The Avinor Group

Another record year for seafood out of Avinor Oslo Airport


The demand for fresh Norwegian seafood continued to grow in 2020 despite the Covid-19 crisis. At Avinor Oslo Airport another record of tons flown was set for the seafood export out of Norway.

The demand for fresh Norwegian seafood continued to grow in 2020 (Photo: Avinor)
The demand for fresh Norwegian seafood continued to grow in 2020 (Photo: Avinor)

In addition, more than 120,000 m3 of medical protection wear, arrived by air to Oslo Airport to support the Norwegian health authorities during the Covid-19 outbreak.

"With the global air cargo industry heavily influenced by Covid-19, we are very pleased by the fact that our airline partners have prioritized online cargo capacity from Norway and Oslo Airport. Especially in a time with severe global shortage of air freight capacity. This is primarily because of a high demand for Norwegian seafood, combined with a significant increase of medical protection wear flown to Norway. In addition, we have seen a strong increase in e-commerce. The increased rate level of air cargo has contributed to more airlines using passenger aircrafts as dedicated freighters, so called “preighters” to and from Oslo Airport," says Director of Cargo at Avinor, Martin Langaas.

70 flights a week of Norwegian seafood

In total, more than 110,000 tons of seafood were flown from Oslo Airport to major markets around the world, with Japan, South-Korea and the United States being the largest export markets.

"As a consequence of reduced air cargo capacity in the rest of Europe, we have seen a higher commitment to uplift from Norway from the Norwegian Seafood industry. Because of this, we have seen yet another record year for seafood export by air, despite the Covid-19 crisis.

At most, we have had over 70 weekly flights carrying fresh Norwegian seafood from Oslo Airport to Asia and Africa”, says Langaas.

Norway is in a unique position
The total volume of air cargo at the country's main airport has decreased marginally as a result of less domestic mail flown and reduced domestic traffic, but far less than other airports in the region.

"Norway is in a unique position because we have a stable export commodity in high demand with Norwegian seafood as an air cargo commodity. This is attractive to airlines, utilizing the imbalance of trade flows between Asia and Europe to fill fresh seafood on their return flights back to Asia. For example, Qatar Airways has opened another seafood route from Norway by adding another stop at Avinor Evenes Airport on its return to Doha from Europe”, Langaas says.

Avinor has improved air freight capacity
“There is a saying that "no one is in more of a rush than a dead salmon". For the seafood industry, time efficient transport to Norway’s largest export marketsrepresents a significant competitive advantage”, Langaasexplains.

This is confirmed by Trond Davidsen, Vice President, in The Norwegian Seafood Federation.

"For our members, Avinor’ s efforts to ensure air cargo capacity from Norway in a very turbulent time for international aviation, have been crucial to reaching world markets with fresh seafood. Itis gratifying to note that Avinor has managed to maintain, and even improve, the air freight capacity for Norwegiantransport of seafood through the covid-19-crisis,"he says.

Airborne infection control equipment

Since 18 March 2020, Avinor has contributed to securing essential supplies of medical infection wear from Asia to Norway.

"In a very demanding and difficult time for the country, it is good that we can utilize our air cargo community and competence. The fact that Avinor has been able to help the Norwegian health Authorities and the Ministry of Health securing a steady supply of medical protection wear, on which the country's hospitals and municipalities are completely dependent, shows the valuable role played by aviation in the Norwegian health preparedness," says Langaas.

He says that with Avinor’s contribution, over 12,000 m3 of infection control equipment has been flown to Norway during 2020. This corresponds to approximately 200 semi-trailers with medical protection wear.

"Despite a very demanding situation, the aviation sector in Norway has been vital in keeping Norway supplied. This underlines the importance of air freight as a key part of the Norwegian infrastructure," he says.

Major developments in the express market

Apart from seafood and medical protection wear, there is another industry that sees a solid increase. The second largest freight segment in volume, the express market, constitutes a significant part of overall value of air cargo flown in and out of Norway.

This is partly because of increased international trade where particularly trade via the Internet has grown substantially, a tendency that has increased with the covid-19 crisis.

"The increase varies between different industries. It is clear, however, that Norwegians in general tend to use the Internet as a marketplace to buy a broad variety of goods. DHL Express Norway has maintained deliveries during the pandemic, with an increase of volume from e-commerce, but also maintained the performance of important shipments to Norwegian industries and business, hospital and health enterprises as well as society in general, says Managing Director of DHL Express, Terje Aarborg.

The total number of freight tons at Oslo Airport in 2020 was 163,000 tons, which corresponds to a decrease of 7 per cent compared to 2019. This means that in 2020 Oslo Airport took the position of the largest freight airport in the Nordic region (measured in tons flown) and reinforced its role as the largest freighter airport (number of cargo aircraft).

Facts - Shipping - Oslo Airport in 2020:

Largest seafood freight airlines from Oslo Airport in 2020:

Qatar Doha 42,446 tons
Korean Air & Ethiopian Seoul 15.170 tons
Emirates Dubai 14,350 tons
CAL & ElAl Tel Aviv 8,464 tons
Silkway West Baku 6,060 tons
Turkish Istanbul 5,393 tons

Largest export markets from Norway with Norwegian seafood:

South Korea
United states


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The demand for fresh Norwegian seafood continued to grow in 2020 (Photo: Avinor)
The demand for fresh Norwegian seafood continued to grow in 2020 (Photo: Avinor)

About The Avinor Group

Avinor is a wholly-owned state limited company under the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications and is responsible for 44 state-owned airports.

Avinor has taken a leading role in reducing climate gas emissions from the aviation industry, including the development of electric aircrafts and supplying sustainable jet-biojetfuel.

Avinor provides safe and efficient travels for around 50 million passengers annually, half of which travel to and from Oslo Airport.

Over 3000 employees are responsible for planning, developing and operating an efficient airport and air navigation service. Avinor is financed via airport charges and commercial sales.  The air navigation services is organized as ​subsidiary wholly-owned by Avinor. Avinor's headquarter is in Oslo.

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