08 Jan 2014 13:30
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today hosted a special visit by the Prime Minister of Ireland, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, at its Abu Dhabi headquarters.
Mr Kenny, in the Arabian Gulf region as part of an Enterprise Ireland
trade and investment mission to promote greater commercial ties with Ireland, was
met by James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, and
members of the airline’s senior management, which includes several Irish
The Irish Trade Mission, led by Mr Kenny, included H.E. Patrick
Hennessy, Irish Ambassador to UAE; Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive Officer of
Enterprise Ireland; and Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive Officer of Tourism
Mr Kenny met Irish members of the Etihad Airways workforce during the
visit. The airline currently employs 176 Irish nationals, including 115 members
of staff based in Abu Dhabi and a team of 34 in Dublin.
James Hogan said: “Etihad Airways is proud to have formed strong
commercial and cultural ties with Ireland
which has been built upon further by today’s visit by An Taoiseach and the
Irish Trade Mission to our Abu Dhabi
“These ties are supported by our ten flights a week between Abu Dhabi and Dublin,
the strong Irish contingent in our workforce, as well as our equity and
codeshare partnership with Aer Lingus, and our sponsorship of the GAA Hurling
All Ireland Senior Championship.”
Speaking at the
event, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: ‘I am delighted to be here today at the
Etihad Airways headquarters in Abu
Dhabi. This gives me a very welcome opportunity to
publicly acknowledge the strong commercial and cultural ties that Etihad
has developed with Ireland.
“This is something we
greatly value and I am confident that we will see this relationship develop
further over the coming years to our mutual benefit. I am also delighted to
meet with the many Irish supplier companies here today who are successfully
supplying products and services to Etihad. It is strong evidence of the
opportunities in this market for ambitious and innovative Irish companies.”
Mr Kenny also presented Mr Hogan with a certificate of Irish
descendancy, which traces his Irish family lineage back to the 1800s.
In parallel with the meeting between Mr Kenny and Mr Hogan, a workshop
took place at the Etihad
representatives from Irish aviation companies and suppliers and their
counterparts in Etihad Airways.
These companies included Botany Weaving Mill, Intuition, Cut-e, Miagen,
College Ireland Aviation Services (CIAS), Fexco, Monex, Mobile Travel
Technologies, Vibe Training, Solgari, Eirtech Aviation.
Etihad Airways has a number of key investments in Ireland including a
line maintenance facility and premium lounge at Dublin Airport, as well as
cultural partnerships with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) hurling and
The Gathering Ireland 2013.
In 2013 Etihad Airways carried more than 240,000 passengers on its Dublin flights, an increase of 8 per cent on the
total carried in 2012. The airline also carried its one millionth passenger on
the Dublin route in 2013.
Recognising the importance of the Abu
Dhabi – Dublin
route, Etihad Airways has adapted its flight network to ensure strong
connectivity with destinations popular with Ireland,
which include Australia, India, Thailand
and the Philippines.