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dnata: Keeping pace with growth at one of the busiest airports in the world

Dubai Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, handling over 200,000 passengers a day. A key cog in the airport’s effective operation is dnata, which provides ground-handling, cargo and travel services for the 1,100 flights landing and taking off every day.

dnata had been meeting growing demand for its services by adding more capability within its existing set-up, but with further growth at Dubai Airport forecast for the next six years at least, dnata needed to find a way to deliver an increased volume of services more efficiently.

Following a careful assessment of dnata’s operations, we proposed making changes to job tasks, skills and management systems to enable dnata to significantly increase the throughput for its ground operations but at a relatively small additional cost. We then set about designing a new structure and set of roles for the business to make these proposals a reality. The new structure assigns clear accountability for service delivery to individual roles, reduces the level of supervision required dramatically and moves supporting roles to central support functions so that core operations are focused ruthlessly on service delivery.

Our work has given dnata a structure that it can scale up cost-efficiently, in the right proportions, to keep pace with growth and keep costs down. In fact, our projections show that as volume increases, costs per flight will fall. More immediately, implementing the solution will save dnata some US$20 million in running costs.

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