Qantas is selling its catering businesses to dnata, an aviation services company that is part of the Emirates Group, a code-sharing partner.
Under the deal, 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.
“Customers will continue to enjoy Qantas’ premium service, including unique Rockpool-designed menus for First and Business passengers, showcasing the best of Australian produce for millions of travellers each year,” says Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David.
Dubai-headquartered dnata already operates 11 catering facilities in Australia, trading under the dnata catering brand, recently rebranded from Alpha Flight Services. dnata employs more than 4000 people in Australia across its catering, cargo and ground handling businesses.
The agreement is subject to approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Qantas’ catering businesses include wholly-owned subsidiaries Q Catering Limited and Snap Fresh Pty Limited.
Q Catering has centres in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, with its largest airline customer being Qantas.
Snap Fresh is a meal production plant in Queensland, specialising in Australian-made frozen meals for airlines and the healthcare and food retail industries.
Andrew David says the sale will enable Qantas to partner with a global leader in inflight catering and prioritise investing in the airline.
“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,” says David.
“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.”
Robin Padgett, dnata’s Divisional Senior Vice President of catering, says the deal reflects confidence in Australia as a market and the ongoing growth potential into the future.
“By combining dnata’s network strength and international talent with Qantas’ domestic catering expertise, this will allow us to further grow our presence and deliver catering excellence to more customers across Australia than ever before,” he says.
“This includes investing in more infrastructure, starting with a new catering facility in Sydney.”
Globally dnata’s catering operation spans 65 locations across 13 countries, providing flight catering and inflight retail services to more than 190 airlines.
It also operates more than 40 restaurant, café and lounge premises, and collectively employs more than 9000 people.