TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Belfast to lose its only Trans-Atlantic service in January, thanks to EU subsidy ruling

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HEADLINES – AGENT PROMOTIONS – AVIATION – AFLOAT – FOOD & BEVERAGES – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – DEAL WATCH – TRAVEL TRADE – EVENTS – STRANGE WORLD – TRAVEL MEDIA

Margaret Jeffares speaking at the Tourroir Good Food Ireland awards in Croke Park, November 1 2016

Margaret Jeffares speaking at the Tourroir Good Food Ireland awards in Croke Park, November 1 2016

Things to know about travel this week

  • United to drop Belfast’s only Trans-Atlantic service after EU blocks subsidy
  • KLM cityhopper starts Dublin-Amsterdam
  • Ryanair launches four daily routes from Frankfurt
  • Good Food Ireland awards to local and international recipients
  • October was third busiest month in history of Ryanair

Travel Extra TV

  • screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-08-36-04Video of the week: How do the delivery men in Colombia bring crates of beer to the pubs? Watch here.
  • And you thought taxi drivers hated cyclists — this magpie has a problem with this bike rider on holiday. Watch here.
  • If you’ve ever had to deal with children bickering on holiday, you’ll be sorry to see that some people never grow out of it. These hilarious sisters have been fighting for 98 years. Watch here.
  • Meet Mark Le Mesurier, a first officer at Emirates, as part of the airline’s recruitment drive. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus posted a video of the Irish rugby team departing Dublin for Chicago to play New Zealand. Watch here.
  • Airbus put together a highlights reel of Airshow China. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland uploaded a video of Richard E Grant exploring Ireland’s Ancient East. Watch here.

Behind the Headlinesklm-dub-2

Boet Kreiken of KLM Cityhopper was in Dublin to celebrate the return of KLM to Dublin-Schiphol after 50 years, initially twice daily (0.55 and 13.20) increasing to four times daily from March 2017. Flights will be served by a three class Embraer 190 with 100 passengers connecting to KLM’s long-haul network to destinations such as Johannesburg, Havana, Beijing and Hong Kong. The new service means KLM passengers can now check online for both legs of their journey.

Margaret Jeffares and MInister Charlie Flanagan at the Tourroir Good Food Ireland awards in Croke Park, November 1 2016

Margaret Jeffares and Minister Charlie Flanagan

Good Food Ireland celebrated their 10th anniversary at a conference and awards in the Croke Park Conference Centre. Four ambassadors and international guests were among the attendees who were conducted on a stadium tour and drinks reception in the GAA museum (storylined back in 1997 by Travel Extra’s editor) on the 132nd anniversary, to the day, of the foundation of the GAA, and a gala dinner presented by three of the country’s top chefs, JP McMahon, Noel McMeel and Paul Kelly with María José San Román from restaurante Monastrell al Paseo Marítimo in Alicante. International honours were given to Patrick Torrent of Catalan tourism and René Redzepi. Irish awards went to Birgitta Hedin Curtin of Burren Smokehouse, hall of fame winner Veronica Steele of Cooleeney Cheese and Julie and Rod Calder-Potts of Highbank organic orchards, Cuffesgrange Co Kilkenny. The food producers of Ireland were well represented including seaweed pioneers such as Prannie Rhatigan. As emerged at last week’s Food on the Edge conference in Galway, seaweed is the new goats cheese, a wave of fashionable new edible shorefood sweeping the country. María José San Román served up the starter celebrating olive oil and JP McMahon of Aniar the amazing melt in the mouth lamb main course. The next step? Margaret Jeffares said the one thing that needs to be solved is the fragmentation of vested interests to bring Ireland to the front rank of food tourism destinations. Redmond O’Donoghue, chair of Tourroir said the questions were interesting even though the answer is sometimes not what we wanted to hear. For Margaret Jeffares, the conference, she said, was the start of a new conversation. Only about 10 countries in the world are doing food tourism properly, although dozens more say it is at the core of their campaigns. Let’s hope Ireland  moves into that front rank sometime soon. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Bord Pleanála ruled that ships from Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, Disney, HAL, MSC, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean or TUI will NOT be permitted to dock at the proposed €18m cruise berth in Dún Laoghaire, restricting it instead to ships of 250m length, rather than the 340m limit sought by the port company. The decision means only CMV ships like Magellan and Fred Olsen’s fleet of Black Watch, Boudicca, Braemar and Balmoral will be permitted into Dun Laoghaire, as well as luxury ships up to the size of Crystal Serenity. The larger ocean liners will be permitted to dock in Dublin Port’s Alexandra Basin which is to undergo a €230m redevelopment project due to start construction this month. While the Bord said that the restriction would allow an average of two cruise ships a week, each with an average of 2,000 cruise visitors, Travel Extra estimates the restrictions will mean Dún Laoghaire will get no more than eight cruise calls in a season with an average of 800 visitors a ship, which raises the question whether the €18m expenditure can be justified in such close proximity to Dublin port.

Travel Trade

IATA has changed its profitability requirement, from one year out of three to one year out of two, changed remittance frequency from monthly to twice monthly, on the 1st and the 15th of the month following the month of sale and has increased liquidity requirements. The changes take effect from April 1st 2017.

turkish-winnerPicture shows Maria Bradley from RCSI Travel, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who won 2 return economy class tickets to anywhere on Turkish Airlines network. Agents can enter by sending the ticket number, name, email address and the name of your agency by email. The more tickets issued the more chances of winning.

Opodo and eDreams updated their websites to improve price transparency after a ruling by the London regulatory body CAA.

Betabeds, represented in Ireland by Clem Walshe, launched their first incentive for Irish agents, “one of many trade incentives that we will be running in Ireland over the coming months” according to Emma Lelliott, offering Irish travel agents the opportunity to win €25 One4All vouchers throughout November by registering their branch at http://info@betabeds.com, logging into the trade website at www.betabeds.com, and finding Betabees. Betabeds is a trade-only site and part of the Truly Holdings Group of companies that includes Alpha Rooms and Teletext Holidays.

Invitees at the AWTE information meeting in Dublin airport, October 26 2016

Picture shows women travel executives attending the AWTE exploratory meeting in Dublin airport. The event was hosted by Debbee Dale AWTE Chair, Andrea Norris AWTE Vice Chair, Lorraine Barnes Burton Finance Director and Sarah Clayton Turner as well as Maura Moloney of Dublin Airport, Lorraine Quinn of Celebrity and Clare Dunne from the TravelBroker. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Skal Dublin club lunch at the Guinness Storehouse on Tuesday price for members €30 and guests €35.

Mukesh Sharma was awarded a Community Honours Award for his longstanding commitment to supporting the integration of the Asian community at a reception hosted by Kamlesh Patel a Labour member of the House of Lords.

 

Clem Walshe has relaunched LocalMarketing.ie with a new-look website. The consultancy specialises in providing a wide range of marketing support to travel companies operating in the Irish market, including Sales & Marketing Strategy, Brand Development, Social Media, Email Marketing, PR, and Media Buying.

Amadeus says the functionality to enable travellers to enter or create log-in credentials currently exists in AeTM and has been enhanced to apply to bookings from all carriers sourced via Travelfusion, including Ryanair, in the light of the airline’s requirement that passengers have to have a MyRyanair account. Amadeus reported an adjusted profit of €738.1m in the nine months to September 30. See press release here. Amadeus say their new network scheduling product with Optym could see airlines unlock millions of dollars. See press release here.

G Adventures Limited Edition programme was launched by GSA Sunway with highlights including Haitian Carnival in Jacmel, jamming at Reggae Sumfest in Jamaica, indulging at Pizzafest in Italy, and running in the Serengeti half-marathon.

Travelport announced a renewed full content agreement with Bulgaria Air.

American Express Global Business Travel purchased SMT from Finnair.

Shauna Kelly has joined Topflight as resell Development Manager.

Skift reported that Google’s Travel Business Is Already Twice the Size of Expedia’s

Picture shows top performing Travel Counsellors celebrating their gold weekend on a river cruise with Scenic, Susan Hegarty from Carlow; Rosemary Chawke, Clonmel; Mary Foyle, Cork; Bernie Whelan, Head Office; Sarah McCarthy, Cork; and Lorraine Lawless, Dunshaughlin, some of the 100 Travel Counsellors from Ireland, England, South Africa and Australia, along with some of their travel partners Royal Caribbean International, P&O and Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, DoSomethingDifferent, and British Airways. There are ten homeworkers in Ireland with Gold status, awarded to those who earn in excess of €59,000. Five Gold Irish TCs attended this trip, while the other five enjoyed a trip to Hong Kong in April.Picture shows top performing Travel Counsellors celebrating their gold weekend on a river cruise with Scenic, Susan Hegarty from Carlow; Rosemary Chawke from Clonmel; Mary Foyle from Cork; Bernie Whelan from Ireland head office, Sarah McCarthy fromCork; and Lorraine Lawless from Dunshaughlin, some of the 100 Travel Counsellors from Ireland, England, South Africa and Australia, along with some of their travel partners Royal Caribbean International, P&O and Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, DoSomethingDifferent, and British Airways. There are ten homeworkers in Ireland with Gold status, awarded to those who earn in excess of €59,000. Five Gold Irish TCs attended this trip, while the other five enjoyed a trip to Hong Kong in April. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Strange World

Tourists were warned not to take selfies with lions after dark amid reports this was a growing trend.

  • Thousands of guests and employees were evacuated from the Paris resort in Las Vegas which lost power when a contractor working in the basement cut into the main power line.
  • Hummus, love letters and a supersoaker were listed among the silliest items that passengers were told to leave behind at airport security.
  • Half of Heathrow noise complaints came from just ten people.
  • A passenger tried to open an aircraft door on an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Brisbane.
  • A poker player lost their appeal against a London casino over £7.7m in winnings.
  • An AirAsia aicraft slipped off the runway and became stuck in the mud while preparing for take off.
  • BA is to investigate allegations of a cockpit sex act.

Hotels

Airbnb said hosts in regional and rural Ireland earned €27m over the last year by occasionally sharing space in their home. Their report, entitled “Home-Sharing: Empowering Regional & Rural Ireland”, was launched by Minister Heather Humphreys.

CBRE’s bi-monthly report showed 37 Irish hotel transactions worth €283m in the first nine months of 2016, €710m could be spent on hotel transactions in Ireland this year, matching the record-high set in 2015. Sales include the Spencer Hotel in the IFSC, the Beacon Hotel in Sandyford and the Morgan Hotel in Temple Bar.

The Doyle hotel family has acquired properties adjoining its five-star The Westbury which would add another 50 bedrooms at the hotel, 6-7 and 8-9 Balfe Street, and 1 Westbury Mall.

  • Ashford Castle reported an exceptional year on its €100m investment.
  • Jurys Inns owners said they aim to bounce back from a €170m loss.
  • Pub chain Wetherspoon are to open a 98-bedroom hotel and bar complex in a former Dublin homeless hostel on Camden Street.
  • SiteMinder, which opened its Galway office earlier this year, is celebrating its 10th year in business
  • RIU opened its first facility with water attractions at its complex in Punta Cana.
  • Beatrice Tollman, President and Founder of Red Carnation Hotels, is being named the Leading Hotels of the World Leading Legend 2016.
  • Airbnb updated their  Springs showcased their new look.
  • Rochestown Park reported it was back in profit.

International

International airports in Edinburgh, Keflavík, and Rome-Fiumicino are among ten accepted to begin the approval process for US preclearance giving them similar status to Dublin and Shannon if accepted. The others are Bogotá (Colombia); Buenos Aires (Argentina); Kansai (Japan); Mexico City; Rio de Janeiro; São Paulo and Saint Martin (Sint Maarten) and will be added to Preclearance over the next two years. Milan-Malpensa, Heathrow and Manchester were previously identified as priority airports in May 2015.

The Reputation Institute (website) ranked Dublin the 20th most reputable city in the world. Sydney finished ahead of Vienna, Zurich, Toronto and Stockholm. 

Food and Beverage

The National Council for the Blind of Ireland has partnered with the Restaurants Association of Ireland for a week long Dine in the Dark event from November 6, which will see diners at 200 restaurants ‘#GoDark’ to raise funds NCBI.

JP McMahon tattoo pictured at the Tourroir Good Food Ireland awards in Croke Park, November 1 2016Picture shows JP McMahon of Aniar with the famous cuts from the pig tattoo which he displayed at the Food on the Edge event in Galway.

  • CBRE’s bi-monthly report showed 23 pubs sold in Dublin worth €28m in the first nine months of 2016, saying there is a shortage of product currently in the Dublin pub market with very few pubs being offered for sale despite considerable demand for well-located premises. Sale has been agreed on a further 13 pubs worth €22m.
  • The Temple Bar retail/restaurant block which includes Elephant & Castle, Pablo Picante and Gallagher’s Boxty House is on sale for €13m.
  • Pitt Bros ‘Low & Slow’ American-style BBQ restaurant, on Dublin’s Georges Street, is set to open a new city centre restaurant.
  • The Green Barn has opened in Athy’s Burtown House with a farm to fork policy  using seasonal produce from its own organic kitchen garden.

Aviation

Belfast’s only trans-Atlantic service, United’s Newark service, is to be scrapped in January after the EU rejected a £9m Stormont subsidy to preserve the route. Stormont was paying £160 for every return ticket on the route.

frankfurt-main-_8858Überraschung: Ryanair are to base two aircraft and fly daily services to Alicante, Faro, Malaga and Palma from Frankfurt, an airport they said they would NEVER fly. Asked recently by Travel Extra about Michael O’Leary’s statements Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said “90pc of the Always Getting better programme consists of things that Michael said would never happen.” The Wall Street Journal described the move on Frankfurt as a major offensive in the decades-old fight between discount carriers and traditional airlines amid reports that Lufthansa wants the same Frankfurt fee terms as Ryanair. Carsten Spohr said Eurowings could be drafted in to defend the hub if there is a need.ryanair-monthly-passengers

October was the third busiest month in the history of Ryanair with traffic up 13pc to 10.9m customers. Ryanair launched 43 routes this week including Dublin-Hamburg 5w, adding Oslo Gardermoen to London Stansted and Vilnius and a 2,451km Liverpool to Marrakwech route. They included the launch of six new routes in a four-day period from Belfast International Airport, to Krakow on Sunday, Wroclaw, Lanzarote and Tenerife on Monday and Warsaw and Gdansk on Wednesday. Ryanair added a fifth daily return from Belfast to Gatwick.

  • IAG have announced wifi on short haul fleets will start to roll out from late next year, including Aer Lingus.
  • Topflight and Crystal are to share12 Aer Lingus Saturday charters from Belfast City Airport to Salzburg starting Christmas Eve and running until March 11th.
  • Eirtech aviation services was granted A340, 757 and Embraer 170/190 CAMO approvals
  • Ryanair and Crewlink Ireland Ltd will hold a crew recruitment day in Belfast on December 1s
  • Emirates now has five daily A380s to New Zealand.
  • Etihad and Jet Airways added three new destinations to bring its Indian network to 18 cities with 28 additional flights a week between Abu Dhabi and India.
  • Kenny Jacobs told Reuters that Ryanair aims for a deal on long-haul feeder flights in 2017
  • Tampa International Airport said it hopes to add a Dublin route through incentive programme.
  • Joe Gill described Heathrow Airport’s plan as an open goal for Ireland.
  • Air France-KLM reported reduced profits in the wake of militant attacks.
  • AerCap’s staff earn, on average, €225k.
  • Irelandia Aviation expanded into Peru with the launch of Viva Air.  Declan Ryan son of Tony Ryan is to sell his stake in Ryanair.
  • Aergo Capital appointed Lorraine Carew and Stan Barnes as executives.
  • Alan Joyce hinted Qantas might fly non stop to Europe.
  • A post on boards.ie suggested Aer Lingus may be getting 11 A321 NEO plus additional A333 instead of the A350. The latest A350 production line does not show any aircraft destined for Aer Lingus, which had nine on the order book, three each in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Afloat

roya-three-oasis-classRoyal Caribbean‘s three Oasis-class ships, the largest cruise ships in the world, Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and the line’s newest ship, Harmony of the Seas, met for the first time off Fort Lauderdale.

  • Holland America launched a new room service menu that includes a free continental breakfast and paid-for a la carte breakfast, as well sample dishes from various specialty restaurants on board. Complimentary starters, sandwiches, entrees and desserts will continue to be offered around the clock.
  • Princess Cruises announced a partnership with Michelin Star Chef Emmanuel Renaut on board Majestic Princess.
  • Royal Caribbean scaled back its refurb of Adventure of the Seas. Royal Caribbean Cruises unveiled a partnership with The Market Square Garden Company to provide the cruise line with marketing platforms in the renovated Madison Square Garden.
  • Crystal Cruises are to renovate Serenity and Symphony once again
  • Saga Cruises is offering first-time passengers early flights home and a refund of the cruise fare, if they don’t enjoy their cruise.
  • Disney Cruise Line has expanded its popular Royal Court Royal Tea to all ships in the fleet.
  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has teamed up with Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, two other companies within its parent company, The Travel Corporation, to offer eight European itineraries that combined land tours with cruises including two new trips for 2017.

Ireland

 Photo Karl Hussey / Fennell PHotography


Members of the Irish Tourism Industry Conferderation who met Scottish Tourism Alliance members in Dublin.

Deal Watch

Sunway offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Tilila Studio Apartments, Morocco from €249pp, travel January. 7 nights self catering 2* Villa Florida Apartments, Fuerteventura from €399pp, travel January. 7 nights self catering 3* Puerto Plata Apartments, Gran Canaria from €439pp, travel January. 7 nights self catering 2* Oasis Apartments, Lanzarote from €439pp, travel January. 7 nights B&B 5* Gran Atlantis Bahia Real Hotel, Fuerteventura from €1,059pp, depart December 10. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Suite Hotel Atlantis Fuerteventura from €899, depart December 10. 7 nights Spain, France and Italy cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas from €1,230pp incl. deluxe drinks package, depart May 7 2017. 7 nights Greek Isles cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas from €1,170pp incl. deluxe drinks package, depart October 14 2017. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

Wendy Wu Tours is offering a 2 night B&B extension in Angkor Paradise Hotel, Cambodia on Tours of Vietnam packages ex Belfast and a 2 night B&B extension in Hong Kong on China/Burma group tours ex Belfast. Price includes sightseeing and return transfers. Book by November 30 for select dates in 2017. Visit wendywutours.ie.

tourism-ni-offersTourism NI offers: 2 nights B&B The Old Inn, Co Down from £120pps incl. three-course meal in the Rosette Lewis Restaurant eachevening, a walking guide and map to Crawfordsburn Country Park, entry to Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and enter to Mount Stewart, valid until November 30, call (028) 91 85 3255. 1 night B&B Ramada Plaza Belfast from $114 per room incl. two tickets to Titanic Belfast and access to leisure facilities, valid until November 30, call (028) 90 923500. 1 night B&B Silverbirch Hotel, CO Tyrone from £89 per room, valid until November 30, call (028) 82 242520.

thomson-deal-watchThomson offers: 14 nights half board 5* Hotel Maspalomas Princess, Gran Canaria from €1,519pps, depart December 31. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Hotel Suite Princess, Playa Taurito, Gran Canaria from €1,559pps, depart December 31. 7 nights self catering Villa Mandi, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €489pps, depart January 6 2017. 7 nights half board Hotel Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €759pps, depart February 5 2017. 7 nights self catering Pefki Islands Resorts, Rhodes from €499pps, depart June 7 2017. 7 nights all inclusive Hotel Riu Helios Bay, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €559pps, depart May 29 2017. 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,759pps, depart June 15 2017. 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Tequila, Playacar, Mexico from €1,599pps, depart June 7 2017. 7 nights Island Explorer cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €969pps, depart February 3 2017. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

falcon-deal-watchFalcon offers: 14 nights half board 3* Barcelo Margaritas, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €1,369pp, depart December 31. 14 nights self catering Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €839pp, depart December 31. 7 nights self catering 3* Monte Feliz, Bahia Feliz, Gran Canaria, depart January 21 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Globales Tamaimo Tropical, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife, depart January 20 2017. 7 nights half board 3* Villa Romana, Salou, Costa Dorada from €579pp, depart Shannon May 26 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Ola Aptos Bouganvillia, Santa Ponsa, Majorca from €379pp, depart Cork May 2 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,549pp, depart June 15 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Catalonia Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,599pp, depart June 7 2017. NRG offer: 7 nights B&B 4* Kipriotis Hotel, Rhodes from €749pp, depart July 19 2017. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

tour-america-deal-watchTour America offers: Elvis 40th anniversary tribute tour from €2,979pp incl. hotel accommodation, transfers and tours, depart August 15 2017. 3 nights New York City and 7 nights Orlando from €939pp, travel February 2017. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Luxury Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun from €1,599pp incl. return flights, depart December 3. Visit touramerica.ie.

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Apartments Crest, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €334pps, depart January 8. 7 nights B&B 2* Pension Feichter Gerlinde, Soll, Austria from €449pps, depart Dublin or Cork January 7 2017. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Patagonia, Arinsal, Andorra from €469pps, depart December 20. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Caravasc, Livigno, Italy from €539pps, depart December 24. 7 nights catered chalet, 3* Chalet Papillon 6, La Rosière, France from €849pps, depart December 31. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Austria, Soll, Austria from €599pps, depart Dublin or Cork December 24. 7 nights B&B 2* Pension Niedermuhlbichle, Soll, Austria from £364pps, depart Belfast December 24. 7 nights B&B 3* Pension Hochwimmer, Zell am See, Austria from £444pps, depart Belfast December 31. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Post, Westendorf, Austria from £674pps, depart Belfast December 31. 7 nights half board 4* Sporthotel Austria, St Johann, Austria from £754pps, depart Belfast December 24. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

ITAA offers: 7 nights half board accommodation, Andorra from €499pps incl. return flights, transfers and 20kg baggage allowance, depart December 20. 7 nights ski holiday in Bohinj, Slovenia from €542pp incl. return flights, airport taxes, transfers and accommodation, depart January 7 2017. 8 days B&B Contiki’s Austria Gasthof, Austria  from €599pp incl. day trips and activities, depart December 31.

Insight Vacations is offering 8 days easy pace Russia from €2,159pps incl. flights, transfers and accommodation, depart April 16 2017. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Travel Solutions are offering a punter’ charter flight from Belfast for St Patrick’s Day at the Cheltenham Festival next March 17th and returning later the same day at  £379.00 per person.

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