SAUDI Arabia is considering whether to launch flights to Norway to meet growing demand among the country’s population for seafood, especially salmon.
It is the latest in a series of similar moves by a number of countries which are turning Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport into the world’s busiest air seafood hub. Seafood shipments through the airport increased by 35 per cent last year to a total of 185,000 tonnes.
Its owner, Avinor, has announced plans for a huge new seafood terminal able to handle around 300,00 tonnes a year – or around 1,600 tonnes a day. The German logistics giant DHL is already flying salmon direct from Oslo to Shanghai and Seoul.
Worldwide demand for Norwegian farmed salmon is increasing at a fast pace, with China, Japan and South Korea leading the pack.
But seafood is also growing in popularity in the Middle East and at the recent Nordic Air Cargo Symposium in Stockholm, Rainer Muller, European regional director of Saudia Airlines Cargo, said his company was now looking at launching a service, starting in the Middle East and calling at as yet un-named points in central Europe before flying into Norway and then on to New York.
Muller stressed it was still not yet a done deal. The airline would need to carry out a feasibility study and look at a number of issues before making a decision.
And he also said that for such a service to be economic it could not just carry fish. Other cargoes would probably be necessary, hence the stops in Europe.