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IDA clocks up air spend of €639,000

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Martin Shanahan, CEO of the IDA

Martin Shanahan, CEO of the IDA

Martin Shanahan, CEO of the IDA

IDA staff clocked up bills of over €630,000 in airline tickets last year as they secured the 197 new investments from foreign investors across the world.

New figures show that the IDA high-fliers paid out €639,000 on airline tickets - down on the €672,000 paid out in 2013.

The figures - released in response to a Freedom of Information request - show that the biggest winner in the IDA's globe-trotting was Aer Lingus, which received €275,311 in payment for airline tickets.

However, Ireland's other airline, Ryanair, received only a paltry €4,698 in business from the state agency.

Given where the IDA does business, it is not surprising that it spent 59 times more on Aer Lingus and its long haul connections than Ryanair.

The tickets are not booked directly by the IDA, but through an unnamed travel agent that obtained the tender to act as the IDA's travel agent.

The figures show that the highest amount in travel expense incurred by an IDA staff member was €28,000, followed by a colleague incurring €24,000 in travel expenses.

Underlining the global spread of the IDA's business, other airlines it used include British Airways Lufthansa, Emirates and the likes of Alaska Air, Korean Air, Tiger Airlines and Jetstar Asia Airways.

Irish Independent