Emirates Group aviation services division dnata has reportedly acquired a US airport ground handling company with plans to launch in the lucrative North American market.
Reuters-owned Zawya cites dnata’s chief executive Gary Chapman as saying it fully acquired US Ground services International, which provides handling services to carriers and cargo operators in 14 cities, last month.
He told the site he expected the acquisition to act as a springboard for dnata in North America.
“We also see it as a launching pad for the whole of North America, which means Canada, and potentially Mexico,” Chapman said.
The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Dnata reported its most profitable year since it was established in 2015 with revenue and profit up 16 per cent ot Dhs 10.6bn and Dhs 1.1bn respectively.
It made a number of acquisitions last year including stakes in operators in Australia, Brazil, The Netherlands and Italy.
Altogether the company has operations across 79 airports globally, including ground handling, cargo, travel and flight catering services.
Its foray into the US market comes despite a dispute between Gulf airlines and their American counterparts.
At the beginning of 2015, US carriers United, Delta and American accuse Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways of receiving $42bn in subsidies from their respective governments.
All three deny the charges and have since expanded their US presence with new routes. In contrast, US carriers have withdrawn services to the GCC.