Recovery from the pandemic was felt across almost all dnata businesses, and in 2022-23 dnata increased its profit by 201% to AED 331 million (US$ 90 million).
With growing flight and travel activity across the world, dnata's total revenue increased by 74% to AED 14.9 billion (US$ 4.1 billion). dnata’s international businesses account for 72% of its revenue, an increase of 10%pts from the previous year. Through the year, dnata worked closely with its customers through the challenges of labour shortages and rising inflation in its major markets such as UK, US, Europe and Australia.
Laying the foundations for future growth, dnata’s investments in 2022-23 amounted to AED 467 million (US$ 127 million). Significant investments during the year included: a new cargo centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; new modern cargo and ground service equipment facilities in Erbil, Iraq; the global roll-out of its advanced “OneCargo” system to digitise and automate business functions; the expansion of marhaba operations in Dubai and Zanzibar; and the re-opening of renovated catering facilities in Sydney with energy efficient installations and equipment upgrades.
In 2022-23, dnata’s operating costs increased by 74% to AED 14.6 billion (US$ 4.0 billion), in line with expanded operations in its Airport Operations, Catering and Travel divisions and impacted by inflationary pressure across all markets mainly for labour and food supply.
dnata’s cash balance improved by more than AED 200 million to AED 5.1 billion (US$ 1.4 billion). Net cash used in financing activities, primarily payments for loans and leases, amounted to AED 906 million (US$ 247 million), while the business utilised net cash of AED 528 million (US$ 144 million) in essential investing activities. The business saw a positive operating cash flow of AED 1.4 billion (US$ 381 million) in 2022-23, a reflection of the substantial improvements in revenue.
Revenue from dnata’s Airport Operations, including ground and cargo handling increased to AED 7.2 billion (US$ 2.0 billion).
The number of aircraft turns handled by dnata globally grew by 35% to 712,383, cargo handled declined by 8% to 2.7 million tonnes, reflecting the increased flight activity across markets as the last pandemic restrictions lifted and dnata’s customers reinstated services.
During 2022-23, dnata launched its ground handling operations at the newly built terminal of Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, together with Emirates Leisure Retail (ELR) and MMI as master concessionaire for all food and beverage, duty free and commercial outlets at the terminal. It also expanded operations in Canada, partnering GTA Group to offer quality and safe cargo services in Calgary and Vancouver.
Catering & Retail
dnata’s Catering & Retail business accounted for AED 4.8 billion (US$ 1.3 billion) of dnata’s revenue, up by 187%. The inflight catering business uplifted 111.4 million meals to airline customers, almost three times the number of meals from last year, as its airline customers across the world restored their flight operations.
dnata’s Catering & Retail division substantially increased production to support airlines to restart their flight operations after the pandemic particularly in Australia, and its key markets of UK and the USA. It also worked extensively with its customers on flexing their menus to address supply chain issues and food inflation.
In the UAE, Alpha Flight Services (Alpha), dnata’s subsidiary, signed a concession agreement under which it will provide flight catering services to over 10 airlines at Ras Al Khaimah International airport, operate three F&B outlets, as well as the airport lounge.
Notable contract wins for the catering division in 2022-23 include: multi-year catering contracts with Australia’s newest airline, Bonza, and with Air India for its flights in London, Birmingham, and Milan; contracts with United Airlines and Edelweiss Air for their flights in Jordan; and with Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines in Singapore.
Revenue from dnata’s Travel Services division grew by 227% to AED 2.3 billion (US$ 618 million). The reported total transaction value (TTV) of travel services sold increased by 203% to AED 7.0 billion (US$ 1.9 billion), a substantial growth from last year. This reflects last year’s abnormal situation where the business was recovering from COVID-19-related booking cancellations.
In 2022-23, dnata Representation Services boosted its existing customer service support for Lufthansa in Europe and grew its relationship with American Airlines by providing a range of sales and marketing services to the carrier as its general sales agent in India. dnata became the preferred travel partner in the Middle East for American Express Global Business Travel, the world’s leading B2B travel platform; and enhanced its long-standing partnership with Club Med to bring tailor-made, all-inclusive holidays at exclusive rates closer to the GCC travellers.
In the UAE, dnata expanded its retail footprint with the opening of a new travel store in Dubai Hills. Reflecting the increased visitor numbers and demand for Dubai experiences, Arabian Adventures expanded and enhanced its popular ‘Overnight Safari’ experience in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and re-launched an enhanced edition of its signature Jeep Adventure Safari.
dnata's leisure wholesale specialist, Yalago, expanded its global in-markets teams, and recorded a 92% year on year increase in hotel bookings in 2022.