Skyscanner's Chinese owner bringing 200 jobs to Edinburgh

By Bo Leung in London | | Updated: 2017-09-15 00:08

China's biggest online travel company, Ctrip, which recently bought the Scottish travel search site Skyscanner, will open a customer service call center in Edinburgh.

The center will employ 200 people and recruitment will begin toward the end of the year.

Ctrip is China's largest and the world's second-largest online travel agency. The company bought Skyscanner for 1.4 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) in December.

The call center will operate independently from the travel search engine and the company said it "aims to provide a high-level customer service experience across time zones and languages".

The Shanghai-based travel agency has been expanding its travel services for several years for both outbound Chinese travelers and international passengers.

"Ctrip's leadership team has visited Edinburgh several times since the acquisition of Skyscanner at the end of last year," said Coley Dale, Ctrip director. "It is clear to us that there is considerable talent in Scotland and the city makes an ideal base for Ctrip to open a dedicated call center."

The call center will be located in central Edinburgh and is set to open in the first two months of 2018.

Dale added: "While Chinese travelers continue to be the focus for Ctrip, we're step-by-step investing in our services across the world. We're excited to be building roots here in Edinburgh and will be recruiting at scale to our new office."

Ctrip said successful candidates will undergo up to three months of training. A number of the Edinburgh call center employees will also visit the Chinese company's Shanghai headquarters.

According to media reports, the company is receiving financial support from Scottish Development International, a government-backed agency that focuses on incentivizing international businesses to invest in the country.

Paul Lewis, managing director of Scottish Development International, said he is delighted that Ctrip has chosen the Scottish capital for such an important call center.

"The company joins many international investors which recognize the strength of our skills base, competitive business environment and effective support network," Lewis said. "We look forward to working with Ctrip to help deliver this significant investment and new jobs for Scotland."

Founded in 1999, Ctrip is now one of China's best-known travel businesses, providing accommodation reservations, ticketing, and package tours, as well as corporate travel management.

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