Second Changi ground handler 'good for travellers'

Chief executive of Dnata (Singapore) Mark Edwards.
PHOTO: Dnata

Dubai-based Dnata, which provides passenger check-in as well as cargo and aircraft handling services, is growing its business at Changi Airport, boosting competition in the industry.

Last year, Dnata, which is part of the Emirates Group, won eight new airline customers - including a few which used to be serviced by market leader Sats - the firm said.

Dnata has a 20 per cent market share at Changi, while Sats has the rest.

Unlike some other major airports, Changi has only two operating ground handlers but the competition is stiff, industry watchers said.

This is ultimately good for travellers because it leads to improved service levels and performance, they added.

It is good for airlines too, giving them stronger bargaining power when negotiating rates.

Chief executive of Dnata (Singapore) Mark Edwards said: "While we know that price is a determining factor in selecting a ground handler, our strategy is to focus on being more agile, more responsive to changes to fit the requirements with more tailored solutions for our airline customers."

The new customers won last year prove that the firm is going in the right direction, he said.

The list includes Myanmar National and Bhutan airlines, which are new carriers at Changi

Some other airlines, including Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines and Air New Zealand, have switched from Sats to Dnata for some services.

For example, Dnata will take over passenger check-in, baggage handling and aircraft ramp handling for Etihad. But the airline is sticking to Sats for cargo handling and catering services.

Ensuring that travellers' needs are met is important, and it goes beyond providing check-in services, said Mr Edwards.

In November, Dnata unveiled its new 860 sq m lounge in Terminal 1, which can accommodate more than 200 passengers.

Apart from a dining area, as well as amenities such as showers and toilet facilities, the lounge also offers complimentary Wi-Fi. Each seat comes with universal power outlets and USB charging points.

Dnata has another lounge at T3.

Rival Sats operates three lounges within the transit areas and another two check-in lounges in the public areas in T1 nd T2.

This article was first published on January 4 , 2016.
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