TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement Nov 27 2016



View of Madrid city from atop the Palace of Communications, November 23 2016

View of Madrid city from atop the Palace of Communications, November 23 2016

Things to Know about Travel This Week

Travel trade celebrates 5 conferences & 3 awards ceremonies in 3 weeks.

US department of state warns of heightened risk of attacks through Europe

Airbus testing A350-1000

Pilot’s strike at Lufthansa grounded 1,800 flights. 

Ryanair celebrating ruling against eDreams website.


Travel Extra TV

  • screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-08-30-37Video of the week: The Airbus A350-1000 completed its maiden flight. Here are the highlights: Watch here.
  • …you can also check out the A350’s assembly (watch here), painting (watch here) and engine fitting (watch here).
  • Singer Katherine Jenkins and the dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet treated these BA passengers to an in-flight performance on board the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to Moscow. Watch here.
  • Even the king of the jungle has bad dreams. Watch here.
  • See this Emirates A380 turn into a flower display at Dubai Miracle Garden. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland shared some unexpected tales about Dublin. Watch here.

Behind the headlines

The Spanish Tourist Board hosted a group of travel writers in Madrid and its province. The group were hosted at Madrid where they visited the Renoir exhibition at the Thyssen in Madrid, the royal palaces south of Madrid, and the vaults where {hili II and Carlos V were buried. And yes the parting glass was sung

Travel Counsellors who gathered for their annual conference in Manchester. Picture shows the Irish headquarters team at the Travel Counsellors conference in Manchester.

Ciara MacConnell, Rachel O'Connell, Bernie Whelan, Cathy Burke and Caitriona Kellher from the Travel Counsellors Irish headquarters team at Travel Counsellors conference in Manchester, November 19 2016

Ciara MacConnell, Rachel O’Connell, Bernie Whelan, Cathy Burke and Caitriona Kellher from the Travel Counsellors Irish headquarters team at Travel Counsellors conference in Manchester, November 19 2016

Travel Trade

Thomas McNally of Bedsonline at Worldchoice 2016 conference in Seafield, Co Wexford

Thomas McNally of Bedsonline at Worldchoice 2016 conference in Seafield, Co Wexford

Thomas McNally of Bedsonline won the supplier of the year award at the Worldchoice 2016 conference in Seafield, Co Wexford.

Agency winners were Ben Greene’s Arrow tours, Emma McHugh’s Atlantic Travel, Liam Lonergan’s Club Travel, Maura Fahy’s Fahy Travel, Marie Grenham’s Grenham Travel, Martin Skelly’s Navan Travel, Alan Perkins’ Phoenix Travel, Michael Doorley’s Shandon Travel, Tom O’Donohue’s Strand Travel, and Alan McAra’s Travelleaders/Malahide Travel. Watch here video of the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Winners: Royal Caribbean cruise agency: Fahy Travel, Aer Lingus corporate agency: Club Travel, Aer Lingus leisure agency: Arrow Tours, Best Use of Social Media: Atlantic Travel, sponsored by Shannon Airport. Bookabed agency (single): Navan Travel, Bookabed agency (multiple): Shandon Travel, Sunway agency shorthaul: Strand Travel, Sunway agency longhaul: Grenham Travel, Travelport agency Best Use of Technology: Travelleaders, Ethiopian Airlines agency: Phoenix Travel, Supplier Representative: Thomas McNally of Bedsonline.

Winner of the Turkish Airlines competition week 4 was Leona Murphy from Blackpool Travel, joining Michelle Redmond from Cassidy travel, Avril McGrath from Corrib Travel and Maria Bradley from RCSI Travel as weekly winners in the four week competition.

Momondo, the first comparison site to be licensed by Ryanair had its license withdrawn over an alleged breach of contract. Licenses have since been extended to SkyScanner, Hipmunk and Dohop

Gareth Williams’ Scotland-based price comparison site Skyscanner Holdings was bought by Chinese counterpart in a deal worth US$1.74bn/ €1.65bn. Among the beneficiaries is Hostelworld founder Ray Nolan who had a 2pc stake. Read Conor McMahon’s report here.

Gonzalo Ceballos former director of the Spanish Tourist Board in Dublin was the popular recipient of the contribution to the industry award at the ITTN awards.

Club Travel, Dublin won €200 in shopping vouchers in the Flexible Auto’s competition for agents making car rental booking.

Cork Skal Christmas President’s Lunch 2016 will take place on December 11 in   Fitzgerald’s Vienna Woods Hotel.

The TIGS AGM and last golf outing of the season, sponsored by Travel Extra, has been rescheduled for  December 1st in the Castle, tee time 1030 – 1200, last group out at 1200.

Sad news, Billy Feherty, who founded Feherty Travel in Bangor Co Down in 1973, has died aged 91.

Strange World 

A survey by Stratos Jets of 2,000 U.S. passengers claimed that one in five airline passengers have joined the (six) mile high club and 80pc of it happens in economy. But it’s not all quite as lurid as you might think- just over half would rather sit beside an empty seat than an attractive stranger. One company, Flamingo Air, has cashed in on the fantasy by offering romantic one-hour flights in Cincinnati: non-refundable flights, so perhaps check with the person you’re bringing whether they get airsick before you spend the five hundred quid.

A hotel dubbed the worst in England was closed by inspectors over fears guests could be electrocuted in their rooms.

A pair of moose were entangled together by the horns while fighting, and were preserved in the frozen waters they drowned in. Of course, they’re not alone in having let their testosterone get them into trouble- but instead of an off-colour joke, here you get some ancient mammoths. 

Welcome home from rehab and other embarrassing airport greeting banners.


The InterContinental Dublin has appointed Nicky Logue as general manager.

The Fitzwilliam Belfast on Great Victoria Street became the north’s fourth five star hotel following the completion of £2m refurbishments and approval on planning permission for a £6m extension.

Galway’s four-star Hotel Meyrick, part of Gerry Barrett’s Edward Holdings group, doubled its profits to €582,792. The 97-bedroom hotel, which first opened in 1852, saw staff numbers increase to 122.

Dublin city council approved a 300-bedroom aparthotel at Bow Lane East off St Stephen’s Green.

Denis O’Brien has agreed a deal to bring the first Starwood Aloft hotel to Dublin.

Dalata completed the acquisition of the operating interest of the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, formerly The Burlington. Stephen McNally told the Annual Tourism Workshop in Dromoland that height restrictions imposed by Dublin City Council planners meant fewer hotels were being built and that while there are sites available “the yield on the sites is not high enough to do it”.

The Raddison Blu hotel at Dublin Airport has recorded a 44pc rise in profits.


The US Department of State warned US travellers of what it calls a heightened risk of militant attacks throughout Europe,

It was announced that the World’s tallest water slide is to close after 10-year-old boy was killed.

While headlines suggested frequent fliers have the same cancer risk as obese people and that jet lag drives up bile acid in the liver and could be behind a global spike in diagnoses- the study showed that persistent disruption of sleep-wake cycles can trigger fatty liver disease (associated with obesity) and liver cancer in mice. While Travel Extra would like to remind you that these findings are perhaps most scary if you are a mouse, and further investigation is warranted in humans- they might be worthy of consideration for pilots who work irregular hours, those who work or travel nights, and those of you who are reading this at 3am after a Wikipedia binge (yes, we see you- turn off the light and sleep). Download here and read for yourself: Circadian Homeostasis of Liver Metabolism Suppresses Hepatocarcinogenesis. “We think most people would be surprised to hear that chronic jet lag was sufficient to induce liver cancer.” said second author David Moore. This follows on from research showing increase in lung tumors and decreased survival from lung cancer in mice with jet lag, and association with various gut diseases including irritable bowel disease and peptic ulcers.

The world’s best ski resort was named- Val Thorens, named by the World Ski Awards.

Food & beverage


London based restaurant group COSMO is to open a 280-seater East Meets West restaurant on the second floor of Dublin’s Liffey Valley shopping centre.

OCS properties plans to add a rooftop restaurant to Clery’s to address a shortage of quality restaurants on the north side of the Liffey in Dublin.

The Front Lounge, near Dublin’s Temple Bar is to close and be replaced by a new bar called Street 66 on December 8.

Coepnhagen’s three star restaurant Geranium was fined for hygiene breaches by the Danish authorities.

Supermac‘s pre-tax profits doubled to €14m

Martin Shanahan’s Kinsale restaurant Fishy Fishy reported profits of €400,000.

McDonald’s is to roll out table service, currently available in 500 restaurants,  to the entire US chain. “Taking your kids to McDonald’s should be a fundamentally fun experience. But the initial stages of it can be quite stressful when you’e trying to place the order, you’re trying to get it right, you’re trying to get the drinks, you’re trying to search for a table, and your kids are running around.” said CEO Steve Easterbrook.

Alan Kelly of the Labour party launched a Bill aimed at boosting craft-beer tourism in Ireland by allowing breweries, cider makers and distilleries to sell their own produce to visitors on site.



Iberia Express is extending its Cork – Madrid service for Summer 2017 to start June 3rd and operate twice weekly, every Saturday and Wednesday until September

Stobart/Aer Lingus Regional have cancelled the Dublin-Liverpool route from January.

Airbus tested the A350-1000 and promised to speed up deliveries. Delays in cabin equipment are stalling the launch of Dublin-Doha, as Qatar need A350s to free up a 787 for the proposed Dublin service.

A pilots strike at Lufthansa grounded 1,800 flights, disrupting travel plans for 315,000 passengers, including 1,700 from Ireland. The casualties included the German airline’s entire schedule between Dublin, Munich and Frankfurt, twelve flights in each direction, costing an estimated $11 million per day.

Michael O’Leary and Willie Walsh united in a call to scrap Westminster’s Air Passenger Duty.

Malaysia Airlines appointed Adrian Keating new Ireland and Europe chief.

Ryanair is celebrating this week after a ruling in Germany against the eDreams website.

The chairman of Fastjet has resigned as the airline continues to cut costs and seek more funds.

The Cityjet pilots strike is on hold until a Labour Court hearing has been held about the pay dispute.

Jack Sheldon, a professional flight hacker, ran a question and answer session on Reddit (including information on amazing ‘mistake’ prices).The results? “I’m having to call it now, but thank you very much for all the questions and positive feedback. My inbox is completely destroyed. I’ll do my best to come and answer as many questions as possible over the next few days. Thank you for all those who have signed up. I honestly did not expect this sort of response. This post has taken me from just under 3000 subscribers to over 45,000 and counting. I’m going to have to look at options of how best to keep sending you my cheap flight deals without going heavily into debt!”

WestJet Airlines is to serve McDonald’s coffee on their flights, in what we would love to believe is an elaborate excuse for McDonald Canada’s president John Betts to pun: “We’ve always believed that the sky is the limit for McCafe- and today this officially wins true… now our partnership with WestJet lets us take this connection to even greater heights for Canadian coffee lovers.”

Graham Keddle of Belfast International Airport told Enda Kenny that Belfast should be the gateway to Ireland, not Dublin, and claimed Tourism Ireland was biased in not promoting Belfast ahead of Cork, Dublin and Shannon. Keddle’s competitor, the CEO of Belfast city airport, Brian Aston is chair of Tourism Ireland.

Michael O’Leary declared that Donald Trump was good news for airlines.

Peter Bellew, Meath’s most famous airline CEO, said Malaysian Airlines can be profitable by 2018. Bellew told the CAPA Asia summit that management has to get away from reading surveys at their desks and instead talk to pax at the airport.

A record one million passengers connected through Dublin Airport.

Michael O’Leary created media waves with his plan to make air travel free within 10 years (here and here).

See here Turkish Airlines Cadet Training updated new video.

See here for analysis of the Ryanair ancillary target rise to 30pc in its quest to become the Amazon of air travel.

Ralph Anker’s Anna Aero said Wizz Air and Ryanair are the biggest and fastest-growing airlines in Central Europe.

AerCap completed a $0.6bn credit facility.

Dublin Airport’s honesty box revealed 9 out of 10 people pay for water.

IAG CEO Willie Walsh reckons Oneworld won’t be around for its 30th birthday. Aer Lingus could join Oneworld in 2017, but 2018 is more likely.

Cork Airport surpassed 2m passengers on 11 November 2016. Last year it was December 15, a tangible sign of the 8pc growth this year.

CityJet slashes losses to €10m.

John Brennan, commercial manager of Dublin Airport, said that his job is to lower airport charges for people.



Six ships were moored at Amsterdam Cruise Port for the sixth CLIA River Cruise conference in Amsterdam. Giles Hawke of Avalon Waterways and formerly of MSC told the 350 delegates that river cruise can learn from the ocean sector’s mistakes and needs to be more sexy. “This is the year that river cruise is going to blast off. We are probably about 10 years.” Eight rivercruise awards were announced.

MSC Cruises’ MSC Armonia joined MSC Opera in Cuba for the 2016-2017 winter season.

Princess Cruises will offer summer Caribbean cruises in 2018 after a four-year absence and are planning their largest ever Alaska deployment for 2018.

The name of Celebrity’s second Edge-class cruise ship will be Celebrity Beyond, it was announced at a steel-cutting ceremony at the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire.

Holland America Line’s Oosterdam set sail on its maiden cruise out of Tampa.

Viking River Cruises announced an 11-night Egypt itinerar, from January 2017, with 17 escorted tours, flights within Egypt, access to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, lectures and guided tours with Egyptologists and a camel ride.

CLIA and Cruise Europe signed an environmental agreement.

Carnival discontinued their Fathom Cruise Line and returned Adonia to the P&O cruise fleet.



Tourism Ireland will launch its 2017 marketing plans to promote the island of Ireland overseas in Dublin on Tuesday.

CSO figures showed the best ever month of October and best ever January-October period for Irish tourism. If the 11.6pc growth figure is sustained to year end, a record 10,585,000 visitors will have travelled to the island of Ireland in 2016.

Westport House will host the International Mini Meet 2017 next May 26th to 29th, a large gathering of classic Mini enthusiasts from the four corners of the world.


Deal watch

Sunway offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Riu Naioba Hotel, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from €895pp, travel May 2017. 8 nights B&B 3* Tildi Hotel, Morocco from €599pp, depart December 30. 8 nights B&B 4* Kenzi Europea Hotel, Morocco from €769pp incl. New Year gala dinner, depart December 30. 8 nights B&B 5* Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay, Morocco from €1,229pp incl. New Year gala dinner, depart December 30. 9 nights self catering 2* Villa Florida Apartments, Fuerteventura from €719pp, depart December 29. Visit or call 01 231 1800.

thomson-deal-watchThomson offers: 7 nights Mediterranean Secrets cruise on board TUI Discovery from €1,409pps, depart Shannon July 15 2017. 4 nights half board Hotel Nerja Club, Costa Del Sol from €373pps, depart December 4. 7 nights half board Hotel Pez Espada, Torremolinos, Costa Del Sol from €489pps, depart December 8. 7 nights full board Sensatori Tenerife, Guia de Isora, Tenerife from €1,499pps, depart December 23. 7 nights all inclusive Hotel Suite Princess, Playa Taurito, Gran Canaria from €1,239pps, depart December 31. 7 nights self catering Villa Mandi, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €429pps, depart January 13 2017. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Paraiso Lanzarote, Playa De Los Pocillos, Lanzarote from €629pps, depart January 29 2017. 7 nights half board Globales Santa Lucia, Palma Nova, Majorca from €579pps, depart Cork May 27 2017. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere Salou, Dorada from €599pps, depart Cork May 30 2017. 14 nights all inclusive Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,699pps, depart June 15 2017. 14 nights all inclusive Riu Lupita, Playacar, Mexico from €1,499pps, depart June 7 2017. Visit or call 1850 45 35 45.

falcon-deal-watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife form €692pp, depart December 1. 7 nights half board 3* Vistamar, Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol from €558pp, depart Cork December 4. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel Taurito Princess, Playa Taurito, Gran Canaria from €1579pp, depart December 31. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife form €799pp, depart December 30. 7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA Inerclub Atlantic, San Augustin, Gran Canaria from €449pp, depart January 21 2017. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €429pp, depart January 22 2017. Lapland day trip from €559 per adult from €459 per child, depart December 16. 7 nights self catering 3* Kassandra Apartments, Ialyssos, Rhodes from €459pp, depart May 24 2017. 7 nights B&B 3* Sellas Hotel, Sidari, Corfu from €429pp, depart May 26 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Grand Palladium Jamaica, Lucea, Jamaica from €1,919pp, depart June 8 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Royalton Riviera Cancun, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €2,029pp, depart June 21 2017. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 2* Poniente, San Antonio, Ibiza from €479pp, depart June 15 2017. Visit or call 1850 45 35 45.

tourism-ni-offersTourism NI offers: 2 nights B&B 3* Valley Hotel, Co Tyrone from £95 incl. four-course evening meal and wine for two, call 028 89 521505. 1 night B&B Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, Co Down from £120 per room, available until November 30, call 028 43 721066. 1 night B&B Galgorm Resort & Spa, Co Antrim from £89pps incl. canapés on check in, free mini bar and late check out, call 028 2588 1001.

Topflight offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Garni Schönblick, Söll from €469pps, depart December 23. 7 nights Self Catering 3* Kolpinghaus Apartments, Kitzbühel, Austria from €619pps, depart December 3. 7 nights self catering 4* Neue Post Apartments, Zell am See from €769pps, depart December 31. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Palace, Bad Hofgastein, Austria from €999pps, depart December 31. 7 nights catered chalet 3* Apartments Muhle, Kaprun, Austria from €369pps, depart January 7 2017. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Garni Panorama, St Johann, Austria from €599pps, depart January 7 2017. Visit

tour-america-deal-watchTour America offers: 4 nights Las Vegas from €525pp incl. flights and hotel, depart May 14 2017. 7 nights Orlando from €499pp incl. flights and hotel, depart February 6 2017. 4 nights New York City from €589pp incl. flights and hotel, depart February 24 2017. 7 nights Cancun, Mexico from €1,129pp incl. flights and hotel, depart April 26 2017. Visit

See for more video.


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