UAE’s dnata invests over $17mn to expand operations in Erbil airport

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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The Dubai National Air Transport Association (dnata), a leading global air and travel services provider, has expanded its operations in Erbil, Iraq.

The company opened a new, advanced cool chain facility and a bus maintenance facility for its state-of-the-art bussing fleets at Erbil International Airport (EBL), which together represent a total investment of $3.5 million.

Further, dnata would invest an additional $14 million and add a 16,000 m² cargo warehouse to its infrastructure in Iraq. The three new facilities will create up to 100 local jobs with dnata.

According to the statement, “dnata’s new cool chain facility can process 10,000 tons of perishables annually. It enables dnata’s cargo team to offer an uncompromised chilled and frozen storage and cool chain product to its airline customers at EBL, catering to product categories including fresh fruit, meat, and pharmaceuticals.” The facility was designed and built with flexibility and unique product handling requirements, taking advantage of the latest cold storage technologies.

The new bus maintenance facility was designed to maintain a fleet of eight passenger apron buses and over 10 transportation buses operated at EBL. In addition, it will ensure continuous improvements in the safe and productive maintenance of the airport’s bus fleet.

dnata’s new cargo warehouse, which is expected to open in 2023, will further significantly enhance the company’s cargo offering in Iraq. It can process 100,000 tons of cargo, with a special focus on pharma and other cool chain commodities, annually. The facility will be equipped with the latest technologies, including environmentally sustainable features such as water harvesting, low energy lighting, and an all-electric forklift fleet.

Mr. Tom Alwyn-Jones, Managing Director of dnata Erbil, said that, “Our latest investment in three new facilities will help us further expand and improve our operations in Erbil as demand for reliable and safe cargo services is on the rise across the region. I thank my colleagues for their hard work and our partners for their support and trust in our services.”

Recently, dnata announced that it successfully implemented its advanced “OneCargo” system, digitizing processes and maximizing efficiencies across its cargo operations in Iraq. OneCargo automates key business and operational functions, including safety and quality monitoring, reporting, and ULD management, with an integrated, cloud-based platform.

dnata currently provides passenger, ground, and cargo services to more than 25 airlines in Erbil. In 2021, the company assisted over 1.2 million passengers and handled 8,200 flights and 20,000 tons of cargo, as per the reports.

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