Road Warrior: Aer Lingus launches Philadelphia service

Travel to US falls; scramble for Monarch pilots; fly London to Sydney in under an hour

Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla, speaks during at an event  near Jamestown,  Australia last week. Photograph: Photograph: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla, speaks during at an event near Jamestown, Australia last week. Photograph: Photograph: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

 

Here to Sydney in 51 minutes

It looks like rocket-powered travel is closer than we think. Elon Musk of SpaceX told the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia last week that he plans to use rockets to allow anyone to travel around the world in under an hour, at the same cost as a traditional flight. New York to London would be 29 minutes and London to Sydney 51 minutes. Musk says that his big idea for he calls the BFR (Big F***ing Rocket) will also be used to launch a manned mission to Mars in 2024. SpaceX has made headlines in recent years with its successful missions to return its Falcon 9 rockets to landing pads after launch.

Travel to United States is falling

The New York Times is reporting that travel to the United States fell by more than 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2017. More than 700,000 less passengers travelled to the US with traffic from Europe down by ten per cent compared to last year. Visits from Great Britain are down by 15.5 per cent and there are big drops from Mexico and the Middle East.

“It’s not a reach to say the rhetoric and policies of this administration are affecting sentiment around the world, creating antipathy toward the US and affecting travel behaviour,” said Tourism Economics President Adam Sacks.

Scrambling for pilots

It looks like the scramble for more pilots will be helped by the demise of Monarch Airways. Lining up to hire experienced pilots will be Aer Lingus, Flybe and Wizz Air. Aer Lingus on Thursday announced a big expansion in transatlantic services with six new A321LRs coming into service in the next year. They also announced a Philadelphia service from March 25th, 2018. Ryanair pilots are trained on Boeing aircraft and will be unable to recruit Monarch pilots without retraining which can take months.

Five in a row for Shannon

Shannon Airport was on the podium again last week at the prestigious Routes Online awards ceremony for the fifth year in a row. After winning the Best Marketing of Airports award for airports under four million passengers last year for the second time in three years, Shannon beat three other airports to the Highly Commended award in the category this year. It came just behind Nuremburg Airport which claimed the 2017 top spot. Shannon was the only Irish airport to feature this year. In other years, Dublin and Cork have won awards.