The shortest and most efficient route to Asia goes via Helsinki
Helsinki Airport has an unbeatable advantage in air cargo, both due to its lack of congestion and its optimal location between Asia and Europe.
A quick glimpse at a world map reveals Helsinki Airport’s competitive advantage: the shortest route to the Far East cuts through the Finnish capital. Finland’s location is beneficial also in traffic between North America and India.
Finnair is able to make efficient use of the geographic location of its main hub by offering the shortest and fastest flights between Europe and Asia. According to Mikko Turtiainen, Finnair Cargo’s vice president of global sales and marketing, Helsinki Airport is a good choice for air cargo as well as passenger traffic.
“Cargo departing from, say, Germany, the Netherlands or Sweden travels in the right direction for its entire journey when flying via Helsinki. As a result, deliveries are faster and emissions are reduced,” Turtiainen says.
In recent years, growth in traffic to/from the Far East has significantly increased traffic at Helsinki Airport. Thanks to new investments, there is now sufficient capacity for more passengers and cargo. Helsinki’s three runways and revamped terminals ensure fluid operations both on the ground and in the air. And despite the growth in traffic, Helsinki Airport is still less congested than many Central European airports.
“Staying on schedule is important for air cargo customers. Not having to worry about whether a delivery makes it to its destination on time greatly reduces stress,” says Turtiainen.
A lack of congestion also means fewer emissions; aircraft don’t have to unnecessarily circle in the air and can instead land in Helsinki as directly as possible. Less air traffic also allows for continuous descent approach (CDA) landings that help cut down on noise, exhaust and engine use. Pilots, airlines and air traffic control are all involved in CDA landings; for more information, see http://www.finavia.fi/environment/noise/cd-en .
Finnair is also able to reduce emissions by having one of the most modern fleets in the industry. The average age of Finnair’s fleet is eight years. Further information: Finnair fleet
Finnair has also invested in biofuels. The airline completed its first biofuel flight in 2011, and is continuously researching new opportunities for more extensive and permanent use of biofuels.
”Environmentally conscious companies can cut down on delivery emissions by choosing an airline that offers direct routes,” says Turtiainen.
He adds that choosing an optimal location for layovers, when these are necessary, can also reduce fuel consumption. “In these cases, aircraft aren’t unnecessarily carrying around extra fuel,” he explains.
Finnair’s growth strategy is based on Asian traffic. Future growth in this area will provide air cargo customers even more comprehensive connections between the East and West.
Finnair flies daily to central locations in the Far East, as well as to Delhi and New York. Alongside passenger aircraft, Finnair Cargo offers separate cargo-only flights; they fly to Hong Kong twice a week and to Mumbai, New York and Frankfurt once a week.
“Freighter flights provide a good supplement to our network, because they make it possible for us to ship larger items too,” Turtiainen says.
In Europe, well-established road feeder services (RFS) with truck companies enable the ground delivery of large items flown into Helsinki Airport. Smaller deliveries, meanwhile, can be transported on narrow-bodied aircraft used on European routes.
”Fast connections through Helsinki Airport are especially beneficial when shipments have to travel quickly from point A to point B,” says Turtiainen.
Finnair Cargo transports, for example, large amounts of consumer electronics and seasonal fashions that have to make it quickly from production facilities to stores on various continents. Spare parts for machines and perishable foods are also frequently transported by air.
Text by Matti Remes
Photo by Nitro
Published July 3, 2012
Finnair will build a brand new cargo terminal at Helsinki Airport. The work will start in spring 2015, and the new state-of-the-art terminal, with warehouse automation to ensure efficient and high quality operations, is planned to be opened in 2017.
Finnair is the first airline in Europe and one of only two global carriers (South African Airways) to be certified as a Stage 2 operator in IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) program, an environmental management system designed to independently assess and improve an airline’s environmental management.