ITTN’s News & Features Editor Neil Steedman looks back over 2014 and selects some photos taken by ITTN’s cameras at travel trade events. Can you spot yourself or your colleagues? ‘Like’ Irish Travel Trade News on Facebook and start tagging!
Tour Operating: The biggest change came with Thomas Cook ceasing its ex-Ireland charter operations from 30th April, moving its Irish operation exclusively online, and closing its Dublin office, with the loss of 44 jobs.
Other changes included the arrival of Just Sunshine and Fanfare, and the takeover of Wings Abroad by Sunway.
Travel Agencies: New licences included Blue Sea Holidays/Broadway Travel, eDreams/Opodo, GBT, Gold Medal Travel, RSD Travel Ireland, Stena Line Travel Group, Travel Solutions, TravelPlan Corporate, Virgin Holidays, Walt Disney Company, and Wendy Wu Tours.
Donabate Travel launched Island Escapes. John Galligan Travel and King Travel celebrated 25 years in business. Lee Travel won the inaugural ITTN Travel Agency of the Year Award, while Club Travel, Fahy Travel and Knock Travel won the Leinster, Connaught and Ulster Awards.
Travel Counsellors Ireland brought the total number of Travel Counsellors operating throughout the country to a record 60.
ITAA members headed to Southampton on 31st October for their annual conference on a two-night ‘pre-inaugural’ sailing by Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, before she made her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
A team of 15 volunteers from across the Northern Ireland travel trade travelled to Romania to build a home for young people for Habitat for Humanity, working beside a local community in Oradea, west Romania.
Airlines: Numerous new routes were launched or announced, including (on transatlantic) Aer Lingus from Dublin to Toronto, San Francisco and (from summer 2015) Washington DC, while WestJet launched a Dublin to St John’s seasonal service. Ethiopian Airlines announced new B787 Dreamliner services from Dublin to Los Angeles and Addis Ababa from June 2015.
Etihad Airways went double-daily from Dublin to Abu Dhabi from 15th July, while Emirates went double-daily from Dublin to Dubai from 1st September, and Turkish Airlines announced going double-daily from Dublin to Istanbul from 1st April 2015.
Lufthansa unveiled its new Premium Economy Class, while Aer Lingus revealed its new Business Class.
The Commission for Aviation Regulation issued an Operating Licence to Norwegian Air International.
Airports:At the World Routes 2014 conference in Chicago, Dublin Airport won the World Routes Award for airports that handle between 20 million and 50 million passengers per year, while Shannon Airport landed the award for best marketing of airports in the world under four million passengers.
London Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2 – The Queen’s Terminal opened on 4th June to Star Alliance and other airlines including Aer Lingus, which promoted the Dublin T2 – Heathrow T2 journey as “the best terminal-to-terminal experience in Europe”.
The Government reduced air travel tax to zero from 1st April.
Ferries: On 18th January Irish Ferries commenced its 19-hour weekend car ferry service from Dublin to Cherbourg with the Epsilon, which also serves Holyhead mid-week.
Stena Line acquired the Irish-owned Celtic Link ferry service that operates from Rosslare to Cherbourg.
Rail:Voyages-sncf launched a new dedicated Irish trade website for European rail travel, Voyages-sncf.eu.
Legislation: The European Parliament adopted by 654 votes to 19, with nine abstentions, a legislative resolution on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on package travel and assisted travel arrangements, amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004, Directive 2011/83/EU and repealing Council Directive 90/314/EEC.