FINNAIR Cargo (FC) is forging ahead with its bid to become one of the most successful airfreight carriers operating between Europe and Northeast Asia by opening a second European hub in Brussels (Belgium).
The leading cargo airline is set to launch weekly MD-11 freighter flights from Brussels Airport, connecting the city to its Helsinki hub, as well as Hong Kong International Airport (China), New York’s JFK and its newest destination, Chicago O'Hare International Airport (USA).
FC has established an extensive network encompassing 14 Asian destinations, including Japan, South Korea, China and Southeast Asia. The carrier also operates dedicated freighter flights to Hong Kong (China) and Mumbai (India).
“Brussels is one of Europe's key gateways for cargo - offering great connections to numerous locations in Europe with fast road feeder services, ” a spokesperson states. “Brussels Airport is (also) located in the centre of the European pharmaceutical industry, providing great expansion opportunities for Finnair Cargo.”
"Our target is to become one of the top five cargo carriers between Europe and Northeast Asia. The opening of the Brussels cargo hub to strengthen our service via Helsinki is an important step towards this vision," emphasises FC’s managing director Juha Järvinen.
Finnair will begin operating services to several Asian destinations using Airbus A330/340 aircraft, along with its MD-11s.
They include: Osaka and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (Japan), Seoul’s Incheon Airport (South Korea), Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Xi'an (China), Bangkok (Thailand) and Singapore.
Steven Polmans, head of cargo at Brussels Airport, enthuses: “The fact that we were chosen proves our strengths – central location, important local market, good and efficient trucking network – and the opportunities that are available at our airport.
“With Finnair, we can strengthen our Asian network to another 14 destinations with a mix of belly-hold and main deck capacity. For quite some time we have been working hard on becoming the most important and best pharmaceutical gateway in Western Europe and this is another step in reaching our goal.”