It has to be the best marketing launch to the travel trade in a decade. It was, of course, the Falcon/Thomson Holidays launch of their summer 2016 programme onboard the new Boeing B787 Dreamliner. The day really belonged to the Irish as the Thomson group, led by Strabane-born Chris Browne, flew in on the new aircraft piloted by Captain John Murphy, whose family are from Monaghan.
The Irish travel agents onboard were the first passengers to fly on this aircraft, which had only been delivered to Thomson three days previously. The B787 has a list price of $250 million.
The Dreamliner is revolutionising air travel with advanced comfort and well-being features onboard, reducing the effects of jet lag and ensuring customers’ holiday experience starts as soon as they step onboard this state-of-the-art aircraft.
Chris Browne,the COO of Thomson Aviation, speaking at the post-flight lunch, said: “When she made the decision to buy the B787, the industry thought she was bonkers. However time and the Dreamliner have proven what a great decision it was.” She went to say that her motto in life is: ‘Don’t tell me that I can’t do something when I know that I can.’
Chris Logan, Head of Ireland, Falcon/Thomson Holidays, said that this aircraft gives the customer the option of long-haul leisure flights direct from Dublin to Mexico and Jamaica, with a vast range of accommodation choices. Plus the option to upgrade to Premium Class, with a seat pitch of 38 inches, at a value for money price of €259 return.
Speaking about the launch of the new long-haul programme, Charlotte Brenner, Marketing Manager, Falcon Holidays and Thomson, said: “We are very excited to introduce Mexico’s Caribbean Coast into our Summer 2016 programme direct from Dublin Airport. The stunning coastline coupled with our wide range of exclusive Falcon and Thomson hotels is sure to make Cancun and Riviera Maya a popular choice for Irish holidaymakers next summer.”
Cancun, which is on the coast of the Yucatán peninsula, is one of Mexico’s leading tourist destinations and the gateway to the resorts in Riviera Maya to the south. Over the past number of years Cancun has grown significantly in popularity with Irish long-haul holidaymakers and is now the most popular long-haul destination after Orlando, Florida. Falcon and Thomson will offer over 22 hotels to choose from in the region including its flagship Sensatori and adult-only resort.
Carlos Garcia De Alba, Mexican Ambassador to Ireland, welcomed the new route announcement: “Irish tourist figures to Mexico have grown hugely in the past few years, especially to destinations such as Cancun. In the past 10 years there has been a 145% increase in Irish people travelling to Mexico and for the past three years there has been double-digit growth in terms of Irish visitors to our country. More Irish people visit Mexico each year than any of their European counterparts and with the new direct flights we expect this to grow.”
Adult prices at the 4-star Catalonia Riviera Maya on an all-inclusive basis for 14 nights are from €1,699 per person while child prices are from €979.