Travel Extra March 2020

Page 1


Holiday World: the low down

Out and about

Dublin airport’s dilemma


MARCH 2020


Cloud nine Irish travel trade salutes its champions


THE KNOWLEDGE Travel Extra Clownings, Straffan, Co Kildare (+3531) 2913707 Fax (+3531) 2957417 Editor: Eoghan Corry eoghan.corry@ Publisher: Edmund Hourican Sales Director: Maureen Ledwith Sales Manager Paulette Moran t: +353 (0)1 291 3702 Accounts and Advertising: Maria Sinnott

Chief Features Writer: Anne Cadwallader Contributors : Damian Allen damianjamesallen@ Carmel Higgins Cauvery Madhavan Sean Mannion Catherine Murphy Aileen O’Reilly

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Contact +353872551675 if you have difficulty getting Travel Extra.


3 News Holiday world 6 Postcards: News from the trade


8 ITIA Awards: This year’s winners 26 Afloat: A quantum leap 28-31 Flying: Airline and airport news

33 Wriuter awards I 36 Window seat: Our columnists 37 Pictures: Out and about

Travel Insurance

any people have a fixation on price as the determining factor when choosing travel insurance. But there is a substantial difference between policies in terms of coverage, the level of excesses and what cover is available only as an optional extra.


travel is not covered by 25pc of annual policies and is an optional extra for 28pc of them. Cover is standard with 47pc of annual policies.

DISRUPTION The buzz word of the moment, €10 extra per trip and €17 on an annual policy.


annual policies won’t provide cover for your children (or stepchildren) if they don’t live with you.


travelling independently are not covered by half of all annual policies and other insurers are likely to regard children as travelling independently even if one parent puts them on a plane and the other collects them when they get off. They insist that children are accompanied by a responsible adult for the whole journey.

WINTER sports

bills for medical treatment abroad can be huge, despite this, a fifth of skiers don’t bother with insurance at all, while only a third of those who do buy a policy check that it covers them for winter sports. Just 30pc of annual

You never know when and where: travel policies include winter sports cover as standard, while 63pc offer it as an optional extra and 7pc don’t include it at all. Check the terms carefully. Some exclude off-piste skiing altogether, others insist that you have a guide, for example. Many policies restrict the amount of skiing you can do within the year.

AIRLINE failure

is covered by just 34pc of annual policies provide this cover as standard, while it is an optional extra for 4pc of annual policies; 62pc don’t provide cover at all. However, the elaborate bonding scheme does not cover most ticketonly air fares you buy direct from an airline.

EXCESS limits on your insurance can vary

widely according from one insurer to another. Some charge no excess at all, but others charge as much as u500 of a claim before you receive a penny from your insurance. With medical expenses the average excess is u85, with a range of zero to u600. For cancellation, the average excess is u80, with individual insurers charging anything from nothing to u300. For loss of deposit is the average is u40 and maximum u300; the equivalent figures are u80 (maximum u250) for lost baggage, u10 (maximum u120) for delayed baggage and u80 (maximum u420) for legal expenses.

AGE Three quarters of annual policies have a maximum age of 75 years or less, and 27pc

have a maximum age of 65 or less. It is essential that any pre-existing medical conditions are declared to the relevant provider as failing to do so could invalidate the policy.” Cover might already be there from your bank as part of your current account. Although “packaged accounts” are much maligned, they can offer the elderly a cheap way to get travel cover. Even where insurers did not have maximum age limits, premiums are often so high as to be unaffordable. One policy has a maximum age of just 34.

LENGTH of holiday is important. Some policies allow you to be overseas for a maximum of 17 consecutive days, 45pc of annual policies limited trip coverage to 31 days abroad while

others will cover you even if you are abroad every day of the year.


journey could invalidate your insurance, if you have a backpacker policy but need to come home for a few days, some insurers won’t cover you when you resume your travels. Coverage will automatically cease for 57pc of backpacker policies, regardless of whether or not you intend to resume their travels abroad.

PETS If your return

from holiday is delayed, will your travel insurance cover the cost of an extended stay in kennels for your pets? Fortysix per cent of policies provide such cover, with limits typically varying from u50 to u750.



Into the unknown Pandemic fears hit international travel and aviation

TRAVEL TRADE SHOW is going ahead despite Covid-19 and will take place in a new venue, The Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham, on Thursday, 2nd April 2020. For the first time, Cork will host the ITAA’s Irish Travel Trade Show on Wednesday, 1st April 2020. Both Shows will be open from 5.00pm to 7.30pm at a great value rate of €499 + VAT for the Cork Show and €799 + VAT for the Dublin Show. The package includes a table, chairs, power point, WiFi and free tickets to Exhibitors and Visitors for a Buffet Dinner and Networking Event. The ITAA will arrange transport for Exhibitors between the two venues and offer very competitive room rates in both Hotels. The ITAA AGM and Consortia meetings will take place before Dublin Show. ITAA Michael Doorley is the new and uncontested President of the Irish Travel Agents Association, as the only nomination for the office. Mr Doorley served as ITAA President previously in 1982-3 and 2004-5.


Breakfast in the age of Coron-fear

reland’s direct routes to China have all been ended by the advent of Coronavirus. Shanghai, a new route via Helsinki with Juneyao was due to commence in April but was listed as delayed. It is now unlikely to happen. Cathay Pacific initially suspended bookings on flights to Hong Kong to end June from proposed commencement date end March but is now saying flights may resume at year end. The Hainan routes to Beijing and Shezhen will not be returning in 2020. The projected El Al route to Tel Aviv is also in danger as Israel implemented a measure placing all international arrivals in quarantine for 14 days, effectively ending international tourism to the region. In the occupied territories, all visits by tour groups have been cancelled, n all hotels have been ordered to cancel reservations for foreign tourists,

n all touristic and religious sites have been ordered to close, n all educational institutions have been ordered to close, n all conferences have been cancelled, and the authorities have advised against movement between Palestinian cities, except in emergencies. Travel agents have seen business fall by 80pc. Agents shared “worst case” anecdotes as the crisis saw intercontinental flights slashed by 30pc and inter-European flights by 10pc in the wake of travel bans and fall off in demand. One agency in a large shopping centre which remained open on Sunday saw four transactions, two cancellations and two bookings. An edict from the US Travel department advising its citizens not to take cruises, especially those with pre-existing condition, was expected to have a disproportionate effect n an

industry already suffering as a result of high profile quarantines on board the Diamond Princess, Grand Princess and delayed sailing on the Regal Princess. Malta banned a cruise ship visit for fear of public unrest.” US carriers are cutting frequencies to Europe, impacting on Ireland. Short haul flights are already cut. Aer Lingus start-ups to Alghero and Brindisi and Ryanair to Verona are now in danger. ITAA CEO Pat Dawson said that travel agents would remember those suppliers who were prepared to go “into the trenches” with the agents at their time of need. Agencies were considering Saturday closures and five day weeks in a bid to avoid laying off staff. ITAA president John Spollen said he could not rule out casualties in the travel trade as a result of the sharp drop off in demand for travel, which is not confined to affected areas.

GLORIOUS LAKE GARDA Glistening water, colourful towns and dramatic mountains. Stir up your senses on a Lakes & Mountains holiday to Lake Garda this summer.

Lakes & Mountains

TUI is a trading name of TUI Ireland Limited and is fully licensed and bonded by CAR T.O.021.

GOHOP The Gohop leg of Atlas Travel, which was not part of the sale to Liam Lonergan’s Club Travel, is being wound down as a result of spiralling business insurance costs. TRAVEL COUNSELLORS

Lorna O’Brien has been appointed new Business Development Executives joining the head office team in Cork. Lorna has 15 years of experience in the sales and travel industry, including 10 years in Tour America’s Cork branch as a travel consultant and sales team leader, Lorna’s new role will support the company’s growth through the management of new business opportunities.


remains Ireland’s most popular tourist destination with 2,177,106 visitors in 2019, up 6pc. Only USA and Russia showed a faster growth rate than Ireland as Britain fell in 2.4pc in anticipation of Brexit. Irish visits to Spain fell by 4.8pc in January to 85,375


have put together a seven minute presentation that we will be sending out to all businesses applying for a licence to aide businesses as they fill them out and are highlighting certain information that needs to accompany the forms.

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A better work/life balance, while earning more than they previously did, are some of the reasons why 96% of Travel Counsellors say they wouldn’t return to their previous job! Most Travel Counsellors would say that their biggest regret is that they didn’t join sooner. Contact Nessa Hurley today to find out more.

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Five different routes of entry Leisure, Corporate, Travel Academy, Return to Travel and Agency Owners

These people changed their lives recently. They joined Ireland’s leading independent travel company, Travel Counsellors. We asked our Travel Counsellors to use one word to describe their first few months. Read on to find out what they said...

Katharine Prior Flexibility Katharine, who is originally from Northern Ireland, now lives in Dublin and has 12 years travel experience. She’s travelled all over the world and loves the flexibility of being her own boss and working North or South as the mood takes her!

Anna Mills Support

Aisling Duignan Inspirational

After working in corporate travel management since 2013, Anna felt that running her own business was the natural next step in her career. The company ethos, exceptional support and the flexibility in managing her own time to suit clients and her family is what made her decide to move.

Aisling has been in many businesses over the years while she reared her family; all were in hospitality. She believes that she is where she is supposed to be at this stage in her life, surrounded by the right people and sees a bright future for herself arranging travel for her vast group of friends.

Nicola Browne Flexibility

Katrina McMullan Limitless

With two young children, Nicola wanted more control of her working hours, and to grow a business slowly for the future of her family. She joined the TC Academy Programme from a leading bank and is enjoying arranging her clients’ travel arrangements.

Having worked for 20 years in an agency in Co. Meath, ultimately becoming manager of the business, Katrina decided to make the huge decision to go out on her own. She sees her future as being limitless and is enjoying the challenge and rewards.

Suzie Hennessy Passion

Lisa Smith-O’Brien Flexibility

Having worked in a travel agency in Fermoy for 10 years, Susie moved to a role with a national healthcare company. After two years she found herself really missing travel and knew she had to reignite her passion.

Lisa, who is based in Cork, started her travel career almost 20 years ago. As a mother of 3 young children, she says that her only regret is not joining Travel Counsellors sooner.

Chris Roach Freedom

Deborah Van Coller Achievement

Chris worked in a large agency in Dublin for many years, but the commute was starting to take its toll. Realising that there would never be a perfect time to take the plunge, he made the leap of faith to Travel Counsellors.

Deborah and her family moved to Ireland from Cape Town, South Africa in 2018. Having worked in travel for many years, she saw lots of opportunities when setting up her own business. Guess what she specialises in...

Eleanor Roche Passion

Róisín Curran Independence

Following her passion for all things travel, particularly cruise, Eleanor left the world of Chartered Accounting at one of the big named firms to set up her own business through the Travel Counsellors Academy Programme.

Dublin based Róisín made her return to travel in late 2018. She knew she wanted to be independent and work from home as she continued to cruise around the world (her other passion!) She has found that the Travel Counsellors model suits her lifestyle just perfectly.




t was a hugely successful year for Celebrity Cruises who have collected 134 awards both globally and in Ireland. Jo Rzymonska, MD of Ireland, Britain. and Asia said said Dublin Port, who had announced they would be solely focusing on cargo, were once again agreeing to look into propositions for the venture in the coming 24 months. Rzymonska highlighted the four fe-


he silk covered confines of The Great Room at The Shelbourne Hotel provided a fitting backdrop for the 96th anniversary of the emergence of Turkey as a republic. Turkish ambassador, Levent Murhat Burhan, was on hand to meet and greet the extensive group of Turkish and Irish guests who filled the venue and listened to a poetic recital by Robyn Rowland from her books Under This Saffron Sun


he annual event for the travel trade hosted by the Star Alliance group of airlines saw some familar faces and some newcomers as the aliance presence grows with Dublin and Shannon airports. Shannon airport sponsored the event, reminding trade guests of the long standing relationship with airlines such as Air Canada, United and Lufthansa. Martina Coogan of United chair of Star

male captains now on board, women now forming 50pc of hotel directors positions and females 33pc of staff. March 28th will see the delivery to Southampton of the second billion dollar plus Edge cruise ship, Celebrity Apex and $300m is being invested in bringing the fleet up to Edge standard at a cost of $70 - $90m per ship. Jo Rzymowska is pictured with Valerie Murphy and Michael English.

and The Intimate War. Ambassador Burhan also spoke of Turkey’s special relationship with Ireland, which predates its status as a Republic, dating back to 1847 when the young ruling sultan was informed by his Irish doctor of the great famine ravaging our country. Picture shows Maureen Ledwith and Edmund Hourican pictured with Alper Sean Hackett and Onur Gull of Turkish Airways.

Alliance Ireland, spoke at the event. Picture shows Star Alliance Ireland representatives, Hasan Mutlu of Turkish Airlines, Irma Kennedy of Croatia Airlines, Lynda Betsch of Aegean, Jane Reeves of Star Alliance, Alan Sparling of ASM (at back), Blaithn O’Donnell of Air Canada (front), Martina Coogan of United chair of Star Alliance Ireland, Meseret Tekalign of Ethiopian Airlines and Ricardo Dinis of TAP Air,


ony Lane reported a 10pc growth in travel to the US from Ireland. US pre-clearance here has helped increase these numbers as both Dublin and Shannon are the only airports in Europe to offer it.. Sunway’s Toni Birthistle scooped the top prize of an all expenses paid trip to Florida which includes Aer Lingus flights for 2, a 4 night stay at the luxurious Sonesta Suites, tickets to Universal


ey members of the travel trade and media were invited to Brand USA’s VIP Media event on Wednesday 4th March 2020. There they were treated to a private viewing of the organisation’s latest promotional documentary, Into America’s Wild, which has just been rolled out. The documentary, narrated by Morgan Freeman among several others, is a visually stunning view of America’s


he Association of Women Travel Executives pulled out all the stops on Friday December 6th with one of the jewels in the Crown of their annual calendar of events, the Christmas lunch. This year’s eagerly anticipated gathering was held at Suesey Street restaurant where the dulcet tones of Sean Boland kept the white linen napkins waving in the air.

Studios, tickets to Sea World, car hire and dinner at the Kennedy Space Centre with an astronaut. Not bad going for a girl who admits she “never wins anything! “ Picture shows Grant Daley of Universal Parks & Resorts, Mary Murphy of Visit Orlando, Michaela Grey of Sea World, Philip Britton from the Kennedy Space Centre and Tony Lane, Executive Director of Visit USA

great outdoors and gives a truly exhilarating snapshot of all the nature, adventure and breathtaking beauty that awaits its tourists when they venture off the beaten track. Picture shows Brand USA CEO and President, Chris L. Thompson, pitured with Tryphavana Cross of Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The IPW inbound USA event will be hosted by las Vegas in June.

In the words of Clare Dunne: “For 2020 hold your head up high and talk about your industry with pride”. Picture shows the Committee . Fiona Foster of Cassidy Travel, Maura Maloney of Dublin Airport, Clare Dunne of The Travel Broker, Dympna Crowley of Lee Travel, Teresa Murphy of Air France/KLM. Ffront row: Martina Coogan of United Airlines, Lorraine Quinn of Celebrity Cruises.




opflight launched their 2020 Italian brochure with the help of celebrity chef Catherine Fulvio at Ballyknocken House, Co Wicklow. . The event was part of Italian Food Week. Catherine is a great ambassador of Italian food and has published many books specialising in Italian cuisine. The event featured an Italian masterclass hosted by Catherine and attended by key members of the travel trade,


he Atlantic Joint Venture partners hosted key travel trade at the Alex Hotel in Dublin. AJV consists of seven airlines United, Air Canada, Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings and cover 600 destinations with over 10,000 daily flights carrying 20m passengers each year. In her update on the night, United Airline’s country sales manager for


he first Cruise Lines International Association Ireland Conference attracted 130 delegates and suppliers to Moran’s Red Cow on Dublin’s Naas Road. It was the most comprehensive event on cruise in Ireland. Morning presentations were followed by a panel discussion where major cruise lines were each asked to pick an aspect of cruise sales that they would recommend to travel

travel trade press and travel journalists. Guests included Italian ambassador, Serpi, his wife, deputy ambassador Donato Scioscioli and Ilenia Cocco of the Italian Tourist board ENIT. This is a special year for ENIT as they celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the foundation of the organisation. Picture shows Maurice Shiels, Michelle Anderson, Catherine Fulvio and Shauna Kelly,

Ireland, Martina Coogan, announced that from June 6th United will be flying from Dublin to San Francisco - the route will be flown using the Dreamliner 787 aircraft and will include Polaris Business Class. Picture shows Helen Fyfe of the Lufthansa Group, Blaithin O’Donnell of Air Canada, Clareanna Phillips of United Airlines and Martina Coogan of United Airlines waiting to surprise attendees with flights after the table quiz

agents to help boost their cruise sales. Picture shows panel discussion with Jennifer Callister of Royal Caribbean, Rebecca Kelly of Princess Cruises and Suzanne Rowe of MSC with moderator Andy Harmer of CLIA. Cruise from Ireland has only now recovered to pre recession levels, In 2018 48,300 cruises were taken by Irish passengers, up 8.3pc for the second successive year.


ed Carnation Hotels and The Travel Corporation’s Luxury Gold brand teamed up to arrange an exclusive dinner at L’Ecrivain to meet up with Sally Gray, General Sales Manager of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection South Africa Highlighting The Travel Corporation’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, the company’s country manager for Ireland, Sharon Jordan, revealed that


n 2018 68,742 Irish visited Thailand and from January to September of this year that figure stands at 51,685 - so we’re looking at a 1.48pc increase. Spend is up 3pc. Key travel agents were able to swap their scarves, jackets and umbrellas for Thai massage, cocktails, giant inflatable kangaroos and an evening dedicated to destinations in the Asia Pacific region at 4 Dame Lane as Tourism Thailand,


he Jonathan Swift private dining room at Dublin’s Ivy restaurant was the setting for a very laid back event courtesy of the Tourism Office of Illinois. Key members of the travel trade and media were invited to hear all about the diverse tourism regions the state has to offer with representatives present from Choose Chicago, Dupage, The Heritage Corridor, Visit Springfield, Great Rivers

thanks to TTC’s policy of e-ticketing and the planting of one tree per issue of each online ticket, over 700,000 trees have been planted in the past year from business across their 42 brands. Guests were also invited to hang on to their menus, which were printed on seeded paper, so they could bring them home and plant them and wait for the surprise! Brian Hynes of The Travel Corporation is ictured with Sally Gray.

Qantas, Fiji, Bangkok, China Airways and Australian Tourism among others rolled into Dublin with the PATA Roadshow. “We’re really happy with how the Irish Market is performing” Chris Lee, Tourism Thailand’s Head of Marketing for Ireland and the UK, told Travel Extra.Picture shows Andrew Hall of Qantas Air, Maureen Ledwith of Holiday World and Chris Lee, Head of Marketing for Tourism Thailand

& Routes and Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Chicago is also set to be one of the in demand destinations for the year ahead as it spends 12 months celebrating the music it is famed for. Picture shows Jill Maguire of American Sky pictured with Miriam Blumenthal of Dupage Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kate Meehan of The Heritage Corridor and Mairead Keegan of Click & Go





All the award winners pose for their annual photograph,

tlantic Travel Letterkenny and Tour America have won travel agency of the year awards at the Irish travel Industry awards in the Mansion House, Dublin. Siobhan Byrne Learat won the travel agent of the year award. Atlas Travel and FCM won the corporate travel agency awards. Noel McAuliffe’s Travel Focus were time winners in the long haul and specialist tour operator categories. Camino Ways were first time winners in the digital market-

And the winners are: Four travel awards recipients make it ten years in a row

ing category. The winners included serial winners of the award in several categories. Amadeus won their tenth award as technology provider, Irish Ferries their tenth award in the ferries category, Lanzarote their tenth in the winter destination category. Bookabed won

Award compere Bryan Dobson

the accommodation provider for the ninth time in ten years. Spain won their ninth successive award for best tourist board, Sunway won their eight successive award for best tour operator to Europe. Austria remain undefeated in the ski destination category, having won on the eight occa-

sions it was included as a category. Barcelona won the combined Europe and worldwide city award.. They were undefeated in the Europe category. The supplier representative award has been discontinued and the supplier team award split into four new categories, won by Amadeus,

Bookabed, Emirates and MSC. MSC also retained their cruise line of the year award. The new value airline category, to include Ryanair and Vueling, was won by Aer LIngus. And a newTravel Agency International Corporate award. The airline business

ITAA Presdient John Spollen

class to Europe category has been discontinued, as have the Destination City Worldwide category, the shopfront marketing campaign, the corporate agent of the year award and a category for the supplier promoting the trade to the public..


Thank you very much for your continued support throughout the years. We are delighted and honoured to have been awarded with this prestigious prize once again. We look forward to welcoming you and your customers back to sunny Lanzarote, you will always be welcome! And continue being your favourite winter sun escape! TurismoLanzarote

MARCH 2020 PAGE 10



Category sponsor Matt Lebbern of Princess Cruises with Maria Golpe and Karl Bradshaw of Camino Ways, aminoways founded by Ro- AGENCY DIGITAL MARKETING: land Montesgu, CAMINO WAYS have expanded to other markets under the Greenaward follows awards in Islands. life umbrella. Previous winners: many sectors. Last year Roland moved to they launched our new 2014 Earth’s Edge Ireland in 2002, and website in Spanish and (website award). 2018 founded the company in also our new brand Can- Clickandgo 2019 Tour 2011., featur- America Their digital marketing ing walks in the Canary


Tom Randles of J Barter Travel and Category sponsor Matt Lebbern of Princess Cruises


Barter Travel was founded in 1865 by Joseph Barter. It is still a family owned business to this day and claims to be the oldest established travel agency in Ireland. It has also one of the best internet presences, Travelnet, their site in-

AGENCY MARKETING: J BARTER TRAVEL viting live chat with an agent as you log on. Shortlist: Click & Go. Previous winners: 2011 FCm, 2012 Shandon Travel, 2015 Tour Amer-

ica, 2016 Clickandgo, 2017 Tour America. 2018 Grenham Travel 2019 Tour America (no award in 2013-4).

Category Edel Redmond of Dublin Airport with Onur Gull and Hasan Mutlu


urkish Airlines won best business class to Europe in previous years. This year they won a new category. Turkish now serve 319 destinations in 126 countries. The new airport opened in Istanbul last year and the Dublin team are seeking a third

AIRLINE TO EUROPE FULL SERVICE: TURKISH AIRLINES flight in Dublin to add to their double daily service, eventually hoping to have four flights in each direction daily, one for each of the banks at Istanbul airport. Shortlist: Air France,

British Airways, Lufthansa, SAS, Turkish. Previous winners: 20112-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 Aer Lingus. Airline to Europe Business Class: 2015-6 BA, 2017-8-9 Turkish.


Category sponsor Jenny Rafter of Aer Lingus with Tania Crinion and Stephen McKenna of Atlas Travel, tlas Travel’s Stephen McAGENCY CORPORATE: Kenna exATLAS TRAVEL pressed his satisfaction as winner of the corpor2017”, we are the only every customer experiate travel award for the Corporate Management ence’ enabling company second successive year. “Atlas Travel is a mod- TMC to have achieved road warriors and their travellers fly with comern travel company who this standard. We have over 180 cus- fort, ease and peace of have driven change and innovation in travel for tomers operating across mind while on an organiover 50 years. We are a 18 different markets sational level we can ennext generation corporate and we service small to sure travel safety, duty of travel management com- medium sized business care, optimal service effiin addition to servicing ciencies and drive policy pany with a difference. Atlas was recently global multination clients compliance. A key objective is to sold to Liam Lonergan. such as the ESB, Airbus The Atlas difference Helicopters & many target specific industry is our ability to deliver more across a broad verticals such as Pharma, smart solutions coupled range of industries and HQ Ireland Companies with our commitment to verticals. On the corpor- and further target the deliver the highest qual- ate side of the business Aviation sector with tarity personalised service our primary focus is on geted sales initiatives. Atlas Travel have been while helping compan- driving exceptional series transform their travel vice levels coupled with awarded a Deloitte Best relevant smart solutions. Managed award for the programme. We have a diverse suite 4th time in 2020, We are an Irish-owned Previous winners: and managed company of specialised corporwho have been re- ate online tools, mobile 2011 CWT, 2012-3-4 cognised by Deloitte as solutions and platforms FCm, 2015-6 Atlas, 2017 a “Best Managed Com- that are aligned with our CWT, 2018 HRG, 2019 pany in 2019, 2018 & mission of ‘Enhancing Atlas & CWT

Category sponsor Edel Redmond of Dublin Airport with Anita Thomas and Enda Corneille of Emirates,


mirates won the hard fought long haul airline award for the fifth year. Enda Corneille said the award indicates that Emirates is a brand to be trusted. “we like to think we are a global brand with a very distinctive Irish flavour.” They run a double daily service to Dubai and onward to 50 cities


in 80 countries across six continents . The service started with a single daily A330 flight and quickly went to B777 and since 2014 they have run a double daily.service. The growth in demand for Asia has been phenomenal, with bangkok

trailing Dubai as the most popular destination. This year Expo will be the big event in Dubai. Shortlist: Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines. Previous: 20112-3-4-5 Etihad, 2016-78-9 Emirates.

MARCH 2020 PAGE 12



Category sponsor Jenny Rafter of Aer Lingus with Emma McHugh and Christina Cuffe of Atlantic Travel


etterkenny-based AGENCY <10 Atlantic Travel were popular winATLANTIC TRAVEL ners of the small agency award. . Given the opportunity 2020 will see What’s next for Atlantic Travel? The us continue to grow the number of ships launch of our new website which will our team will have sailed on as this has include a live search feed for Jet2 Holi- had one of the biggest impacts in reladays. Belfast departures are currently tion to our cruise market growth. really strong for us so this will continue The Irish Travel Industry Award is to help us drive and grow our existing such a significant one to have won for Belfast market share. In conjunction Atlantic Travel. It is recognition for the with the developer we have designed consistent dedication and willingness to the functionality to view our Jet2 live adapt and change to fulfill the demands pricing in sterling and in euro, I do not of our clients. Going the extra mile and believe this is being done elsewhere at above and beyond are terms often used the moment. but are the most apt in the description We also decided to create a dedicated of each and every member in Atlantic facebook page called Just|Cruise. This Travel. We are very proud to be recipiwill allow our followers who are mostly ents of this award and look forward to interested in learning about cruise and continuing to do what we do and do it the most recent offers to do so on a sep- well. arate platform from the Atlantic Travel Previous winners: 2015 Navan page – it also means that our AT page Travel, 2016 Fahy Travel Galway, 2017 will be more balanced in the content Grenham Travel Athlone, 2018 Manpublished, giving a broader range of ning Travel Kilkenny, 2019 O’Handestinations and holiday types to our rahan Travel followers.

Emma McHale and Nicola O’Brien of Hertz, category sponsor Stephen Sands of Riviera Travel, Paul Manning and Sinead Murphy of Hertz,


ertz are won the award for Best CAR HIRE: HERTZ Car Hire prorow of vehicles we continue our focus vider for the sixth year on quality and service in order to win in succession. On accepting the award John Barry, our customers’ hearts each time they Head of Sales commented. “The award book a car with Hertz We remain and will always be, ‘Here is a testament to the dedication of our staff in Ireland and across the globe in to get you There’. Shortlist: Affordable Car Hire, Alamo making sure we do our utmost to deliver Car Hire, Flexible Autos, Hertz, Your great customer service. With the Best in Car Hire. Previous winners: 2011-2-3 Class loyalty program ‘Gold Rewards’ and ‘Ultimate Choice’ where the renter Holiday Autos, 2014-5-6-7-8-9 Hertz. gets to choose their car from an entire

Category sponsor Jenny Rafter of Aer Lingus with Deirdre Maher of Tour America,


ary McKenna picked up anAGENCY >10 other award TOUR AMERICA for Tour America at the awards. . will run the day to day operations of the Mary says; “Tour America will be 25 years old in October organisation, which will allow me the 2020. Whilst its journey has not always necessary time to work on new projects been plain sailing, the past four years for the brand and also to develop the fuhave shown year on year growth and ture strategy for the business. The travel industry is consistently increased profits. 2019 was an amazing year for Tour America, and Cruise going through huge changes and chalHolidays, being it’s most profitable and lenges, and Tour America, and Cruise Holidays, want to be a company that is having the highest turnover to date. Tour America recently received the resilient and adapt to all these changes Travel Agent of the Year award from fast. Winning Travel Agent of the Year, the ITAA, which means so much to shows our commitment to excellence me personally and indeed to our fan- and never standing still, not being comtastic team. I have consistently asked placent, and to ensure we continue our my team to grow individually, and as a journey on providing customer service business to raise our standards. We are along with being profitable. Previous winners: 2011 Lee Travel, all clear on the vision of the company, and the importance of our journey of 2012 Tour America, 2013 (one catproviding outstanding customer service. egory) O’Hanrahan Travel, 2014 (one I am extremely proud about the recent category) Lee Travel, 2015 Club Travel, promotion of our financial controller, 2016 Cassidy Travel, 2017 Shandon Deirdre Maher, to COO (Chief Oper- Travel, 2018 Tour America, 2019 Casations Officer) of the company. Deirdre sidy.

Category sponsor Stephen Sands of Riviera Travel, Maeve Slalom and Ciaran Mulligan of Blue Insurances,


lue Insurances won the travel TRAVEL INSURANCE: BLUE insurance “We would like to thank the Irish award for the eighth Travel Trade for their continued support year in succession.. “It has been an extraordinary year for and we look forward to launching some Blue Insurance with the buyout of the new innovative products with them over company by CoverMore a subsidiary of the coming year”. Shortlist: Accident & General, AXA Zurich Insurance Group and confirms the company’s position as Ireland’s fa- Insurance, Blue Insurance, Worldwide vourite Travel Insurance provider. We Insurance. Previous winners: 2011 Acare also delighted that we have won a cident & General, 2012-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 Travel Insurance Award every year Blue Insurance. since opening in 2003.

Without you, this wouldn’t be possible


A big thank you to everyone who voted for Irish Ferries as ‘Best Ferry Company’ for the 10th year in a row at the Irish Travel Industry Awards. We appreciate your support, and look forward to sailing with you and your clients again very soon.

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Get in touch: Ireland Trade Support 0818 300 400 N.I. Trade Support 00353 818 300 400

06/02/2020 15:34

MARCH 2020 PAGE 14



Brian Gallagher of Cork Airport with service to the industry award Marie Grenham of Grenham Travel and John Spollen of Cassidy Travel president of the ITAA,


arie Grenham INDUSTRY AWARD: says she was “completely MARIE GRENHAM overwhelmed” with the industry award. industrialisation, high technology and Marie’s grandfather, John Grenham, geographical mobility; social changes started the business as a general mer- which were to have a profound effect chant with bar, grocery, hardware and on the travel business. The late Tommy garage. In 1911 he procured a shipping became one of Ireland’s most recognilicence for operating the North Atlan- sable Travel Agents winning many top tic Shipping route. His involvement in Aer Lingus and Travel Agent Awards. the travel business was indicative of the From an early age she was attracted history of the time, that of large scale to the travel business and would help emigration, mainly to the United States. out during school holidays. Marie The business also experienced the ill- worked alongside her father and mentor fated Titanic voyage on April 1912, from the late 1970s and became MD of tickets for which were issued and sold the company in 1999. by Grenham Travel. Previous winners: 2012 Paddy Power, Marie’s father, Tom, took over the 2013 Con Horgan, 2014 Tanya Airey, business in the mid¬ 1950s ably sup- 2015 Antonio Martin,, 2016 Eoghan ported by his wife Breda, a secretary Corry, 2017 Liam Keller, 2018 George of exceptional calibre. As a team their Barter. 2019 Edmund Hourican and work reinforced the foundation of the Maureen Ledwith. business in preparation for large scale

Michael English, Valerie Murphy and Lorraine Quinn and category sponsor Charles Wilson of Germany Travel,


elebrity cruises have won this award wince it was introduced in 2018. Michael English and Jo Rzymowska have been great supporters of the Irish trade over the years and Celebrity have home ported in Dublin

CRUISE PREMIUM: CELEBRITY for the past two years. The fleet will see the addition of the high profile Apex this spring. Shortlist: Azamara Cruises, Celebrity

tal, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea,

Category sponsor Emma McHale of Hertz, with John Warr and John Booty of Wendy Wu,


endy Wu TOUR OP ESCORTED: have established reWENDY WU markable visibility in Ireland in the four years in each of the five years at that they have since John Booty arrived to head up the been working in Ireland. Irish operation. Shortlist: Discover Travel, G AdThe China-centred tour operator has ventures, Insight, Riviera, Wendy Wu. expanded into Japan and South Amer- Previous winners: 2013-4-5-6-7 Insight ica, committed to growing those mar- Vacations, 2018 Wendy Wu. kets by 25pc even in advance of recent events. Business in Ireland has doubled

Cruises, Cunard Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises. Previous winners: 2018-9 Celebrity.

Chris Townson, Sharon Jordan and Brian Hynes of The Travel Corporation category sponsor Charles Wilson of Germany Travel and Adam Goddard of the Travel Corporation, niworld has dominated CRUISE RIVERCRUISE: the specialist UNIWORLD cruise category in the history of the awards. our incredible Irish travel world, Viking. Previous Sharon Jordan said “we are very grateful for agents and trade partners. winners: 2013-4-5-6-7Shortlist: AMA, Cro- 8-9 Uniworld. all of the continued supsiEurope, Riviera, Uniport that we receive from



John Spollen of Cassidy Travel president of the ITAA with Amanda Middler and Connie Georgiou of Silversea of Silversea and president of the ITAA, ilversea have dominated the awards CRUISE ULTRA LUXURY: at the top end of SILVERSEA the cruise market. Amanda Middler and Seabourn. Previous winners: 2011-2 Lynda McCorry have proven to be strong supporters of the Celebrity, 2013-4 Silversea; 2015 CeIrish trade. Shortlist: Azamara, Crys- lebrity, 2016-7-8-9 Silversea.

Aicard Guinovart Director for Catalan Tourism in London, category sponsor Tara Magee of BA and Ruben Lopez Director of the Spanish Tourist Board office in Dublin,


he European City DESTINATION CITY: Destination award reflects sustained BARCELONA interest in Barcelona. Headlines about Nearby Reus has 12 Ryanair flights over-tourism have not diminished the a week and some charter services and city;s draw on Irish people. Girona has four flights a week from The city has 39 flights a week form Ryanair. Shortlist: Barcelona, Istanbul, Dublin in summer time, 18 from Krakow, Lisbon, London. Previous Ryanair, 14 form Aer Lingus and seven winners: 2011 Barcelona/Paris, 2013from Vueling.

MARCH 2020 PAGE 16



Category sponsor Matt Lebbern of Princess Cruises and travel agent Siobhan Byrne Learat of Adams & Butler,


ravel Agent of the year is Siobhan Byrne Learat. A graduate in Spanish and Arabic, Siobhan speaks several languages .She set up Adams & Butler in 2002, the business plan for which was her MBA thesis. Adams & Butler is an upmarket tour operator for wealthy and sophisticated clients, including many celebrities, inbound sand outbound. Siobhan lectures part-

TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL: SIOBHAN BYRNE LEARAT time in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and is the President of the Ireland US Alumni Association and a member of the Institute of Directors. Previous winners: 2013 Katrina McMullan of Navan Travel & Clare O’Dwyer of Shandon travel, 2014 Christine Rickard of Tour Amer-

ica & Katrina McMullan of Navan Travel; (2 categories), 2015 Louise Brennan Ormsby of Club Travel, 2016 Liz Wright of Tour America, 2017 Sandra Mooney of Cassidy Travel, 2018 Joanna Gomez of Travel Focus, 2019 Ann Mullins of The Travel Broker.

Category sponsor Joe Gilmore of Ireland West Airport with Olwen McKinney of Amadeus,


madeus’ award for the Best TECH PROVIDER: AMADEUS Travel Technoltravel technology in Europe.” ogy Provider set another record. “It is “But it is crucial to make them work particularly satisfying for us as we have for every single agent, and every sinnow won this particular honour nine gle travel consultant, in their very own times in a row,” Olwen McKinney says, way.” “and the entire Ireland team are very “This is what we strive for everyday thankful for the continued vote of confi- and it is fantastic to see this effort redence we receive from our customers.” cognised. So we would like to thank “It is a great honour for me to be everybody who voted for us and we heading a team in Ireland that is 100pc promise that this recognition will only committed to making the lives of travel spur us in 2020.” consultants in Ireland easier.” Shortlist: Amadeus, Dolphin Dynam“A lot of time, money and effort goes ics, Proactive Labs, Sabre, Travelport. into our products and solutions which is Previous winners: 2011-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 why Amadeus is the largest investor in Amadeus.

Thank you for choosing Aer Lingus as the best airline to fly to Europe and North America


MARCH 2020 PAGE 17


Hector Fernandez and Angel Vazquez of Lanzarote Tourism, category sponsor Caitriona Toner of American Airlines and Ruben Lopez Director of the Spanish Tourist Board office in Dublin, ncreased air lift has meant that there is no DESTINATION WINTER: sign that the 285,716 LANZAROTE Irish who went to Ireland’s favourite Canary Island last year (up day-makers gravitate by smoldering nature. Shortlist: Dubai; Gran 5.9pc) will stop any time towards Puerto del Carsoon, leaving it ahead not men, Matagorda, Playa Canaria; Las Vegas; just of its sister islands Blanca and Los Pocillos Tenerife. Previous winGran Canaria, Tenerife but there is a smoking ners:2011-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 Lanzarote. and Fuerteventura but of volcano to climb. Shortlist: Dubai, Gran While all the Canary entire countries, getting more visitors on its own Islands have their extinct Canaria, Lanzarote, Las volcanoes, Lanzarote is Vegas, Tenerife. Previthan Greece. Lanzarote is the the place to have a drop ous winners: 2011-2-3-4most easterly and most of the crater – literally 5-6-7-8-9 Lanzarote. exotic if the chain. Holi- have your food cooked


Category sponsor Jenny Rafter of Aer Lingus with Valerie Metcalfe, Karen Gleeson and Ruairi Sandison of FCM,


he Corporate Travel AGENCY INTERNATIONAL award follows FCM’s success in CORPORATE: FCM being named the World’s Leading Travel Manageness of Future with excellent career ment Company at the World Travel paths for our staff ensuring high staff Awards for the ninth consecutive year. retention. FCM is recognised for the developValerie Metcalfe said: “Providing ment of new products. Their proprietary choice and flexibility to our clients is of Innovation Labs continue to develop primary importance to our success and their technologies, including our pocket to client retention. travel assistant Sam, an award winning We are delighted to have received mobile app that blends artificial intelli- this award which recognises the excelgence with the advice of FCM consult- lent work and commitment of all of our ants. FCM Ireland has held Excellence FCM Ireland staff who complement our Through People accreditation since technology by providing a personalised 2002 ensuring ongoing focus on Bright- service to each of our valued clients.”

Tvl Extra Half Pg All Product 2019.qxp_2020 13/02/2020 15:54 Page 1

Thank you for your support in 2019 We look forward to working with you all in 2020! 3Sun Package Holidays 3Tailor-made Holidays 3Worldwide Holidays 3Cruise Holidays 3USA & Canada Holidays 3Escorted & Adventure Holidays 3Club Med Holidays 3Lapland Holidays

Your Holiday, Your Way

MARCH 2020 PAGE 18



Category sponsor Stephen Sands of Riviera Travel with Sara Rivero , Kathryn MacDonnell and Ruben Lopez Director of the Spanish Tourist Board office in Dublin, he Spanish TourCategory sponsor Emma McHale of Hertz, with long haul tour operator TOURIST BOARD: SPAIN ist Board retained winner Noel McAuliffe of Travel Focus, the coveted tourist oel McAuliffe of Cork-based We hold our breath in anticipation until board award. TOUR OP LONG Travel Focus was a double winthe award is announced on the night Kathryn MacDonnell replied: Receiv- and we still get excited when we win. ner on the night, HAUL & SPECIALIST: ing the industry award for Best Tourist We sincerely thank those who voted for Shortlist: Classic Resorts, Intrepid Office is our personal professional fa- us and we will continue to support the Travel, Sunway, Travel Focus, Wendy TRAVEL FOCUS vourite. While it is an honour and mat- trade and media wherever we can and Wu. Previous winners: 2011 Sunway, 2012 Classic Resorts/Sunway, 2013 Classic Resorts, 2017 Sunway, 2018 ter of pride that our destinations receive build the links and contacts between awards this one recognises the work we our markets. Shortlist: Las Vegas, New Classic Resorts, 2014-5 Sunway; 2016 Classic Resorts. 2019 Wendy Wu. carry out in the market with the trade, York, Portugal, South Africa, Spain. the media and the public so it means an Previous winners: 2012-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 awful lot to our team and we certainly Spain. are not complacent about receiving it.



Aileen Eglington of AE consulting and Josef Treml of Advantage Austria accept the ski destiantion award from category sponsor Tara Magee of BA,

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Dave Cole of Universal accepts the them park award from Category sponsor Caitriona Toner of American Airlines

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Ann Pye and Marie McCarthy of Irish Ferries with Charles Wilson, GNTO rish Ferries were Category sponsor Edel Redmond of Dublin Airport with Yvonne Muldoon, voted as Ireland’s FERRY COMPANY: Dermot Lee, Lisa Hammond, Bill Byrne and Ivan Beacom of Aer Lingus, Best Ferry ComIRISH FERRIES pany for the eighth year ew routes to North in succession. AIRLINE TO EUROPE & N America and an exfirst time. Shortlist: Brittany FerIrish Ferries are in tensive network to AMERICA: AER LINGUS A new, larger ferry and ries, Irish Ferries, P&O expansion mode, with sun destinations helped Aer larger fast craft will be Ferries, Stena Line. Prethe plush cruise ship-like Lingus retain their awards travel trade successfully over the past arriving on Dublin Holy- vious winners: 2011-2-3WB Yeats serving France at the ITIAs. ten years. direct from Dublin for the head and there are plans 4-5-6-7-8-9 Irish Ferries. Minneapolis was the marquee new Shortlist: Aer Lingus, Air Canada, for more expansion. route of 2019, and subject to aircraft American Airlines, Delta Airlines, availability, Aer Lingus are talking to United Airlines. Previous winners: ten further trans-Atlantic airports. Aer 2011-2 Aer Lingus 2012-3-4 United, Lingus has rebuilt trust with the Irish 2015-6-7-8-9 Aer Lingus.


Jenny Rafter of Aer Lingus, Category sponsor Edel Redmond of Dublin Airport with Yvonne Muldoon and Alan Molloy of Aer Lingus,

Algarve winners of the summer destiantoin, Dulce Almeida of Class Travel, Hugo Nascimento and Cátia Guerreiro of Algarve Tourism, category sponsor Tara Magee of BA and Susana Cardoso of Portuguese TBin Dublin,


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Suzanne Rowe, Erica Oglesby , Antonio Paradiso and Alana Byrne of MSC with category sponsor Charles Wilson of Germany Travel,


SC won the cruise award for the second successive year, a triumph for Suzanne Rowe, in her first year in charge of the Dublin operation. Antonio Paradiso says that this year’s ITIA awards has been the highlight of her career. “Our hard work and dedication to the industry was recognised and we won


three awards. To win Best Mainstream Cruise Line after seven years was no mean feat and we are hugely grateful to our trade partners who voted for us. We o we are successes to them. I want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support.

The launch of MSC Bellissima boosted MSC’s presence further in the Irish market. Shortlist: JMG, Marella, MSC, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean. Previous winners: 2011-2-3-4-5-6-7 Royal Caribbean. 2018-9 MSC.

Suzanne Rowe, Erica Oglesby and Alana Byrne of MSC with category sponsor Joe Gilmore of Ireland West Airport,

Category sponsor Emma McHale of Hertz, with Mary Denton and Philip Airey of Sunway,


he stewardship of TOUR OP EUROPE: SUNWAY Sunway recently passed from Tanya scheduled services,” Mary says. key Airey, whose father founded the company, to Mary Denton charter destinations that remain include but the penchant for winning awards Turkey, Salou and the Lapland product. The tour operator’s traditional base stayed unchanged. in Agadir, however, has been disconSunway have changed their res sysnected by the decision of Air Arabia tem, to integrate scheduled, charter and to discontinue its 2w service, without low cost air fares, and moved from separate long haul and short haul databases, warning, on November 2. Sunway ofhas been causing problems since it was fers extremely cheap transfers from the implemented two years ago and caused Ryanair destination, Marrakesh to its knock on effects in dealing with travel Agadir hotel portfolio. The tour operator is committed to agents. dealing with the trade. At the recent Sunway’s US product, on sale this month is one area of growth. Club Med Travel centres conference Mary enis also growing. particularly its ski re- gaged with agents outlining the advantages of dealing with a tour operator, sorts. Sunway, which reduced capacity in including issues such as supplier failure. Shortlist: Classic Collection, Con2019, is to continue moving away from corde Travel, Croatia Tours, Sunway, chartered aircraft to using scheduled TUI. Previous winners: 2011 Sunworld, services. “We changed because charters did not give us the same flexibility as 2012 Thomas Cook, 2013-4-5-6-7-8-9

Category sponsor Stephen Sands of Riviera Travel with Beverleigh Fly and Lee Osborne of Bookabed,


ookaBed won the accommodation supplier of the year awards for the ninth time in ten years. Karl Tyrrell, MD of BookaBed. “We have continued to focus on improving user experience of our websites, increased distribution via xml partners and off line travel agents and improving our already high stan-


dards of customer care” “Staff numbers have increased in areas such as product/contracting, sales, customer service, admin and our fast growing flight+hotel section in order to provide a better service our loyal and ever growing customer base.

Shortlist: Arrow Tours, Bookabed, Globe Hotels, Sunway, Topflight. New category. Shortlist: Arrow Tours, Bookabed, Expedia, Innstant Travel, Stuba. Previous winners: 2011-2-3-4. Bookabed, 2015 Lowcost, 2016-78-9 Bookabed.

Category sponsor Joe Gilmore of Ireland West Airport with Colleen Butler, Lee Osborne and Beverleigh Fly of Bookabed,

MARCH 2020 PAGE 21



n rare days off, you’ll find Joseph Scott-Lennon soaring above the waves on Union Island. The 26-year-old hops across from Canouan Island to go kite-surfing with one of the world’s top pros, Jeremie Tronet. Joe is the son of Killiney Castle owner Eithne Scott-Lennon and Abbey Tavern owner James Scott-Lennon, and the nephew of Fitzpatrick’s Manhattan hotel boss John. An economics graduate, he worked at Intercontinental hotels in Dubai and New York before getting a call from billionaire Dermot Desmond offering him a job on Canouan, one of nine inhabited islands in St Vincent & the Grenadines. Desmond, who had previously invested heavily in the opulent Pink Sands (now Mandarin Oriental) hotel on his favourite Caribbean island, developed a 120 berth marina in 2017 and phoned Joe to say he was looking for an Irish manager. Named after Sandy Lane in Barbados, Sandy Lane Yacht Club and Residences (SLYCR) at Glossy Bay may be set amidst the white sand and turquoise waters of the southern Grenadines but there’s a distinct homage to Ireland. Desmond’s yacht ‘Celtic Bhoy’ is moored

Azure days Catherine Murphy on St Vincent & the Grenadines

Up close and turtlesonal at the marina (his private jet is parked up at the nearby airport), the beachside bar and restaurant is named Shenanigans and two forty foot containers serving as a shack bar at the water’s edge have been named Scruffy’s, after the legendary Scruffy Murphy’s in Dublin.


n June, at the end of the tourist season, the marina is quiet but with stylish Foxy Jack’s restaurant, a grocery store and high end accommodation, it’s fully geared up for intrepid yachters who want to stock up and spend a few days on dry

land in relative luxury. St Vincent & the Grenadines is dubbed ‘the Caribbean you’re looking for’. Up until now, this 32 island chain has been marketed less strongly than other Caribbean destinations but the opening of a new airport on St Vincent heralds a new tourism era. Irish visitors may have to travel a little bit further to get there – via London to Barbados and onwards to St Vincent or Union Island – but what awaits them is a Caribbean idyll of tiny private islands, secluded beaches, great sailing, relaxation and adventure. The island resorts –

Young Island, Bequia, Mustique, Petit St Vincent, Palm Island and Canouan – may seem to offer up the same slice of Caribbean life but in fact, visitors will find distinct experiences to savour. Canouan is home to the most opulent corporate bolthole on the islands, the Mandarin Oriental, where it is said billionaires go to get away from millionaires. The setting here is merely a lottery dream for most of us with room-only rates starting from $1,400 per night. The MO was formerly the Pink Sands which Dermot Desmond invested in, reportedly to the tune of 120 million

dollars. He subsequently parted company with his Italian partners in the project but the property’s luxe suites retain a focus on pink, Desmond’s favourite colour. The vast complex features 26 fabulous suites and six villas overlooking the ocean. Guests are checked in from the comfort of their own suite and enjoy butler service. Suite functions are controlled by ipad and a full size ‘tv wall’ opens or closes depending on whether guests want to watch tv or enjoy jaw-dropping ocean views. Dressing rooms, private terraces and classically stylish

living rooms complete a memorable suite scene. The scale of the property is such that you may get lost until you notice the stunning Murano glass chandelier which ascends the stairs to a spacious, refined foyer. The kids club is like a private complex in itself complete with swimming pool and games rooms. Dining at the Mandarian Oriental – whether eating lunch at the waterside bar or dinner in the Italian restaurant – is a fine experience and at sunset, guests like to be taken by golf buggy to the island high point – Mount Royal – to sip champagne and enjoy

Clockwise kitesurfing JT Pro Center. Canouan hotel lobby, kite surf ice cream, Barbara Mercury of SVG Tourism,Mark Semark GMof Petit St Vincent, amd Catherine Murphy. infinity pool

MARCH 2020 PAGE 22

DESTINATION SVG the views. There’s also a little-played golf course for those who fancy teeing-off. Nightlife is centred on island regattas where socialising goes on into the small hours.

the more relaxed you become. One thing that strikes you continuously is the size of the islands - some of them are only a couple of square miles in size.



he scale and opulence on display at the Mandarin Oriental are an obvious far cry from the poor-looking village – home to 700 locals – which is the first thing visitors see after landing at Canouan’s tiny airport. Marketing bosses at the MO say its owners have pledged support to the building of a secondary school on the island. Union Island is an antidote to Canouan. Described by tourism bosses as unsophisticated, it has yet to be developed for tourism but is a hub for holidaymakers flying on to Petit St Vincent, Palm Island and Canouan. Its jagged peaks dominate the view from surrounding islands and it’s a popular stop-off for sailors stocking up or looking to soak up some unpretentious Caribbean vibes. The island’s airport runway is famously short and doesn’t allow for any margin of error when landing. Professional kitesurfer Jeremie Tronet –who grew up on Martinique - travelled the world competing before deciding to settle on Union Island. He chose it because

Castaway beach dining at Canouan in St Vincent and the Grenadines

it’s small, authentic and has a real community. Now, active holidaymakers can drop into his JT pro centre kiteboarding school and learn to kite surf. All levels are catered for, from beginner to expert with group (from $99) or private lessons available and excellent safety standards. Jeremie has the kind of laid-back, humble attitude that true pros often possess and convinces us that anyone can learn to kite surf. If you’re on Union Island at the right time, you can enjoy full moon kitesurfing parties on the beach, complete with LED displays. One new development on Union Island is the Ashton Lagoon eco trail through natural mangroves. It has been developed in an engaging

way and is worth a visit for adults and children alike. Union Island may prove to be the start or finish point of your St Vincent & the Grenadines island-hopping holiday. We can’t think of a better way to finish an active holiday than booking into simple accommodation and spending a few days earning to kite surf.


here are two distinct sensations when you visit St Vincent & the Grenadines. The first is of a bustling centre - Kingstown on the island of St Vincent is the historic hub, beyond it a small lush island which seems bigger due to its hilly terrain. Behind the bustling

Kitesurfing JT Pro Center and island views. Joseph Scott Lennon of Canouan

markets and colourful houses lies a history of British rule. The islands gained independence from Britain in 1979 but remain in the Commonwealth and continue to use the British judicial system. English is the first language, having replaced the islands’ original language, Garifuna. There’s plenty to do on St Vincent. Take a tour of the rum distillery which now imports molasses in order to produce its popular Sunset and Captain Bligh rums; bathe beneath the Dark Views waterfalls or hike to swim in volcanic craters, a rite of passage for many young islanders and an adventure to remember. Visit the Botanic Gardens, drink Guinness brewed at the island’s Hairoun brewery or simply wander through the

busy markets and stop for a typical Caribbean lunch of fried fish and breadfruit at the Cobblestone Inn hotel, site of a former sugar mill. A number of new hotels are due to be built on St Vincent from 2020. Many visitors who want to explore the island currently opt to stay on Young Island which is just a couple of minutes boat ride away. With secluded cottages (we loved the outdoor showers) set into the hill or on the beach front, tropical gardens, a swimming pool and good food, Young Island is private and popular with yachters finishing their trip with homeward flights from St Vincent. The sensation upon leaving St Vincent – by ferry to Bequia – is that the further south you go,

he island of Bequia is great for sailing, weddings and eco tourism. It feels like the Caribbean you’re looking for. The Swedish-owned Bequia Beach Hotel is a haven of palm tree-lined beaches with beautiful suites just steps from the sea and moments of relaxation that you’ll day dream about long after your holiday has ended. It’s worth remembering that SVG’s beaches can be on the Atlantic or Caribbean side so the water can be livelier than expected. Some of the islands have experienced a seaweed problem in recent years but resorts are proactive in removing it on a daily basis. Bequia Beach hotel is a spacious and un-crowded resort with a plantation-style reception villa. Bagatelle restaurant offers relaxing beach-side dining but watch out for vacationing American lawyers talking power politics over pre-dinner cocktails. From the hotel, it’s a short golf buggy ride to downtown where colourful cafes and street traders remind you that you’re in the Caribbean. Each year, the island

MARCH 2020 PAGE 23

DESTINATION SVG hosts a carnival and also has a museum dedicated to its boating and now controversial whaling history. Next to Mustique - an island name which conjures up images of exotic wildness and freedom. In fact, Mustique seems well manicured and managed, a kind of gated island for the very rich and famous. Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford and Mick Jagger are amongst the celebrities with homes here while British royals William and Kate just holidayed there. It’s no surprise that the island’s social scene is legendary. The Cotton House – with just seventeen rooms across five categories - is the only hotel on Mustique and has an intimate charm that will entice you to stay on a while longer. While away the hours in a beach-side hammock or sip cocktails at Basil’s bar where it’s traditional for guests and villa-owners to gather for pre-dinner cocktails and an occasional feast of pork cooked in sand pits. Take your lead from the turtles wandering around the grounds and move slowly – the pace of life is one of the best things about the island. Relax in your private cottage before fine dining on the restaurant terrace.


ustique is known for its lavish villas, one of the oldest being ‘Clonsilla’. Owned by Georgia Fanshaw, a member of the Guinness family, it’s named after the Dublin suburb from its more genteel


Canouan patio villa en suite bathroom days. Villas sell for up to $20million on the island but you can rent ‘Clonsilla’ for between 20,000 and 33.500 US dollars a week. For the movie-makers among you, Coccoloba, a villa owned by Chicago billionaire William Doyle, boasts a private cinema. Reece Witherspoon is amongst the guests who have stayed there. Of course, sailing is central to any holiday in St Vincent & the Grenadines. If you don’t sail yourself, there are many other ways to enjoy life on the Caribbean sea. Charter a private catamaran to take you to your next island or at the other extreme, take a small water taxi for day visits to some of the islands. Hiring a private charter via ‘Wind & Sea’ to reach idyllic Petit St Vincent costs around $1,800.


n SVG likes its national symbols including the parrot (national bird) and Soufriere tree (national tree). Its national dish is fried jack fish and roasted breadfruit. So named because of its texture, breadfruit was historically used to feed slaves because it was cheap and plentiful but remains a firm favourite on the islands today. n Conch (seafood) is also popular as are tuna and mahi-mahi which feature strongly on menus. Popular fruit juices include mango and papaya with lime

On landing at PSV you’re greeted with a cold fruit drink and refreshing towel, and welcomed by Matt Semark who manages the resort with his Balinese wife. This tiny private island is owned by a US lawyer who worked with Bill Clinton and George Bush but Semark has put his stamp on it since taking on the role of resort manager. Fruit juices and rum punches are the order of the day in the Caribbean but UK native Matt has developed an excellent wine cellar, a must for European visitors and a draw for wine experts who travel from around the globe for seminars and tastings. Importantly for diving fans, the island is home to a dive school owned by Jean Michel Cousteau, son of the legendary Jacques Cousteau. The 68-year-old owns just two dive schools, the other being on Fiji.


etit St Vincent feel wonderfully natural and safe (there are no room keys). Think barefoot relaxation and Balinese massages at the hill-top spa. There’s no wifi in rooms so visitors

can enjoy a digital detox. Although there’s no swimming pool, the island feels perfect for families with turtles and sheep wandering around. There are plans to install private swimming pools in some of the island cottages and you’re planning a wedding, you can buy out the island with prices more competitive in our summer months. Intriguingly, PSV sits on a narrow channel of water that forms an international border with Petit Martinique, belonging to Grenada. From PSV, make the final stop of your trip on Palm Island Resort & Spa, near the southern tip of the Grenadines. Like the rest of St Vincent & the Grenadines, this island needs no fake instagram features – nature

has generously provided beautiful backdrops to keep your insta fans happy. Palm Island has one unique selling points. It’s adult-only – no children under the age of 16 during winter and no under12s during summer. Here, iguanas wander around and there’s a turtle sanctuary. You can cycle or walk around the island in around half an hour and there are regular events to entertain guests – movie nights on the beach, rum tastings and steel pan bands. There are five beaches and with no more than 80 people on the island at any time, you’ll feel as if you have it to yourself. We loved the secluded hammocks and picnic spots.

alm Island is owned by British gaming millionaire James Lane and is run by his son, also James, who bears more than a passing resemblance to British royal Prince Harry. James Jnr is hands-on and tells us that bottom-line fishing is popular here along with boat trips to miniscule Mapion island for picnic lunches. He also explains that the southern Grenadines are great for improving sailors as land is often in sight when sailing between islands, giving confidence to those in control. Stay at one of the island’s newly renovated beachside rooms– just ten metres from the water, they’re delightful oases of brightness and colour with exterior day beds and great views of the water. If you insist on instagramming, the views from the island’s spa are jaw-droppingly good. One must-do from Palm Island is a boat trip to Tobago Cays. Johnny Depp and Kiera Knightly filmed a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean on one of the tiny islands but you’ll be far more interested in experiencing what every snorkelling fan wants to do here – swimming with sea turtles. If your boat drops you off on one of the islands, you’ll need to be able to swim a hundred metres or more with fins to reach the turtle’s feeding spots. Alternatively, ask your boat man to stop near their feeding area.

n Catherine Murphy travelled to SVG courtesy of the SVG Tourist Board www. n Fly Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick to Barbados then onwards to ST Vincent with Liat Air (flight takes around 45 minutes). n You can fly from Canouan to Mustique via private charter with Mustique Air. Departing SVG to Barbados incurs a $40 departure tax which must be paid in cash in ECB (eastern Caribbean dollars) or US dollars. Three ECB is around one euro and 1.6 US dollars. n Irish tour operators Caribtours and Hayes & Jarvis both feature a number of SVG islands. If you plan on island-hopping, it’s worth using a tour operator or travel agent’s expertise to plan your island transfers. n For further information on individual resorts, go to


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MARCH 2020 PAGE 26

AFLOAT HAL Bookings have opened for Holland

America’s new Ryndam cruise ship, currently under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy and set to join the fleet in May 2021.

AMADEUS River Cruises will build a new riverboat set to debut in 2021 along the Danube and the Rhine in Europe.

CELEBRITY Cruises cut steel on the third of its revolutionary Edge-class ships at a ceremony in France today. Celebrity’s president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s chairman and CEO Richard Fain both attended the event. FRED OLSEN

Cruise Lines has announced a series of dedicated whale-watching cruises including the 16-night “A Voyage to Remote Spitsbergen,” round-trip Liverpool on Black Watch, departing June 25 and the 16-night “Fjords & Icebergs of Remote Greenland” round-trip Dover sailing on Boudicca departing August 11.

LANDBLAD Expeditions’ new polar expedition ship, National Geographic Endurance, completed its first sea trials in Norway, near the entrance to the country’s famed Geirangerfjord. THE RIVER Cruise Line is changing

its name to Arena River Cruises in the run up to launching a new premium vessel and expanding its cruise programme.

UNIWORLD Boutique River Cruise

Collection has unveiled two new itineraries that combine one of the company’s river cruises with a journey by land and rail in 2021. The company has partnered with Golden Eagle Luxury Trains to create journeys that will travel through Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.


Cruises’ new ship, Iona, “floated out” at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, for the first time today.

CELEBRITY Cruises’ forthcoming

Celebrity Apex passed another milestone as it completed its sea trials off the coast of France. The ship, will enter service on April 1, 2020, went through its sea trials in the Bay of Biscay and was overseen by more than 50 specialised crew members,

AMSTERDAM’s decision to impose a tax just on cruise passengers led to a 40pc reduction in calls to the city in 2019.

CMV Cruise & Maritime Voyages acquired Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria from P&O Cruises Australia in 2021.

ROYAL Caribbean is advising passengers booked on its Southern Caribbean voyages calling on Martinique that as of 2020, all passengers will require a valid passport.

MSC Cruises introduced custom, accessible shore excursions designed for passengers with all types of mobility in 20 destinations including 11 ports in the Caribbean and nine ports to come in the Mediterranean.

Stena Estrid launched in a storm

Estrid arrives

Stena adds capacity on Dublin-Holyhead corridor


he newest addition to the Stena Line fleet started service on the Dublin to Holyhead route on January 13, braving the elements of Storm Brendan to complete her maiden voyage. Despite a challenging introduction, customers have been taking to social media to praise the new ship and her staff. The three-

hour and 15 minute crossing Will give passengers a chance to explored facilities including Estrid’s spectacular Sky Bar, two Happy World children’s play areas, a relaxing Hygge reclining lounge, Stena Plus lounge, two movie lounges, bigger Truckers lounge, Taste restaurant, and a bigger better shopping

experience. The ship also has 175 onboard cabins, including six deluxe cabins with double beds and balcony access. A sister ship Stena Edda is due to start service from Belfast to Liverpool in March this year, with a third next generation ferry Stena Embla due on the same route in early 2021.



elebrity Cruises’ forthcoming Celebrity Apex has passed another milestone as it completed its sea trials off the coast of France last week. The ship, which will enter service on April 1, 2020, went through its sea trials in the Bay of Biscay and was overseen by more than 50 specialized crew members, including engineers and


nautical experts. Despite strong winds and heavy seas, the ship performed admirably, the company said today in a statement. “The purpose of a sea trial is to test the functionality of the ship, but this wasn’t just any sea trial -- and Celebrity Apex isn’t just any ship,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity

Cruises. “In typical Edge Series-fashion, the ship absolutely exceeded our expectations, performing perfectly in line with our above-andbeyond operating standards.” Celebrity Apex is the sister ship to Celebrity’s groundbreaking Celebrity Edge, which debuted at the end of 2018.

Lisa Lutroff-Perlo and Richard Fain cutting steel


&O Cruises has confirmed Azura will head to the shipyard in Ferrol, North Spain, for a multimillion-pound update from April 3, 2020, following the ship’s Euro-

pean repositioning. The 12-day dry dock will see Azura get open deck areas reworked to improve outdoor dining venues, new canopies and deck furniture will be

added and swimming pools and the poolside areas will be refreshed. entertainment venues and children’s space H20 will be upgraded; Blue bar, Brodie’s, Malabar and the

poolside Terrace Bar will offer draught beer on tap and The Retreat and The Oasis Spa will offer new treatments and spa experiences.

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MARCH 2020 PAGE 28

THE FLYING COLUMN CITYJET announced plans to slash

the number of pilots on its payroll in Finland following the conclusion of redundancy talks in which the airline said it would offload twothirds of 40 pilots in Helsinki as well as all other flight crew.

TURKISH Airlines is reviewing a third daily flight Dublin-Istanbul most probably departing before 0600 to connect with Asian flights in the afternoon wave. There may be potential for a fourth daily Dublin flight.

KLM will launch daily Amsterdam-Cork route from Mar20 with 3-class (Business, Economy Comfort, Economy) KLM Cityhopper Embraer E175 and E190. Ex AMS 1550, ex Cork 1710 (local). These don’t clash with the Air France timings. CORK flight school Atlantic Flight

Training Academy announced a new partnership with low-cost Turkish airline Pegasus, in which Aer Lingus was a founding partner, to train its pilots. The 20 pilot candidates who will be involved in the pilot training program will receive 18 months of training in Cork before returning to Turkey.


Lines and Virgin Atlantic have been granted Antitrust Immunity by the US Department of Transportation in the framework of the extension of the transatlantic joint venture, the final regulatory step for the airlines to move forward with their alliance.

BA British Airways is to launch winter 2020/21 services to St Lucia, Cancun and Cape Town from London Gatwick. EASYJET is set to return to Britain’s

benchmark FTSE 100 index six months after the budget carrier was demoted.

LOGANAIR has announced plans to shut its base at Norwich Airport and cancel its Norwich-Manchester flights. it will continue to fly out of Norwich to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Jersey.

RYANAIR applied for two daily Paris Orly to Dublin slots but was not successful. Aigle Azur slots at Paris Orly were reallocated, largely to Air France for regional PSO and long-haul domestic Outremer services and to other French carriers for long-haul domestic with a routes to Lufthansa (Munich), Wizz Air (Budapest and Sofia), and easyJet (Glasgow).

WIDERNE (Norway) cuts 4,000 annual flights from its domestic network, as the carrier struggles to reach profitability. AERCAP entered into an agreement

with Boeing to reschedule the delivery positions of a portion of the B737 MAX aircraft under AerCap’s forward order contract with Boeing to later dates.

TAP The Portuguese government aims to

keep a 50pc stake in TAP Air Portugal should there be any change in the future shareholders.

HNA Group (China) has embarked on a divestment campaign with the singular purpose of returning to its core aviation business.

Michael O;Leary at the Airlines4Europe conference in Brussels

End of growth

Ryanair writes off proposed 2pc growth in 2020


yanair CEO Michael O’Leary said that the coronavirus impact will not show in the airline’s end of year accounts, due at end March.

He expects a hit in quarter one of 2020-21, dependant on the size of the enforced cancellations due to Coronavirus. Speaking to travel Extra on the

margins of the A4E conference in Brussels he said that the combination of B737 Max and Coronavirus would mean virtually no growth for Ryanair next year, and possible in 2021.


AIRBUS Airbus, if you talk

to them, will say our order book is full out to 2025, we have no capacity, and the price codes are mad, so that vindicates their position. Interesting, they called us about a week ago and said, if we had some aircraft available sooner that 2025 would you take them. We said, if the price is right, we’ll take aircraft, today, tomorrow, next month. Yes, we are in the market for aircraft but only if the price is right, and we are happy to wait until the price is right, but we are not going out to buy somebody else’s expensive aircraft.


think Always Getting Better is still continuing. The problem is it gets overtaken by other issues. It is still there for us. We don’t push it. We are trying to get back to low fare, great care. Nobody is going to pay any attention to what your strapline is amid Covid and Max aircraft delays.

AUSTRIA Austria is a difficult place to make money. It is not that competitive but there is huge excess capacity. We have charged in there, Wizz has charged in there,

Level were in there, Easyjet were in there before we were. We have seen the same situation emerge. Austrian has gone from 65pc market share in Vienna, this time they will be under 40 for the first time. Lauds has gone from nowhere. This time next year will be up around 30pc to 23pd. Wizz is number three. They should be around 10pc or 12pc. Then there is nobody else. Eurowings have pulled out, Level have pulled out, EasyJet have pulled out. If the environmental tax it damages earnings to and from Vienna it will also speed up the consolidation of the withdrawal. I would not be surprised to see Wizz withdraw from Vienna or at least close a base in Vienna in the next twelve months

BREXIT There is a reasonable chance that Brexit is going to settle down by the end of the year. I think a trade deal will get done before the end of the year. I think it will get done because the British to roll over from most of their positions. Johnson has the attention of a fleas and he will just deliver. They will finish up with a Norway option. They will pay, they will comply, but they won’t have a seat in the room. You talk to Willie, he thinks it is a box ticking exercise, his insights in Lon-

don are more accurate than mine. I think they are playing politics and it has worked for them. Johnson has got a majority as a result of it. But when push comes to shove they will roll over on it.

GROWTH Even at its best

we were only going to deliver 2pc or 3pc growth, because of Boeing Max. There will probably not be any growth at all, but remember if we get the Max in at the end of the year we will probably add some capacity, but I would think, on balance, probably no growth at all this year. It is far too early to say what the impact of Coronavirus would be. I think if we were to lose 10pc of our bookings through the second half of March, April and the first half of May, that is probably about 2m passengers, 2m passengers would be most of our growth for the next twelve months, but that would be 2m passengers on a target of 155m, so about one or one and a half per cent.

ITALY Italy is our biggest

market, 32m passengers. We are the biggest airline domestically in Italy. We have 33pc share of the Italian market, Alitalia is about 22pc.

MARCH 2020 PAGE 29


Michael O;Leary at the Airlines4Europe conference in Brussels with Carsten Spohr of Lufthansa Willie Walsh CEO of IAG, Ben Smith of Air France


Our sense of this is that’s people will generally put off travelling unless necessary for the next three of four weeks. For the next two weeks we are heavily booked, no cancellations, so we won’t be that affected, but there will be a higher no show ratio. I think, after that, things will have bottomed out at that point in time. People will be fed up following the outbreaks. We don’t yet see any diminution in the bookings over the Easter period. Nor do we see a demand for cancellations or refunds over that period. We think there is a reasonable prospect that Easter will see some return to normality. If that takes place we will all be launching seat sales through May, the first half of June and whatever length it takes.


Once we were pretty sure we were sure we were not going to get it this side of June we deferred. Our first delivery now is September. I think the place will return to service in June July in America. I think in Europe it will be slightly later, in September, October. The challenge for us now is there is 20 of the Max aircraft for Ryanair already built and sitting on the ramp in Seattle. They will get delivered really quickly, I am saying October November. The challenge is will Boeing spool up the production line and deliver us another 30 aircraft for the summer of 2020-21. I am more concerned now, not that we will get the first aircraft in the autumn, because we will, but will we get enough aircraft to be able to go back to 50 aircraft delivery for the summer of 2021. Because of aircraft sales and lease returns, will still only give us net 25-30 aircraft for summer of 2021. Over a two year period we are going to have very modest traffic growth.


ing tell us that the leasing companies are cancelling orders. They don’t have the cash flow for them. Customers are abandoning orders. One of the upsides


of the Coronavirus is that you will see another number of airlines fail. Some of the crazy big orders that were never going to be delivered like the Indonesia Lion Air order with Airbus and Boeing, the Norwegian order, will collapse, and that may create some movement on the order book. Airbus themselves are delivering aircraft three or six months behind schedule so they need some of those to be cancelled just to catch up with their orders.

also going to be focussed on Eurowings, Germany will settle down pretty quickly in the next year or two. It is one of the least profitable markets, so most of our growth this year is going into Poland, Romania where we are seeing very profitable growth, those markets where we are chasing Wizz further and further east. Dublin Munich was ended because of aircraft availability, and also costs in Munich are nuts. It is mad.

is outline agreement in principle on compensation, but the computations cannot be done until we get the deliveries and we have some reasonable confidence as to when the first of the aircraft is going to be delivered. There are a number of discussions going on. There is a compensation discussion. There is a pricing discussion going on because clearly these aircraft have suffered a reputational risk, we need to do the pricing, and we are also involved in a new order discussion, but they don’t have the head space to deal with that at the moment.

London decision went for us. It is insane to say that an airline must be responsible for strikes, because if the airline was in control of this there would not be a strike. Unions can call a strike to disrupt your business, if they can disrupt your business and force you to pay millions of euro in compensation when it is clearly outside of the airline’s control, I find it very hard to see how we won‘t win that ultimately on appeal. No airline will willingly have a strike. We do everything in our power to actually buy off the strikes. Our English strikes by BALPA in August, not one flight was cancelled. If we can do that, and we can manage our way through it. Less than 25pc of the Irish pilots went on strike, and we had to cancel less than 20 flights on any given day. When we can make those effort to find our way around strikes. If we have to cancel some flights it is clearly not within our control. We only do it as a last alternative.


GERMANY The target of

14pc in Germany is not gone. It was always going to be flexed. The difficulty we have had this year, because we are short of aircraft, we have closed the base in Hamburg, closed Bremen, closed Nuremberg, We would like to reopen those straightaway as soon as we have available aircraft. Stuttgart is still strong. Berlin we are growing. Germany is still strong. Germany is not a market at the moment I would like to have mad cap expansion in. Lufthansa themselves, they bought Air Berlin last year, instead of taking out about 30pc or 40pc of the capacity they flew the entire capacity, they had this kind of paranoia that the rest of Europe was going to arrive in and plunge airport slots, nobody cares about Germany, they are taking out significant capacity in Eurowings we have seen their capacity cut by 1215pc. A lot of the capacity cuts they announced late on Friday evening are


PROFIT Coronavrius won’t have any effect on our March year end results this year because most of that is the bag already. First quarter next year will get hit. Passenger numbers will be down 10, 15pc in to April, May, June, and if passenger numbers are not down 10pc yield will be down because we will all be dumping, seat sales, getting everyone moving again once everyone is confident to start moving down. March does not run a profit. Back end of March might into April. April yes, but that is heavily driven by Easter. The reality is it, does cost us money.

BOOKINGS On the first of every month we would have 80-6535 visibility. On March 1st we will typically be 80-85pc booked. We would be 60-65pc booked for April. We would be down at about 30-35pc booked for May. For the last week in February we saw a sharp decline. We were supposed to take 3.5m bookings a week. Last week we took 2.5m bookings. So we are down 20pc. I think it will accelerate this week, partly because we took out 2,500 flights, we will probably be down 30pc this week. Thereafter, a lot depends on the media coverage and what government do. MAX PASSENGERS

We will have to have customer confidence-building measures say for the first six months. We don’t want people to feel they’re trapped on a MAX. If you don’t want to go on it, fine. Off you go, take off the bag, and you can have a full refund. The offer would only be available to those who turn up at the airport. After all, if the airline is unable to advertise if a flight is operated by a MAX in advance, passengers wouldn’t know they were on a MAX until they arrived at the gate and saw the serrated engines and split wingtips.


out a doubt the biggest issue we face at the moment is national governments taxing flights, not as an environmental measure just tax grabs. We have done so much in the last twenty years to lower the cost of air travel. Now you have governments going the other way. Let’s tax the life out of it. The other is the single European sky. ATC is a shambles. We would eliminate 90pc of our flight delays in an entire year, more than 90pc of our Eu261 payments which last year in our case were €160m, if you eliminated delays, if you closed down Karlsruhe and stopped the French air traffic controllers going on strike. It is nuts. Twenty years later, despite all the promises, the EU delivered nothing.

MARCH 2020 PAGE 30

THE FLYING COLUMN RYANAIR announced a new route Mykonos-Budapest 1w from July 2020 ICAO reports that some 70 airlines have cancelled all international flights to/from mainland China, and that a further 50 airlines have curtailed related air operations. This resulted in an 80pc reduction of foreign airline capacity for travellers directly to and from China, and a 40pc capacity reduction by Chinese airlines. Prior to the outbreak, airlines had planned to increase capacity by 9pc on international routes to China for 2020 Q1 compared to 2019. ICAO estimates that 2020 Instead Q1 seen capacity drop 40pc, or a reduction of about 18m passengers compared to what airlines had projected, a potential reduction of US$4 to 5 bn in gross operating revenues for airlines worldwide. Aer Lingus say no additional A321LRs will be available to the airline until the autumn, so no new routes will be added in summer 2021. A380 The first Airbus A380 to be retired after 10 years in service arrived at Ireland West Airport Knock for dismantling. Dismantling an A380 is within the capability of EirTrade Aviation who are based at the airport on the Western Apron. The company specialises in airframe disassembly for A380, A340, A330, A321, A320, A319, B777, B757, B737/3/4/5, MD83, ATR72-212A. DERRY Steve Frazer joined the City of

Derry Airport team from his previous position as Director of Engineering and Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Gulf Helicopters in Qatar, Nordic Aviation Capital (Denmark & Limerick) appointed Patrick de Castelbajac as CEO, effective 2020 Q3. Patrick will be based at NAC’s newly opened Headquarters in Limerick. Most recently, he was President of Asia-Pacific region for Airbus. Prior to this, he was Executive Vice-President Strategy and International. From 2014 to 2016, Patrick was CEO of ATR. Prior to this, he worked in Airbus from 2002 in a variety of senior management positions. Before joining Airbus, Patrick spent three years with Baker & McKenzie as a lawyer and a member of the Paris Bar.

BA will launch a seasonal Heathrow-Newquay route (A319 5w) 02Jul07Sep20, competing with Flybe’s PSO operation Newquay-Gatwick.

VIRGIN Atlantic is to re-launch daily seasonal B787-9 service Heathrow-Cape Town on 25Oct20 with B787-9. It last operated the route in Apr15. TUI fly German) cancelled its contract to lease four aircraft to Eurowings, in order to take advantage of the void left by Thomas

AVOLON has dropped four A350-900s from its total order of 14, while adding 10 more A330-900s to reach 37.

WAHA Capital recorded a net gain of US$11m through the divestment of its remaining 6pc stake in AerCap Holdings NV. This will remove an overhang on AerCap’s stock. SUNEXPRESS Germany plans to drop its long-haul routes in 2021, which are operated by Eurowings.

Kings of leasing

Aercap now has 1,334 aircraft with income up 12pc


erCap reported 2019 Q4 net income up 33pc to US$309.8m, with total revenues up 3pc to $1.25 bn. For 2019, net income was $1,145.7m, up 12.8pc,with revenues up 3pc to $4.8 bn. The increase in net income was primarily driven by higher lease rents resulting from an increase in average lease assets due to the delivery of new technology aircraft in 2018 and 2019. As of December 31, AerCap’s portfolio consisted of 1,334 aircraft that were owned, on order or managed. The average age of the owned fleet was 6.1 years (2.3 years for new technology aircraft, 11.3 years for current technology aircraft) and the average remaining contracted lease term was 7.5 years. New technology aircraft now comprise 58pc of the owned fleet. Prior to the grounding, AerCap had delivered five B737 MAX aircraft that are currently on lease to an airline customer, and it currently 95 MAX aircraft on order. It is uncertain when and under what conditions our Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will return to service and when Boeing will resume making deliveries of MAX aircraft to AerCap. As a result, it

Gus Kelly of AerCap: Shareholders will not bear cost of B737MAX

incurred delays and expects to incur future delays on deliveries, and any such future delays are likely to have an impact on financial results. CEO Gus Kelly said he does not have young current technology aircraft (incl A330 or A330neo) because Aercap focused all new orders for the last decade on new technology

aircraft. “We will ensure that the shareholders of AerCap do not bear those losses (from delayed MAX deliveries), and that we will receive adequate compensation from Boeing in connection with those costs that we are suffering.”



enny Jacobs is to depart Ryanair after initiating the Always Getting Better Campaign. In the six years of AGB, Ryanair has doubled traffic, doubled profits, and increased load factor by 15 percent (to 97pc) by at-

tracting high-margin customer segments like business travellers and group bookings. When they started AGB, the Ryanair net promoter score was -26, and today it is +21. This tells us that Ryanair customers prefer the Ryanair of today to the Ryanair of

six years ago. Ryanair will always be a functional brand that delivers value, on-time performance (OTP), and the best route network in Europe — get that right with great consistency, and the formula works. Kenny Jacobs



yanair ‘s leading routes last summer by ASK shows seven of the top 15 routes are to Spanish destinations. Four of the top six routes are to Spain with Malaga just edging out Faro for the top spot thanks to its

longer sector length. Of the remaining eight routes, there are two each to Italy, Portugal and the UK, and one each to Hungary and the Netherlands. The highest frequency routes last summer were London STN (54w), Lon-

don LGW (48), Birmingham and Manchester (both 37) and Amsterdam 28. A total of 20 routes were served at least 2-daily and a further 23 were routes were served at least daily. All routes are served at least 2-weekly in summer.

Last summer Ryanair served 100 destinations from Dublin after adding a dozen new routes. Ryanair offered flights to 140 destinations from Dublin in 30 years of operating from the airport.

MARCH 2020 PAGE 31

THE FLYING COLUMN AIRBUS VR flight training solution

was designed by Captain Shane Carroll, an A320-family pilot and instructor, with his team of professional software developers from the consumer entertainment industry. Once an Aer Lingus A320 captain, he is currently head of Virtual Reality (VR) Projects at Airbus, based in Dublin. The training solution will provide portable training with a ‘study & practice tool’ for pilots to train at their home base… or remotely, and is capable of complementing the full flight simulator sessions that are conducted in flight training centres. It will first be used in the Airbus training centres from 2020 H2, with the aim to make it an integral part of the Airbus type rating curriculum.

Laura Bennett;Sean Doyle, Niall McCauley;and Paul Deegan at Aer Lingus brand reveal

Shamrock soars

Aer Lingus carries 2.5m T/A passengers in 2019


er Lingus carried a record 2.5m passengers on trans-Atlantic services in 2019, and plans to increase capacity this summer. The new Montreal service has been delayed to 2021, and there will be no new trans-Atlantic routes in 2020. Orlando, Florida will move from a four flights per week service to six flights per week, the Miami service will increase from two to three flights per week and the Dublin to Seattle route will move to a daily service in summer 2020, increasing from five flights per week. Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Minneapolis St Paul will be serviced by the larger Airbus A330 aircraft and the full Boeing 757 fleet will be replaced by four new Airbus A321 neo LR. Aer Lingus now flies to 14 North American destinations. Aer Lingus will add 300,000 extra summer

seats to Europe on five new European routes for 2020 with flights direct from Dublin to Italian cities Brindisi (Puglia), Alghero (Sardinia) and Rhodes (Greece), from Shannon Airport to Paris and Barcelona and from Cork to Nice and Dubrovnik. Dave Shepherd, Chief Commercial Officer at Aer Lingus said “las summer we deployed two Airbus A321neo LRs to our fleet. We are due to take delivery of more of these next generation aircraft in 2020, which we believe will transform our long haul offering with the ability to serve long haul destinations with narrow body aircraft. This not only opens up new North American route possibilities for Aer Lingus in the future, but also connection onwards to Europe .” Aer Lingus operating profit was €276m in 2019 according to IAG preliminary results. Aer Lingus margin was


Ex Ireland JFK Boston Chicago San Francisco Orlando

Ex America Boston Chicago JFK San Francisco Dulles

Ex Britain Manchester Birmingham Edinburgh Glasgow Heathrow

13.0pc, down 2.5, IAG reported preliminary results for 2019 with an operating profit of €3,285m (12.9pc margin) compared to €3,485m (14.4pc) in 2018. Aer Lingus capacity increased 4.2pc from the addition of a new route connecting Dublin and Minneapolis and increases to San Francisco, Seattle and Philadelphia. Passenger revenue was up 6.1pc, cargo up 0.6pc and other revenue (nearly all intra-group) down 16.8pc. Total revenue was €2,125m up 5.8pc.Passenger load factor was 81.8pc, up 0.8 points, both figures less than for the other main IAG members. Passenger unit revenue was up, with strong longhaul performance and positive retail performance, despite challenging European market conditions The reported 2019 Q4 Group operating profit was €765m (12.3pc margin), 7pc higher than €715m (11.9pc) in 2018 Q4 Aer Lingus Q4 margin was 6.2pc, up from 5.3pc in 2018 Q4, and British Airways 16.0pc, up from 15.4pc, Iberia 8.0pc, unchanged and Vueling 0.9pc, down from 3.9pc The net impact of current (Coronavirus) flight can-

cellations and redeployed capacity is to lower IAG’s FY 2020 planned capacity (ASK) by approximately 1pc to 2pc. It is not possible to give accurate profit guidance for FY 2020 at this stage. Fuel bill should be significantly down in 2020. IAG remains confident that a comprehensive air transport agreement will be reached between the EU and London. As required by the EU, IAG’s airlines submitted plans on ownership and control to the national regulators in Spain, Ireland, France and Austria. Those regulators confirmed that the plans would satisfy EU ownership and control rules in the event of a no deal Brexit. The EU Commission has been notified about the remedial plans by the national regulators. The plans don’t require EC approval but, as with all EU operating licences, the EC has the right under EU law to investigate and, where appropriate, request the regulators to implement corrective measures. The Westminster Government has not required British Airways to submit any remedial plans for a no deal Brexit

AMERICAN Airlines, British Airways, OpenSkies, Iberia, Finnair and Aer Lingus submitted their Joint Response to the US Department of Transportation’s request for additional Information to extend their North Atlantic Joint Business Arrangement to Aer Lingus. Code sharing would extend to all AA and Aer Lingus transatlantic and behind and beyond networks.

IAG Willie Walsh of IAG said “we have to satisfy the regulators in the countries where we operate, principally, in Spain, France and Austria that our ownership and control are in line with EU regulations. All of the national regulators that we have dealt with have since informed us that they are satisfied. And that our structure is fully complied with the regulations. The EU Commission had the opportunity to challenge that. But given the process we have gone through, which is quite detailed, and quite extensive, we are satisfied that our structures are robust and that we will continue to stand up to any scrutiny as we move forward.” Stobart Group sold off a 51pc majority shareholding in Stobart Air to the carrier’s 450 employees in 2019 to ensure the operation complied with EU rules following Brexit. Ryanair announced a new route Chania to Budapest, 1w from June 2020

CORK AIRPORT Kevin Cullinane, Head of Communications at Cork Airport, has been elected Chairman of the Airport Council International (ACI) Europe Digital Communications Forum at their Spring Conference in Athens. The forum represents airports from over 45 European countries. Qatar Airways has bought a US$600m stake in IAG to increasing its holding from 21.4pc to 25.1pc. Under UK law this would allow Qatar To veto “special resolutions.” IAG is a Spanish/EU company and similar provisions may or may not apply. EU

competition regulators widened their investigation into additional incentives granted by Spanish authorities to Ryanair and other airlines operating at two airports in Catalonia, concerned that they may have an unfair advantage.

RYANAIR announced a new year-round route Paphos to Yerevan in Armenia) 2w commencing in June as part of its renewed Cyprus 2020 schedule.

MARCH 2020 PAGE 32


Pacific filed inventory changes for Hong Kong-Dublin service. From March 29 2020 to June 30 2020. Reservation is available in full fare J/W/Y-class only, often an indication a service may not operate. This route is supposed to operate 4w with A350900XWB aircraft.

AER LINGUS has been named the

fifth most family friendly airline worldwide by travel website and second best in the survey for shortest delays, averaging just 3 minutes.

USA INTERNAL Beginning Oc-

tober 1, 2020, the US. Transportation Security Administration will require passengers 18 years or older to present government ID to fly within the USA..

IAG Willie Walsh says airframe manufacturing levels are “at a speed way in excess of what the industry needs or wants,” and says a “disconnect” between airframe and engine manufacturers directly influenced delivery delays which “are not just annoying, they have a big financial impact” on airlines. “We need strong competition between manufacturers. We only have two. I think we have seen both manufacturers have become complacent … They were planning on delivering a lot more aircraft than was required by the industry. CAR The Department of Transport (etc)

has notified the EU Commission of the transfer of responsibility for Ireland’s Single European Sky’s National Supervisory Authority’s economic regulatory functions from the IAA to the Commission for Aviation Regulation, as and from the 011Jan20. Against this background, the CAR has decided to extend its existing three-year Strategic Plan by one year to coincide with the establishment of Ireland’s new civil aviation regulator. In 2020, it plans to work with the Safety Regulation Division of the IAA to put in place a Strategic Plan for the new IAA. In this consultation paper, it proposes to add to its Strategic Plan, as required, to take account of additional responsibilities that we have taken on or expect to take on during 2020. This is open to public consultation with a submissions deadline of 5pm on Fri 28Feb20.

ETHIOPIAN Airlines Service Dublin to Addis Ababa will operate via Vienna in summer20m instead of the present stop at Madrid. Frequency is to increase from 3 to 4w from 07Jun, Aircraft type is B787-9 (unchanged). JUNEYAO Airlines has confirmed suspension of its plans for Shanghai-Helsinki-Dublin until further notice.

TAP Air Portugal plans to IPO in early 2021, pending financial results.

ETIHAD has started adding more flights from India as it looks to utilise the capacity which is lying idle due to temporary suspension of most of its operations to China due to coronavirus outbreak.

DUBLIN Airport partnered with Hack Access for its accessibility hackathon even

Aviation commissioner Cathy Mannion

Charges appealed Dublin Airport bristles against Commission decision


utgoing transport minister Shane Ross established an Appeal Panel to consider requests for appeal against the Commission for Aviation Regulation’s Determination on the Maximum Level of Airport Charges at Dublin Airport. Minister Ross appointed Mr Eoin McCullough SC as Chair. Ms Hannah Nixon who extensive experience in English regulation and Andrew Charlton, former Chief Legal Officer Qantas with Australian NZ staff based in Brussels & Geneva. As provided for in legislation, the Appeal Panel three months to complete its work by May 4. The Appeal Panel may confirm the Determination or refer the decision in relation to the Determination back to the Commis-

sion for review. An Bord Pleanála claimed it no role in dealing with a request by Dublin Airport for a determination on the planning implications of its exceeding a cap on annual passenger numbers. The planning authority dismissed a series of questions referred to it by Fingal County Council, after daa sought clarification about whether it would need new planning permission for its T2 if it breached a condition of planning permission in 2008, which put a limit of 32m on the number of passengers using airport terminals. Daa also asked if 3m transit or connecting passengers who do not use the terminals can be treated separately. The operator pointed out that such passengers using Dublin Airport

are currently double-counted as both arriving and departing passengers. Daa sought information on whether counting such passengers just once would represent ‘development’ in planning terms. An Bord Pleanála said it considered the questions raised by the council and DAA to be outside its scope. The Bord explained that an issue referred to it under Section 5 (4) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 confined its role to determining whether a particular matter was a development and, if so, whether it was a development exempted from requiring planning permission. In Aug18, it rejected an application by daa to amend the wording of the condition to remove connecting passengers from its scope.



er Lingus plans to grow its fleet by four aircraft in the next two years. Speaking to Travel Extra at the margins of the A4E conference in Brussels, IAG CEO Willie Walsh told Travel Extra that Coronavirus had not diminished his anger at Airbus for A321 delays. “Aer Lingus suffered as a result of not having the A321 for this summer, as we had hoped to have from

the beginning of last year. I am still on with Airbus. We are committed to taking all of the aircraft that we have ordered. This is a temporary issue. We are not going to do anything to jeopardise any of the long term direction of the business.” Willie Walsh says Aer Lingus target customers are those trading down. “The focus is connecting Ireland and Europe to the

US.” ASK growth goal 2020-2022 is 5pc a year. “We have replanned our network, particularly in regard to the Aer Lingus transatlantic, to reflect planned A321LR delays, which we see continuing through ‘20 and 2021 and maybe into the early part of 2022.” When will they come? “Ask Airbus.” Aer Lingus fleet end 2022 will have 60 aircraft as against 56 at end 2019,

(13 A330, 3 A321LR, 1 B757. 34 A320, 3 A321. and 2 Avro RJ), probably one A330-300 and three A321XLR of the eight on order from Airbus. So no extra short-haul unit? “This new aircraft is absolutely central to our plans to expand our trans-Atlantic network and we are committed to taking the aircraft as and when we get them. The sooner that we get them the better.”

MARCH 2020 PAGE 33

TRAVEL WRITER AWARDS 2020 Gerry O’Hare young jounralist award winer Stephen Evans of the Herald with Eoghan Corry and category sponsor Maria Golpe of Camino Ways,

I Oisin Feeney represnting Janet Newenham Digital Media award winner with Eoghan Corry and category sponsor Paul Hackett of Clickandgo,

Eoghan Corry, Broadcast winner Mary Fanning of RTE Nationwide and category sponsor Charlotte Brenner. of TUI,

Eoghan Corry, Pol O Conghaile of the Irish Independent and category sponsor Helen Brady of Failte Ireland,

Eoghan Corry, Northern Ireland winner Jamie Ball and category sponsor Fiona Cunningham of TourismNI,

Isabel Conway is writer of year

sabel Conway was presented with the Travel Extra Journalist of the Year Award at a ceremony held to coincide with the annual Holiday World Show. Nine other winners, each for different travel categories, were announced at an awards dinner in Thomas Prior House, Ballsbridge which was attended by the cream of Irish travel and tourism writers and broadcasters. The event was sponsored by the Spanish Tourism Office and Lanzarote Tourist Board. The award winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of senior Irish journalists. This year saw a huge increase in the number of submissions from previous years, displaying the creativity and continuing innovation of travel and tourism journalism in Ireland. The Gerry O’Hare Best Newcomer Journalist - sponsored by Stephen Evans Best Digital Media - sponsored by ClickandGo: Janet Newenham Best Broadcasting - sponsored by TUI: RTÉ Nationwide – Mary Fan-

Travel wirter of the year Isabel Conway with Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra and category sponsors Angel Vazquez of Lanzarote Tourism and Ruben Lopez Director of the Spanish Tourist Board office in Dublin, ning and Mary Kennedy Pól O Conghaile Best Northern Ireland - sponBest Long Haul - sponsored by sored by Tourism Northern Ireland: Cassidy Travel: Jamie Ball Isabel Conway Home market (Ireland) story Previous winners of the oversponsored by Fáilte Ireland: all award were: 1986 Isabel ConPól O Conghaile way, 2002 Cleo Murphy, 2004-5 Best Adventure - sponsored by Pól Ó Conghaile, 2006 Kathryn & Salzburgerland State Thomas, 2007 Muriel Bolger, Board of Tourism: 2008 Philip Nolan, 2009 Pól Ó Yvonne Gordon Conghaile, 2010 Mark Evans, Best Skiing - sponsored by Top- 2011 Philip Nolan 2012 Isabel flight & Gastein Tourist Board Conway 2013 Sue Morris, 2014Austria: 15 Pól Ó Conghaile, 2016 Isabel Catherine Murphy Conway, 2017 Yvonne Gordon, Best Short Haul - sponsored by 2018 Mal Rogers, 2019 Pol O Sunway: Conghaile, 2020 Isabel Conway

Category sponsor Yvonne Rosenstatter of Tourism Salzburg. Pol O Conghaile representing adventure winner Yvonne Gordon,

Eoghan Corry, ski winner Catherine Murphyand category sponsor Michelle Anderson of Topflight,

Eoghan Corry, long haul category winner Isabel Conway travel writer and category sponsor John Spollen of Cassidy Travel President of the ITAA,

Winners of the Travel Extra Writer Awards Jamie Ball, Stephen Evans, Pol O Conghaile, Oisin feeney representing Janet Newenham, Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra, Ruben Lopez Director of the Spanish Tourist Board office in Dublin (front row) isabel Conway overall winnner, mary fanning and Catherine Murphy,

MARCH 2020 PAGE 34

Just back from:


Ship tour with the CEO as a guide


Pool deck on Celebrity Aprx, set to launch in April

The race to Apex and April launch


elcome aboard Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Cruise’s second state of the art Edge class billion dollar ship .designed entirely in 3D. She will be completed on March 2nd and will also be Celebrity’s first

ship to be launched in the UK in 10 years. With a tonnage of 129,500 she supports a crew of 1,319 from 69 countries and accommodates 2,910 guests in her 1,467 staterooms. Reshma Sauhani, the founder and CEO of

Girls Who Code, the international nonprofit organisation working to close the gender gap in technology, is the newly crowned Godmother of Apex. Travel Extra’s Aileen C. O’Reilly was invited to don her hard hat and

join the world’s travel media for a sneak peek at Apex before she leaves her current home in the Chantiers de L’Atlantique shipyard in Nantes, France where an army of 9,000 has built her over the past 18 months.

Aileen O’Reilly and Richard Fain

Celebrity CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo , Aileen O’Reilly

The bridge

Into the jaws and the group

MARCH 2020 PAGE 35



anzarote gathered a soufflé of chefs for their annual food tourism conference, at which Ruben Lopez of the Spanish Tourist Board in Dublin and Travel Extra both had a speaking (not a cooking) part. The island showcased its fish to dish and farm to fork product to delegates after they had discussed El turismo gastronómico sostenible thoroughly, drawing up examples from all over the world and comparing the merits of ox and workhorse meat (tasty but expensive). Most notably the Restaurante Isla de Lobos in the hotel Princesa Yaiza hosted the delegates, food writers from major publications through-

Xavier Agulló, Benjamín Lana, Carlos Maribona and Rubén López Pulido (Director of the Spanish Tourism Office in Dublin) speaking at a Food Tourism conference in Teguise, Lanzarote out Europe, and showcased Finca de Uga, their nearby farm where happy pigs and hens are readied for whatever happens next

Iván Dominguez chef at Disfrutar in La Corun

in the food chain. Lanzarote’s climate and isolation makes it an ideal producer of unique foods, some of them not available elsewhere. The star of the show was Gambas La Santa, prawn of La Santa, as it is known in Lanzarote, or soldier shrimp, as it is known in the rest of the world (plesionika edwardsii). It is, we were told a very abundant crustacean in the Canarian bottoms at depths that range between 50 and 650 meters, with the largest populations between 120 and 350 meters,, lovingly

tended and harvested by the Olivero family. Delegates were treated to, as on put it, “our own body weight in cheese.” Ángel Vázquez Minister for Tourism Lanzarote told the delegates that Lanzarote’s famed wintersun product was being augmented by a diverse food product that was only now being appreciated by visitors. Lanzarote is a favourite with Irish visitors, with 285.716 visitors in 2019. If it were a country, it would be Ireland’s seventh most popular destination, ahead of Germany.

Gambas la santa, Only the the Olivero family have the rights to fish them

MARCH 2020 PAGE 36

WINDOW SEAT Last month in numbers

u55bn Projected losses to the aviation indus-

try from Coronavirus, according to IATA.

u5.26bn Revenue generated by tourism in

Ireland in 2019.

152.4m Number of passengers carried by Ryanair in 2019, a record.

11.6m Number of passengers carried by Aer Lingus in 2019, also a record.

10.5m Number of passengers carried by Ryanair in February 2020, a record. for the month

11.1m Visitors to Ireland, 2019, 96 Ryanair load factor for the year, $15.50 New compulsory daily gratuity charge

on board Celebrity cruises.



eth Linder’s Causeway Coast serves as a useful handbook for anyone exploring the Belfast to Derry coast and hinterland. Travelling by land along the route is a recent innovation. Setters say that hopping the twenty miles to Scotland was part of the local culture, and people were more inclined to offer “a sail than a lift.” Gnarled castles, basalt and limestone landscapes, fossils and follies mark the route. The Londoner navigates through legends, heroic and romantic Irish literary allegories, Game of Thrones scenes dated by

The Causeway Coast by Seth Linders O’Brien Press

season and modern tourist infrastructure. Even the rocks collided forcefully here to give the coast its distinctive tone and colour. It is a tapestry of shared culture, native and settler, chieftain and gallowglass, the Irish and Gaelic languages (probably not conversant In either, Linder confuses them occasionally), Ulster Scots and low English, colonised and colonist, and the overlay of George RR Martin’s invented

legend Theon Greyjoy and Randall MacDonnell. There is much to learn even for those familiar with the route, Hugh Boyd built Ireland’s first railway on Fair Head, the walls of Carrickfergus are older than those at Derry, the Bushmills Inn was once used as a bicycle factory, and, at the end, an endearing homage to Angelo Morelli’s ice cream in Portstewart. Delicious.

Busman’s holiday: Bernie Burke Every month we ask a leading travel professional to write about their personal holiday experience. This month: Bernie Burke of Travel centres


hen I think about holidays the first thing that automatically comes to mind is …the sea. I seem to have a deep seated psychological connection that I can only put down to the fact that I was brought up living in London with no chance of gazing at the sea. August every year my parents, bothers and sister would make the pilgrimage ‘home’ to Waterford. My distinct memory was of the train to Fishguard in the dark, and the journey across the Irish Sea – it was thrilling! I now find myself living with a permanent sea view and look out at the horizon every day, there is something quite calming about it – one of the precious things that I cannot live without. So there is no surprise when I say that my holiday of choice is Cruising – big ship, small ship, new ship, older ship – I


really don’t mind, for me its all about a couple of things. Firstly, the destination is where I start my search. A couple of years ago we picked up a repositioning Celebrity ship travelling from Sydney to Hawaii, how else was I going to visit Fiji, Bora Bora and Tahiti. Yes it was as exotic as it sounds. One of my other favourites was cruising from Singapore, I highly recommend a couple of days in Singapore before sailing around Vietnam, Hong Kong and Kota Kinabalu. Secondly, Cruising for me is also about the food, the service, people you meet on board. I also love the fact that I can unpack for a week or more and effortlessly cover four or five fantastic destinations in one holiday. On dry land it’s hard to pick a favourite destination or best holiday – impossible to say but in no particular order I

Tenerife: Bernie Burke’s secret p[pilgrimage destination loved the Seychelles for so many reasons, the beaches, the food, the people, its so easy to travel around, did I mention the beaches! South Africa, I loved it for much the same reasons as the Seychelles but with wild animals. Everyone needs to do at least one safari before they die. Being a food and wine lover (that’s another reason I cruise) I fell completely and totally in love with Puglia, Italy – it’s a little bit ‘the land that time forgot’ washed down with lots of red wine and organic seasonal food. I have a made a pilgrimage of my


ourists and business travellers may think that staying away from affected places is entirely rational during a pandemic. They are wrong. The World Bank estimates that 90pc of economic losses during any outbreak arise from “irrational” efforts of the public to avoid infection in ways that do no such thing. Tiffany Misrahi of the Madrid based World Travel & Tourism Council notes that Ebola had a

catastrophic impact on African tourism, whether or not a country was host to Ebola infections or not. Tanzania,a country over 3,000 miles from the Ebola outbreak, never had a single case of the disease, yet saw hotel bookings fall by up to 50pc in October 2014. SARS in 2003 had consequences far beyond Asia. A drop in air travel in North America caused by the outbreak caused a wave of bankruptcies and consolidation

among airlines based there. The travel industry has seen major disruption as governments impose travel bans on Chinese visitors to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Passenger air traffic after the start of an outbreak normally goes back to pre-pandemic levels after 7 to 9 months. With SARS the trough was deeper How deep this trough will be, only time will tell.

own every year for some time now, not to Fishguard on the train but to Tenerife. We set aside one week each year and go back again and again – it’s beautiful, and yes, it’s quiet, no crowds – I’m not willing to share anymore detail as I would like it to remain that way. I am now more than a little half way through my life and can confirm that my bucket list is far longer than the stamps in my passport. So hopefully in the near future I will see South America, The Galapagos Islands, Whitsunday Islands, Turks and Caicos and so the list goes on, and on, and on.

IN YOUR NEXT TRAVEL EXTRA: Available to Travel Agents or online April 1 2020


MARCH 2020 PAGE 37

MEETING PLACE Out and about with the Travel Trade

Carol Anne O’Neill of Worldchoice Ireland and ravel pictured with Lee Philip Airey of SunwayT Emirates industry update Teresa Lambe of Etihad, Etihad update for the d, trade Osbourne of Bookabe de tra vel tra h Iris for the

Shannon O’Dowd of Eti ha Club Travel, Etihad up d and Colman Burke of date for the trade

h ity Cruises pictured wit Ruth Gardiner of Celer ders at the Celebrity ilfin Tra David Hayeems of te at The I\vy Dublin Cruises industry upda

Nathalie Ansel and Mic he ope with Peter Shanks l Grimm of Croisi Eurof Silversea, at the CL IA Ireland conference

of net and David Kinsella Tom Randles of Travel ce en fer con d lan E-travel, at the CLIA Ire

Alison Sheehan and Bri an Hynes of the Travel Corporation. Associati on of Women Travel Ex utives ec-

Denise Harman of CWT and Teresa Lambe of Etihad, Etihad update for the trade

Paula Cross and Helen Kelly of Platinum Travel pictured with Mary Mostenboker of The Broadmoor Colorado Springs, Colorado Tourism event

Linda Jones of Travel Boutique,Dominic Burke of Travel Centres and Catherine Boyd of Travel Boutique, at the CLIA Ireland conference

Danielle Radford of Avalon, David Sanderson of NCL and James Scott of Oceania, at the CLIA Ireland conference

Annette McCann and Annette McCann of Travel Counsellors at the at the CLIA Ireland conference

Fiona Flaherty of Fahy Travel and Jackie Coakl of Discover Travel, at the CLIA Ireland confer ey ence

h rity Cruises pictured wit Valerie Murphy of Celeb at The Ivy Dublin for vel Sean Healy of Lee Tra ustry update ind the Celebrity Cruises

Sara Macefield cruise wri Avalon, at the CLIA Ire ter and Giles Hawke of land conference

ey of ght and Sandra Moon Shauna Kelly of Topfli t Italian brochure launch gh Cassidy Travel, Topfli

Karen Maloney of Etiha d and John Spollen of Cassidy Travel Presid ent of the ITAA, Etihad date for the trade up-

and ders/Malahide Travel Alan McAra of Travellea can Airlines Thanksgiveri ,Tara Magee of BA, Am the trade for ing event and update

MARCH 2020 PAGE 38

MEETING PLACE Out and about with the Travel Trade

Paul Hackett of Clickandgo, Carol Anne O’Neill of Tanya asnd Philip Airey of Sunway, Travel ay, Niall McDonnell of Corporation Christmas eve / Mary Denton of Sunw vel Tra nt Worldchoice Ireland, Star Alliance event nt@Shanahan’s on the Foster of Innsta Green, December 5 20 Classic Resorts, Fiona ney of Sunway, 19 ee AWTE and Deirdre Sw

Lorraine Naughton, Sin ea Stockmal of Best4travel d Scully and Kamil , at Travel Centres con ference. -

e pictured with Jacquelin Yvonne Nolan of CWT erican Airlines ThanksAm Clynch of Bookabed, te for the trade giving event and upda

Polly Bond, Tracy McLo ughlin and Niamh Cro of Tour America, at the oks CLIA Ireland conferen ce

bon Travel and Sonya Cri Paul Dawson of Daws ence of the Irish Travel fer ben at the annual con Cordoba in on iati soc As ts en Ag

Lisa Kearney, Ciara Ma nn of Best4travel, at the CL ing and Trish Sarsfield IA Ireland conference

Jim Vaughan and Cian Scanlon of the warm Asia Pacific holiday vibes at the PATA Roadshow

of ay and Valerie Murphy Jeanette Taylor of Sunw iation of Women Travel Celebrity Cruises, Assoc Executives

Rebe Marike Nolan and Emma Dinan of Douglas Travel Bro cca Dunne and Georgina Kelly of the Tra vel ker, Association of Wo at at Travel Centres conference. men Travel Executive s

en route to the Southampton ceremony for Sky Princess, October 16, 2018

tion SA and Fiona Kelly Sally Gray of Red Carna rnation event d Ca of Hayes & Jarvis, Re

Maureen and Cormac Meehan at the annual con- Ru ference of the Irish Travel Agents Association in Cruth Gardiner and Kristen Gerard of Celebrity ises pictured at The Cordoba, October 19, 2019 lebrity held their indust Ivy in Dublin where Cery update

Lee Osborne of Bookabed, Rebecca Kelly of Princess Cruises and John Barrett of Magic Vacations, at Travel Centres conference.

lly vel Corporation and Sa Brian Hynes of The Tra nager of the Red CarnaGray, General Sales Ma rnation event Ca tion South Africa, Red

MARCH 2020 PAGE 39

Out and about with the Travel Trade MEETING PLACE

yes & Jarvis and Roisin Amanda O’Brien of Ha Red Carnation event y, Sk al pic Carbery of Tro

Bláithín O’Donnell of Air of Maxwell Solutions an Canada, Susan Maxwell d Maureen Ledwith.of Business Exhibitions, WTE

Jo Rzymowska, Vice Pre sident and M.D. of Ce Sinead Davis of Amadeus and Trish O’Leary of lebrity Cruises pictured wit h Mary McKenna of Beyond Business Travel. Association of Women Tour America at the Celeb rity cruise update Travel Executives

TayPhlip Airey of Sunway and John Cassidy of Cas- Olwen McKinney of Amadeus and Jeanette g rkin two ne ice rldcho sidy Travel, Star Alliance event lor of Sunway, at the Wo event.

nette Hynes of Fahy Fiona Flaherty and An d conference lan Ire IA CL the Travel, at

Yvonne Nolan of CWT, Deirdre Maher of Tour America and Gabrielle Gilmartin of FCM, American Airlines update for the trade

Sharon Walsh of Libert y of Concorde/Joe Walsh Travel and Barry Walsh Tours, at the Knock air port event -

Helen Kelly of Platinum Intrepid Travel and Bri Travel, Carrie Day of an Corporation, WTE eve Hynes of The Travel nt

Fiona Dobbyn of Classic Resorts, Association of Women Travel Executives

West Airport and Riona Donal Healy of Ireland at the Knock airport , Burke of Grogan Travel event

of the Spanish Tourist of Rueben Lopez Director sana Cardoso Director Board in Dublin and Su ce in Dublin offi Portuguease Tourism

Lisa Rabitte of Emirates fey of Joe Walsh Tours pictured with Jean Claf, for the Irish travel trade Emirates industry update

Siobhan Fiona Dobbyn of Classic Resorts, Cara of Amer- Mage Boskett of American Airlines, Tara e of BA and Alan McAra ican Holidays, Alison Sheehan of the Travel Cor- Malah ide Travel, Am Airlines of Travelleaders/ Thanksgiving event poration, WTE event

Paula Glynn of Grogan Travel, Audrey Elliot of Ireland West Airport and Lorna McLaughlin of Liberty Travel, at the Knock airport event

vel smond of Premier Tra Jim Tobin and Nora De ence of the Irish Travel fer con al and at the annu Cordoba Agents Association in



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