Global air and travel services provider dnata has announced significant expansion of its operations in Erbil, Iraq.

The company has opened a new, advanced cool chain facility and a bus maintenance facility for its state-of-the-art bussing fleets at Erbil International Airport (EBL), which together represent a total investment of US$ 3.5m. 

dnata also announced that it will invest an additional US$14m and add a 16,000 m² cargo warehouse to its infrastructure in Iraq. The three new facilities will create up to 100 local jobs with dnata.  

The new cool chain facility is capable of processing 10,000 tons of perishables annually. It enables dnata’s cargo team to offer an uncompromised chilled and frozen storage and cool chain product to its airline customers at EBL, catering to product categories including fresh fruit, meat, and pharmaceuticals. The facility was designed and built with flexibility and unique product handling requirements in mind, taking advantage of the latest cold storage technologies.

The new bus maintenance facility was designed to maintain the fleet of eight passenger apron buses and over ten transportation buses operated at EBL.

Expected to open in 2023, dnata’s new cargo warehouse will be capable of processing 100,000 tonnes of cargo annually, with a special focus on pharma and other cool chain commodities. The facility will be equipped with the latest technologies, including environmentally sustainable features such as water harvesting, low-energy lighting and an all-electric forklift fleet.

dnata also recently implemented its OneCargo system, digitising processes and maximising efficiencies across its cargo operations in Iraq. The company currently provides passenger, ground and cargo services to over 25 airlines in Erbil. In 2021, it assisted over 1.2 million passengers and handled 8,200 flights and 20,000 tonnes of cargo in Iraq.

Tom Alwyn-Jones, managing director of dnata Erbil, said: "Our latest investment in three new facilities will help us further expand and improve our operations in Erbil as demand for reliable and safe cargo services is on the rise across the region. I thank my colleagues for their hard work and our partners for their support and trust in our services.”