Etihad Airways has announced six weekly flights from Dublin to Perth, Australia starting in July 2014. The new service will be a boon to the thousands of Irish emigrants living in western Australia.

The airline already flies 10 times a week to Sydney, four weekly to Brisbane and six times weekly to Melbourne.

Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said the flights to Perth would bring new airline competition to the popular route.

"Our analysis shows there is a significant business opportunity on the Ireland to Perth route, with visitor arrivals averaging an annual growth rate of more than 27% over the past three years," he said.

"We also expect the new service will appeal strongly to Western Australians who wish to visit Ireland, and we will work with the excellent team at Tourism Ireland to develop this opportunity."

“Our flights from Dublin to Perth will offer Irish travellers an unprecedented choice of travel options with the convenience of seamless connections in Abu Dhabi,” he said, noting that approximately 32 percent of all Irish visitors are choosing Perth as their gateway to Australia.

Recent reports show that a record number of Irish have been emigrating to Australia. Irish emigrants have been grabbing up the additional work visas being made available by the Australian government. During the first six months of 2011 alone over 21,500 Irish nationals got working visas for Australia.