Miami magic year-round


Finnair’s Helsinki-Miami service is set to go year-round, bringing welcome news both to sun-starved vacationers as well as cargo shippers looking to connect Europe, Asia, and South America.

Finnair has decided to convert its Helsinki-Miami service from winter seasonal to year-round, with three weekly frequencies to begin operating on Airbus A330-300 aircraft as of April 2016.

The move comes in response to the growing popularity of the seasonal service launched in March 2014. The Sunshine State has proved a big hit among holiday-makers escaping the cold winters of the Northern hemisphere, which has fueled a flourishing cargo business on the side.

“There’s good demand both ways for cabin and cargo via the Finnair network in Europe and Asia. The Miami hub offers a functional airport infrastructure for passenger comfort and smooth cargo flow,” says Jan Skutnabb, cargo sales director at Finnair.

“The hub is efficient for domestic US shipments, but also for Mexico and the rest of Central and South America. The next-day connection to Miami has been very well received by our customers in Asia. We have even managed to seize new business to and from South America.”

Match made in cargo heaven

Skutnabb describes the Helsinki-Miami service as “a match made in cargo heaven” – so why wait before launching a year-round operation?

“Operating an air service is like running a factory, only the factory can be easily moved to a better position if needed. And as in any business, the numbers must support the decisions. Quite often it’s better to start with less iron in the air and then add frequencies when you see the real demand and rate levels, both ways.”

With the US economy in a positive mood, Skutnabb expects to see escalating demand for logistics services. 

“We’re ready for it. For our Asian customers, Miami offers an excellent gateway to markets south of USA, not forgetting the US domestic market. I’m confident that Miami will bring more kilos to our Asia-Helsinki flights. In fact, most of the cargo we carry to Miami at the moment comes from Asia – and Finland.” 

From hair to heavy metal

Now that the service will become year-round, Finnair has many agents making inquiries in the hope of attracting new customers. According to Skutnabb, the commodities Finnair expects to ship can be almost anything from hair to iron.

Skutnabb anticipates that the new service will enhance Finnair’s presence in the Americas in spite of fierce competition from many other players. 

“After all, aviation was born in the USA, but thanks to Finnair’s fresh, contemporary brand and respectful sales work, I think many more people will become aware of our ‘cool connection’ for special temperature-controlled goods via Helsinki in the near future.”

Newly appointed as sales director for the Americas, Skutnabb has not been to Florida for a few years, but plans to fix that soon. First on his must-do list is a visit to the Kennedy Space Center. 

“I want to see how our colleagues handle cargo bound for outer space. That’s some serious cargo logistics!”

Text by Silja Kudel
Photo by iStock


Published January 20, 2016

Category: Local features, Finnair Cargo