Dubai's dnata buys stake in South Africa airline caterer

Air services provider makes its third investment in airline catering industry
Gary Chapman, president of dnata
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 17 Dec 2011 10:16 AM

dnata, the Dubai-based air services provider, has acquired a 50 percent interest in a South African inflight catering services company.

The world's fourth largest air services firm said it has invested in Wings Inflight Services, with operations in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The remaining 50 percent is held by Mentor Africa Limited and management.

The Wings business, which was founded in 2009 and currently employs 200 staff across the two airports, provides inflight catering services to a number of airline customers including Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Thai Airways.

The deal represents dnata’s third investment in the airline catering industry and its interest in Wings will enhance its international network which extends to 76 airports in 38 countries. 

Stewart Angus, dnata’s DSVP – Associated Companies, said: “Wings has already developed its reputation as a leading caterer in the South African market, winning major contracts from high calibre international airline customers."

“dnata’s new investment into Wings is a demonstration of confidence not only in the strong growth prospects of Wings, but also in the economic potential of South Africa itself," added Stephen Levenberg, Mentor Africa’s CEO. 

"This holds the promise of leveraging Wings’ South African operations as a base to expand Wings’ service offering elsewhere, for which Wings is already well equipped.”

Earlier this month, dnata announced it had made its first foray into the Indian market.

Dnata, in partnership with Hogg Robinson Group, will offer corporate travel solutions in India with services including a 24-hour contact centre for reservations, online corporate booking tools, visa services, travel insurance, worldwide car rentals and event management.

With two offices, located in Delhi and Mumbai, the company has initiated operations in India with 100 employees, it said in a statement.

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