Business News

60 seconds with: Enda Corneille

By Business & Finance
01 June 2017

Enda Corneille, Country Manager for Emirates in Ireland, takes the Business & Finance 60-second interview

Q. What was your first job?

Working as a trainee accountant for the late Hugh Cooney – who at that time was one of the country’s foremost liquidators and went on to be Chairman of Enterprise Ireland. One of my first assignments was working on the receivership of a major mushroom processing company in Gorey, Co Wexford. Long days in the onsite office followed by long evenings studying for my accountancy exams brought me to the realisation that perhaps my talents lay elsewhere. After over 30 years in aviation I can now safely say that maybe accountancy wasn’t for me.

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

Despite what anyone says, air transportation is still very much a people-driven business, and growing Emirates’ passenger numbers and revenues from Ireland by over 40% year-on-year, over three years, has been a huge achievement not just for me, but for our entire team.

When we doubled our capacity to 14 flights per week in August 2014, we knew that we needed to take a different sales approach. We increased our sales presence around the country and personalised our selling, which meant spending quality time with customers and travel partners up and down the country. This very Irish ‘human touch’ has brought a new dimension to our selling proposition and has helped to keep Emirates top of mind with our customers. The resultant growth of the business is a testament to this.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Listen, listen and listen a little more! It’s amazing what we can all can learn about each other when we stop talking.

Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for a day, who would it be and why?

I have been fortunate to have worked closely with some great business people but the one person, whose shoes I would like to fill for a day would have to be Sir Alan Sugar.

He has always shown tremendous vision throughout his career but still understands and respects hard work. Most importantly, despite his huge success, he still hasn’t lost that hunger for the next challenge. His one-liners on The Apprentice aren’t too bad either.

Q. In three words or less, how would you define success?

Next target please.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

I believe that it is really important to set out a clear vison and ensure everyone understands what is expected of them from the outset. After that it’s all about ensuring open lines of communication and creating an environment where everyone can succeed.

Openly recognizing and celebrating success, whilst ensuring we learn from the challenges, really helps in keeping the whole team motivated.

Q. How do you relax?

Bad golf, good wine, great friends.

Q. What’s your motto?

‘Why not?’

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of the operation in Ireland?

I really want to continue to grow the business and to position the Irish route as one of Emirates’ most successful operations in Europe. We will achieve this by consistently showcasing the accessibility of Emirates as an airline that is for everyone, and that whilst you can enjoy amazing entertainment, more leg room, and great food – that it’s affordable to all.

With more than 30 years experience in aviation, Enda Corneille was appointed Country Manger (Ireland) for Emirates in 2014. With a team of more than 30 staff located at Dublin Airport and selected regions around the country, Enda oversees and manages all operations for the Dubai-based carrier, in the Irish market. Emirates flies twice daily from Dublin to Dubai and onwards to more than 150 destinations, connecting customers from Ireland with fantastic destinations such as Australia, New Zealand, Asia and South Africa.