dnata was quick to move in with cargo-in-cabin shipments, which do its bit to compensate for decline in passenger traffic. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The airport services company dnata handled over 5,000 cargo-in-cabin flights and moved 50,000 tons of shipments at Dubai International airport (DXB) since March last year.

Dnata said it “enhanced” services and trained more than 500 employees to handle passenger planes carrying cargo. To meet demand, several airlines introduced additional cargo capacity during the pandemic by using passenger aircraft with seats fully or partially removed from the cabin.

“There was intense demand for airlines to recoup revenue through cargo-in-cabin operations and we needed to be in a position to provide safe and effective ground handling services quickly,” said Paul Littlejohn, dnata's Divisional Vice-President for Airside Operations.

Although passenger flights were significantly reduced during the pandemic, cargo demand remained stable. dnata  worked closely with the authorities, customers and suppliers to maintain global the flow of essential goods.

The company recently announced that it joined forces with Dubai Airports and GMR Hyderabad International Airport to support them in creating a focused COVID-19 vaccine distribution corridor. As per the deal, GMR-HYD and Dubai Airports will assign priority to temperature-sensitive vaccine shipments moving between GMR Hyderabad and Dubai Airports for further connections.

This agreement will lead to the rollout of simplified processes and infrastructural support to streamline delivery of the vaccine - right from the manufacturing unit to the airport and hub logistics to delivery to end-customers.

Executive move

Emirates Group recently named Steve Allen as Executive Vice-President of dnata. Allen, who has been with the Emirates Group for 12 years in various operational and support roles, will be responsible for all dnata’s businesses covering ground handling, catering and travel across six continents.

Allen will continue to report to Gary Chapman, President Group Services and dnata, until his retirement at the end of March. Thereafter, Steve Allen will report directly to Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO of Emirates Group.