By John Lee.
Dubai-based air and travel services provider dnata has announced significant expansion of its operations in Erbil.
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 US$ 3.5 million.
dnata has also announced that it would invest an additional US$ 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.
dnata's new cool chain facility is capable of processing 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 in mind, taking advantage of the latest cold storage technologies.
The new bus maintenance facility was designed to maintain the fleet of eight passenger apron buses and over 10 transportation buses operated at EBL. It will ensure continuous improvements in the safe and productive maintenance of the airport's bus fleet, supporting smooth transport operations across the airport for passengers, crew and staff.
dnata's new cargo warehouse, which is expected to open in 2023, will further significantly enhance the company's cargo offering in Iraq. It will be capable of processing 100,000 tonnes 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.
Furthermore, dnata has recently announced that it successfully implemented its advanced 'OneCargo' system, digitising processes and maximising 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. AI-driven tools and analytics provide enhanced visibility on sales and business performance, allowing customers to match real-time demand with available capacity for maximum profitability. In addition, OneCargo eliminates all redundancies and manual check sheets, substantially improving operational efficiency.
dnata currently provides passenger, ground and cargo services to over 25 airlines in Erbil. In 2021, the company assisted over 1.2 million passengers and handled 8,200 flights and 20,000 tonnes of cargo in Iraq.
Tom Alwyn-Jones, Managing Director of dnata Erbil, said:
"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."