“The 21st anniversary of the Irish Travel Trade Awards was a good opportunity for us to put Emirates up there and keep the airline’s profile high – and the event proved to be a great night,” said Margaret Shannon, Country Manager – Ireland for Emirates, the event’s Headline Sponsor. The Emirates-themed table settings included a Parker pen and Butlers chocolates ‘for everyone in the audience’.
Interviewed by Don Harris of TalkBack, Margaret said of Emirates’ sponsorship of the Irish Travel Trade Awards: “I have been in the travel business for 35 years and the trade has always enjoyed this event – it is one of the highlights of the year. It is a happy coincidence that this is Emirates’ first year in Ireland and the Irish Travel Trade Awards’ 21st year and it is nice to engage with them. The Awards bring excitement and glamour, a chance to dress up and network, and are a great occasion.
“I want to congratulate Ronan, Michael, Neil and Ian – they do a fantastic job, they really do. The ITTN team has given good service to the industry by keeping the industry informed in a very professional manner. The website, eBulletins and e-Newsletters are moving forward online – all these things are important and, from the travel agents’ perspective, they keep everybody informed.
Emirates’ First Year
“Emirates has had an astonishing year of progress since we launched our Dublin – Dubai flights on 9th January 2012. The flights have been well supported by the Irish public, our load factors have been good, and we carried in excess of 220,000 passengers up to the end of November 2012.
“Increased capacity has resulted from our bringing on stream Boeing 777 aircraft that arrived on 1st May, two months earlier than planned because of exceptional demand for seats for the superior product. The Irish public love top quality and exceptional service – for example, Emirates’ award-winning ‘ice’ onboard entertainment system is what people want.
“Our daily flight departs at 12.55 and arrives in Dubai, Emirates’ hub, just after midnight local time. From Dubai there are 120 onward connections, including five destinations in Australia and New Zealand. We are also about to open a new route from Dubai into Phuket – starting on 10th December 2012. India is also a strong market and there is a lot of traffic flow into Africa.
“Discussions are also underway with Qantas with a view to a partnership, or ‘marriage’ if you like, that will provide great synergies. If these plans are completed then Qantas will move its Asian hub to Dubai.”