TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Drone delays expose self connector’s nightmare


St Fergal from Laois, patron saint of Salzburg, looks down on Salzburg Christmas market



Things to know about travel this week

  • Queen of cruising Rebecca Kelly becoming a Princess
  • Dublin Airport breaks the 30m barrier – a far cry from 574,178 in 1958
  • airBaltic returning to Ireland with Dublin-Riga route
  • Irish Ferries’ WB Yeats arrives at Dublin Port but what happened Rosslare-Cherbourg?

Video Watch.

Arguably certifiable freerider and alpine skier, Jérémie Heitz, challenged Daron Rahlves for a head-to-head giant slalom race in big mountain terrain. Watch here.

British Airways takes deserving children (each with a parent) away for a once-in-a-lifetime festive weekend in New York.

  • The WB Yeats makes her maiden voyage. Watch here.
  • Emirates takes delivery of its last Boeing 777-300ER. It will take delivery of its newest aircraft,150 Boeing 777X aircraft, starting from 2020. Watch here.
  • KLM shares its most memorable moments from 2018. Watch here.
  • Qatar celebrates its country’s national day with a flypast over Doha. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Willie Walsh was right, but so was Michael O’Leary. Under European Commission Brexit plans flights from Britain flying into and over the EU will be allowed continue as normal for 12 months to ensure basic connectivity. British based airlines will not be allowed to add new routes nor increase frequencies on currently operated routes during that same period. The capacity currently offered by British airlines to the EU27 market will thus be frozen as of 29 March 2019 if the deal negotiated between Britain and the EU27 is not agreed.

The question of compensation for delays caused by drones at Gatwick Airport is very much up for grabs after a series of contradictory court decisions on EU261. As with the Icelandic ash cloud, European regulators will be arguing that airlines are liable to pay compensation to passengers stranded by the closure of the airport and cases are likely to end up before the English courts. The large number of self connectors who use Gatwick were worst hit by the closure of the airport.

Aer Lingus jumped early again this year with their January Sale with some interesting tactical changes from previous years. Aer Lingus  sale deadline is January 15 and travel period, extends May (previously April) to September 30 while BA’s extends until January 31 with travel period between December 25 and October 31. Aer Lingus say they have discounted 3m seats by up to 50pc,  with North America from €189 each way. Tuesday 9th January 2018 saw highest number of bookings on this year.

Irish Ferries released the passenger inventory for the WNB Yeats Dublin-Rosslare service for 2019 last weekend in advance of the arrival of the ship into Dublin. While a statement from the company suggested Rosslare-Cherbourg was still under consideration, the likelihood is that the company is retaining capacity for freight amid Breat-imeacht/brexit uncertainty. Listen here to Eoghan Corry speaking about the issue on RTE Morning Ireland.

Niall Gibbons CEO of Tourism Ireland and Minister Brendan Griffin brief the media on Tourism Ireland results for 2018. The island attracted a record 11.2m visitors, ahead of the target of 10.8m, and a combined spend of €6.1bn, ahead of the target of €6bn. Targets for 2019 are 11.67m visitors and spend of €6.5bn  Watch here full press conference. Tourism Ireland offered previews of the Fill your Heart with Ireland campaign in France (watch here), Germany (watch here)  and Britain (watch here)

Gerhard Wolfsteiner, and his team at Flachau, the Salzburger Sportwelt, hosted a group of Irish travel journalists this week to tour a group of resorts less than an hour from Salzburg airport. the group was hosted at the family run Hotel Waidmannsheil, skied the Flachau Wagrain St. Johann region, Absolut Park and Zauchensee. Picture shows Catherine Murphy, Blathnait Ni Murchu, Alan Shortt, Eoghan Corry, Aileen Eglington, Geoff Hill and Jim Gallagher. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade

Teresa Gancedo and team at the Spanish Tourist Board entertained 68 key travel trade at the Iveagh Garden Hotel, Irish tourism to Spain will just pass 2m in 2018, down about 2.1pc from the record 2,047,379 last year. Picture shows Borja Bedoya, Teresa Gancedo, Kathryn MacDonnell and Pablo Martin. Watch here video diary of the night. Watch here reply on behalf of the trade by Cormac Meehan. Watch here Christmas greeting from Teresa Gancedo. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook

Ireland’s premier travel industry event, the Irish Travel Trade Show is returning to the RDS Main Hall Complex on Thursday, March 21.  Early exhibitor registration is encouraged as the show is set to attract a large number of exhibitors and trade visitors.

Now in its fifth year, the show, organised by Business Exhibitions Ltd, will feature over 100 of the world’s best-known brands. The Spanish Tourism Office will host a lunch for invited guests in advance of the show, while the DAA will sponsor registration. The Portuguese Tourism Board will sponsor the After-Show Party and Networking Event for Visitors and Exhibitors when the show ends at 6pm. 

John Spollen, President of the ITAA, said: “We are very excited to be welcoming exhibitors, new and old, to the fifth national Irish Travel Trade Show in March 2019. The Trade Show is an opportunity for travel professionals to strengthen business relationships and stay up to date with the emerging trends in travel innovation, product demonstrations and customer experiences.” To book a stand, visit

Picture shows Irish agents at Yellow Submarine in Mogan, Gran Canaria during visit by key Irish travel trade to Fuerteventura : Kathryn MacDonnel of the Spanish TB, Zita Little of Clickandgo, John O’Brien of Justsplit, Caolan Lowry of Clickandgo, Yvonne McCormack of Clickandgo, Megan Bourke of Sunway, Katie Wynne of Cassidy Travel, and Rachel Walsh of Best4 Travel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Etihad thanked the trade for its support during what it said had been a challenging year at times. Pictured are Shannon O’Dowd, Teresa Lambe, Karen Moloney and Gina Linuzzi – the Irish Etihad team – at the Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club for the airline’s Christmas lunch. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook.

Click&Go said 100,000 customers have booked their holiday with a €1 deposit since the idea was introduced in 2014. CEO Paul Hackett, said “flexibility of payments can make a huge difference when looking for the perfect holiday especially at this time of the year”.

Advantage Austria got festive with a Christmas party in its Dublin offices. Elizabeth O’Leary of Advantage Austria is pictured with Wolfgang Oberauer from Google at the event. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook.

Brian Ingarfield – formerly of Tour America – has had a busy Christmas, fundraising for the homeless.

David O’Grady’s is recruiting for two-three customer service agents to join its team in Walkinstown, Dublin 12. Knowledge of the travel industry an advantage with a view to learning and progressing within the team. This is a full-time permanent position. Monday to Friday 0900-1730hrs. Email your CV to or call 01 4081900 for more details.

Ian Manto from Harvey Travel In Waterford is the November winner for a place on Niall McDonnell’s Classic Collection VIP fam trip to Lisbon next March. Each month from November to March 2019 one agent will be selected. To enter, make a Classic Collection Holidays booking and you will automatically be entered into the monthly draw.

Wendy Wu Tours published their 2019-2020 South America brochure. Agents who book a holiday in December receive a llama toy and up to £100 in LOVE2SHOP vouchers.


  • Watch here Star Alliance end of year fuctions@Shelbourne Hotel Dublin, December 14 2018
  • Watch here video diary of ITAA group visit to Philadelphia countryside after the ITAA conference.

Strange world

  • Korean Air must pay nearly €16,000 to a flight attendant who was forced to apologise on his knees after he served nuts to the daughter of the airline’s chairman in a bag rather than a bowl.
  • Calgary Airport was shut down after a musical instrument was mistaken for a rifle.
  • Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will be missed – by the five-star hotel where he’s stayed since July 2016.


The 2019’s UNWTO Award finalists are Diana Robino, Eduardo Santander, Istvan Ujhelyi, Jae-sung Rhee, Judy Kepher-Gona, Kaye Chon and surprise finalist Sally Davey of Tripadvisor.

Moroccan authorities say one person has been arrested in connection with the deaths of two female Scandinavian tourists in the Atlas Mountains.

French police protesting overwork and thousands of unpaid hours dragged their feet Wednesday at passport check-in lines in at least one terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport, creating long lines of waiting passengers.

Netherlands’ highest administrative court has upheld an Amsterdam municipality ban on new stores in the city’s historic heart that sell goods specifically to tourists.

Authorities in Pompeii are working on a new evacuation plan in case Mount Vesuvius turns violent again, 2,000 years after it last devastating eruption.

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 2019 will begin earlier than ever before, running select nights from Friday, September 6, 2019 to Saturday, November 2, 2019

South African Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona has been appointed to the advisory board of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s Quest Programme.

Food & Beverage

Visitors to Dublin in 2017 spent a greater proportion of their travel budget – 36pc – on dining out than in any other city studied, according to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index Indulgences report.

Aramark Northern Europe, the global food and facilities service provider, and Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group have opened the first in-company restaurant at JP Morgan in Dublin’s Docklands.

Mount Charles’ Freshly Chopped flagship restaurant opened in Donegall Square West, Belfast.


The Irish Hotels Federation hotel barometer reported that 49pc recorded a positive outlook for the next 12 months compared with 82pc this time last year.

Deirdre McGlone MD at Harvey’s Point Hotel, was honoured as a thought leader in tourism and hospitality by the All-Ireland Business Foundation.

Dalata Hotel Group officially opened its latest property, the four-star Maldron Hotel South Mall in Cork city. The 163-bedroom hotel has two restaurants, a bar and cafe. Conal O’Neill, Maldron Group General Manager, Robert McCarthy, General Manager Maldron South Mall, Stephen McNally, Deputy CEO Dalata Hotel Group and Pat McCann, CEO Dalata Hotel Group are pictured at the opening. Photo: Darragh Kane

Relais & Châteaux announced 13 new properties, four of which will open in 2019, the first time Relais & Châteaux has given membership to hotels and restaurants before they have launched.


Aer Lingus’ deal with CityJet for the London City airport to Dublin route was cleared after a CMA probe.

AirBaltic will operate Dublin-Riga seasonal 4w from March 31.

The Commission of Aviation regulation ruled that Ryanair passengers are entitled to compensation after their flights were cancelled or delayed due to strikes.


Ryanair UK Ltd was awarded an English AOC and a first B737-800 was registered to it on Thursday (G-RUKA).

An agreement has been reached in the Aer Arann Islands dispute with services to continue and Indreabhain airport remains available up to September while a purchase process is initiated to buy it from Pádraig Ó Céidigh, owner of the airline and the airport. 

The Aircraft Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Bill 2018 was published.

The US big three airlines are vocally objecting to investment by Qatar Airways in Air Italy, a carrier with eight widebody aircraft capable of US-Europe flying, because Qatar is state subsidised. Qatar have a €2bn investment in IAG which owns Aer Lingus. 

The week-long strike by workers at Luton Airport employed by Sasse will get underway from 6:30am Friday 21 December until Friday 28 December 6:29am

Emirates offered special fares to eight destinations  when booking between 7th and 22nd January for travel between 17th January and 30th November 2019.

Emirates said 10,000 tonnes of Irish exports were transported via Dubai in 2018.

Dublin airport anticipates 1,136,000 passengers between Friday, December 21 and Friday, January 4, 2019.

Skyscanner named their most searched destinations among Irish users as 1 Agadir, 2 Paphos, 3 Split, 4 Dalaman, 6  Istanbul, 7 Dalaman, 8 Mykonos. Highest ranking non direct searches were 11 Nashville and 14 San Diego.

Milan Bergamo opened eight new aircraft stands, bringing the total to 47. 

Passenger numbers have broken the 30m barrier at Dublin Airport.

The Irish Aviation Authority will handle 1.15m flights this year, unchanged on 2017.


Brussels says an arrangement allowing hauliers to carry freight by road into the EU for a nine-month period without having to apply for permits will be strictly time-limited, and will be ended without any consultation

Due in the summer, Irish Ferries’ WB Yeats made her maiden voyage in to Dublin. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook.

Royal Caribbean‘s Independence of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas were forced to reschedule calls at Cozumel with ports closer to home due to a severe weather system over Florida.

Irish Ferries WN Yeats docked in Dublin Port on Thursday 20th December.

Meeting of the generations: AIDAnova and AIDAcara met at Santa Cruz de Tenerife with a festive fireworks display.


Swedish TV programme Bonde söker fru (‘Farmer Searches for a Wife’) featuring single farmers meeting a number of potential partners and taking his ‘favourite’ partner to go on a dream date to a foreign location was broadcast featuring counties Cavan, Louth and Meath.

The Arts Council introduced its new three year development strategy for festivals.

Colm Croffy of the Association Of Irish Festivals & Events in his end of year review said:  the familiar issues that have bedevilled our sector since the 90s remain, no cohesion within the industry, poor sharing of learnings, uneven success at sponsorship partnerships, volunteer burnout , indifference by politician’s local and national and lack of local commercial support. 

Powerscourt  won Luxury Spa of the Year at the Irish Beauty Industry Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

The OPW announced a permit competition for boats to Skellig Micheal.

Travel Extra’s Mark Evans meets Siberia-to-Saigon’s Hector.

Deal Watch

Sunway offers: Dublin to Switzerland for ‘Best of Switzerland’ escorted tour, Price includes flights ex Dublin, 20kg baggage per person, taxes, 10 nights twin share in  4* Hotels,  some meals and tours as per itinerary.   Price includes saving of €225pp, tour must be paid in full by 28th February. Subject to availability and change, from €2365pp, depart May 11. Dublin to Holland for 5* River Cruise ‘Tulip Time’, includes flight ex Dublin, return port transfers, 7 nights twin sharing outside stateroom with fixed window, unlimited wine/beers at meals, sip and sail daily cocktail hour & daily complimentary excursions. Not included gratuities and port charges of €150pp. Subject to availability and change, from €1889pp, depart March 23. Dublin to France, 7 nights all inclusive Club Med Grand Massif, adults from €1209pp, children from €769pp, children under 6 years stay free, depart June 16. Dublin to Asia for ‘Cambodia on a Shoestring’ 10-day adventure tour, includes flight ex Dublin or Shannon, 1 x 20kg baggage per person, 9 night’s accommodation on twin share basis, some meals and tours as per itinerary. Subject to availability and change, from €1269pp, depart May 13. Dublin to Orlando, 7 Nights 3* Rosen Inn at Pointe, from €549pp, based on two adults and two children sharing, depart March. Dublin to Las Vegas, 4 Nights Stratosphere Hotel, from €579pp. Dublin to Las Vegas and New York , 3 Nights ROW Hotel New York, 3 Nights Stratosphere Hotel, from €899pp, depart February. Dublin to South Africa for Cape Town and Winelands tour, from €749pp. Dublin to Thailand, 7 nights B&B Kata Sea Breeze in Phuket, from €885pp. Dublin to Cancun, 7 Nights all inclusive RIU Cancun, from €1115pp. Dublin to Rome for 9-night Greek Isles & Sicily Fly Cruise onboard Jewel of the Seas, from €1685pp, depart October 3. Dublin to Florida for Cuba Fly Cruise, 1 night pre cruise in Fort Lauderdale and nine all inclusive with butler service and $1000 Onboard Spend Plus Suite Upgrade Included, on Silver Wind, from €3760pp, depart April 9.

Topflight offers: Book today on the 12th Day of Christmas sale and save an additional €50 (Dublin & Cork departures) /£50 (Belfast departures) for every person booking a ski holiday today. Applies to all properties and all resorts. Choose from ski and board holidays in Andorra, Austria, France and Italy. or your local travel agent.

TUI offers: Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self catering 2*+ Los Girasoles, Playa Del Ingles, from €399pps, depart January 10. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self catering 3* Arena Suites, Puerto De Santiago, from €359pps, depart January 11. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Apartments the Morromar, Matagorda, from €459pps, depart January 13. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self catering 3* Cay Beach Princess Bungalows, Maspalomas, from €359pps, depart January 17. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, from €379pps, depart February 3. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self catering 3* Monte Feliz, Bahia Feliz, from €359pps, depart February 7. Dublin to Cancun, 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, from €1,519pps. (Saving of €260pp), depart June 10. Dublin to Cancun, 14 nights all inclusive 3* RIU Lupita, Playacar, from €1,519pps (Saving of €300pp), depart June 17. Dublin to Cancun, 14 nights all inclusive 4* RIU Cancun, Cancun, from €1,929pps (Saving of €190pp), depart June 3. Dublin to Paphos,7 nights half board 5* TUI Sensimar Pioneer Beach Hotel, Paphos, from €1,039 (Save €170pp), depart May 22. Dublin to Dalaman Turkey, 7 nights all inclusive 4* TUI Family Life Tropical, Sarigerme, from €2419 (2+1 – includes free child place), depart July 15. http://www.tuiholidays.ieCall 1850 45 35 45 or visit a TUI Store /travel agent.

Tour America offers: Dublin to Florida, 3 nights pre-cruise in Orlando and seven nights all inclusive onboard Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, from € 1539pp, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing a “central park” balcony stateroom, includes all drinks for both adults and soft drinks for children and car hire for port transfers, depart October 3. Dublin to Barcelona, 7 nights all inclusive MSC Seaview from €1349pp, based on 2 sharing inside cabin, depart May 11. Dublin direct sailing, 8 nights Norwegian Fjords cruise nights onboard Celebrity Reflection, from €1479pp, based on 2 adults sharing an ocean view stateroom and includes classic drinks package included per person, depart May 26. Dublin to US, 3 nights Las Vegas, 1 night Miami and 7 night Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Breakaway, premium all inclusive included, premium drinks package, gratuities and wifi, from €1899pp, depart September 11. Dublin to New York, 3 nights at the Roosevelt Hotel , from €429pp, based on 4 sharing, depart February 1. Dublin to Washington DC, 3 nights at the Hotel 1600, from €519pp, based on 4 sharing, depart March 1. Dublin to Chicago, 3 nights at the Hilton Garden Inn, from €549pp, based on 4 sharing, depart February 8. Dublin to Orlando, 7 nights at the Rosen Inn International, from €559pp, based on 2+2 sharing, depart February 6.


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Ireland's premier source of travel information

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