Finnair to axe Helsinki-Hong Kong freighter

Finnair Cargo is ending its MD-11F freighter service between Helsinki and Hong Kong due to “deteriorating yields” and will rely on daily bellyhold via an A340 passenger service.
The last freighter operation will depart Helsinki December 20, 2014 and return from Hong Kong December 21.
Vice president global sales Mikko Turtiainen said: “This has been one of the hardest collective decisions to make during my years at Finnair Cargo. We have over the years received excellent support from the Hong Kong and European freight forwarders and markets, as well as received positive feedback on the freighter operations.
“The biggest challenge we have faced has been deteriorating yields, partly caused by currency fluctuations and partly by overcapacity in the markets.
“The financial result over the past year does not encourage and lead towards sustainable freighter operations over the next couple of critical years."
Finnair Cargo will continue to serve the Hong Kong market with daily A340 passenger flights and add capacity with two additional weekly passenger flights during the summer season.
Turtiainen continued: “Finnair Cargo has a growth strategy that starts with the acquisition of the A350s. We will increase our long-haul passenger flights to approximately 140 weekly flights and double our cargo belly capacity by the year 2020.
“This will enable Finnair to offer additional frequencies between present city pairs and add new origins and destinations to our network in Asia. Additionally an area for development for Finnair Cargo in 2015 is to build on and broaden our European feeder network that presently consists of freighter and A340 widebody flights to and from Brussels."
Finnair Cargo has previously stated that it will “continue to review market developments and evaluate potential freighter operations that would complement the growing Finnair passenger and belly cargo network”.
Finnair is the first European airline to acquire the A350s, with the first aircraft entering the Finnair fleet during next year’s fourth quarter. Finnair has just signed an agreement, firming up the order for eight additional A350-900s.
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