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Importance of 'Staying Connected' on Holiday

According to a survey by Thomson/First Choice, part of the TUI group, staying connected is one of the biggest requirements of overseas holidaymakers this coming summer.

The survey says that availability of Wi-Fi will shift from being a 'nice to have' to one of the key requirements of what customers will look for when choosing where they stay on holiday. Indeed, Wi-Fi has become such a big part of our everyday lives that it's now equally important to stay connected when we go on holidays.

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Strabane's Chris Browne Joins Budget Airline

Chris Browne, originally from Strabane, who made her name as the first female Manager of Spanish airline Iberia 25 years ago, has joined easyJet as a non-executive Director.

The budget airline's Chairman, John Barton, said: "I and the easyJet team are delighted to welcome Chris as a non-executive Director. She has an impressive track record in the aviation and travel industries with particularly strong operational and strategic expertise. I also know that she will fit very easily into the easyJet culture."

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Airline Continues its War on Badly Behaved Passengers

Jet2.com, which together with jet2.holidays operates 16 destinations from Belfast, has emphasised its commitment to instilling better standards of behaviour in passengers by issuing a 42 year old female passenger from Sunderland with an invoice for £6,800 for costs incurred after it was forced to divert a New Year’s Day flight because of her aggressive and abusive behaviour onboard.

The leading leisure airline diverted flight LS518, which was en route from Tenerife to Newcastle, to Shannon Airport in the West of Ireland on Friday evening after the passenger was verbally abusive to its crew and became more disruptive as the flight progressed. To protect the safety of everyone onboard she was offloaded and handed over to the local police. Passengers continued to Newcastle following a two hour delay.

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Third ABTA Earlybird Campaign Gets Underway

ABTA's Earlybird campaign was launched yesterday encouraging customers to book their holiday early with an ABTA Member. This is the third year of ABTA's campaign which aims to reach millions of consumers during peak booking period and provide advice on some of the benefits of booking holidays earlier in the year.

The campaign will run for two weeks and features an 'Earlybird' hub on ABTA.com, with tips and advice on booking early, alongside a new interactive booking map which will showcase holiday offers that ABTA Members can promote on Twitter using the #ABTAearlybird hashtag.

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'Freedom' Key to NCL's New Strategy

Norwegian Cruise Line has revealed the company’s new global brand campaign, "Feel Free". Rooted in the line's fundamentals of freedom and flexibility, Feel Free is an invitation for guests to experience Norwegian’s philosophy of what a holiday should be, free from rigid schedules with the freedom to make their holiday their own.

The high-energy campaign conveys the brand's passion for delivering outstanding holiday experiences and showcases Norwegian's fun-loving, bold personality. It further provides an opportunity to speak to guests in new markets via new formats, including various social platforms. The new campaign was created and developed with partner agencies BBDO Atlanta and OMD.

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Good Solid Year of Growth for Etihad

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates which operates a daily service from Dublin to Abu Dhabi, delivered solid operational performance in 2015 by achieving continued growth in passenger and cargo volumes.

The airline carried 17.4 million passengers last year, a significant increase of 17 per cent over 2014 levels, and operated 97,400 flights which covered 467 million kilometres. The growth in passenger demand continued to surpass the airline's capacity increase, underscoring the strength of its long-term growth strategy.

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Spain Tops the List for Holidays in 2016

Spain will be the big winner in the season ahead as UK travellers turn back to the tried and trusted destinations following a year of what ABTA calls "geopolitical uncertainty". And with the euro still weak against sterling UK holidaymakers are opting for their old favourite destinations in numbers, according to ABTA and leading tour operators.

Portugal, Greece and France are all expected to be the top sellers this coming year for family and package holidays. Paris lost its mantle as Europe's most popular city break with UK travellers following the attacks in November, but has is continuing to show a steady recovery.

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MBE for Mukesh in New Year's Honours List

Congratulations to Mukesh Sharma, Managing Director of Selective Travel Management who was awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List for services to the Northern Ireland Travel Industry.

Selective Travel Management, Northern Ireland's largest independent travel firm, formally opened its new corporate headquarters at the regenerated Murray's Exchange, one of Belfast's most iconic buildings, close to Belfast city centre, earlier this year.

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New Venue and New Exhibitors at Holiday World

It's just 10 days to the opening of the new look Belfast Telegraph Holiday World at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in the heart of Belfast's Titanic Quarter. Northern Ireland may be sodden and shivering in mid-winter but for Holiday World exhibitors it's time to showcase what's best and most innovative, blue skies, azure oceans and of course that all important sunshine.

Amongst the hot new names lined up for the annual travel extravaganza are Algarve Tourism Bureau, ASL Airlines France, Balkan Holidays, Botswana Tourism, Eze Europe, Jamaica Tourist Board, Mexico Tourism Board, Tourism Thailand, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura Tourist Board, Keller Travel, Orlando Attractions, Bike ’N Ride Holidays, Play Florida Golf and Travel Trade Tickets & Tours.  They’ll be showing off their attractions alongside other firm favourites from around the globe – and close to home too.

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Top Operator Scraps Credit Card Booking Charges

A major tour operator with an award-winning programme out of Belfast International Airport has begun the New Year by scrapping credit card charges. Both Jet2holidays and Jet2.com have dropped credit card charges on all flights and holiday bookings, having previously charged 2.5 per cent.

Jet2 claims no other airline or tour operator has made the change, and that it is doing it "to make booking a holiday or a flight as friendly, convenient and competitively priced as possible".

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New Fearless Flyer Course for Belfast in Spring

Belfast is included in the programme of nine new Fearless Flyer courses announced by Northern Ireland's leading airline easyJet, with further courses also being scheduled for the Autumn.

The two-day courses will take place throughout the UK and are suitable for anyone with a fear of flying - whether they experience general anxiety or an extreme phobia. Between the end of February and the middle of June 2016 easyJet expects to help around 1,000 nervous flyers to overcome their fears.

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