Dubai Airport (DXB) – the busiest international airport in the world – has added yet another feather to its cap. It now has an airport lounge dedicated to children flying solo. The lounge will be operated by dnata – which might just be the most important aviation company you have never heard of.
It is pertinent to talk about dnata first. The name is an acronym for Dubai National Air Transport Association. It is a sister concern of Emirates airline and part of the Emirates group. Dnata provides back-end services to airlines including ground handling, cargo transportation, catering, airport lounges etc.
These services are not just limited to Dubai airport. dnata is present in 5 continents. Last year, it handled 698,739 flights (of which only one-third were from Dubai) and and 3.1 million tonnes of cargo. Recently, it acquired the catering business of Qantas and some small ones in America.
Another way to understand its scale is through its financials. For the year 2018/19, dnata clocked revenues of $3.9 billion and $394 million of profits!
At the Dubai airport, dnata has been responsible for minors who are travelling alone. In 2018, dnata assisted ~8,000 unaccompanied minors, 27% than five years ago.
About the Newly Opened Lounge
The lounge is located at Terminal 1 of DXB Airport. It is open all-day and there are dedicated staff to supervise children. There are several games, books and screen to engage them.
Children can spend time before flights playing in the lounge where there are entertainment screens, arts and crafts activities and colorful airport-themed wall murals.
I have flown solo only once as a child. It was a domestic flight back in the days when even ID checks were not common. Still, it was an intimidating experience for me. Of course, children these days appear far more confident of the world around them. This is, in either case, a welcome initiative.