Finnair notes high cargo volumes as it converts A330s to preighters

By Rachelle Harry

Tommi Voss, head of cargo operations at Finnair

As with many carriers, Finnair has reported higher-than-usual airfreight demand due to the pandemic.

Tommi Voss, head of cargo operations at Finnair, recently told Air Cargo News: “The beginning of the year is typically low season for us, but this year we haven’t seen much of a decline in volumes.

“Trends at the moment are quite market-specific and there are sometimes small changes within a certain market that impact demand. For example, in Japan — particularly at the end of last month — we saw a huge increase in demand mainly because seafreight capacity is totally full and of course, situations like the Suez Canal, rapidly change demand in certain market areas.

“For us, it’s been beneficial that cargo volumes have remained very high-level over the last three and six months.”

Because of its geographical location, the Scandinavia-based carrier operates “the shortest and fastest routes between many Asian megacities and many European cities”. It is therefore an emissions-efficient option for cargo customers, which is an increasingly important deciding factors for customers, it says.

Looking forward, Voss said it is difficult to predict how Finnair’s volumes will develop because the market has changed so frequently over the last year.

“Of course, if passenger services pick up and cargo capacity in general increases, this might cause a slight decline in volumes here locally. Yet, if passenger flights increase all around the world then markets or economies will get a boost, so this might increase our volumes.

“Ultimately, I think Finnair is in a very good position to recover from Covid because we really have made a difference in delivering and ensuring a reliable and stable product for our cargo customers this year. We have gained a lot of customers by ensuring this.”

Earlier this month, Lufthansa Technik and Airbus partnered to develop a reversible cargo-in-cabin solution, known as a ‘temporary cargo cabin’, for Airbus A330 aircraft.

The solution enables passenger cabins to be transformed into cargo-carrying spaces with the kit supplied by Lufthansa Technik, increasing capacity by up to 15 tonnes depending on the aircraft configuration.

Finnair recently became the first carrier to implement the temporary cargo solution.

Voss and Finnair cabin engineer Nea Maeda discuss the benefits of using the solution in the upcoming June issue of Air Cargo News.

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