Welcome aboard


Earlier this year, Finnair Cargo appointed Air Logistics Group as its exclusive agent in several European countries. Here, we introduce their team in six markets and offer some background on the operations.

Belgium and pharma: like two peas in a pod

Pharma is big business in Belgium. The industry employs more than 34,000 people, and in 2016 produced over EUR 9.3 billion in goods while spending some EUR 2.4 billion in pharma R&D. “Finnair is a quality brand in Belgium, and has high profile with freighters, particularly those in Pharma,” notes Jeremy Henno, Air Logistics Country Manager for Belgium and a fourteen-year veteran in the business. “As the first airline to earn IATA’s CEIV Certificate (Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Handling), Finnair has a substantial influence in pharma cargo shipping here.” Henno directs a staff of nine. Finnair operates daily flights to Belgium on narrow body flights and three times a week on the Airbus A300F.

Practically a second “local” carrier in Denmark

Air Logistics Scandinavian group  North Air Logistics  has offices in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway. The Danish operation, run out of Copenhagen, is staffed by eight and headed by Henrik Spove, Managing Director, whose long experience in the air cargo industry dates to 1986. “Finnair has a good reputation among forwarders in Denmark and is practically considered a ‘local’ carrier with its ‘home base’ nearby.” Indeed, Finnair also offers road feeder services from Copenhagen to Helsinki. 

For Ireland, it’s computer, pharma and foodstuffs

Though a smaller market in Europe, Ireland is well-represented in Air Logistics’ Finnair Cargo operations. Seven days a week, cargo is on a Finnair direct Dublin-Helsinki narrow-body flight, and larger volumes are trucked over to London Heathrow to take advantage of Finnair’s wider-body aircraft including the Airbus A350. Matthew Taaffe, General Manager for Air Cargo in Ireland, brings twenty years of experience in air cargo and GSA operations to his job, and directs a team of four in Dublin.

Dutch flowers grace the cargo hold from the Netherlands

For sure there are several commodities on Finnair flights exiting the Netherlands, but flowers hold a special place on board. “Amsterdam is one of the main gateways in Europe,” points out Martijn van Duyvenvoorde, Managing Director of Air Logistics in the Netherlands. “Outbound Finnair flights do include several commodities, but of course we are known for the huge number of flowers we export, in addition to vegetables and milk powder. Goods coming into our market include spare parts, electrical products and consumables.” Van Duyvenvoorde, who has worked for nineteen years with forwarding agents, airlines and GSAs, directs a staff of eight from Amsterdam. 

A strong player in Sweden

Sweden is one of the main export countries from Europe for Finnair Cargo. Chief among its exports are electronics, drilling equipment, machinery, spare parts and telecommunications equipment. Finnair operates several narrow-body flights from Arlanda airport, but the bulk of the cargo is trucked to Helsinki or flown onward by UPS freighter from Malmö in southern Sweden. “With a dedicated Finnair Cargo team, we are moving between 100 and 150 tons per week,” notes Emil Pettersson, Branch Manager in Sweden for North Air Logistics, based in Stockholm. “Finnair is a very strong player here and is almost a home carrier, offering fast transit with the added benefit of excellent services to many Asian destinations.” 

Airbus A350 – capacity kingpin for the UK

“Finnair has a leading market share for air cargo to the Nordics from the UK, and with the new Airbus A350 aircraft, the company has a huge opportunity for growth in many Asian markets,” so says Chris O’Donnell, Director for Air Logistics in the United Kingdom. According to O’Donnell, of the top ten air cargo markets (measured by weight) leaving the UK, five are served by Finnair: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Japan. Cargo exports include e-commerce goods, fresh salmon and crabs, aviation spare parts and mail. Finnair operates nine flights a day from three UK airports: Heathrow, Edinburgh and Manchester. O’Donnell, who has twenty-seven-year track record in the cargo industry, leads the UK’s Air Logistics team of sixteen. 

Text by Michael Larkin 

Published May 16, 2017

Category: Collaboration, Finnair Cargo