Finnair to add Chicago freighter

Finnair Cargo is opening a second European freighter hub and adding a new U.S. main-deck destination, Chicago, in a significant redeployment of its three MD-11 freighters.

New, weekly JFK-Brussels-Helsinki-Hong Kong and Hong Kong-Helsinki-Brussels-Chicago rotations will be introduced in March, operating respectively on Saturdays and Sundays. Weekday services will link Chicago, Mumbai and Hong Kong over Finnair’s main Helsinki hub, with a Friday return to New York allowing the cycle to repeat.

“Brussels is one of Europe’s key gateways for cargo, offering great connections to numerous locations covering the European air cargo market in less than eight hours,” said Finnair Cargo in a statement. “Brussels Airport is located in the center of the European pharmaceutical industry, which offers great expansion opportunities.”

Divisional MD Juha Järvinen added: “Finnair Cargo’s target is to become one of top five cargo carriers between Europe and northeast Asia, and the opening of Brussels cargo hub to strengthen our cargo service via Helsinki is an important step in this vision.”

During the summer, the Finnair network will expand to 14 Asian destinations, including three airports in Japan and five in China plus Hanoi, Delhi, Bangkok and Singapore, all served by Airbus A330s and A340s. Xi’an, the headquarters of Rolls-Royce in China as well as home to the Terracotta Army, will be connected direct to Europe for the first time when Finnair launches three flights per week in June for the summer season.

The carrier will also become the only European airline to offer a direct connection from Europe to the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi. In a recent ranking published by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hanoi, a major center of scientific study and research, Hanoi will be the world’s fastest-growing city in terms of GDP growth through to 2025.

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