Qantas sells catering subsidiaries to dnata, an Emirates Group company.

Breakfast Offering

Qantas Catering
Date Posted: 13/04/2018
Key Points:

  • Qantas sells Q Catering and SnapFresh Foods to dnata, an Emirates Group Company.
  • 1,200 employees will be employed by dnata, once approval is granted.
  • Pending approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
  • Allows Qantas to prioritize and invest in the airline.
  • Passengers will continue to receive the premium service that Qantas is known for.
  • Food will continue to be the same on flights, menus created in collaboration with Rockpool Chef, Neil Perry.
  • dnata operates in over 124 airports in 84 counties, making over 320,000 meals daily

Qantas has announced that they have signed an agreement for the sale of their catering subsidiaries to dnata, an Emirates Group company.

Q Catering (Image: Laing O’Roruke)

The two subsidiaries that Qantas previously owned, was Q Catering which operates out of four Australian ports – Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and their frozen food company SnapFresh Foods, which was based in Queensland. Around 1,200 employees will be employed and become part of the dnata operation following the completion of sale. The transaction is still pending approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
(ACCC).
Qantas Domestic CEO, Andrew David said that “the sale would enable us to partner with a global leader in inflight catering” and that the sale of these two companies allows Qantas to “prioritize investing in the airline”.

Connecting the globe like never before… (Image: Qantas)

In the application to establish the partnership between Qantas and Emirates back in 2013, both airlines told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that there was “no intention” to coordinate the catering companies. The statement in the 2013 partnership application between airlines read “the applicants are therefore willing to exclude coordination between catering and aircraft cleaning options, from the scope of the application in order to ally issues raised by interested parties”. This partnership agreement was in effect until early 2018.
Since 24 March 2018 a new agreement was submitted and was approved by the ACCC. There’s no way in knowing what was in that revised partnership agreement, but you can only assume that both airlines negotiated with the ACCC to remove or modify this clause on the current agreement to allow the sale of the two previously owned Qantas subsidiaries.

[READ MORE] Qantas and Emirates Extend Partnership…

Q Catering (Image: Q Catering)

The sale of these subsidiaries, Q Catering and SnapFresh Foods. Follows on from the sale of its catering facilities in Cairns and Riverside, Sydney which is now trading as Gate Gourmet. Qantas in 2012, sold its 50 percent share in Startrack Couriers to Australia Post. Following on, in 2013, Qantas sold its Qantas Defence Services (QDS) for $80 million dollars. This was sold to Northrop Gumman Australia. Qantas Defence Services provided engineering and maintenance on aircrafts and engines to government and military customers. In recent years, Qantas has closed their Adelaide catering facility at Adelaide Airport in 2015.
Vice President of Catering, Robin Padgett said that “this agreement reflects on our confidence in Australia..and the ongoing growth potential in the future”.
dnata is looking at ways to grow their presence and deliver high quality catering to more customers across Australia than ever before. “This includes in investing more in infrastructure, starting with a new catering facility in Sydney”.


What’s going to happen to the inflight meals on Qantas?…

Customers travelling on Qantas operated flights will continue to receive complimentary food, refreshments and drinks on all tickets purchased. Passengers will continue to receive the premium service that Qantas is known for. Including the unique menus which are created in collaboration with Rockpool Chef, Neil Perry. Qantas Domestic CEO, Mr. David said that Qantas will continue “showcasing the best of Australian Produce for millions of travellers each year”
This new agreement will see dnata provide catering on Qantas flights over the next 10 years, until 2028. dnata already supplies inflight catering to Qantas flights out of Adelaide, Canberra, Johannesburg and London.
The value of this sale is “commercial-in-confidence”, so we will never know how much it was sold for, but one can only assume it was a huge sum of money.

Who is dnata?

dnata is an Emirates Group company. They supply Catering, Cargo and Ground services to 129 airports around the world, operating in 84 counties and employing over 39,000 people worldwide.

Food Preparation (Image: Venture Magazine)

The catering sector of dnata operates out of 11 facilities in Australia. Globally dnata’s catering options span 63 locations, across 13 counties. Providing catering and retail services inflight to over 190 airlines, making over 320,000 meals everyday.
dnata catering headquarters in Australia is located in Broadbeach, Queensland.
This new deal with Qantas comes a few months after opening a new catering facility in Dublin, Ireland and the opening of a new catering facility in Melbourne costing over $50 million dollars. dnata have just gained and agreement to acquire the New York Based 121 Catering. Currently dnata is in the process of construction a facility in Vancouver, Canada.

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