dnata enters Canada with investment in GTA Aviation

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dnata has entered Canada with an investment in GTA Aviation’s cargo and ground handling operations.

The Dubai cargo handler has reached an agreement with Canada’s GTA to purchase a 50 per cent stake in its cargo and ground handling operations at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

This investment marks dnata’s first step into the Canadian market and it says it is a significant development in the company’s expansion into the Americas, less than a year after announcing investments in the US and Brazil.

GTA’s airport handling operations were launched by Mario D’Urso in 2014, who will continue as a joint partner. The company has 130 employees, serving over 1,400 flights annually. It handles over 58,000 tonnes of cargo each year at its state of the art 83,000 square foot warehouse facility at Toronto Pearson.

In under three years, GTA has secured handling contracts with Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Cargojet, China Southern Airlines, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Fly Jamaica, Korean Air, SWISS and WestJet.

This transaction does not include GTA’s other businesses including GSE sales and maintenance, which will continue to be owned and managed by Mario, Angelo and Domenic D’Urso.

The Mississauga-based company’s cargo and ground handling operations will be rebranded to ‘GTA dnata’. The current chief executive officer, Gary Ogden, will continue to manage the business and operations. All current management and employees will also remain with the company.

dnata’s divisional senior vice president of international airport operations, Stewart Angus says: “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.”

GTA’s owner and chairman, Mario D’Urso says: “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 made investments in cargo facilities in Amsterdam and operations in Milan as well as 26 airports in Brazil and 25 airports in the US.