ABU Dhabi-based airline Etihad has recorded its strongest-ever forward bookings for its service from Ireland -- even as rival Emirates gears up to compete with it in January.
Etihad's head of HR, Ray Gammell, said the airline competes with Dubai-based Emirates "all over the world" and said he believed Etihad's presence here over the past four years has embedded the brand in Ireland, particularly via its GAA sponsorship.
Mr Gammell was speaking as Etihad holds an open recruitment day in Dublin today. The airline will hold further recruitment days in Cork and Belfast early next year and reckons it could hire as many as 200 staff as a result. It's seeking to fill vacancies for pilots, cabin crew and management roles
Most of the positions will be based in Abu Dhabi and the airline already employs 90 people in Dublin, in ground crew and line maintenance. Etihad flies 10 times a week between Dublin and Abu Dhabi.
It expects between 65pc and 75pc of its passengers to be transiting onwards to Asia and Australia. About 70pc of Etihad's traffic from Dublin is transiting to those destinations. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are just an hour's drive apart.
Story taken from independent.ie