Etihad Airways has boosted its presence in Manchester with the launch of double-daily services to the city and the opening of a new maintenance facility. The Manchester maintenance facility becomes airline’s sixth outside Abu Dhabi, following Mumbai, Dublin, Lahore, London and Sydney. The development has created seven new jobs for local workers – four aircraft engineers and three aircraft mechanics. Services to be undertaken in Manchester include transit, daily and weekly checks, scheduled engineering services and fault repairs for the aircraft systems and cabins.
The airline’s vice president for maintenance, Manchester-born Jeff Wilkinson, said; “We are delighted to open this line maintenance facility here in Manchester, especially on the day when we’ve started our double-daily services to Abu Dhabi. Our investment in Manchester illustrates the remarkable growth of the airline, our ambition to bring key services in-house in markets we operate to, and also to recruit locally.
“Over the coming months, Etihad will seek approval to enable this new facility to offer maintenance services to other airlines with the same aircraft types as Etihad Airways. We will continue to work with Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies, in the United Arab Emirates, for more extensive maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for our fleet of aircraft,” Wilkinson added.
Andrew Harrison, Manchester Airport’s managing director, said; “We are proud to welcome this new facility on the day that Etihad has doubled the frequency of its service. These initiatives reflect Etihad’s consistent commitment to the north of England, which will enable individual travellers and local businesses to use Manchester as a convenient hub to travel throughout the world. Etihad is a hugely important player in our long-haul network and we welcome its new staff to Manchester Airport.”
In November 2010, the Etihad, which sponsors Manchester City FC, opened its First and Business Class lounge at Manchester Airport.