Recovery from the pandemic was felt across all dnata businesses, and in 2021-22 dnata returned to profitability with a profit of AED 110 million (US$ 30 million).
With growing flight and travel activity across the world, dnata's total revenue increased by 54% to AED 8.6 billion (US$ 2.3 billion). dnata’s international business accounts for 62% of its revenue.
dnata continued to lay the foundations for future growth with investments in 2021-22 amounting to AED 370 million (US$ 101 million).
During the year, dnata invested significantly in its cargo handling capabilities. It expanded existing facilities in Sydney, Australia; opened a state-of-the-art cargo centre at London Heathrow airport; and announced a fully automated cargo centre to be built at ‘dnata Cargo City’ at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. It also introduced an advanced “OneCargo” system which digitises and automates business and operational functions at its Iraq cargo operations, with plans to roll out the system across its global cargo network.
In 2021-22, dnata’s operating costs increased by 14% to AED 8.4 billion (US$ 2.3 billion), in line with expanded operations in its Airport Operations, Catering and Travel divisions across the world.
dnata’s cash balance improved by AED 208 million to AED 4.9 billion (US$ 1.3 billion). Net cash used in financing activities, primarily payments for loans and leases, amounted to AED 745 million (US$ 203 million), while the business utilised net cash of AED 246 million (US$ 67 million) in essential investing activities. The business saw a positive operating cash flow of AED 1.2 billion (US$ 332 million) in 2021-22, a reflection of the substantial improvements in revenues.
Revenue from dnata’s Airport Operations, including ground and cargo handling increased to AED 5.7 billion (US$ 1.6 billion).
The number of aircraft turns handled by dnata globally grew by 82% to 527,501, cargo handled increased by 10% to 3.0 million tonnes, reflecting the increase in flight activity across the globe as dnata’s customers re-started their operations wherever market restrictions on flights and travel were lifted.
During 2021-22, dnata expanded its global airport operations footprint into Africa. It signed a concession agreement with The Government of Zanzibar, where dnata will oversee the operations of the island’s newly-built international terminal with its partners, including Emirates Leisure Retail (ELR) who will partner with MMI as master concessionaire for all food and beverage, duty free and commercial outlets at the terminal.
marhaba, dnata’s airport hospitality brand, marked its 30th year of operations with the launch of its signature meet and greet services at four of Australia’s major airports, a new lounge in Zurich Airport, and a re-designed experience at its flagship lounge at Dubai International.
Catering & Retail
dnata’s Catering business accounted for AED 1.7 billion (US$ 455 million) of dnata’s revenue, up by 60%. The inflight catering business uplifted 39.9 million meals to airline customers, more than double the number of meals from last year, as its airline customers across the world restored their flight operations.
Significant customer wins during the year include BA CityFlyer, which led to dnata Catering launching operations at London City Airport; and the global inflight retail services contract for easyJet where dnata’s team of inflight retail experts will develop and manage bespoke onboard retail programmes and solutions for the airline.
It also saw significant activity in Australia. As the country re-opened its borders to international travellers, dnata worked closely with airline customers to support their resumption of flight operations. dnata Catering also continued to grow its retail food business with ready-made meals developed by Snapfresh Australia launched in Aldi and Costco stores nationwide.
Revenue from dnata’s Travel Services division has significantly grown by 434% to AED 694 million (US$ 189 million). The reported total transaction value (TTV) of travel services sold increased by 912% to AED 2.3 billion (US$ 632 million), a dramatic reversal from last year. These increases reflect last year’s abnormal situation where the business saw high levels of COVID-19-related booking cancellations.
During the year, dnata introduced several new products and services in the UAE, capitalising on its market expertise, Dubai’s open borders for international travel, the city’s hosting of Expo 2020 as well as other major conferences and sporting events.
For its corporate travel customers, dnata partnered with ExpensePoint to offer an advanced expense reporting solution; renewed a partnership with one of the world’s largest VAT reclaim specialists that will bring additional saving opportunities for duty travel claims; and implemented hybrid meetings and events solutions to provide customers a sustainable alternative to hosting corporate engagements during lockdown.
In the UK, dnata’s Travel Republic brand introduced a new ‘Secure Trust Account’ for package holiday customers that guarantees prompt refunds for customers who have to cancel their flight-inclusive package holiday, as funds are kept secure in a separate account.
dnata also launched its Gold Medal brand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia this year, offering its extensive portfolio of travel products to independent travel agents.