Air cargo movement to Dubai will be impacted with a local terminal operator imposing 48-hour embargo on imports. 

The embargo, which is being imposed due to cargo backlog at the dnata terminal, will be in place for 48 hours from Monday midnight. Emirates will not be impacted as it operates from a different terminal. However, Indian and other foreign airlines will be hit, according to industry sources. dnata provides ground handling, cargo, catering and travel services and is part of the Emirates group.

“Due to a major surge in volume at record level and system cutover recovery, we are facing 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, “ Dubai Airport’s Operations Control Centre informed 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 said.

Dubai is the biggest destination from India for passenger traffic. Emirates is among top five cargo airline operators to India flying wide body passenger aircraft and freighters. Air India operates a mix of Boeing 787 and Airbus A320 type aircraft to Dubai. In recent months, the Tata group airline has increased number of flights to Dubai, and it is also a major source of perishable and general cargo export from India. 

Other Indian airlines fly Boeing 737 or A320 type aircraft that can take 1.5-2 tonnes of belly load. “We have stopped taking shipments for Dubai for next couple of days and are trying to send booked consignments before Monday midnight,” an airline executive said.

“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,” dnata said in a statement.

“In January, dnata processed over 76,000 tonnes of cargo at the two Dubai airports (Dubai International and Dubai World Central) which represents a 45 per cent increase year over year. This growth underscores Dubai’s growing popularity as a preferred route for cargo transportation, leveraging its robust infrastructure and global connectivity. Additionally, the evolving geopolitical landscape has also contributed to substantially increased demand for our services,” it added.