The launch of Etihad Airways’ new flights from Abu Dhabi to Dublin will play a significant role in the enhancement of trade ties between the UAE and Ireland. Annual trade figures between the two countries for 2006 stood at more than US$ 343 million (AED 1.25 billion), an increase of nearly 40 per cent from the previous year. The predictions are that this figure could double further for 2007.
Business opportunities between the UAE and Ireland will receive this further boost from 2 July when Etihad begins flying to the Irish capital from Abu Dhabi, offering a total passenger capacity of 1,600 seats every week.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said:
‘There is enormous demand for this new Etihad frequent service between these two rapidly expanding economies. Trade ties have increased considerably during the last decade and Etihad looks forward to supporting further growth when our flights start soon.’
The UAE now enjoys the status of being Ireland’s second biggest market in the Gulf region, and the UAE’s long-established Irish community continues to grow, currently standing at nearly 3,000.
The importance of UAE-Ireland trade ties, as well as Etihad’s new four flights-per-week service to Dublin, was highlighted earlier this year during an Irish trade visit led by the country’s Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.
The UAE’s exports to Ireland increased by 38 per cent in 2006 and included a 44 per cent rise in manufactured metals and 22 per cent increase in electrical machinery.
Among the many commodities imported by the UAE from Ireland are pharmaceuticals, which increased by more than 200 per cent last year, as well as computers and telecommunications equipment.
As well as building on UAE-Ireland trade ties, the new Etihad service will provide Irish business travellers with access to the airline’s many destinations in the Indian subcontinent, Far East and Australia.
Etihad will operate a three cabin Airbus A330-200 aircraft between Abu Dhabi and Dublin configured to carry 200 passengers, with 10 in diamond zone (first class), 26 in pearl zone (business) and 164 in coral zone (economy).
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