Olé, olé olé olé! Like the rest of us, football fans are still battling with short nights and wet weather, but a sense of summer is already in the air as more travel packages for Euro 2016 were announced yesterday.
Killester Travel, which specialises in packages for sports events, unveiled some of its offers for the three matches in June when Martin O’Neill’s men take on Sweden, Belgium, and Italy.
It follows the likes of Abbey Travel, Marathon Sports, Club Travel, and Stein Travel in presenting its deals for next summer.
Almost as soon as the Boys in Green navigated the two-legged play-off with Bosnia and Herzogovina, talk had turned to camper vans and ferry ports as fans plotted a summer campaign in the fields of France.
Taking a more conventional route, however, could see a fan pay out a little more than €400 for a day return to any of the three games — minus the all-important match tickets which are sold through Uefa.
The Killester Travel packages include day return for the first match against Sweden on June 13 at the Stade de France in Paris for €380 plus €65 tax.
It’s a little more expensive for the next match against group favourites Belgium in the same venue on June 18, at €399 plus €65 tax day return.
The final match against Italy on June 22 at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille costs €350 and €65 tax.
Supporters will be hoping the Irish team are still in contention for the next round at that stage in the expanded 24 team tournament, with a third-place finish possibly enough to get into the next round.
A spokesman for Killester Travel said it had been fielding numerous queries regarding deals for the Euros but applications for match tickets via Uefa do not close until January 18, meaning interest is likely to spike after that date.
As for a different, but similarly, frenzied event, the Cheltenham Racing Festival in March is another key date on the sporting calendar, and Aer Lingus announced it is laying on an additional 700 seats on its Dublin to Birmingham route and another 700 seats on its Cork to Bristol route to facilitate race-goers.
The festival is typically deluged by Irish horse racing buffs and gets under way on March 15.
Martin Saxton, chief commercial officer of Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, said: “The increased passenger capacity is a direct response to the strong demand for racing enthusiasts. The extra seats will therefore provide greater choice and flexibility for our passengers looking to cheer on their favourite horses.”
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