20.03.2013 09:21

Ready, steady…

After announcing the expansion of our freighter services in the beginning of this year, we have been busy making the practical arrangements for this launch. Numerous details have been checked and fine-tuned to ensure a smooth launch of our new freighter rotation that introduces Brussels as our 2nd hub.

In Brussels, we were fortunate enough to rely on existing and well-functioning business relations. We continue with ATC Aviation Services as our GSA and Swissport as our handling agent. Both of them have already been taking care of our air cargo carried by Finnair's passenger aircraft or road feeder services (RFS). Previous operational models simply needed to be scaled to correspond to larger volumes and shipment sizes enabled by the freighter aircraft.

Our internal IT processes required perhaps the most planning and adjustments, as capacity control is much more demanding when operating through two hubs instead of "point to point" traffic in which Helsinki is always the origin or destination. For instance, our booking system needs to show the a same flight number for the entire New York–Brussels–Helsinki route, even though there are two segments, JFK–BRU and BRU–HEL, on this journey. From a customs perspective, the key change that arose from this new rotation was a changed point of entry into the EU. For the New York–Brussels flight, the first point of entry is now Brussels instead of Helsinki, so customs-related messages concerning shipments to Brussels need to go to the Belgian Customs. If, however, the shipment continues to Helsinki, we also need to inform Finnish Customs in accordance with applicable regulations.

During the upcoming two weeks, the final touches are made to make sure that everything is in place for the first flight arriving from New York to Brussels on April 6. For detailed flight schedules please check the freighter timetable.