| 9.7°C Dublin

Diary of a travel writer: We're past christmas, so let's talk turkey


Falcon Holidays hold its annual lunch and Christine Donnelly and Charlotte Brenner have plans to get holidaymakers to go to Dalaman this year -- families booking with Falcon, couples with Thomson. They used to offer a third brand, JWT, but time and tide have washed away the memory of what was Ireland's leading tour operator.


The Irish Tour Operators' Federation hosts dinner in Dobbins and members are, all in all, a happier bunch than they were this time last year. Package holidays are back in fashion. There are six tour operators left in Ireland and more than a third of a million of us buy our holidays pre-packaged every year.


My friend and colleague Gerry O'Hare is 70. He has had a lively life, and the travel industry in the 1970s and 1980s was a lively place when he broke the major scandal stories. He even features in a ballad, With The Face of Seychelles Brown.


Figures from Lufthansa show that they carried 91.6 million passengers in 2010. That makes Ryanair the second biggest airline in Europe, ahead of Air France-KLM with Aer Lingus in a distinguished 16th place. A silver medal and a top 20 in the aviation league for Ireland.


Surprise all round as EI136 to Boston fails to talk off. After 14 weeks of not noticing that the cabin supervisors of the old-grade structure would be no more, Impact finally got shirty. The surprise is that nobody expected this to happen.


Lunch in Chapter One where Carol Anne O'Neill announces the Wings Abroad programme to Turkey this year. Amazing how everyone decided that Turkey is the next best thing: there will be about 2,000 more seats on flights every week.


The 31st anniversary Fitur in Madrid is smaller than it has been in recent years, but they have gathered here from 166 countries and there is a big presence from every village in Spain making this an exciting event. The best party is the Basque party, with its amazing food and flowing rioja, but some of the other regions are not far behind.