TRAVEL Extra Sunday Supplement: Aer Link-us as the shamrock applies for 214 US codeshares



Visit by Irish travel media to Flachau, Salzburgerland, December 20, 2018


Things to know about travel this week

  • ITIC talks gloom but anticipates greater growth than Tourism Ireland
  • Guinness Storehouse growth slows but still leads Ireland with 1.74m
  • Bookabed partners with Best Western Hotels & Resorts
  • Irish hotel sales just short of a quarter of a billion euro this year

Video Watch.

All of us who got our presents during the week can thank Irish air traffic controllers as well as Santa. Watch here – password is fastforwardeditors – to see how the Irish controllers ensured parcels got through Irish air space.

  • An Emirates passenger proposes to his girlfriend onboard a flight – which she’s working on as a cabin crew member. Watch here.
  • A ground handler at Toronto’s Pearson Airport has become an internet hit – due to his dancing on the tarmac. Watch here.
  • The Aviation Industry saw an end of an era during this month with Boeing delivering the final 777-300ER to Emirates  Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

An application to add Aer Lingus to 214 additional codeshare segments with 72 new unique codeshare destinations in America, and 47 additional codeshare segments has been made in the USA by American Airlines, British Airways, Openskies SAS, Iberia, Finnair and Aer Lingus. They say the application for approval and antitrust immunity will generate $96m in consumer benefits each year, The application argues this will expand  Aer Lingus’ value-carrier service by unlocking new connections and introducing new routes to North America and stimulate new demand by 16,800 passengers per year. Aer Lingus will play the lead role in developing  pricing for services between North America and Ireland and will remain free to set fares sold through its direct distribution channels.  American Airways will get 12 new unique codeshare destinations beyond Dublin: Cork, Donegal, Birmingham, Bristol, Newquay, Isle of Man, Jersey, Pula, Nantes, Verona, and Faro. It does not provide for Aer Lingus to join oneworld; this decision will be made at a future date.

Ireland’s visitor attractions for 2018 will be totting up their numbers next week, to be headed again by Guinness Storehouse which estimates 1,740,000 visitors, driven by USA and Europe. A Brexit slowdown means they are up just 1.6pc on their 1,711,281 in 2017, their slowest growth in ten years. The Cliffs of Moher expect a healthy 6pc increase from 1,527,000 to just over 1.6m in a year that has seen much improved access from their new coach reception area. Dublin Zoo expects to decline 11pc from 1,264,300 to 1.01m, with Director Leo Oosterweghel (pictured) claiming the papal visit “pulled the rug” from beneath the zoo, forcing three days of closure in August on top of a decline caused by a snowy spring and overly hot summer: “We lost the last week of August which is our biggest week, the end of the school holidays. if the weather is good you have 10,000 people here in one day.” The National Aquatic Centre (estimated 1.2m) and National Gallery (estimated 1.15m) may both pass the zoo pushing it back to fifth place, with the Giants Causeway (estimated 1.04m) not far behind in sixth and Book of Kells seemingly set to pass the 1m mark for the first time. Tayto Park (850k), Titanic Belfast (794k), and Castletown House 700k) make up the top ten. All figures are estimated and subject to confirmation.

The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation end of year report predicted growth of 6-7pc in passenger numbers and 6-9pc in revenue in 2019, slightly more optimistic than the 6pc revenue growth and 4.46pc revenue growth forecast by Tourism Ireland at their briefing last week. ITIC chair Maurice Pratt said 25,000 new jobs have been created in the sector in the last 12 months and tourism remains Ireland’s largest indigenous employer and warned that Brexit, VAT hikes, and weakened competitiveness will put significant pressure on the industry.

Peter Downey, Chairperson of the Irish Self-Catering Federation, whose members supply 20,000 bed nights nationwide, said moves by Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy requiring planning permission for short-term property letting could close the sector down. “It is tempting to blame short term letting for the housing shortage but where is the evidence?  We are providers of a tourism accommodation product for visitors to Ireland for decades – we did not just appear when an on-line booking platform in the US shone a light on short term letting for the first time 10 years ago.  Neither department can ignore this fact and they need to sit down to discuss the impact of one set of regulations on another Minister’s portfolio.  Super-fast, before our accommodation sector is decimated by regulations that are not fit for purpose.

While 2017 was the first year in aviation history with zero fatalities, it was a different picture this year, with 587 persons killed in 14 crashes. The worst was the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 Boeing 737 Max 8 in October, which claimed 189 lives. Cubana de Aviación Flight 972 crashed shortly after take-off from José Martí International Airport in Havana, killing 112 of its 113 passengers. In March, US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211 from Dhaka to Nepal crashed at Tribhuvan International Airport, claiming 52 lives. In March, an aircraft carrying 71 passengers crashed on landing at Kathmandu airport, killing 49 people. According to the Dutch safety consultancy, To70, the five-year average is approximately one fatal accident for every 30 million flights. In terms of the number of passengers flown without a fatal accident, Ryanair is the safest airline in the world, followed by EasyJet.

Travel Trade

Visit USA Committee Ireland Roadshow takes place in Hayfield Manor, Cork, April 9th and Dublin (Venue TBC) April 10.

Picture shows Gerhard Wolfsteiner of Salzburgerland Tourism with Aileen Eglington of AE Consulting. Watch here video diary of Irish travel writers in Flachau and watch here video diary of Flachauwinkl and Zauchensee

Watch here Rebecca Kelly a Life in Travel.

Bookabed has announced a strategic partnership with Best Western Hotels & Resorts to give Bookabed  same-day availability for all room categories at preferred rates. Colleen Butler, Head of Product at Bookabed, said: Bookabed will be launching further products “in the coming weeks which will further enable agents to deliver better pricing, availability and options to their clients”.

Picture shows Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA, Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel, Declan Power of Shannon airport and John Spollen of Cassidy Travel president of the ITAA at the Munster v Leinster rugby macth at Thomond Park, Decemebr 29 2018

Strange world

A year later, Nicka Feinberg told the English Guardian that his Airbnb guests threw a New Year party for 300 people


The woman who died when she fell from a footbridge in a bus loading area at Alicante airport last Saturday has been named as Judith Coughlan (28) originally from Arklow.

  • A survey by Which Travel reported that 17pc of those who had flown on the Irish airline in the past year reported that they had experienced “shouting, drunkenness, obnoxiousness, verbal abuse or other problems”, with 15pc on Thomas Cook Airlines, 14pc on TUI and 13pc on easyJet. One incident involved a stag party from Newcastle setting seat covers alight on a flight to Alicante.
  • Christmas Eve was the 200th anniversary of the first performance of Slient Night. Watch hereEoghan Corry on RTE Morning Ireland. Eist anseo le Eoghan Corry ag caint agus ag canadh ar Raido na Gaeltachta Adhnmhaidin.
  • The Emirates Ireland Travel Survey of 1,000 people selected Sydney as the favourite place to see in the new year chosen by 26pc, followed by New Zealand and the Seychelles (23pc each). 

Food & Beverage

CBRE director John Ryan said the average sale price of a Dublin pub rose by 64pc to €1.68m in 2018, calculated from 19 pub sales in Dublin, down from 24 in 2017 and 30 in 2016.

  • CBRE said Kiely’s in Donnybrook, put on sale in September with a guide price of €5m is sale agreed and Davy Byrnes is close to a deal for near the guide price of €6m
  • British restaurant and hotel owner Whitbread has received clearance from the European Union for the sale of the Costa coffee chain to the Coca-Cola Co.
  • Oliver Loomes, country director of Diageo Ireland, has been re-elected as chair of Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland for a two-year term.


A total of 34 hotel deals – worth more than €730m – were competed during 2018. This figure excludes hotel investment sales. CBRE Ireland figures showed that hotels that changed hands included The Heritage Hotel & Spa in Killenard in Co Laois and the Connemara Coast Hotel in Furbo in Co Galway. This year’s deals figure was over double the amount for 2017, which stood at just €250m, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s data.

  • The landmark Langton’s House Hotel in Kilkenny reopened on St Stephen’s Day after fire broke out on Christmas Day.
  • Issacs Hostel – situated off Store Street in Dublin – has been sold to an as-yet-unnamed hostel group for €9.7m.


Aer Lingus is reducing Dublin-Miami to 2w from June 9 until October 16.

Shannon’s Helvetic service to Zurich will be discontinued in 2019.

Wow has sold its Gatwick slots and moving full London operation to Stansted, as part of its operation to restructure and simplify its operations to return to its roots, reducing the fleet from 20 to 11 aircraft, all single-aisle Airbus. after the collapse of the Iceladnair deal. 

The full transcript of Willie Walsh’s investor day comments are now online: Aer Lingus, I would argue is probably one of the best acquisitions that anybody has ever made. 

  • A 50.1pc stake in Gatwick Airport is to be sold to French operator Vinci Airports for £2.9bn. 
  • Sofia City Court has asked the ECJ to rule if the airline forcing claimants to take their cases over EU rules for compensating passengers for delayed or cancelled cases to Ireland  is valid.
  • Sukhoi Civil Aircraft president Alexander Rubtsov said CityJet may cancel their cooperation in 2019, due to the latter changing its business model.
  • Norwegian Air has agreed to sell five Airbus 320neo aircraft as a part of its plan to ease capital commitments and strengthen its balance sheet.
  • Ryanair Paphos to Berlin TXL, Kiev and Mykonos will start April 2019. ex EI-FEF has registered as Ryanair UK aircraft to Ryanair UK Ltd, Enterprise House, Stansted Airport.
  • Emirates plans to fly to Mexico City via Spain, after the UAE and Mexico agreed to terms using fifth freedom rights.
  • Andrew Tinkler Christmas day post on Twitter:Happy Christmas, to all the honourable People in life. Let’s keep fighting against the Evil that try to destroy the good we have created. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year thanks for your support. 2019 will be a big surprise for wrongful behaviour. Best Wishes Andrew.

Parool Rajput, Senior Project Manager, Terminals, DAA; Emma McCusker, Café Nero; and Emmet Murphy, Programme Manager, DAA, December 27, 2018

Parool Rajput, Senior Project Manager, Terminals, DAA; Emma McCusker, Caffé Nero; and Emmet Murphy, Programme Manager, DAA, are pictured at the new Caffé Nero outlet in T2 arrivals at Dublin. The new outlet will employ nine people.

Virgin’s Manchester to Atlanta frequency to be increased to 5w Boeing 747 for winter season19/20 and Manchester-JFK to go daily with Airbus A330-200 from late October 2019


Stena Line is offering 25pc off travel to Britain and France on the Dublin – Holyhead, Rosslare – Fishguard and Rosslare – Cherbourg routes in 2019 if booked before January 8th.

  • WB Yeats has landed in Dublin as her fit-out continues ahead of entering service on the Dublin-Rosslare route in March. Irish Ferries continue to keep an eye on their freight options. Listen here to Eoghan Corry on RTE Morning Ireland.
  • The US Coast Guard has suspended the search for missing cruise ship entertainer Arron Hough, who is believed to have fallen overboard on Christmas Day. The 20-year-old British man worked on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas.
  • Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has appointed Keith Norman as its first-ever dedicated river sales manager, with effect from January 1.


Minister Brendan Griffin visited the Dublin office of Tourism Ireland after the body’s end of year press conference. Picture shows Sarah Hayes, Sun Tai Lai, Cathy Shalvey, Nicola Allen, Liz Devine, Niamh Doherty, Mark Power, Audrey O’Connor, Tom Noone, Minister Brendan Griffin, Garry Kelleher, Alan Myles, Cormac Phelan, Orla Howells and Niall Gibbons. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. And watch here full end of year press conference.

Tourism Ireland is already targeting the key north American market for 2019. A week-long TV campaign with its Fill Your Heart with Ireland ad aired from Christmas Eve in New York and Los Angeles, plus Minneapolis and Dallas, which will have direct connections to Dublin in the New Year.  A doubledecker bus in New York advertises the new campaign.

Part-time and seasonal hospitality workers could benefit from changes to Job Seeker’s Benefit rules from New Year’s Day. The new rules will allow workers with subsidiary seasonal and casual employment to earn €7,500 a year without it impacting on their rights to Jobseeker’s Benefit when work is scarce.

Head of Science and Sport Mark Langtry with Laura Manning 11 (left) and Grace Thompson 11, Conal Curran 12, Tommy Horkan 11 and Sarah Thompson, 11 , at Explorium, Ireland’s first sport and science centre. It includes over 300 interactive exhibits, spanning 110,000 sq ft at the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. Photo: Robbie Reynolds

Head of Science and Sport Mark Langtry is pictured with Laura Manning 11 (left) and Grace Thompson 11, Conal Curran 12, Tommy Horkan 11 and Sarah Thompson, 11 , at Explorium, Ireland’s first sport and science centre. It includes over 300 interactive exhibits, spanning 110,000 sq ft, and is based off the M50 in Sandyford, at the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. Photo: Robbie Reynolds

Deal Watch

American Holidays offers: January sale now on.

Topflight offers: January sale now on, with savings of up to €250 per person. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights B&B 2* Pension Niedermuhlbichler, Soll, was €629 now €389pps, depart January 5. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights half board 3* Ferienhotel Fuchs, Soll, was €819 now €569pps, depart January 5. Dublin to Italy, 7 nights self catering 3* Casa Antoinetta, Livigno, Italy, Self Catering was €579 now €419pps, depart January 5. Dublin to France, 7 nights self catering 4* Le Hameau de Pierre Blanche, Chamonix Valley, was €635 now €431pps, depart January 5. Dublin to Andorra, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Himalaia Soldeu, Soldeu, was €876 now €667pps, depart January 20. Dublin to Italy, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Olympic Palace, Pinzolo, was €799 now €719pps, depart January 26. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights half board 4* plus Hotel Norica, Bad Hofgastein, was €1266 now €1056pps, depart January 19., call 01 240 1700/ 028 9752 1168 or visit your local travel agent

Tropical Sky offers: Tropical Sky’s luxury worldwide sale is now on, with savings of up to €1,200pp on long-haul holidays. Dublin to Mauritius, 7 nights B&B 5* Lux Grand Gaube, from €1,309pp – a saving of up to €900pp. Dublin to Dominican Republic, 7 nights all inclusive 5* Casa de Campo, from €1,499pp – a saving of up to €1,200pp. Dublin to Barbados, 7 nights all inclusive 5* Sandals Barbados, from €2,479pp – a saving of up to €1,200pp. or call 01 664 9999)


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