Etihad Airways has expanded its UK footprint, opening a new contact centre in Manchester, creating 160 jobs.
The decision was welcomed by United Kingdom trade and investment minister Lord Green.
He said: “I am delighted Etihad Airways has chosen Manchester for its first contact centre in Europe and I wish them every success with their investment.
“Etihad has chosen Manchester for its international connections, its strong telecommunications and ICT infrastructure as well as its supply of language talent.”
There are more than 5,000 contact centres in the UK, employing nearly one million people.
In the past three years, more than 150 international companies have established or expanded contact centre operations in the UK.
Etihad chief executive officer, James Hogan, said: “Our contact centres handle around 2.5 million calls each year, and we expect more than half of these calls to originate from non-Arabic speaking markets by 2012.
“As our network continues to grow, it is increasingly important for us to provide high quality, multilingual assistance for customers who choose to book directly with the airline.”
The Manchester contact centre will operate alongside Etihad’s contact centres in Abu Dhabi, India and Australia, and is expected to be operational by 2012.