Dubai's dnata acquires stake in UK travel agency

Online agency Travel Republic deal marks airline service firm's second deal in month
Dubai's dnata acquires stake in UK travel agency
dnata has acquired a majority stake in a UK travel agency (Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Claire Ferris-Lay
Tue 03 Jan 2012 06:18 PM

Dnata, the airline services arm of Emirates Group, has acquired a majority stake in UK-based online travel agency, Travel Republic, for an undisclosed sum, the firm has said.

The acquisition, dnata’s second in the last month, is effective from December 28, the Dubai-based firm said in a statement. The deal marks dnata’s biggest transaction, it added.

Travel Republic, which offers hotels and airlines to 650 destinations worldwide, last year expanded its operations to Ireland, Spain and Italy and will continue with to expansion its operations across Europe, said dnata.

“Dnata will use the strength of its global travel network to expand on this further by offering a broader range of destinations whilst maintaining the same price competitive and high-quality customer experience,” said the statement.

Turnover for the UK-based website reached over £400m ($623.5m) last year, an increase of 40 percent on the previous year.

Dnata in December acquired a 50 percent stake in South African in-flight catering services company, Wings Inflight Services for an undisclosed sum.

It also owns a 23 percent share in the British corporate travel company Hogg Robinson Group and a 49 percent interest in South Africa-based outsource provider Mind Pearl.

Parent company Emirates Airline in November reported a 76 percent slump in first half net profit to AED827m ($225m) as rising fuel costs and regional unrest squeezed margins.

The world’s international carrier saw net profit fall to AED827m from AED3.39bn in the year-earlier period, the airline said in a statement.

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