Dnata, Emirates’ ground handling and travel services unit, is expanding its European business.
It said yesterday that it was acquiring Aviapartner’s cargo handling operations at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam even as an economic slowdown in China and other emerging markets is expected to affect cargo volumes this year.
The Dubai-based company, which had cash reserves of Dh3.1 billion at the end of last year, declined to disclose the cost of the acquisition.
Dnata will own and operate Aviapartner’s 44,000 square metres of cargo warehouse space in the Dutch capital.
The Brussels-based company handles about 360,000 tonnes of cargo a year at Schiphol with 430 employees. Dnata said it would retain the staff.
“Dnata is committed to ensuring the impact of this acquisition to the day-to-day activities of employees is minimal,” said a dnata spokeswoman.
The acquisition expands dnata’s operations to 10 European airports – including Geneva, Zurich, London Heathrow and London Gatwick – from four airports two years ago. It now expects to handle 2 million tonnes of cargo across 26 airports globally a year.
Dnata said the acquisition would “enhance our growing international cargo network”.
The deal is expected to be completed in September pending regulatory approvals.
Dnata will also handle the Schiphol animal centre, the temperature control centre and the freighter ramp handling operations.
“The purchase by dnata not only gives them a huge presence in one of Europe’s busiest airport, it further de-risks dnata’s revenue stream,” said Saj Ahmad, an analyst at StrategicAero Research.
The cargo volume between the Middle East and North America in April grew 30.4 per cent from the year-earlier period, making it the fastest-growing cargo route globally, according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata). The Europe to Middle East route was in second place, with a 12.5 per cent growth rate.
The growth rates, however, trail behind previous months because of fleet capacity expansions, the strengthening US dollar and a global slowdown in the manufacturing sector, according to Iata.
An economic slowdown in China and other emerging markets could adversely affect the cargo sector this year, Iata said.
Last year, dnata made a profit of Dh906 million, its most in its 56 years of operation. Revenue rose 36 per cent to Dh10.3bn from a year earlier, with foreign operations accounting for about 60 per cent of that.
Full Story here: http://www.thenational.ae/business/aviation/dnata-acquires-aviapartners-dutch-cargo-operations