Road Warrior: Asian airlines top ratings of cheapest carriers

New service to Vienna, Irish hotel occupancy grows, Fáilte Ireland hosts influencers

You may think that Ryanair would lead the world as the lowest-cost carrier, but that's not so. The cheapest airline is, in fact, Air Asia with a rate of $0.07 per kilometre travelled.

The data was analysed by taking into account the economy-class air fares displayed by Rome2rio during the first two months of this year, totalling some 1.5 million price points. According to the resulting report, published this month, four out of the top five cheapest airlines are in Asia.

The top five are AirAsia X, Air India Express, Indonesia AirAsia, Primera Air and IndiGo Airlines. Etihad, Ryanair, Qantas, Wow Air and Virgin Australia make up the top 10.

Wow Air had recently announced a route to connect Delhi with Europe and US cities through its hub in Reykjavik in Iceland from December 7th onwards, with the base price starting at Rs13,499 (€172). None of the airlines from the UK or US found a place among the top 10 affordable airlines in the report.


Irish hotel occupancy rate rises

Over the course of 2017, Ireland’s hotels performed well with a 1.8 per cent increase in occupancy to 78.3 per cent, and a 6.6 per cent increase in the average daily rate (ADR) to €125.95.

In Dublin, occupancy growth was marginal, up 0.8 per cent, but nevertheless the city maintains one of the highest occupancy levels among key European cities at 83 per cent. ADR growth has been the main driver of performance in Dublin, up 6.9 per cent to €136.80.

While Dublin’s rate growth was a major story for 2017, it is still far from being one of Europe’s most expensive hotel markets. To provide some context, London’s ADR over 2017 was €169.93, Barcelona’s was €143.32 and Amsterdam’s was €143.91.

Regional Ireland (Ireland excluding Dublin) was the main driver of Ireland's overall occupancy performance this year, representing a strong pick-up and eclipsing Dublin's moderate occupancy growth. In terms of RevPAR (revenue per available room) performance northwest Ireland experienced an 8 per cent increase, while Munster grew 11.9 per cent, compared with Dublin's 7.7 per cent growth.

The biggest challenge facing the Irish hotel market in the short term is Brexit uncertainty. UK tourism demand may weaken further as the British consumer faces higher inflation and economic uncertainty in 2018.

Lounges worth trying

With airports getting busier as summer arrives, it is worth considering an airport lounge for a bit of peace and quiet while travelling. Most lounges charge about €20 for two hours. Though if you are a member of a frequent-flyer programme there is no charge for lounge usage.

Influencers hosted

Fáilte Ireland recently hosted a group of influential meeting planners and conference organisers. Seeking to find out why Ireland is a desirable destination, the group visited Limerick, Kerry, Clare and Dublin. Business travellers generally spend three times more than leisure bookers.

Dispute grounds Air France aircraft

Imagine leaving a $282 million aircraft waiting around while a union negotiates. Such is Air France’s plight: its newest Boeing 787-9 is sitting around Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris waiting for unions to complete negotiations.

Laudamotion launches service to Vienna

At last a new service to Vienna from Laudamotion Airline. The service will begin in September from Dublin to the Austrian capital. It is bound to be popular with both business and leisure customers and is expected to continue all year round.