Two airlines that famously gave up their maindeck fleets in recent years have just signed an agreement to share freighter service in Europe. In just over a year since IAG Cargo began a freighter-sharing arrangement with Qatar Airways, the British/Spanish cargo carrier has partnered with Finnair Cargo in a block-space agreement for frequencies between London’s Luton Airport and Helsinki.
The two carriers will share space on a DHL-operated A300-600F twice a week, supplementing Finnair’s seven and IAG’s two daily narrowbody services between London Heathrow and Helsinki.
IAG had ended its maindeck service in ealy 2014 when it decided to terminate its leasing agreement with Global Supply Systems, which operated three 747-8Fs for British Airways. Meanwhile, Finnair had phased out its MD-11Fs at the end of 2014.
“With Finnair’s excellent reach into Asia and our strength in the Americas, this deal will open up new markets for our customers while supporting the responsible management of capacity on our networks,” said Steve Gunning, IAG’s CEO.
Finnair’s been nothing short of busy this year. It became the first carrier to earn the coveted Center of Excellence for Independent Validators-Pharmaceuticals (CEIV-Pharma) certification from IATA, for cool-chain operations, and the airline broke ground on it new “Cool Nordic Cargo” (CNC) facility at Helsinki Airport.