Ground Handling

dnata announces major investment in Zanzibar aviation industry

dnata, a leading global air and travel services provider, has signed a concession agreement with The Government of Zanzibar, along with Emirates Leisure Retail and SEGAP, a joint venture between airport infrastructure and operations specialists Egis, and private equity fund manager AIIM.


Under the partnership, dnata will oversee the operations of Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport’s (ZNZ) newly-built international terminal (T3), with SEGAP supporting the Zanzibar Airports Authority (ZAA) in a management capacity. Emirates Leisure Retail will partner with MMI as master concessionaire for all food and beverage, duty free and commercial outlets at T3. 


dnata will provide its globally renowned, quality ground and passenger handling services to airline customers at ZNZ, ensuring safe and timely operations of flights and an excellent travel experience for passengers. dnata expects to handle over 4,000 flights annually at the airport. 


dnata will also invest in a state-of-the-art cargo centre to establish cargo operations at the airport, supporting local trade and businesses. The facility will comply with the highest industry standards ensuring efficient and safe handling of a broad range of cargo, including perishables, pharmaceuticals, dangerous goods, live animals, aircraft engines and vehicles.


In addition, dnata will launch meet & greet and lounge services through its airport hospitality brand, marhaba, to help passengers further enhance their experience and enjoy a smooth airport journey from check-in to boarding. 


dnata’s expansion into Zanzibar represents an investment of over US$ 7 million and will create up to 400 direct local jobs with the company.

Steve Allen, Executive Vice President of dnata and Chairman of Emirates Leisure Retail and MMI, said: “We are thrilled to expand our global footprint into Africa and establish operations at the airport of Zanzibar.

“We are confident that our investment in the local aviation industry will stimulate tourism and trade, delivering significant benefits for Zanzibar businesses and the local community.

“Our teams’ passion for excellence, broad partnership network and global experience in providing best-in-class ground handling, airport hospitality and F&B services will ensure consistent quality at every stage of the airport journey.

“We will deliver an innovative and fresh airport concept that provides an integrated passenger experience whilst showcasing Zanzibar’s traditions and style.

“We look forward to a fruitful partnership with the Zanzibar Airports Authority and SEGAP.”

H.E. Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, said: “The launch of our new terminal at the Abeid Aman Karume International Airport marks a turning point in the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar’s efforts in becoming a globally recognized island for tourism and trade.

“The Zanzibar Airport Authority’s partnership with dnata reaffirms our commitment to international excellence in providing a seamless experience for all international visitors.

“We look forward to expanding our global footprint in facilitating trade and investment via our increased handling capacity for both passenger and air cargo operations.”

Christian Laugier, CEO-Sales for Egis, commented: “We are honoured to bring our three decades of expertise in airport development, operations & maintenance to the project.

“Our teams will focus on performance across all areas, including infrastructure, operations, safety and security, governance and finance.

“Our efforts will be on making the airport and air transport more effective catalysts for tourism growth in a destination that has everything to attract visitors, from pristine beaches to a UNESCO World Heritage site.

“This is an important step that opens great partnership possibilities with Zanzibar, where we are prepared to consider further investment in airport infrastructure development.”