Carry on: All Blacks help generate billion-pound bonanza

In other business travel news, Qantas orders Dreamliners and Emirates returns tio Baghdad.

The GoEuro.com search engine for comparing flights, coach and rail travel options in Europe is predicting a billion-pound bonanza for the industry from the Rugby World Cup.

Richie McCaw’s All Blacks will be defending the Cup against 19 other teams, who will collectively attract 440,000 international visitors and more than 2.2 million locals to matches in 11 English and Welsh cities. 

GoEuro says the event will be the biggest generator of transport tourism in the UK since the 2012 London Olympics.

London will be the biggest winner over all, with 17 matches earning the city nearly £200 million from spending on inner-city transport, accommodation, food and beverages. Transportation alone will generate £15.5 million in extra income from visiting spectators.

For the tourism industry as a whole, the Cup is expected to generate a whopping £957 million. This based on research for transport, accommodation and miscellaneous costs but does not include tickets into account.

Qantas splurges on Dreamliners
Qantas is replacing its Boeing 747 jumbos for a fleet of eight new 787-9 Dreamliners after its $A1.6 billion profit turnaround this week. Cheaper fuel, staff and overhead cutbacks, route changes and changes resulted in a turnaround from a loss of $A2.8 billion last year to a net profit in the June year of $A557 million.

Qantas’ earlier orders for Dreamliners all went to Jetstar but these new ones are for Qantas’ international routes and will be delivered 2017. Qantas will also retain options to acquire a further 15 aircraft and purchase rights on 30 more.

Emirates returns to Baghdad
Passenger flights from Dubai to the Iraqi capital will be restored in September, months after they were suspended over safety concerns. Emirates will operate four weekly flights using an A330-200 aircraft starting from September 17.

"After conducting an exhaustive safety and security review, we have decided to restart services between Dubai and Baghdad," says Emirates vice-president Sheikh Majid al-Mualla.

In January, Emirates was among several carriers to suspend flights to Baghdad after a bullet hit the fuselage of a Flydubai airlcraft. Other airlines to have since resumed the flights including Turkish Airlines and Lebanon's Middle East Airlines.

Ireland cancels heritage certificate
While Ireland has been successful in tapping its 70-million-strong diaspora for a boom in its tourism industry, a scheme to prove their ancestry for up to €120 has failed, The Certificate of Irish Heritage will now only be handed out to selected famous figures with an Irish background.

The scheme was introduced in 2011 as an "expression of the importance the government attaches to recognising people of Irish descent." But at a base price of €45 and €120 for a framed copy, just 3000 were sold. Recipients of a free one have included US Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and actor Tom Cruise.

Qatar, Morocco in codeshare deal
Qatar Airways and Royal Air Maroc have launched of new codeshare routes on the Moroccan airline’s extensive West African network. Passengers travelling to Casablanca from Doha on Qatar will now be able to connect on to Cotonou (Benin), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Praia (Cape Verde), Brazzaville and Pointe Noire (Republic of Congo), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Libreville (Gabon), Banjul (Gambia), Conakry (Guinea), Bissau (Guinea Bissau), Monrovia (Liberia), Bamako (Mali), Niamey (Niger), Lagos (Nigeria), Nouakchott (Mauritania), Freetown (Sierra Leone) and Lomé (Togo). Royal Air Maroc will start operating three weekly flights with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Doha on September 9, complementing Qatar’s existing daily flights to Casablanca, which also use a Dreamliner.

Route news of the week
British Airways will resume a service from London Gatwick to Lima, Peru, on May 4, 2016. The three-class Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. will operate three times a week. Norwegian is launching services to Boston from Copenhagen, Oslo and London Gatwick. Nepal Airlines plans to resume service on Kathmandu-Mumbai route, after a six and a half year years hiatus, from September 2. It plans to operate three weekly flights, using Airbus A320 aircraft. Nepal is also is adding a new route between Kathmandu and Bangalore from September 2. This three times a week service will be operated by Boeing 757 aircraft.

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