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Ireland in bid for Etihad call centre

ABU-DHABI'S national airline Etihad is considering opening a European call centre in Ireland, potentially creating more than 100 jobs.

Speaking in Dublin yesterday, Etihad chief executive James Hogan confirmed Ireland was among the countries seeking the call centre contract. Etihad is also opening a luxurious passenger lounge in Dublin Airport's T2, and is hoping to add an extra four weekly Irish flights "over the next couple of years".

Best known for its sponsorship of GAA events, Etihad has been flying through Dublin for three-and-a-half years, building its schedule to 10 weekly Abu Dhabi rotations.

The six-year-old airline is hoping to break-even globally for the first time "next year", but Mr Hogan said the Irish base "washed its face" and became profitable a year ago.

Dublin passenger numbers this year are expected to come in at about 150,000, against the 300,000 passengers carried over the last three and a half years.

Mr Hogan said T2 should help the airport attract more airlines which would lower airport charges for all users.

Irish Independent