dnata, the Emirates Group’s aviation and travel services subsidiary , saw a rise in passengers, flights and cargo as the unit’s UAE operations continued to expand during 2016. It witnessed significant growth in aircraft handling and passenger movement. It handled more than 91.3 million passengers and 97.8 million bags and saw 431,978 aircraft movements at the Dubai International (DXB) and Al Maktoum International airports, recording more than 16 percent increase in the number of passengers using the airports, dnata says in a press release.
The company also registered a 4 percent increase in the number of flights compared to 2015. Doha was the most popular destination from Dubai, with over 2.99 million passengers travelling from the emirate along with 3.2 million bags.
It added that on its busiest day in 2016 – December 23 – the company was supported by 18,529 staff members who handled 281,388 passengers and 329,341 bags, and one aircraft movement every 73 seconds.
Most profitable year
Last year was also dnata’s most profitable year as it saw revenue increase by 13 percent to reach US$777 million.
“It has been a challenging year, but our team has demonstrated unwavering commitment to deliver the highest standards to our customers,” said Steve Allen, DSVP, dnata Airport Operations. “The year 2017 will require us to be even more tactile and responsive to the needs of the market, and to stay on top of our game to ensure a robust year ahead.”
Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC) also saw a spike in passenger numbers with flydubai’s growing operations at the airport in 2016. The airport has also developed into a regional cargo hub with a capacity to grow to 16 million tonnes per year. dnata now handles more than 117,000 tonnes of cargo at DWC and this number will continue to grow.
Special needs passengers
dnata’s special handling team of 980 employees at Dubai airports have assisted an average of 4, 000 special needs passengers every day. Over the year, dnata invested millions in new ground support equipment (GSE) to ensure safe and efficient flights landing at the two airports.
Currently, dnata deploys 10,000 pieces of GSE and vehicles of which 2, 000 are motorised. As a socially responsible organisation, dnata has introduced environment-friendly electric tow tractors, conveyor belts and pushback tractors, GSE with engines meeting Euro III emission standards and testing hybrid and CNG-powered vehicles. The company has a vision to convert motorised equipment wherever feasible from diesel-powered to electric, hybrid or CNG-powered.
dnata has worked closely with Dubai Airports and other stakeholders on the opening of Concourse D. The new concourse has increased the airport’s capacity to an additional 16 million passengers. dnata also operates a new Marhaba lounge at Concourse D.
In addition to Dubai, dnata has ground handling operations at 74 other airports around the world, serving more than 250 airlines, and it is the world’s largest ground handler of the Airbus A380 aircraft.