Qatar Airways Cargo transported more than 46,000 tonnes of Norwegian seafood in 2021, the highest result yet. The airline in February had announced the record breaking uplift of more than 68,944 kg salmon on a single lower deck 777 passenger flight.
At 1.3 million tonnes of salmon exported in 2021 (the country’s best year to date), and a segment value of EUR 8.57 billion/US$9.28 billion, Norway is by far the world’s number one salmon exporter. 95 percent of all perishable seafood (PES) on board Qatar Airways flights out of Scandinavia, is salmon. Iceland and Faroe Island (Denmark) also see some seafood traffic which includes live king crabs, trout, and other seafood, however the bulk of the salmon business originates in Norway.
“With seven Qatar Airways passenger flights and six Boeing 777 freighter services each week, the Oslo-Doha route is well served, and the airline’s cargo capacity well stocked,” the company said in its statement.
Qatar Airways Cargo offers close to 850 tonnes of cargo capacity each week from Norway, transporting Norwegian salmon via Doha’s state-of-the-art perishable centre, to destinations across Asia: Seoul/South Korea (ICN), Bangkok/Thailand (BKK), Shanghai/China (PVG), Osaka/Japan (KIX), Narita/Japan (NRT), Hong Kong (HKG), Guangzhou/China (CAN,); and the Middle East: Dubai/UAE (DXB), Doha/Qatar (DOH), and Riyadh/Saudi Arabia (RUH).
“By introducing passenger freighters to the Norwegian seafood market, including Harstad-Narvik Airport in Evenes and Bodø Airport in Northern Norway, Qatar Airways Cargo significantly increased its capacity to the Norwegian market in 2021 when it was needed the most,” Rob Veltman, Vice President of Cargo for Europe at Qatar Airways said.
Qatar Airways Cargo, together with its Norwegian GSA partner, NordicGSA, an ECS Group subsidiary, are proven air cargo experts when it comes to seafood logistics. They were awarded DB Schenker’s Seafood Airline Award for three consecutive years: 2018, 2019, and 2020.
“The DB Schenker Seafood Airline Award is the only award where seafood farmers are the ones judging the various airlines in terms of how they handle perishables, the service offered, their quality and proactiveness, among other factors,” Carl Christian Skage, Managing Director of NordicGSA, based in Norway, stated.