Aer Lingus Regional launches new route to Newcastle Airport

Aer Lingus Regional has launched a new route to Newcastle Airport and is looking to fly up to 65,000 passengers in the first year.

The route, operated by Aer Arann, will operate two daily return flights to Newcastle from Dublin Airport beginning October 24. Aer Lingus Regional has scheduled 26 flights between Dublin and Newcastle per week at prime times, offering a convenient day return for travellers.

The addition of the Newcastle route is part of the ‘new beginning’ strategy, which was announced by Aer Arann to return the company to profitability in 2014. The measures also included the launch of two other new routes to Manchester and Birmingham.

‘We are delighted to announce the launch of our newest route to Newcastle,’ said Aer Arann’s chief commercial officer, Simon Fagan, adding: ‘This new route connects Aer Lingus Regional passengers with one of the UK’s most vibrant cities and means that the airline is now serving nine major UK cities from Ireland. This new route will add up to 65,000 passengers to our network next year.

‘The Newcastle-Dublin route will facilitate connections to Aer Lingus mainline services to the US for passengers in the North East of England. Aer Lingus Regional aims to connect 3,500 passengers through Dublin in the first 12 months,’ Fagan said, adding: ‘Aer Lingus Regional is committed to providing our customers with easy, convenient and great value in regional connections. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this new route to Newcastle.’

Chris Sanders, aviation development director at Newcastle International Airport, said: ‘We’re delighted that Aer Lingus Regional will be operating new services to Dublin this year. This announcement increases the schedule choice for passengers flying from Newcastle on this important route.’

He added: ‘It presents a wide range of connection facilities for travellers which I’m sure will be welcomed by North East holidaymakers and business travellers alike.’

Aer Arann operates 550 flights per week across 25 routes in Ireland, the UK and France. Aer Lingus Regional, which registered a 32 percent rise in passenger numbers in the past 12 months, is looking to double passenger numbers to over two million over the next five years.

Ryanair to launch additional Dublin flights from UK

Irish low-cost airline, Ryanair, has announced additional flights between the UK and Ireland for the coming winter.

The additional daily return flight to Dublin from Stansted and four other UK airports is aimed at offsetting the concerns of competition authorities’ about Ryanair’s stake in Aer Lingus, the Irish airline said.

Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said that competition has intensified in the six-and-a-half years that Ryanair has held its stake, which has led to the introduction of additional flights. He has attempted to take over the rival company on three occasions, but he has been rejected each time by the European commission.

The announcement of additional services comes ahead of a UK Competition Commission ruling that is expected by August 13, and which is likely to order Ryanair to reduce its 29 percent shareholding to protect passenger interests. The competition inquiry is ‘politically motivated’ and we will appeal any ruling against it, O’Leary said. ‘One way or another it’s going to be in courts for the next five years,’ he added.

A provisional ruling in May claimed that Ryanair’s minority stake could harm competition on UK-Ireland routes and block any purchase of Aer Lingus by other airlines. Ryanair has offered to sell its entire stake to any airline offering a full takeover of Aer Lingus, in a bid to stop any ruling forcing it to reduce its stake.

However, Christoph Mueller, chief executive of Aer Lingus, said: ‘The whole argument of Ryanair is that they have no influence [on Aer Lingus] and now they want to sell 80 percent of the company – that is an irony.’

Though a significant group of American passengers travel to continental Europe via Dublin, inbound UK passengers are on the decrease, Mueller said. He also said that the British Airways’ increased capacity on the Dublin-Heathrow route was ‘clearly over and above what that market could afford.’

Around 80 percent of the eight million passengers flying from the UK to Ireland annually fly on Aer Lingus or Ryanair, he said.

First DoubleTree by Hilton in Ireland Welcomes Guests

The Morrison Dublin, a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, has opened in Ireland, bringing the upmarket, Doubletree, hotel brand to Ireland for the first time.

Hilton Worldwide, the brand owner, had earlier entered into a franchise agreement with the owners of the existing Morrison Hotel in Dublin, and the new hotel has been converted from the 138-room property with the completion of a €7 million refurbishment.

Martinez Hotels and Resorts will operate the new hotel.

The UK and Ireland director for Martinez Hotels and Resorts, Stephen Mulligan, said, ‘We set out with a very ambitious timeline for this project so we’re delighted to be opening the hotel on schedule and with the support of our new partners, Hilton Worldwide. The refurbishment coincides with a busier than normal event calendar for Ireland this year, and we believe the reopening will not only benefit the long term patrons of the Morrison, but will also contribute to the vibrancy of this up-and-coming part of Dublin.’

The Morrison, is located on Lower Ormond Quay, in Dublin’s city centre, and is close to the Templebar, Jervis Street and Henry Street shopping and dining areas. The hotel amenities include a split level, 24-hour fitness centre, on-site dining at The Morrison Grill and Quay 14 bar, flexible meeting space, complimentary high-speed internet access and a 24-hour business centre.

John Greenleaf, the global head for DoubleTree by Hilton, said, ‘This hotel is a fabulous representation of what our brand is all about. I’m thrilled with the work Nikki O’Donnell has done in bringing to life the essence of Ireland’s rich culture through such a stylish, sophisticated design. Guests will experience a taste of the city’s Celtic heritage and modern vibrancy while enjoying the signature DoubleTree by Hilton touches that we know appeal to travelers across Europe – all starting of course with the trademark warm chocolate chip cookie served upon check in.’

Hilton Worldwide is currently operating four hotels in the Republic of Ireland, all located in the Irish capital.

Ryanair Operates Extra Flights for Six Nations Championship

Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, is operating an extra service, known as Six Nations specials, from Dublin to Bristol, for rugby fans.

The Six Nations Specials service will be available from Dublin today and tomorrow, returning from Bristol on February 3.

Ireland will be playing Wales in the Six Nations Rugby Championship at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, February 2, while England will be playing Scotland on Sunday.

The airline is also offering 15 rugby flights between Dublin, Glasgow, and Edinburgh for Ireland’s tie with Scotland on Sun February 24, 2013.

The airline head of communications, Robin Kiely, said, ‘Ryanair has been inundated with demands from Irish rugby fans looking to travel to the Wales-Ireland game this weekend and we’re delighted to announce five extra Six Nations specials between Dublin and Bristol on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

We’ve also scheduled 15 flights between Dublin and Glasgow and Edinburgh for the Scotland-Ireland game on Sunday, 24th February, which are already filling up quickly.

Only Ryanair offers the lowest fares for Six Nations matches and these seats will sell out fast, so our advice to rugby fans is to book today on www.ryanair.com.’

The airline has recently reported a robust performance with a pre-tax profit of €19.3 million for the third quarter ending December 31, 2012.

The third quarter 2012 profits are €18m, an increase of €3m on the same quarter last year, in spite of an €81m increase in fuel costs. Revenues had increased by 15 percent to €969m in third quarter of 2012, with a 3 percent increase in traffic to 17.3m passengers, compared to the third quarter of 2011.

Cityjet Introduces Flights from Dublin to Brest

CityJet, an Ireland-based airline, is offering new services to Brest, in France, from Dublin, the Republic of Ireland’s capital.

The new service will be commencing from June 29, 2013, with flight AF5266 departing on Saturdays from Dublin Airport, for Aeroport Brest Bretagne. The return flight departs from Brest on the same day. The new route will operate using an Avro RJ85 jet that has capacity for 95 passengers.

This addition to the service compliments the current summer service between London City airport and Brest.

Passengers can book the new fares at www.cityjet.com, commencing from €96 one way and €189 return.

Christine Ourmieres, the chief executive officer of CityJet, said, ‘Brest is a popular summer destination, so we are delighted to be able to offer Dublin based passengers’ direct access to the heart of this stunning region – one of France’s best-loved destinations. Our service from Dublin offers a convenient schedule for families enjoying longer summer holidays during the school break period or those visiting their second home in Brittany.’

The airline network offers service to 22 European destinations in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK.

Brest is a city located on the western tip of Brittany, in France, and it has a natural harbour. The city is also home to Oceanopolis, an ocean discovery centre, claimed to be the first of its kind in Europe. Brest is one of the many destinations in France served by the airline from UK.

The airline has recently also introduced its service to Nuremberg, in Germany, from London City Airport, and also added the German destinations of Dresden and Paderborn.

Travel Bloggers Heading to Dublin for TBEX Europe Conference in 2013

Dublin, Ireland, will be hosting next year’s TBEX Europe travel bloggers conference, one of the largest conferences, worldwide, for travel bloggers.

Rick Calvert, the chief executive of TBEX, a community of travel bloggers, said, ‘We are very excited to have chosen as the destination for our event in October, 2013. We’ll be hosting hundreds of travel bloggers and travel industry professionals from all over the world for two days of comprehensive educational programming and engaging networking events.

Our delegates will be sharing their unique Dublin discoveries and experiences with the world online. We couldn’t have chosen a better destination, as Dublin is the European headquarters of companies like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Zynga and Twitter; it’s a thriving social media hub. 2013 is also the year of The Gathering in Ireland and TBEX is proud to be a part of it.’

The Irish minister of state for tourism, Michael Ring TD, said, ‘This is a great achievement for tourism and Ireland. Thanks to the efforts of Failte Ireland, we have won a conference, which will deliver up to 450 travel bloggers to our shores in October 2013. This could not happen at a better time. By that time, The Gathering will be in full swing and I can guarantee that all who attend will experience Ireland at its best and most lively.’

TBEX aims to provide travel bloggers with opportunities for career growth in professional travel media through education and networking with travel industry professionals and direct marketing agencies.

For international travel bloggers, Dublin offers a location to explore and a chance to meet and exchange ideas.

Mary Jo Manzanares, the conference director for TBEX, said, ‘With its history, architecture and culture providing a backdrop to modern city life, Dublin offers something for every travel blogging niche and every travel blogger budget. Failte Ireland with support from Tourism Ireland is rolling out the red carpet to welcome our attendees to their home, and I’m very excited for October.’

Ryanair Expands Dublin to Brussels Service

Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, is offering a daily return flight to Brussels Charleroi airport in Belgium, from Dublin, Ireland.

The new route between Brussels and Dublin is priced at €19 one way, with a morning and evening flight leaving daily, compared to a single daily flight that left previously. The extended route will be effective from November 7, 2012.

The airline head of communications, Stephen McNamara, said, ‘Ryanair is delighted to announce an additional daily return flight (from November 7, 2012) between Brussels and Dublin to mark Ireland’s upcoming Presidency of the EU. European and Irish politicians can save Europe’s taxpayers thousands of euros by switching to Ryanair’s low cost flights without having to fork out on hotels or other expenses, thanks to our double daily flights.

Ryanair’s low fares will be enjoyed by over 79 million ordinary consumers this year and only Ryanair can deliver the lowest fares coupled with industry leading customer service. With austerity and budget tightening now the focus of every EU state, it is time that more governments stopped wasting money flying with high-cost, frequently delayed, airlines.

With Ryanair fares starting from just €19, civil servants can slash the amount of taxpayer money they waste and spend that money instead on much needed hospitals and schools. With a commitment from governments to fly Ryanair, Ireland can deliver the first low cost EU presidency.’

The new additional service marks Ireland’s return for a six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), commencing on January 1, 2013. Cyprus is currently the president of the EU council.

The airline is also offering a seat sale of airfares from £12 for around 1,000 routes in November this year, for passengers willing to travel with carry-on luggage only, and not opting for the airline’s priority boarding service. The seat sale runs until the end of today.

British Airways Increases Service from London Heathrow to Dublin

British Airways, the UK based airline, will be offering double the number of flights between Dublin and London Heathrow airport in its 2012-2013 winter schedule.

The route was earlier operated by British Midland International (bmi) airline, and was recently acquired by UK-based airline holding company and parent company of British Airline, International Airlines Group (IAG).

British Airline has announced its winter 2012 schedule and a new timetable, offering increased daily services to Dublin – from four to eight return flights. The new schedule will be effective from October 28, 2012. The route will be operated using 150-seater A319 aircraft.

Simon Daly, the airline sales manager in Ireland, said, ‘I am delighted to see the British Airways colours back in Dublin after an absence of 20 years. We appreciate the importance of air links to London and are pleased to announce that less than two months after taking over this route, we are now able to respond to customer demand and increase capacity.

Our improved schedule also sees us adding a new early morning departure time from Dublin which will mean that passengers will be able to extend their working day should they need to.

In addition, it offers both business and leisure passengers greater choice in terms of connections to our extensive global network at London Heathrow bringing destinations on the world map closer to Ireland, benefiting Irish businesses, tourism and Ireland as a whole.’

The airline is offering all-inclusive fares, with a 23kg baggage allowance, complimentary online check-in, and choice of seats.

Failte Ireland Announces Tourism Incentives to Build Dublin Brand

Failte Ireland, the Irish tourism development authority, has announced its initiatives as part of a programme for developing tourism in Ireland.

Previously, the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) had released a report on the best ways of exploiting Dublin’s potential for boosting tourism in Ireland.

Failte Ireland has already implemented many initiatives for increasing Ireland’s tourism potential, including the city’s new EUR4 million themed heritage trail, named Dubline; investing around EUR5.5million in developing Meeting House Square, The Book of Kells exhibition at Trinity College, and the Dublinia as tourist attractions, among other projects.

Failte Ireland is also offering a new and dedicated, Visit Dublin division, to endorse Dublin as a premier travel destination. Visit Dublin will be rolling out a new marketing campaign across the globe, aimed at changing the way that tourists from around the world look at the city. The campaign will include, amongst other things, significant investments in major festivals for the city, and the launch of an updated version of the Visit Dublin App for smartphones.

Keith McCormack, the head of Visit Dublin, Failte Ireland, said, ‘The recovery of tourism in Dublin will depend on a team approach. This will involve the public sector agencies, tourism businesses and, crucially, the wider business community’s involvement.

We particularly welcome the emphasis in ITIC’s report on partnership across all of Dublin city’s stakeholders. The business of tourism is not just for tourism businesses – there is something to gain for every business in Dublin if tourism continues to grow.’