Dnata looks to upgrade infrastructure at UK airports

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dnata operating at Dubai International Airport

Cargo handler dnata is in discussions with airport authorities in the UK as it looks to modernise its infrastructure.

Dnata has already built top-notch handling facilities at Heathrow Airport, but wants to now ugrade sites at other airports.

Speaking last month at a six-month celebration of dnata’s contract with El Al Israel Airlines at Heathrow, dnata UK chief executive officer, Gary Morgan says he is working with authorities at Manchester Airport, Birmingham Airport and Gatwick Airport.

He says: “Part of the problem in the UK is there is a lot of old infrastructure so I am on a campaign and trying to convince airport authorities up and down the country and we are working with three authorities to try to build new facilities for us, which we are then happy to sign up for on long-term leases.

“Some of it is difficult as they do not have the space available. We have facilities there at the moment, but we want to modernise. It is hard for us to refurbish some of the buildings as they are too old and they just do not suit modern operations.

“I think a lot of cargo facilities in the UK were probably built 20, 30 and 40 years ago and yard depths and turning circles are different and just the way we handle cargo is different. The big challenge for us now is to try and get airport authorities to understand what we need and then try and make some investments.”

He says at Manchester dnata has two warehouses, at Birmingham it has one facility, which has recently been expanded and it has one facility at Gatwick which it is about to expand.

Morgan says he is hopeful of finalising an agreement for a new facility in Manchester and with Gatwick it has made some progress while Birmingham is keen too. “One of the difficulties for a lot of airports is historically they have sold off infrastructure so it does not belong to them so they cant really control it and as much as they want to help they are a little hamstrung,” he says.

Morgan adds: “I think there is not a complete understanding of how vital cargo is to airlines. I think every airport understands the value of the passenger, but very few the value of cargo and most airports probably don’t appreciate cargo supplements seat prices on airlines and without cargo some routes would not be viable.

“We want to help them understand the value.”