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Emirates Ready For Dublin

Dublin to Dubai

Dublin to Dubai

With less than one month to go to Emirates’ inaugural flight from Dublin to Dubai, senior executives from the award-winning airline arrived in the Irish capital today, to meet the media and host a gala dinner for around 800 guests at the Convention Centre Dublin.

Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ Executive Vice President, Passenger Sales Worldwide, stated at today’s breakfast media gathering that Emirates had made a considerable investment in the Irish market and was confident of the success of the new route, following unprecedented bookings for the first weeks of service.

“We can see unusually high demand for the first two weeks after launch,” said Mr Antinori. “This is an excellent response from the Irish market and we have not witnessed this level of bookings nor such strong interest in a new route, for many years.  This gives us huge confidence in Ireland and the figures support the commercial research that precedes any decision we take to launch a new service.”

From 9th January, daily flights will connect Dublin to Dubai, the airline’s intercontinental hub. The new route will be served by an Airbus A330-200 with a combination of Irish and multinational cabin crew on hand throughout the three cabin classes.

EK0162 will leave Dublin at 12.55h arriving in Dubai at 00.25hrs the next day. The return flight, EK0161, leaves Dubai at 07.00hrs arriving in Dublin Terminal 2 at 11.30hrs, accommodating up to 237 passengers.

By January, passengers will be able to conveniently connect from Dubai to more than 100 onward destinations across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australasia. Emirates has 70 flights per week to the key Ireland market of Australia, including an A380 service to Sydney. The airline is also the largest A380 operator in the world with 19 double-deckers in the fleet and 71 on order.

“We are in the process of establishing our new office in Dublin, employing 25 staff on the ground in Ireland in the areas of management, sales, cargo and airport services,” said Mr Antinori. “Emirates has demonstrated just how committed it is to the new Dublin – Dubai service, supported by a high-profile national marketing and advertising campaign, which extends around our route network,” Mr Antinori added.

Dubai has become a popular holiday destination for travellers from Ireland in search of a year-round sun holiday and outstanding levels of service. In the four years to 2010, Irish nationals made almost 170,000 visits to Dubai hotels, according to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). Amongst that figure will be those who travelled via the UK to join the Emirates’ network.

“Dublin has always been on our radar and there are already strong levels of trade and tourism activity between Ireland and the UAE, not to mention the important equine affiliations,” said Mr Antinori. “Equally, Emiratis like to travel to Europe, particularly during the hot UAE summer and, with its rich cultural heritage and reputation for hospitality, we think that Emirates will have a role to play in encouraging inward tourism to Ireland. We are taking this opportunity to come into the market at an interesting time, offering real value, an award-winning service and access to new markets through our state-of-the-art hub in Dubai, added Mr Antinori.”

The direct daily service will open new business opportunities for trade and commercial relations between the two countries and Ireland’s direct export capacity will be expanded with 15 tonnes of bellyhold space on each Emirates’ passenger flight, leaving the capital city. Emirates SkyCargo, the air freight division of Emirates, is already active in Ireland and will have a dedicated team in Dublin supporting the new route.

Exports trade is expected to flourish as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the fastest growing markets for Irish companies in the Gulf region, with sales by indigenous Irish companies1 growing by 23% in 2010 to €58.5m, according to Enterprise Ireland.  An estimated 5,000 Irish nationals live in the UAE.

Tonight’s high-profile event in Dublin will see representatives from the world of business, sport, music and the arts celebrate alongside government and state guests, as well as guests from the travel, tourism and aviation industries.  The evening includes an introduction to Emirates – its products, services and the carrier’s home city of Dubai.

More than 250 Irish staff are employed across the Emirates Group in areas such as cabin crew, flight deck crew, sales and cargo.  Recently, nearly 500 candidates showed up across four separate cabin crew recruitment days held recently in Dublin, Limerick, Galway and Cork.  Successful cabin crew applicants will be brought to Dubai for 7 weeks of training.

The new Emirates’ team for Ireland will be headed up by country manager, Margaret Shannon.

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