Melanie will be responsible for raising the profile of Etihad throughout the region, cultivating and managing relationships with key stakeholders including agents, airports, suppliers, guests and government organisations.

The appointment reflects the airline’s ongoing expansion and multiple significant developments in Manchester. Highlights of Etihad’s commitment to the area include the signing of a 10-year sponsorship deal with Manchester City Football Club, the launch of a new aircraft maintenance centre, the doubling of daily flights from the city and the construction of a new contact centre at Manchester airport for 2012.

Melanie’s previous roles include number of high-profile airline positions in the North with bmi British Midland International and SAS Scandinavian Airlines.

At bmi Melanie worked across Manchester, London and Paris, playing an instrumental role within the management team which opened bmi’s Manchester base and implemented the carrier’s long-haul product in 2000.

As key account manager for the Northwest and West of England at SAS Melanie launched services from Bristol and developed the airline’s expert online business tuition for the agency community. Also particularly active in new business development for the SME community, Melanie developed a string business links in the Northwest.

Clive Wratten, Etihad’s UK country manager for the UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted to welcome Melanie to the team. As the world’s fastest growing commercial airline we are committed to harvesting new talent, particularly those from the local community.

“We were very impressed by her outstanding experience in the region’s travel industry and are confident that she will continue to excel in this new position. Melanie is sure to play a critical role in Etihad’s extraordinary growth and success in Manchester and throughout the North.”