Excel launches airline in Ireland

25th May 2006

Excel Airways is forming a wholly owned subsidiary in Ireland with immediate effect.  The subsidiary, which will represent the airline under the Excel brand, will base its headquarters in Dublin.The new operation is being headed up by Bill Smith, Managing Director
and Carol Anne O’Neill, Commercial Director.

Both have worked for
many years in the travel industry in Ireland. Bill Smith was one of
the founding members of Falcon Holidays in Ireland and became
managing director and CEO for Falcon/JWT. Carol Anne O’Neill has an
extensive background in the travel business in Ireland and was the
former Operations Director for Falcon/JWT in Ireland.
The company will provide short, medium and long haul charter services
for Irish tour operators and travel retailers commencing in the
May-October 2007 holiday season.  Target routes from Ireland will
include Florida,  Mainland Spain,  the Balearics,  Canary Islands,
Portugal,  Greece,  Bulgaria,  Turkey,  Cyprus and Egypt.  It   is
anticipated that at least two new routes will be introduced in the
mid and long haul market. In the first year of operation, the company
expects to carry in excess of 65,000 passengers.
Excel Airways has grown rapidly over the last six years, operating a
core fleet of 17 aircraft with additional aircraft on lease during
the peak Summer season. The airline flies to over 50 destinations in
Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America from 12 UK airports.
Excel Airways Group was listed on the UK Stock Exchange prior to
being acquired by Avion Group in 2004,  an Icelandic investment
company focused on global air, land and sea transportation worldwide.
In 2005, Avion Group acquired Travel City Holdings and with Excel
Airways Group, forms a significant part of Avion’s Travel and Leisure Division.

Commenting on the formation of the Irish Operation, Bill Smith said:

“We believe that the arrival of Excel Airways is excellent news for tour operators and travel agents in Ireland. The Irish public are taking more holidays than ever before and with Ryanair and Aer Lingus no longer providing a charter service, we believe that the arrival of Excel Airways will fill an important gap in the market.

We intend to offer real variety to tour operators and provide further opportunities to generate extra revenues for travel retailers.”


Magnus Thorsteinsson, Executive Chairman of Avion Group added:

“I am delighted to announce our entry into Ireland, one of Europe’s
most successful economies representing a lucrative and attractive
market for Excel Airways.  It is very pleasing that our senior
management is in place in Ireland and with their strong background in
the travel industry,  will be particularly welcomed by the tour
operators and independent retailers in Ireland.
Naturally, it is our intention to offer real variety and greater choice for the general public.”


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