Dubai's dnata inaugurates new cargo centre at London Heathrow airport
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Dubai’s dnata inaugurates new cargo centre at London Heathrow airport

Dubai’s dnata inaugurates new cargo centre at London Heathrow airport

In 2021, dnata handled in excess of 500,000 tonnes of cargo in London

Dubai-based air and travel services provider dnata has inaugurated a new cargo centre at London Heathrow airport (LHR).

The new facility forms part of the company’s ‘dnata City East’ complex and increases dnata’s capacity at LHR, ensuring continued handling of goods amid increasing demand for safe air cargo services in the UK.

The expansion makes dnata City East the largest off-site cargo handling operation at the UK’s largest commercial aviation hub. The new, 10,500 sq m facility (‘Phase II’) was designed to operate in conjunction with dnata City East’s existing 22,500 sq m facility (‘Phase I’) which opened in September 2019.

dnata will handle all air freight of Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo at dnata City East. Exports will remain at dnata’s Phase I facility, while the new Phase II facility will cater for all imports.

Located immediately south of LHR, both facilities were designed to accommodate the operational requirements of dnata and the two airlines and incorporate the latest carbon reduction initiatives in design and operation, including the use of solar PV panels, air-source heat pumps and electric vehicle charging.

Including dnata City East, dnata now offers cargo services from eight facilities at LHR with a team of over 750 employees. In 2021, dnata handled in excess of 500,000 tonnes of cargo in London.

Alex Doisneau, managing director of dnata UK (Airport Operations), said: “We are excited to announce the completion of dnata City East. Our newest cargo complex offers bespoke solutions, industry-leading technology and enhanced cargo capacity supporting our customers in achieving sustainable growth at the UK’s busiest airport. We thank Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo for their support, loyalty and trust in our services. We continue to go the extra mile to consistently provide the highest level of service and safety across our operations, every day.”

Philip Wardlaw, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, commented: “We’re delighted to inaugurate the ‘dnata City East’ complex, with the completion of the new Phase II facility. “As we continue to work with our joint venture partner, Delta Cargo, we have further strengthened our performance targets and commitment to our customers. That is why we couldn’t be more thrilled to benefit from this incredible facility, which allows us to give outstanding customer experience at one of the largest off-site cargo handling operations at London Heathrow.

“The opening of the import facility comes at a time where we have extended our cargo handling contract with dnata for a further five years, signalling our continued strong and highly valued partnership.”

In addition to its expansion at LHR with its fifth greenfield build, dnata’s recent investments include the opening of dnata City North, a new cargo complex at Manchester Airport (MAN). Having added seven facilities, including six new builds, to its infrastructure over the past eight years, dnata now operates 13 cargo centres at six airports in the UK. The company is able to handle more than 800,000 tons of cargo annually across the country.

dnata has also expdnded its European operations through the planned acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of Germany-based Wisskirchen Handling Services (Wisskirchen).

Read: UAE’s dnata expands global cargo operations by entering Germany

The deal is subject to government approval, and would mark dnata’s entry into the German market.

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