The sky is the limit

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Finnair Cargo plans to increase its revenue by 50 percent by 2020. A solid Asia-Europe strategy combined with next-generation Airbus A350 XWBs, a planned new cargo terminal at Helsinki Airport and additional European hubs are all part of the formula for success.  

Despite the sluggish economic situation in Europe, the largest Nordic/Baltic cargo carrier aims to increase its business by 50 percent in the next six years. 

“Finnair’s focus is on north-eastern Asia-Europe flows, which means we have a very specific product and range. As the rise of Asian affluence grows, there’s increasing demand for items ranging from seafood and fresh produce to European brand-name clothing and accessories,” says Juha Järvinen, managing director of Finnair Cargo.

On the process front an important goal was reached in mid-August when Finnair Cargo took an important step in the process of moving into the virtually paper-free world – now 80 percent of all shipments from the Nordic countries and Finland use eAWBs (electronic air waybills).

“Our goal is that by the end of 2015, 60 to 80 percent of all our shipments will be eFreight,” says Järvinen.

Clear vision

Several major infrastructural moves including a new cargo terminal and the introduction of next-generation A350 extra wide-body aircraft are key for expansion. 
 
“With the A350 aircraft joining the fleet next year, we will get 16 to 20 percent additional capacity,” says Järvinen. “By 2020 we will have 50 percent more cargo capacity than today. That gives us a unique opportunity to grow the market within our product framework,” he says.
 
Finnair will begin operating its first A350 XWB aircraft in 2015, initially serving Shanghai, Bangkok and Beijing, with Hong Kong and Singapore A350 service to be added in 2016. The airline has 11 firm orders and eight options for the A350 aircraft.
 
A new, fully automated cargo terminal at Helsinki Airport, subject to board of director approval, is currently in the conceptual phase and slated to open in early 2017. 

Networking for the future

Currently, 20 percent of Finnair Cargo’s business (import to export) comes from central Europe. Last year alone, the growth rate was 35 percent for traffic between central Europe and Asia, in part due to the opening of the second Finnair Cargo hub in Brussels last year.
 
“We are currently evaluating opening additional European hubs in the future so that we can fly freight quickly and efficiently between Europe and Helsinki and on to Asia,” says Järvinen.
 
“There’s big potential for further growth. We’re ready for the future,” he says.
 

Top 3 cargo segments 

1. Seafood
 
“There’s tremendous demand in Asia for Norwegian fresh salmon. That represents growth of approximately 20 percent a year in traffic from Norway to Asia for us,” says Juha Järvinen.
 
Finnair is the world’s only carrier to transport fresh salmon – Aurora Salmon is a specific product for the Japanese sushi and sashimi market – from northern Norway to Japan in 36 hours. 
 
2. Pharmaceuticals
 
“Finnair’s second hub in Brussels was opened in 2013 because of the concentration of pharmaceutical production in Europe. We now fly directly with large wide-body aircraft from Brussels to Helsinki and onto Asia, as Asian consumers are spending more money on biotech medicines, and it’s a rapidly growing area,” says Järvinen.
 
3. Online shopping
 
The international rise of e-commerce – online shopping – represents tremendous growth potential in the parcel trade, according to Järvinen.
 
 
Text by Katja Pantzar
Photo by Finnair
 

Published September 11, 2014

Category: Finnair Cargo

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