Finnair Cargo selected Zurich-based handler Swissport to operate its COOL Nordic cargo hub, which began full operations at Helsinki Airport (HEL) early last year. Swissport will commence operating the terminal on June 1 of this year, Finnair said in a statement today.
Finnair expects the HEL COOL terminal to help meet growing demand for seafood exports from Norway, bound for Asia-Pacific destinations including Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo. Regional seafood exports have been an important driver in terminal development, and the addition of new routes connecting Norway with the Middle East and Asia.
Given the additional capacity for handling perishables at HEL brought online last year, the airport is positioning itself to capture growth in Norwegian seafood exports that might otherwise originate only from Oslo Airport (OSL). The airport’s state-owned operator, Avinor AS, had previously planned to develop a new seafood cargo center with ground handler Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) at OSL. However, this week, Avinor and WFS announced the abrupt cancelation of those plans over planning disagreements between Avinor and WFS. The facility would have added an additional 250,000 tonnes of seafood handling capacity per year at OSL. Avinor has not stated whether it will pursue a new partnership for the development of the center, but said that it “will now consider whether, and how, it is best to arrange for seafood exports over Oslo airport.”
Returning to Finnair Cargo’s terminal, the carrier said it currently flies 200 tonnes of seafood exports to Japan every week, and that figure will grow thanks to the COOL terminal. In addition to handling seafood exports, the 31,000-square-meter terminal has a dedicated pharma storage area, and 25,000 square meters dedicated to general cargo handling. Finnair was also the first carrier to receive IATA’s CEIV-Pharma certification.
For a 360° video tour of the COOL cargo terminal, check out the video below: