OSLO: August 15, 2018. Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) and Avinor Oslo Airport subsidiary Sjømatterminalen have signed an MoU to operate a new seafood centre capable of handling 250,000 tonnes annually. Construction will begin in April 2019 and the facility is expected to open in 2021.

According to the Norwegian Seafood Council, the country exported 2.6 million tonnes of seafood valued at NOK94.5 billion in 2017. This was an increase in value of three percent, or NOK3.0 billion, and an increase in volume of seven percent year-on-year.

Mr. Solomon Begashaw director Global Cargo Sales in Ethiopian Cargo Martin Langaas Director Cargo at Avinor Oslo Airport Salmon is the most important species for Norwegian seafood exports with over 68 percent of the total export value and 38 percent of the volume.

"This is a unique opportunity to define the future of cool chain logistics for seafood as air cargo. The seafood centre at Oslo Airport will increase the competitiveness of Norwegian Seafood globally and industrialize the handling,” said Martin Langaas, director Cargo. “With an experienced international handler as WFS, we believe Oslo Airport will increase its competitive advantage as the preferred cargo hub in Northern Europe."

Oslo Airport handled 185,000 tonnes of air cargo last year, a 38 percent rise year-on-year, of which 90,000 tonnes was seafood. The airport says it expects to handle 230,000 tonnes of cool chain perishables this year supported by 14 freighter scheduled airlines.

"We have listened to the exporter and their needs to ensure quality and time to market. I believe the dedication from the Seafood Exporters in this project is an acknowledgement of the project itself,” commented Oslo Airport EVP Øyvind Hasaas. He suggested the new centre would create value for all of Norway and increase the competitiveness of Norwegian seafood globally.

“The industry is a unique opportunity for us to share our experience in air cargo handling,” added John Batten, WFS executive vice president Cargo EMEAA. “Our terminal will be a game changer in the handling of seafood as air cargo and be an important part of ensuring the future growth of one of Norway’s most important industries."

(Pictured: Solomon Begashaw, Ethiopian Airlines director Global Cargo Sales and Martin Langaas, director Cargo at Avinor Oslo Airport announcing the introduction next month of B777-200 freighter flights carrying seafood exports from Norway to Guangzhou, China.)