Emirates Subsidiary Set To Reevaluate Its Australian Business - Simple Flying


Some 4,500 jobs are at risk after following Emirates’ decision to review the Australian operations of its catering and grounding handling subsidiary Dnata. This follows a decision by the Australian Government not to subsidize the salaries of local employees when working for a business that is 100% foreign-owned. Dnata is owned by Emirates, which is owned by the Dubai Government.

Emirates subsidiary Dnata is threatening to exit Australia. Photo: John Taggart via Wikimedia Commons.

Emirates subsidiary employs 4,500 people in Australia to provide airline support services

Dnata is at ten airports around Australia. In addition to Emirates, they provide catering and grounding handling services for 29 other airlines, including Qantas. The Emirates subsidiary services 27,000 flights annually in Australia. Their services range from frontline check-in to ramp services, baggage handling, cleaning, and catering (via their Alpha Flight Group subsidiary).

The business had previously flagged that it might be forced to permanently lay off employees and wind down operations as aircraft movements collapsed over recent months. Some 4,000 of Dnata’s 4,500 Australian employees have already been temporarily stood down.


The Australian Government has started providing taxpayer monies to local businesses to keep paying workers who otherwise would have been laid off. The USD$84 billion JobKeeper program provides USD$975 per fortnight to businesses to pass onto their employees. Over 700,000 businesses have signed on.

Dnata ruled ineligible for subsidies and not happy about it

But late last week, the Australian Government excluded businesses that are 100% foreign-owned, ruling Dnata ineligible. The government’s view is that it isn’t their job to subsidize the payroll of foreign companies.

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