Dnata Acquires UK Handling Operations

ON DECEMBER 3, the international airport services provider Dnata announced it will acquire two of the UK’s leading ground handling operations.  The first is Plane Handling Ltd, which is currently part of the Go-Ahead Group plc.  It provides cargo and ramp handling services at London Heathrow Airport and cargo handling services at Manchester Airport.  At the same time Dnata is also acquiring passenger and ramp handling operations at Terminal 3 & 4 at London Heathrow Airport from Aviance Ltd, which is also part of the Go-Ahead Group plc.
These acquisitions, which are valued at £15m (US24.5m), mark Dnata’s entry into the UK airport handling business and are consistent with its strategy of developing an international network.  Dnata said the transaction will be completed on 30th January, 2010.
With these acquisitions, Dnata will now be operating at 19 airports in eight countries, including Australia, China, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland as well as the UAE.
Dnata’s President, Gary Chapman, said: “We are very pleased to add Heathrow and Manchester to our growing international network.  These businesses already provide an outstanding quality of service to their airline customers in the UK and will be a perfect fit with our businesses in Dubai, Singapore, Switzerland, Australia and at other points across the globe.
“Dnata is committed to further developing the strengths of Plane Handling and ensuring that its airline customers continue to enjoy the highest possible levels of customer service.”
Robert Williams, Managing Director of Plane Handling, who will assume responsibility for both business units, said: “Our management and employees enjoy the full confidence of our new shareholder and Dnata is eager to work with the current management team.  We are extremely excited about the future for both our employees and our customers.”
Plane Handling and Aviance’s Terminal 3 & 4 operations provide airline and cargo handling to over 20 airlines at Heathrow and Manchester with key customers including Virgin Atlantic Airways, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Jet Airways, Qantas, Air New Zealand and Emirates.  The combined businesses employ some 1,600 staff across the two airports.