IDA Ireland staff clocked up bills of almost €640,000 in airline tickets last year as they secured 197 new investments from 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 data was released under the Freedom of Information Act.
The biggest winner in the IDA’s globetrotting was Aer Lingus, which received €275,311 in payment for airline tickets. Ryanair received a paltry €4,698 in business from the State agency.
The tickets are not booked directly by the IDA but through an unnamed travel agent that obtained the public tender to act as the IDA’s travel agent.
The figures show that the highest amount in travel expenses incurred by an IDA staff member was €28,000. Another colleague incurred €24,000 in travel expenses.
The IDA travel costs are partly incurred through operating a network of offices in Paris, London, Frankfurt, Moscow, New York, Atlanta, Boston, Austin, Chicago, and Mountainview and Irvine in California, along with offices in Sao Paula, Sydney, Shanghai, Shenzen, Beijing, Seoul, Mumbai, Singapore, Bangalore, and Tokyo.
Underlining the global spread of the IDA’s business last year, other airlines used by the agency included: n British Airways — €50,863 total payments; nLufthansa — €38,577; nEmirates — €34,913; nDelta Airlines — €31,279; nUnited Airlines — €24,177; nEtihad Airways — €17,661; nKLM Royal Dutch Airlines — €17,178; nAir France — €14,674; nVirgin Atlantic — €11,329; nChina Eastern — €7,051; nVirgin Blue Australia — €5,433 nAmerican Airlines — €5,190.
Ryanair was one of 35 airlines to receive payments of less than €5,000 from the IDA for airlines tickets.
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