Finnair has approved the construction of a cargo terminal at Helsinki Airport, to be opened in early 2017, with special holding areas for pharmaceuticals and perishables.
Construction work for the new 35,000 square metre terminal will start in March 2015. The new terminal will be built near the Finnair technical operations area. Until it is ready, cargo operations will remain at Rahtitie 1, the existing facility.
The airline says it needs the new terminal because of the increased capacity offered by the Airbus A350 eXtraWideBody (XWB) joining its fleet, replacing the Boeing MD-11 Freighters, which were retired in December 2014.
Finnair chief commercial officer, Juha Jarvinen, says: “The new Airbus A350 XWB fleet will bring approximately 50 per cent more cargo capacity by 2020. The new, modern cargo terminal enables the smooth handling of growing cargo flows in the future.”
In 2014, Finnair made a loss of 36.5 million euros ($39.9 million), compared to a profit of 11.9 million euros in 2013. Revenue for the year fell by 4.8 per cent to 2.3 billion euros. Cargo and mail volumes in 2014 rose by 1.7 per cent to 149,141 tonnes. In the first two months of 2015, cargo volumes rose by 3.8 per cent to 16,657 tonnes.
Asia was the busiest route by tonnage, up six per cent to 11,815 tonnes, while domestic was the lowest, at 269 tonnes, down; 12.8 per cent on 2014.
In February, Finnair joined the IAG Cargo Partner Plus programme, which, the airline said at the time, would mean better connections to the Americas, and Africa, through London and Madrid.
From 30 March until 24 October Finnair will fly to Dublin six times a week using an Embraer 90, which can accomodate small shipments. The airline says that Ireland exports a lot of pharmaceuticals, as well as perishable food, medical equipment and technology components.