dnata, a leading global air and travel services provider, opened an advanced maintenance facility at Dubai International (DXB) to specifically focus on the maintenance of airside passenger buses. The 5,000 square meter workshop is equipped with new equipment and technology that will ensure continuous improvements in the safe and productive maintenance of the DXB bus fleet, enhancing serviceability and supporting smooth transport operations across the airport for passengers, crew and staff.
Complementing dnata’s existing infrastructure, the new workshop more than doubles the space of the previous bus maintenance facility. It is located airside, on the South side of DXB, in close proximity to the main bussing operations. The workshop has been designed to maintain the fleet of nearly 200 passenger apron buses and over 100 staff transportation buses operated airside at DXB.
dnata’s new maintenance facility was inaugurated by Jaffar Dawood, dnata’s Senior Vice President for DXB Airline Services, alongside representatives from COBUS Industries.
Jaffar Dawood said: “The Emirates Group has invested in 140 new COBUS apron passenger buses over the last two and a half years to ensure that Dubai Airports have a world-class passenger bussing operation. We are thrilled to expand our maintenance base to further improve the efficiency and quality of our technical services to support the care and maintenance of these assets. Our new facility meets the highest standards, helping us consistently deliver world-class safety and timely maintenance solutions for our customers.”
Robert Powell, Vice President dnata Technical Services, added: “The new facility has been planned to accommodate the maintenance of COBUS passenger apron buses including the extra-long COBUS 3000XL, designed specifically for Emirates. It has new features such as sets of mobile lifting columns, a roof access platform for the safe maintenance of roof mounted air conditioning systems, and an electronics lab to support the repair of the passenger information display systems fitted in the buses. These new technologies will significantly improve the working environment for the skilled dnata technicians maintaining these highly specialised vehicles.”
In keeping the environment a high priority, all of Emirates Group’s COBUS airport buses meet Euro 5 diesel emissions standards, which include diesel particulate filters and lower emission levels, making them some of the cleanest diesel vehicles operating in the UAE. Emirates and COBUS have also agreed to a joint commitment to develop possible future conversion of the buses to electric or hydrogen fuel-cell at some point in their life-span. To support this research and development, COBUS will deploy an electric bus in DXB for operational and endurance testing.
Andreas Funk, CCO / Sales Director of COBUS Industries, added: “We are proud to have dnata as our customer as well as a warranty and maintenance partner for the COBUS airport buses of dnata, Emirates and flydubai for many years. The excellent service of dnata was an important assistance in guaranteeing the highest reliability of our COBUS product. Congratulations to dnata on the new COBUS workshop which certainly serves to keep or even increase the service capability. We look forward to continuing our long-term relationship.”
Choosing green or hybrid options is a prime consideration in dnata’s GSE fleet planning. Over the past years, the company has replaced a large number of its ramp vehicles, GSE and forklifts with hybrid or electric alternatives, cumulating in the first zero-emission aircraft turnaround in Dubai in November 2019.
In addition to its GSE maintenance activities, dnata also offers best-in-class line maintenance support to its airline customers in partnership with Global Jet Technic (GJT). GJT’s highly trained engineers and technicians can provide full line maintenance support and are trained on contracted airlines’ operational procedures, delivering seamless services to customers.
dnata provides ground handling and cargo services at two airports, DXB and DWC, in the UAE. Over the past 12 months, the dnata team handled more than 77,000 flights and moved 570,000 tonnes of cargo in the country.
Besides its ground handling and cargo services, dnata also provides a comprehensive range of airport lounge, meet and greet and baggage delivery services through its airport hospitality brand, marhaba, ensuring a swift, smooth and safe journey for passengers through DXB.