48-Hour embargo disrupts air shipments to Dubai

Air cargo movement to Dubai faces disruption as a local terminal operator, initiates a 48-hour embargo on imports. The embargo, attributed to a cargo backlog at the dnata terminal, will be enforced from Monday midnight. While Emirates, operating from a different terminal, remains unaffected, Indian and other foreign airlines will bear the impact, as indicated by industry sources. dnata, a part of the Emirates group, provides ground handling, cargo, catering, and travel services.

“Due to a major surge in volume at a record level and system cutover recovery, we are facing a backlog situation at our terminals in Dubai and Dubai World Central airports. To expedite the recovery process, we are implementing a temporary embargo on import loads of cargo at both Dubai and Dubai World Central airports. This embargo will be effective for the next 48 hours starting from Monday midnight,” communicated Dubai Airport’s Operations Control Centre to airlines over the weekend.

“The temporary embargo is crucial to allow our team the necessary time over that period to clear the existing backlog and restore normal operations,” the airport clarified.

Dubai stands as the most significant destination from India for passenger traffic. While Emirates, a leading cargo airline to India, remains unaffected, other Indian airlines, including Air India, face disruptions. Air India, a major contributor to perishable and general cargo exports from India, has increased its flights to Dubai in recent months. The halt in shipments for Dubai is noted among Indian airlines, with efforts to dispatch booked consignments before Monday midnight.

“In recent months, we’ve experienced a significant surge in cargo volumes at our Dubai facilities, particularly in import general cargo such as fast-moving consumer goods, electronics, and fashion accessories,” stated dnata in response to the situation. In January alone, dnata processed over 76,000 tonnes of cargo at the two Dubai airports, marking a 45% increase year over year. This growth highlights Dubai’s growing popularity as a preferred route for cargo transportation, driven by its robust infrastructure and global connectivity, with geopolitical factors contributing to increased demand for services.


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