Miami on our minds


What’s the fastest way to ship fresh Norwegian salmon to Rio de Janeiro? Come December, the answer will be “via Miami”. The launch of Finnair’s new seasonal service to Florida opens up a fast-track cargo gateway to the Americas.

Miami is hot this winter – and not only as a destination for tourists escaping the winter chill in Europe. December 16 will see the kick-off of a new scheduled Finnair service between Helsinki and Miami International Airport, offering passengers a nonstop Airbus A340 connection to the sunshine state of Florida, with belly capacity for streams of cargo bound for the Americas.

The seasonal winter service will run until March 21, with two weekly flights departing from Helsinki on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Starting January 3, an additional service will join the roster on Saturdays.

Although Asia remains Finnair’s core strategic focus, the launch of the new Miami service makes a clear statement: North America is always on Finnair Cargo’s radar.

“At the risk of sounding nostalgic, we have been flying to New York’s JFK since 1969. We’re always on the lookout for new opportunities to expand our network. Now we will not be dependent on just one daily flight to JFK, but can offer direct service to southern USA,” says Pasi Nopanen, Finnair Cargo’s sales director for US and Scandinavia.

Hungry belly

Home to a metropolitan population of five million, Miami is the largest urban center in the southeast US and a major hub of trade, commerce and varied industries including shipping, paper, machinery and electronics. 

“The US is an important trade partner for Scandinavia and the Baltics, so Finnair is always evaluating demand across the Atlantic. Offering belly capacity on direct flights to Miami during the winter season opens a new gateway to destinations across the US and South and Central America,” affirms Mikko Turtiainen, vice president for global sales at Finnair Cargo.

In a key move expanding its transatlantic passenger network, Finnair recently joined the Transatlantic Joint Venture together with American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia. Finnair Cargo is also cooperating with American Airlines.

“Our cooperation with American means that Miami is a stepping stone to dozens of new destinations. Finnair will fly shipments to Miami, and the cargo will then continue aboard American Airlines to destinations such as Sao Paulo, Santiago de Chile, Rio de Janeiro, Lima and Buenos Aires.”

Finnair Cargo will additionally offer trucking services from Miami across Florida and to key US cities such as Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta.

Florida’s sushi supplier

The top items shipped to Miami and beyond include perishables, machinery, ship parts and garments from the Far East. “Finnair Cargo ranks among the top three airlines for exports from Norway, so it would not surprise me if we carry a good amount of salmon to Miami. We also anticipate carrying perishables such as flowers as well as IT goods on return flights from Miami to Northern Europe,” says Turtiainen. 

A long history of overcapacity has created extremely tough competition on the US cargo market, but the shorter lead times offered by Finnair’s Miami gateway promise to make it a highly attractive option for shippers. The three-month seasonal service will give a good indication of potential for making Miami a year-round nonstop destination.

“I wish I had my crystal ball working, but there are positive signs emerging. Finnair Cargo is expecting moderate improvement in belly loads and a pick-up in demand. It’s important that we know our strengths and develop our business based on those strengths. This is our key to success.”

Text by Silja Kudel  
Photo by iStock



Published November 24, 2014

Category: Finnair Cargo