New Airbridge to the Emerald Isle

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Finnair celebrated St Patrick’s Day with the long-awaited launch of a new seasonal summer route to Dublin this March. 

The launch of Finnair’s new service to Ireland is overdue glad tidings not only for lovers of Guinness, great music and James Joyce, but also for customers forwarding urgent parcel shipments to and from destinations as far afield as Asia.

“Ireland exports a lot of pharmaceuticals, which supports Finnair Cargo’s strategic intent to grow in this segment,” states Anja Pöyhönen, sales director for Continental Europe, Finland, the Baltics and Eastern Europe.

“We haven’t flown directly to Dublin for a while now, so this is an interesting ‘new’ destination, especially for our Asian flyers, most of whom are transit passengers. For cargo, too, Asia is an important market both in imports and exports,” she adds.

Irish economy bounces back 

With its thousand-year history, beautifully preserved Georgian architecture and rich literary heritage, Dublin is a city brimming with cultural appeal – though most tourists will agree that a trip to Ireland would be incomplete without a live music session and a pint or two by the crackling fire in one of Dublin’s irresistibly cozy pubs.

But it is not only the great pubs pulling a growing volume of traffic to Ireland. After a number of rocky years, the Irish economy is back on the upswing and experiencing an improved rate of activity. 

According to the latest Quarterly Economic Commentary published by Ireland’s Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), GDP was up 4.8 percent in volume terms last year. Despite Ireland’s relatively high debt to GDP ratio, economic growth conditions underpinning the 2015 budget have improved significantly over the past quarter, reports the ESRI.

Small volumes, big value

Pulled along by the healthy expansion of the US and British economies, Ireland’s net trade position and export performance have picked up, with investment and consumption beginning to register significant growth, states the ESRI report. 

The aviation industry is a key enabler of Irish economic growth, being essential not only for the tourism industry, but also for getting Irish goods to the world market.

In its recent aviation policy statement, the Irish Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport noted that although only approximately 1 percent of global cargo in terms of tonnage is moved by air, this small slice represents about 35 percent of the overall value of all cargo. And these are precisely the goods that Ireland exports: pharmaceuticals, seasonal foodstuffs, medical devices and IT components. 

Six weekly flights

Anja Pöyhönen reveals that the decision to launch the Dublin route was based on market intelligence – “mainly requests from customers and information on their needs’’ – as well IATA statistics and discussions with GSAs.

The seasonal summer service will run from March 30 until October 24, 2015, with six weekly flights out of Helsinki on Embraer 90 aircraft. Flights on Thursdays and Saturdays are operated in the evening, others on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday in the morning. Check the detailed schedules on Finnair Cargo’s website.

The small size of the aircraft imposes certain capacity constraints on cargo volumes. “Embraers can only take smaller shipments, so in terms of cargo, Dublin is for now mainly targeting small shipments. However, there is a demand to and from Asia, and the postal services in many countries are interested in Dublin as a destination.”

Text by Silja Kudel
Photo by iStock

 

Published March 18, 2015

Category: Market updates, Finnair Cargo

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