Qantas's catering businesses sold to dnata
The Emirates Group subsidiary dnata (previously known as Alpha Flight Services) has signed an agreement, subject to approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to acquire Qantas’s catering businesses. Currently Qantas wholly owns Q Catering, based in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and Logan City, plus Queensland-based frozen food maker Snap Fresh.
Under the agreement, dnata will supply catering for Qantas flights for an initial period of 10 years, and Qantas will continue to work with key suppliers in menu design and development.
Snap Fresh specialises in making Australian-made frozen meals for airlines and customers in the healthcare and food retail industries.
“This agreement reflects our confidence in Australia as a market and the ongoing growth potential into the future,” said Robin Padgett, dnata’s Divisional Senior Vice President of catering.
“By combining dnata’s network strength and international talent with Qantas’s domestic catering expertise, this will allow us to further grow our presence and deliver catering excellence to more customers across Australia than ever before. This includes investing in more infrastructure, starting with a new catering facility in Sydney.”
Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David said the sale would enable Qantas to partner with a global leader in inflight catering and prioritise investing in the airline. He added: “The catering businesses will benefit significantly from dnata’s global footprint, catering expertise and ability to drive investment and growth for what is a core focus of its operation.
“Customers will continue to enjoy Qantas’s premium service, including unique Rockpool-designed menus for First and Business passengers, showcasing the best of Australian produce for millions of travellers each year.
“Together with dnata, we’ll continue to deliver the inflight food and beverage experience we know our customers value, just as we work with catering companies in offshore ports for our international flights.
“We’ve always said that we would explore the sale of certain assets where it makes sense, just as we’ve done before, including with the sale of our catering facility in Cairns and Qantas Defence Services,” said David.
Dubai-headquartered dnata already operates 11 catering facilities in Australia and employs more than 4000 people across its catering, cargo and ground handling businesses in Australia. Globally the company employs more than 39,000 and has an AU$4.2 billion annual turnover.
Over the past 12 months dnata has invested significantly in growing its global catering network. Its most recent milestones include the opening of a catering facility in Dublin, Ireland, the opening of its $50m Melbourne catering facility and an agreement to acquire New York-based caterer 121 inflight catering. It is also currently constructing a facility in Vancouver, Canada.
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