Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad Airways has announced plans to expand its presence in Ireland under a new codeshare agreement with Irish airline Aer Arann. The deal will see Ethiad Airways place its 'EY' code on Aer Arann's flights between Dublin and Cork, Galway and the Isle of Man. Aer Arann passengers will now also be offered access to Etihad's network of flights to nearly 50 destinations in Africa, Australia, the Middle East, North America and other regions, via Dublin. Chief executive of Etihad, James Hogan, said the airline had developed a 'strong affinity' with Ireland, with Dublin becoming one of the most popular destinations for its customers. Mr Hogan added: 'There is great demand amongst our customers to travel beyond the Irish capital, which this new codeshare agreement now allows. ' Aer Arann's chief executive, Paul Schutz, said: 'The importance of regional access within Ireland to major international routes cannot be overstated and this codeshare agreement is a very significant addition to the infrastructure supporting business and the economy in the Irish regions. ' Etihad Airways now has codeshare agreements with eleven airlines, including bmi, Brussels Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.