In March 2013, the Finnish cargo airline Finnair Cargo will open a new cargo hub at Brussels Airport. Finnair is one of Europe strongest airlines for cargo, strongly present in the Asian markets. Just like Brussels Airport, this company focuses on specialized transports like pharmaceutical products. In addition to its home airport in Helsinki, the carrier decided to open a second cargo hub with convenient direct access to the important European cargo market in Continental Europe.
Apart from increasing the volume of cargo carried on board of existing passenger flights and of cargo trucked between both hubs, Finnair will also open a full-cargo route using MD-11F aircraft. Via Helsinki, the Finnair network will offer convenient access for cargo to the 14 destinations in Asia that the airline operates with its passenger aircraft: Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo Narita, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chongqing, Xi'an, Hanoi, Delhi, Bangkok and Singapore. Moreover, the carrier also operates direct full-cargo services via Helsinki to Hong Kong and Mumbai.
Besides these existing routes, Finnair plans to open a direct full-cargo service from Brussels Airport to New York JFK and Chicago O’Hare as of March. In a later stage, Finnair may also decide to open new direct routes to cargo destinations in Africa and Central and South America.
Thanks to the new European legislation on traffic rights, European carriers are now allowed to open a second cargo hub in Europe but until now only few have done so. The situation of their home airport Helsinki provides Finnair with an excellent operating base to destinations in the north of Asia, but is geographically outside of the centre of European cargo traffic. With its decision to open a second hub in Brussels Airport, Finnair now gets access to a second domestic market. Bringing together Finnair, which largely specialises in the transportation of pharmaceuticals, and the presence of a large number of pharmaceutical companies in our country, opens new opportunities for both parties. With its decision, Finnair opens convenient connections to various regions in the world where there is a high demand for our export products within this sector.
“Finnair Cargo's target is to become one of the TOP 5 cargo carriers between Europe and Northeast Asia, and the opening of the Brussels cargo hub to strengthen our cargo service via Helsinki is an important step in this vision", states Mr Juha Järvinen, Managing Director of Finnair Cargo.
Arnaud Feist, CEO of The Brussels Airport Company is delighted with this development: “With Finnair we will have a European carrier at Brucargo with whom we can examine how to extend the market for the pharmaceutical and other industries in our economy that are highly dependent on importation and exportation. This opens the door to a whole range of new opportunities we wish to explore together”.