Dubai-based air services provider dnata has reached an agreement with Canada’s GTA Aviation to purchase a 50 percent stake in its cargo and ground handling operations at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
The unit of Emirates Group said the investment marks dnata’s first step into the Canadian market and is a “significant development in the company’s expansion into the Americas”, less than a year after announcing investments in the US and Brazil.
GTA’s airport handling operations were launched by Mario D’Urso in 2014, who will continue as a joint partner. The company has 130 employees, serving over 1,400 flights annually. It handles over 58,000 tonnes of cargo each year at Toronto Pearson.
Key customers include Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Cargojet, China Southern Airlines, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Fly Jamaica, Korean Air, SWISS and WestJet.
This transaction does not include GTA’s other businesses including GSE sales and maintenance, which will continue to be owned and managed by Mario, Angelo and Domenic D’Urso.
The company’s cargo and ground handling operations will be rebranded to GTA dnata and the current CEO, Gary Ogden, will continue to manage the business and operations. All current management and employees will also remain with the company.
Stewart Angus, dnata’s divisional senior vice president of International Airport Operations, said: “This investment in GTA is another important milestone for dnata. It allows us to fulfil our strategy to provide the highest level of customer service in the key markets across the Americas.”
In the past five years, dnata has steadily expanded its international operations with a series of partnerships and acquisitions. Within the last year dnata has announced investments in cargo facilities in Amsterdam and operations in Milan as well as 26 airports in Brazil and 25 airports in the USA.