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Etihad boost for Manchester

160 jobs at new European contact centre

Written by . Published on March 25th 2011.


Etihad boost for Manchester

ETIHAD Airways is creating 160 new jobs at Manchester Airport by basing its new European contact centre there.

It’s a major boost for the Airport, which fought off continent-wide rivals to intensify its relationship with the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, whose other contact centres are in Abu Dhabi, India and Australia.

It follows Etihad’s decision to double its daily service from Manchester to its Abu Dhabi hub, further opening up a host of direct routes from there to the Far East and Australia.

The contact centre coup, which seems bound to sow the seeds for further expansion, is a triumph for the combined efforts of Manchester Airports Group and Manchester Investment and Development Agency (MIDAS), under the guidance of Sir Howard Bernstein, City Council Chief Executive.

Bernstein and Council leader Sir Richard Leese were at the launch to hear Etihad Chief Operating Officer, James Hogan praised Manchester’s position as a “centre of excellence” and their confidence in the management of the Airport as key factors that clinched the deal.

Hogan said: “We looked closely at a range of potential locations in the UK and Europe and undertook extensive research to find the location that offered us a population base with the right mix of language and skill sets, as well as a high quality of telecommunications infrastructure.
 
“Manchester offered everything we needed, and had the added attraction of having strong well-established business links with Abu Dhabi – a relationship we look like developing further.”

He calculated there would be a minimum of 12 languages available among the 160-strong workforce when the centre comes on stream on the Airport campus in 2012. Etihad call centres handle around 2.5 million calls each year.

A beaming Sir Richard Leese, no stranger to bad jobs news in recent months, commented: “It’s good news for all the right reasons, being taken for hard-nosed commercial reasons. We can compete with anyone on skill grounds. It’s a benchmark for what we can do.”


MEANWHILE, 35 jobs have been created following Emirates Airline‘s introduction of a third daily service at Manchester Airport. The positions will be available both at the airport and at the airline’s European call centre in Wilmslow. Once filled, the jobs will take the total number of Emirates employees in the region to more than 400.
Emirates will operate a third daily service to Dubai starting on 1 May, offering flights morning, noon and night for Manchester travellers. The new service will depart 9.40am each day.

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