DUBAI: Dnata is to buy a 50 per cent stake in GTA Aviation’s cargo and ground handling services operations at Toronto Pearson Airport.

The investment, for an undisclosed sum, marks dnata’s first foray into the Canadian market. It comes less than a year after the firm announced investments in the USA and Brazil, and the firm says it marks a significant development in its expansion into the Americas.

The deal does not include GTA’s sales and maintenance operations, nor any of its other businesses. The ground handling operations will be rebranded “GTA dnata”. Current CEO Gary Ogden will continue in the role.

GTA, which began its ground handling operations in 2014, has 130 employees, serving over 1,400 flights annually. It handles over 58,000 tonnes of cargo each year at 83,000 square foot warehouse facility at Toronto Pearson.

The founder of GTA’s airport handling services, Mario D’Urso, will continue as a joint partner.

“This investment in GTA is another important milestone for dnata. It allows us to fulfil our strategy to provide the highest level of customer service in the key markets across the Americas. We are very impressed with the way GTA is managed by Mario, Gary and their team. We look forward to playing our role in helping GTA develop in the next phase of its growth in Canada, and building on the excellent foundations that already exist.” said Stewart Angus, dnata’s Divisional Senior Vice President of International Airport Operations.

Quality service

D’Urso said, “Dnata’s commitment to service and safety excellence and its continued investment in its product is in line with our philosophy and ensures our customers will continue to receive the quality service they expect.

“Having started the company with the concept of service excellence, I am confident that GTA will continue to flourish as part of the dnata team.”

In the past five years, dnata has steadily expanded its international operations with a series of partnerships and acquisitions. Within the last year dnata has announced investments in cargo facilities in Amsterdam and operations in Milan as well as 26 airports in Brazil and 25 airports in the USA.