UAE-based air services provider Dubai National Air Transport Association (dnata) has launched operations at Los Angeles International Airport.

With this launch, the air services provider is now delivering ground handling and cargo services at 20 airports in the US.

The company invested $8m in resource and infrastructure to establish operations in Los Angeles. This investment has created more than 350 local jobs.

Initially, dnata will handle 4,600 flights a year and will serve six airlines comprising Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Iberia, Japan Airlines, and Qantas.

dnata USA chief executive officer David Barker said: “Adding Los Angeles International Airport to our growing network underlines our strong commitment to the US market, where we have significantly expanded our operations through massive investments in our facilities and resources in the past two years.

“We see an opportunity to create a step change in service excellence for our customer airlines at this important gateway.”

Lufthansa Group commercial airport infrastructure vice-president Joerg Mnich said: “As a premium airline, the Lufthansa Group Airline is excited to grow the North American relationship with dnata into another major hub like Los Angeles.

“We have significantly expanded our operations through massive investments in our facilities and resources in the past two years.”

“With our very positive service experience from destinations like Boston, New York-JFK, San Diego and Tampa, we are looking forward to providing first class service to our customers with our handling partner at Los Angeles International Airport.”

In 2016, the firm commenced ground handling and cargo operations in the US. Since then, it has invested over $35m in facilities, equipment, training equipment, and technology.

In the past two years, dnata has hired 1,000 additional employees, expanding its team to more than 3,750 professionals.

This year, dnata opened a perishable cargo facility at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, and commenced services at Concourse G at San Francisco International Airport. It also diversified its service portfolio by launching passenger handling services at New York JFK Airport, and established operations at Nashville International Airport.

The company has secured over 45 new contracts in the last 12 months and now serves over 60 airlines in the US.

With the expansion to Los Angeles International Airport, dnata’s global ground handling and cargo network now comprises 87 airports in 13 countries.