More than 100 airport and government dignitaries, customers and suppliers joined dnata’s senior management last night for a gala dinner in Erbil to celebrate the re-launch of the dnata brand in Iraq.
Since its launch in March 2010, dnata’s operation at Erbil International Airport has expanded steadily, providing comprehensive ground handling and cargo services to an increasing number of customer airlines, from the initial six at launch to today’s 17 passenger and freight companies – and the team continues to win new business.
As passenger numbers and cargo volumes have increased at Erbil airport, dnata’s ground handling team has risen to the challenge to meet and exceed customer expectations. The business has made extensive investment in strengthening the team – increasing its staff from just eight check-in staff at start-up of the operation to today’s figure of 39. Erbil staff too celebrated this week with a function at one of Erbil’s newer hotels, sharing an evening of food and entertainment with prizes and short presentations by senior management.
“Thanks to the dedication of our staff and the strength of our parent company, dnata, we have progressively expanded our customer base and won the recognition of the industry for the service we provide at Erbil International Airport” said Kevin Hodkinson, General Manager for dnata in Erbil.
“This week’s events provided an opportunity for our staff, customers and partners to celebrate what we have achieved so far and we look forward to further strengthening relationships and achieving continued success.”
Passenger numbers have increased from around 35,000 per month to 47,000 and cargo volumes doubled during the time dnata has been operating at the airport. Investments totalling more than USD 1.5 million have been made by dnata, including the purchase of Ground Support Equipment (GSE) such as an additional pushback vehicle, the imminent opening of a brand new cargo facility and the recent commissioning of a much needed maintenance facility for its GSE. In addition, an innovative new cargo IT system is being sourced, which when implemented, will help streamline business processes for the team. When it is launched next year it will be the first time that this type of software will have been introduced in Iraq.
dnata’s cargo team in Erbil is experienced at handling all manner of shipments, large or small – last month they handled a massive shipment for customer Emirates SkyCargo – the freight division of Emirates airline – which set a new record for the heaviest single item ever carried by a Boeing 777 freighter. Weighing in at 21,157 tonnes (including packaging), the item – a specialised valve used to seal, control and monitor oil and gas wells – was just short of the aircraft’s 21,624-ton limit and was handled successfully by dnata’s team at Erbil Airport as it began its journey to Dubai.
This week’s staff and customer events in Erbil follow similar events which have been held in recent months at dnata business locations including Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Manila and Singapore to celebrate dnata’s brand refresh. The launch of the new brand follows one of dnata’s most successful periods in its 52-year history, as the company has transitioned from regional to global status.
In April of this year, almost 2,000 dnata employees celebrated in dnata’s birthplace – Dubai – where the revitalised look and feel, including a modern new logo were first revealed. The rebranding exercise in Erbil and for dnata globally will be visually reflected over the coming months in new signage, buildings, offices, uniform, website and equipment fleet.