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Phase II of dnata’s cargo centre at Heathrow, through which all its import cargo will be handled, has opened.
The 10,500 sq metres of additional warehouse space will free capacity at the first phase centre, which can now be dedicated to exports.
The new warehouse will feature solar PV panels and air-source heat pumps, as well as battery-powered forklifts and other vehicles.
With 500,000 tonnes of throughput last year, cargo handling has provided one of few growth opportunities for dnata at Heathrow, following the collapse of the passenger side of its business – baggage handling and aircraft catering – during the pandemic.
Having laid-off hundreds of workers, dnata UK at the time told The Loadstar senior staff members had participated in loading cargo-in-cabin flights – a more labour-intensive process than that of loading pallets on dedicated cargo aircraft.
“Our newest cargo complex offers bespoke solutions, industry-leading technology and enhanced cargo capacity, supporting our customers in achieving sustainable growth at the UK’s busiest airport,” said Alex Doisneau, MD of dnata UK.
Philip Wardlaw, MD of dnata customer Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “We’re delighted to inaugurate the ‘dnata City East’ complex. As we continue to work with our joint-venture partner, Delta Cargo, we couldn’t be more thrilled to benefit from this incredible facility, which allows us to give outstanding customer experience at one of the largest off-site cargo handling operations at London Heathrow.”
The news follows dnata’s planned acquisition, announced last week, of Wisskirchen Handling Services, the Germany-based operator of the Cologne Bonn Cargo Centre, a 12,000 sq metre airport facility, handling some 85,000 tonnes perishable, pharmaceutical, and other cargo a year.