Travel Weekly's Ireland E-letter: Dec. 9, 2004

AA TO IRELAND: American Airlines confirmed industry rumors that it will launch its first services between the U.S. and Ireland since 1945 next spring. The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier said will fly Boeing 767s between Chicago (O'Hare) and Dublin and Boeing 757s between Boston and Shannon as of May 1. Flights will be daily on both routes in the peak summer season and five times per week the rest of the year.  Although it hasn't flown to Ireland in nearly 60 years, American has operated a 200-person European reservations office out of Dublin since 1996. For more information, visit www.aa.com.

EIRE SERVICE: Meanwhile, intra-Ireland travelers will have a quicker way to get to opposite ends of the Emerald Isle, thanks to new daily nonstop flights between Cork and Belfast via low-cost airline Jet2.com set to take off March 23. Air fares between Northern Irish capital and Cork -- the European Union capital of culture in 2005 -- start from just $25 each way. Flights will depart Belfast each day at 7 a.m., arriving at Cork at 8 a.m.; return service leaves Cork at 8:30 a.m., arriving back in Belfast at 9:30 a.m. For more, visit www.jet2.com.

NEW DIGS: CIE Tours International moved its North American headquarters to Morristown, N.J. The new mailing address is CIE Tours International, 10 Park Place, Suite 510, Box 1965, Morristown, NJ 07962. However, telephone numbers and all other contact information remain unchanged: telephone number, (800) CIE-TOUR (or 243-8687); local telephone number, (973) 292-3899; local fax, (973) 292-0463; national fax, (800) 338-3964; group reservations, (800) 223-6508; Internet site, www.cietours.com;  and e-mail, [email protected].

HEIR APPARENT: Longtime Sceptre Tours president Bert Accomando handed over the reins of power to son and new president Chris Accomando. In other news, as of Nov. 30 Sceptre guarantees the lowest net air rates available from most major airlines on all GDSs when booked with Sceptre land product as part of both Web and call center bookings. Also, car rentals booked by Jan. 31 get a free upgrade. And agents who book any package worth more than $750 by Dec. 31 get $25 in "Sceptre Cash" credits. Lastly, the firm is waiving its $25 per person "concierge fee" that previously applied to all bookings. Call (800) 221-0924 or visit www.sceptretours.com.

TOUR-RIFIC: Brian Moore International Tours knocked $260 per couple off its six-night Irish Spree tour, now priced from $699, when booked by Dec. 31 for select departures. Tours depart March 7, 13 and 27; April 10 and 24; May 8; June 5; July 10; Sept. 4; Oct. 2; and Nov. 6. Prices include first-class hotel accommodation; full Irish breakfast daily; three dinners, including a medieval banquet; sightseeing and tours. For more information, call BMIT -- which pays commission of 10% and up -- at (800) 982-2299, or visit www.bmit.com.

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