform in Britain over the coming weeks, with the potential to reach up to 10 million 18 to 34-year-olds who are potential visitors for Dublin.

A week on, and the Caribbean is still picking up the pieces after Hurricane Irma. CBS New York shows the challenges now facing the islands’ tourism sector here.

Meanwhile, Virgin boss Richard Branson reveals the damage done to Necker Island by the Category 5 storm here.

It was windy on this side of the Atlantic, too. If you’re a nervous flyer DON’T watch this BBC weather video as an aircraft lands during severe gusts at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

America’s CBS examines whether shrinking legroom in aircraft cabin is endangering passenger safety.

Behind the Headlines

A pilot shortage is behind Ryanair’s dramatic decision to cancel fifty flights (social media claim eighty) a day due to rostering difficulties. The conflict between the Ryanair year (to April) and the Irish Aviation Authority year (to December) and its implication for pilot hours was first raised 15 years go. Ryanair eventually came to an agreement in mid-2016 to change their working year. Rapid growth and competition with the likes of Norwegian have also made an impact on available pilot hours, and the first signs of strain came last Sunday when two flights were mysteriously cancelled for lack of crew. It culminated in Friday’s meltdown statement from Ryanair saying that they were going to cancel fifty flights a day due to a change in holiday rosters. Angry passengers even set up their own Facebook group. There were also implications for work contracts from the recent Brussels ruling that air crew members have the option of bringing proceedings before the courts of the place where they perform the essential part of their duties vis-à-vis their employer (Ryanair says the Judgment affects only where the case is heard but not the applicability of Irish law). Compensation may also be payable depending on the notice period Ryanair has given. See cancellations page here and Sunday September 17 cancellations here. Travel Extra report here. See ITAA statement here. See Kenny Jacobs statement here (we messed up). Listen here to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry speaking about Ryanair cancellations on the RTE Marian Finucane show.

The Commission of Aviation Regulation’s consultation paper on operation regulation transformation has become a talking point through the trade, particularly CAR’s preference for Option E, to RAISE the travel agents bond to 8pc and tour operator bond to 20pc. This effectively ignores the many submissions from the travel trade, such as Dominic Burke’s point that consumers insure themselves in all their commercial activities except travel, and John Galligan’s point that that the current regime penalises Irish based micro-enterprises (with less than 10 staff each), while ignoring much larger foreign online vendors, bed banks, airlines and other vendors. CAR found most claims relate to refunds for upcoming holidays rather than repatriation, and noted that the average claims exceed current bonding levels is driven by just two collapses, those of and Failte Travel. Excluding these two collapses from the data, the average collapse has generated claims of 3pc of projected licensable turnover for travel agents and 6pc for tour operators. The deadline for responses to this consultation is 5pm, Friday, September 29.

Even the most optimistic at our tourism organisations concede that we can’t count on increasing numbers of North American tourists – especially with the dollar falling – to make up for the disappearing British visitor. Now Fáilte Ireland is fighting the challenge of the missing Britons with a new national campaign, ‘Get Brexit Ready’ to give advice and support to operators on the ground. It was launched by Minister of State for Tourism Brendan Griffin (watch here), who told the large audience at Fáilte Ireland’s Dublin HQ that he has a personal interest in the sector – his father worked for decades in hospitality back home in Killarney and he himself worked in a hotel – the five-star Aghadoe Heights outside the town, to be precise. Both Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Business Development Paul Keeley (here) and CEO Paul Kelly (here) said that Ireland has had to diversify its markets and while no one knows what shape Brexit will take, it’s already damaging Irish jobs in tourism. Further details of the ‘Get Brexit Ready’ Programme can be accessed here.  Some examples of Fáilte Ireland’s programme here.

Brand USA, New York State, Rhode Island and Massachussets tourism, alongside Norwegian Air Internaitonal hosted Scottish and Irish travel media to the hinterland of Newburgh and Providence airports this week. Picture shows Stacey Mullen, Phil Lancaster, Gill Furmage, tour guide Doris Cark, Jamie Buchan, Jonathan Gough and Eoghan Corry at Martha’s Vineyard Massachussets. See the next print edition of Travel Extra. A delegation from New York State travelled the other direction to host an event in Dublin on Wednesday evening.

At least Ryanair started the week well – muscling in further to Lufthansa‘s home turf in Frankfurt Main, basing 10 more aircraft there and saying its investment at Germany’s biggest airport will hit $1bn. Full report here

Travel Trade

Martin Dempsey of Dempsey Travel and Fionnuala MacCurtain of Munster Sports Travel were winners at the Travel Industry Golf Society captain’s day, hosted by Martin Skelly at his local Headfort Golf Club near Trim on the new course. Picture shows the winners with Sinead Reilly of sponsors Travelport and Martin Skelly, captain of TIGS. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.  See video report here.

See also  Cabin crew wanted: 'selected candidates will undergo a six-week paid training programme at the Aer Lingus training academy.'

Niall McDonnell‘s Classic Collection Holidays are running a four-week promotion throughout September where agents can win one of four €100 M&S vouchers. Each week they will be emailing agents with four simple product-related questions. Agents can submit their answers via the link on the competition email. The first winner is Michelle Cullen from Icon Travel in Waterford, pictured.The competition also features on their agents’ Facebook page here and also on the TPG Travel Partners Group page.

Ciara Mooney of Freedom Travel relocated her office to the Lucan Road in Celbridge. Picture shows Ciara Mooney outsdie her new offices with, Michelle Mooney, Isabel McGarry, Fiona Lily, Mary Downes and Mel Whelan. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. For video report including launch speech by Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry Watch here.

ClicknGo has launched its new website for Leaving Cert holidays – with the help of teenage entrepreneur Mikey Wylde. Full story here.

Ryanair extended their partnership with Cartrawler for two more years.

Picture shows SKAL Dublin President Jim Flannery with National President Margaret Cahill at the September SKAL Lunch was held in The Conrad Hotel today. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Sad news: Skal member Bill Miley passed away this week.

South African Tourism will be hosting its first ever travel agent training roadshow in Ireland, in the Metropole Hotel Cork on November 13th at 9pm. Register here.

Tourism Australia is on the hunt to find one of the first people to have travelled to Australia on the Working Holiday Maker visa, to honour at a special event being held in Dublin later this month. Register here.

Amadeus made Eurowings’ fares and ancillaries available to travel agents for the first time. Joost Schuring is to lead Amadeus’ EMEA region

Wendy Wu was awarded most influential women in travel and tourism at the Association of Women Travel Executives Chair Awards 2017.

Strange world

German airline Condor is reported to have issued warnings to pilots after rumours emerged they were sharing explicit videos and photos of colleagues having sex on flights. The airline, owned by Thomas Cook, apparently threatened staff with dismissals and even criminal charges if images were discovered to be circulated.

  • North Korea has launched “labour tours” for tourists. Images of the  holiday package with a difference show western tourists planting rice and carrying out agricultural work in fields. A tourism website launched by the country’s National Tourism Administration, DPR Korea Tour, describes the experience as “interesting” and says they are growing in popularity.
  • Another week, another scary arachnic. American Airlines cancelled a flight after a scorpion was found on an aircraft. The aircraft, initially scheduled to fly to Chicago from Sacramento, was instead flowen to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to be fumigated.
  • Footage purportedly of Hurricane Irma posted by Trump director of social media Dan Scavino of an allegedly flooded Miami airport turns out to be from Mexico City’s airport in August. Buzzfeed tracked the fake news being promulgated by the Trump regime and others about Irma.


Visit Kent hosted 49 residents affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy, with a range of tourist attractions welcoming them on a special day out. Two of the young survivors of the tower block inferno are pictured at the beach.

The German National Tourist Board will be pushing the country as a foodie destination in its Irish marketing campaign next year.

The body of 24-year-old journalist Paul McClean, who worked for the Financial Times, was recovered a day after he was seen being dragged into a lagoon by a crocodile on holiday in Sri Lanka.

Picture shows travel media hosted by the Spanish Tourist Board in Rjoca, Nathalie Marquez Courtney, Ignacio Echapresto the Chef at Restaurante Venta Moncalvillo in Daroca de Rioja, Sara Rivero López of the Spanish Tourism Office, Jessy Collins, Elle Coyne, Klara Heron, Fay Brophy  and Raymond Blake.

The tit for tat visa requirements between New Zealand and South Arica caught out lenster rugby team this week. New Zealand imposed a visa requirement on South African nationals last November. South Africa retaliated on Changes effected on January 16 meaning all Kiwis now need a three-month holiday visa to visit South Africa, ending a 20-year visa-free travel arrangement between the two countries.

Food & Beverage

Cork, the Rebel County, followed Dublin’s lead in rebelling against coffee chain Starbucks, and some local coffee shops gave free beverages to patrons last week.

  • Dublin-based burger chain Bunsen, which first opened its doors on the city’s Wexford Street, is set to open its first outlet in Belfast on the ground floor of Longbridge House on Waring Street in the city centre.
  • New York-based Irish bar The Dead Rabbit – named the world’s best in 2016 – is setting up at The Sidecar in Dublin’s Westbury hotel for five days from September 28 to October 2.
  • Latest CSO figures show that drinks exports have grown by 8.65pc since June 2016 and were valued at €527m for the first six months of this year.
  • Ireland’s first dedicated poitín pop-up bar will be launched in conjunction with Irish brand Bán Poitín for a six week residency in Dublin at an as-yet-undisclosed location in late October.



Irish Hotels Federation President Joe Walsh had a note of Padraig Pearse in his speech at Fáilte Ireland, telling the crowd that “Dublin’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity’. Walsh, himself a hotelier in The Bush Hotel in Co Leitrim, said there’s a huge gulf in the country – Dublin is too crowded and needs capacity, while many rural areas have the capacity, just not the visitors. He talked here about thinking outside the box, including using less-visited Midlands towns as hubs for coach tourists, etc who want to visit the eastern and western seaboards. Picture shows Joe Dolan, President of the Irish Hotels Federation, and Peter Downey, head of the Irish Self-Catering Federatio. Watch him discuss the situation on the ground here. 

See also  Bringing them home: The biggest airlift in the history of Irish sport

Meanwhile, Peter Downey, head of the Irish Self-Catering Federation, told Travel Extra that the plummeting pound has had a devastating effect already. “You go outside the big cities and areas are devastated,” said Mr Downey, who has properties in the Midlands. “Tourists are slower to make bookings and faster to make cancellations.”

The Shelbourne hotel’s presidential suite of rooms, including two bedrooms, and which can acommodate up to four guests, have been given a makeover. The hotel is offering an opening deal, including Champagne on arrival, unpacking and packing of luggage, butler service, breakfast for all guests, complimentary return Dublin Airport transfers, and complimentary newspapers, valet parking, internet access and daily amenities, The cost? €7,500 per night for up to four guests. If that’s outside your budget, take a peek inside here.

JP McManus’s Adare Manor is to reopen on November 2 following an 18-month transformation. The newly designed resort now boasts a new 42-bedroom wing, bringing the total number of bedrooms to 104.  A new ballroom with a capacity for 350 guests, along with a new La Mer spa, pool and relaxation area, a boardroom and cinema. Catch a preview here.

  • The Titanic centre has transformed Belfast’s image, and changed an industrial landscape to a tourist hotspot. The latest chapter in the area’s resurgence is the Titanic Hotel – glimpse inside here.
  • Hostelworld‘s Chief Technology Officer John O’Donnell told Silicon Republic that the company “would do somewhere between 7m and 8m bookings a year. Our total transaction value would be more than €600m every year”. Full report here.
  • Targeted Investment Opportunities plans to construct a hotel near Dublin’s 3Arena at North Wall Quay.


It was a farwell to Ireland Manager Ethiopian Airlines’ Michael Yohannes and welcome to successor Meseret Tekalign as the country celebrated its own new year at an event in the Clayton Hotel Dublin Airport. Full story here. Tony Flynn (Watch here) spoke about Ethiopian Holidays at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

“If Michael O’Leary could design Dublin Airport – and I know that’s what he’d want – he’d have it like London Southend,” said Stobart Air’s Ronan Whitty as he and airline Managing Director Graeme Buchanan held an event in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel for the new Flybe Dublin-London Southend route, operated by Stobart, which launches on October 29. Picture shows Managing Director Graeme Buchanan and Head of Revenue Ronan Whitty, at Stobart Air event to launch Stobart-operated Dublin to London Southend Flybe route. Launch album here.

Qatar Ireland Manager Jonathan Keenan is leaving the position for personal reasons. Full report here

  • United has extended its summer 2018 season from Dublin Airport to Chicago. Full report here
  • There’s a buzz about Canada and Ireland right now, and national carrier  Air Canada announced more services and two new routes – Dublin to Montreal and Shannon to Toronto  each 4w with B737 MAX 8 here. Tourism Ireland have been pushing behind the scenes for even better links between the two countries, and the new announcements have been welcomed here. Air Canada mainline will replace Air Canada Rouge on Toronto-Dublin from October 30 with A330-300 replacing the B767-300ER and offering fully lie flat seats in business and premium economy.
  • Norwegian Air International lost $205m in 2016, almost four times the loss recorded in 2015.
  • It’s certainly been a busy week for Shannon, with new Ryanair route to Barcelona Reus announced on the same day as the Toronto link.
  • The Ryanair Alitalia riddle continues. Michael O’Leary says that if Ryanair is successful in its bid, it would retain the Alitalia brand, its long-haul operations, but change the ownership structure of the short-haul fleet,
  • Cork Airport got ahead of the pack in welcoming the ultra-new Boeing 737 Max 8 to these shores. The Norwegian aircraft will operate on the route to Boston Providence. Full report here and landing photos.
  • Norwegian is looking for pilots after announcing it’s to open a base in Dublin to help expand its Irish transatlantic operations. Full story here.
  • Ryanair announced an additional three based aircraft at Frankfurt Main bringing the total to ten.
  • AerCap is in the process of retrieving A330s leased to Air Berlin.
  • Belfast International Airport turnover went from £31.1m to £34.8m last year.
  • The Labour Court Recommendation on Aer Lingus pay scale.


Senior Irish Ferries officials attended the keel-laying ceremony for its new €144m, 55,000 tonnes ferry being built on behalf of the company in Flensberg, Germany. Pictured are Irish Ferries managing director, Andrew Sheen (centre right), David Ledwidge (left), chief financial officer, Irish Continental Group Plc, and Captain Brian McKenna (right), with Rüdiger Fuchs (centre left), CEO of shipbuilders Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft. The ship is due to be  delivered next July and will operate on the Dublin-Holyhead and Ireland–France routes.

A game changer. Silver Muse visited Dunmore East and Cork this week and hosted memebrs fo the travel trade on board, a very sleek ship that seems positioned drive down the age demographic of the traditional high end Silversea cruise. Silversea is to launch Silver Moon, sister to Silver Muse in 2020. Watch here interview with Amanda Middler. 

  • Brittany Ferries is offering 20pc off accommodation and 15pc off sailings from Cork to Roscoff throughout 2018 when booked by October 31.
  • All six of the South Florida cruise ports that shut down ahead of Hurricane Irma’s arrival reopened during the week. Major hub PortMiami had expected to open onTuesday, but sunken sailboats found in the cruise channel caused a delay.


The inaugural Wild Atlantic Way Sportif launched in Kinsale, Co Cork, and features 17 stages spanning over 2,000km of the coastline. The multi stage Sportif is the first of its kind in Ireland and visits nine counties from Co Cork to Co Donegal up to September 29. Cyclists can register for any stage up to the day before on Album from day one here.

See also  Bás Loch nEathach

Five travel writers from France are exploring Ireland’s Ancient East, taking in Wexford, Wicklow and Dublin. They are guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Irish Ferries. The French travel writers are pictured in the Irish National Heritage Park in Ferrycarrig with Gavin Radford, Tourism Ireland (right); Caitriona Butler, Irish Ferries (third right); and tour guide Mick Langan (third left).

  • Titanic Belfast has announced that it’s recorded an increase of 22pc in visitor numbers since April 2016, hosting almost 440,000 visitors.
  • CIE has enlisted the aid of agent Knight Frank in seeking offers to redevelop almost seven acres of space beside Dublin’s Connolly Station and the IFSC, which could be used for a hotel development.

Deal Watch

Falcon offers: Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 3* Globales Tamaimo Tropical, Puerto De Santiago, from €449pp, depart October 13. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Servatur Waikiki, Playa DeL Ingles, from €619, depart October 19. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights all inclusive, 3* El Trebol, Costa Teguise, from €669, depart October 16. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 4* Mannix Apartments, Las Palmas, from €569, depart October 19. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Monte Feliz, Bahia Feliz, from €369pp, depart January 11, 2018. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 3* Globales Tamaimo Tropical, Puerto De Santiago, from €369, depart January 26, 2018. Dublin to Lanzarote, Lanzarote Paradise Club, 7 nights self-catering 2* Costa Teguise, from €369, depart January 28, 2018., call 1850 45 35 45

Thomson offers:  Book a July or August 2018 cruise and save €150 per booking. Offer is valid until tomorrow. Deals include Dublin to Malaga, 7 nights full board onboard Thomson Spirit, from €1189, depart July 8. Dublin to Majorca, 7 nights full board on Thomson Dream, from €1169, depart July 17. Dublin to Majorca, 7 nights all inclusive onboard TUI Explorer, pictured, from €1459, depart July 14. Dublin to Corfu, 7 nights all inclusive onboard TUI Discovery 2, from €1399, depart August 24. Other offers: Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Barcelo Santiago, Puerto De Santiago, from €669, depart October 13. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering  3*  Cay Beach Princess Bungalows, Maspalomas, from €399, depart October 19. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights half board 5* Hotel Melia Salinas, Costa Teguise, from €899, depart October 9. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 4* Colon II, Playa De Las Americas, from €469, depart October 20. Dublin to Fuerteventura, 7 nights self-catering 2* Castillo Apartments, Costa Caleta, from €619, depart October 17. Dublin to Costa Del Sol,  4 nights half board 3* Hotel Nerja Club, Nerja, from €409pp, depart November 15., call 1850 45 35 45

Sunway offers: Dublin to Turkey, 7 nights self-catering 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, from €379, depart October 14. Dublin to Turkey, 7 nights self-catering 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, two adults and two children from €1856, depart October 28 bank holiday. Dublin to Iceland, 3 nights B&B 3* hotel, excursions, from €829, depart October 27. Dublin to France, 7 nights all-inclusive Club Med Ski, Arc Extreme 3*, with instruction and lift passes, from €1309, depart January 14, 2018. Dublin to Las Vegas, 3 nights 3* Circus Circus room-only, from €429, depart  December. Western Med fly cruise ex Barcelona, 7 nights onboard NCL Epic, from €1355, depart May 6, 2018. Orlando & Western Caribbean fly cruise, 10 nights onboard Oasis of the Seas and three-night pre-cruise stay in Orlando, from €1185, depart November 9. Monaco Grand Prix fly cruise, 4 nights onboard Azamara Quest ex Nice, from €2185, depart may 24, 2018. Arctic highlights voyage, 5 nights onboard MS Nordkapp and two-night hotel stay, from €1151, depart February 213, 2018. Fort Lauderdale to Dublin fly cruise, 19 nights all inclusive onboard Silver Muse, with three-night pre-cruise stay in Fort Lauderdale, from €5900, depart April 18, 2018.

Topflight offers: Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Eden, Torbole, from €499, depart September 23. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B 2* Hotel Alpino, Malcesine, from €529, depart September 23. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B 4* Villa Rosa Hotel, Desenzano, from €1049, depart September 23. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcesine, from €749, depart September 23. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights half board 4*  Blu Lake Sirmione Hotel, Sirmione, from €749, depart September 23. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Albatross, Letojanni, from €599, depart October 7. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Hilton, Giardini Naxos, from €899, depart October 7. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, from €519, depart October 15. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic, from €669, depart October 15., call  01 240 1700

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection offers: €1,000 off selected cruises until September 30. Bordeaux, vineyards and chateaux cruises, all inclusive, from €1989, depart November 5. Bordeaux, vineyards and chateaux cruises, all inclusive, from €1799, depart  November 12.

What we learned.

Junior Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin didn’t want to say who’d be supporting in the All Ireland football final. But the Kerryman did say he’d be wearing the colours of his club this week – which just happen to be Mayo’s red and green. Ever the diplomat, he kept the Dubs happy too, with the Fine Gael man saying he was wearing a blue shirt. No sniggering…




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