Salmon producer takes delivery of former American Airlines passenger jet

Editorial Staff

Bakkafrost’s FarCargo initiative aims to improve market access for salmon exports from the Faroe Islands.

In 2021, Faroese salmon producing giant Bakkafrost announced its decision  to purchase its own aircraft. This move, unprecedented for a salmon producer, was aimed at enhancing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of transporting their salmon to the United States, the company’s most lucrative market.

This initiative marked a significant shift in how Bakkafrost approached the logistics of getting its high-quality salmon to distant markets, emphasizing direct control over transportation to ensure freshness and competitive pricing.

Now, the vision has been realized with FarCargo, a Bakkafrost subsidiary, taking possession of a Boeing 757-200, the company announced in a press release on Wednesday.

Improved market access

“Delivery of healthy Superior Salmon to distant markets as fast and sustainably as possible is crucial,” Bakkafrost CEO Regin Jacobsen wrote on LinkedIn.

He emphasized the importance of improved market access for their salmon exports, highlighting the role of efficient logistics in maintaining product quality. “A direct flight from the Faroe Islands reduces emissions compared to current transport modes and mitigates food waste, a critical element in perishable foods such as fresh salmon,” he said.

He also noted the strategic location of the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic, underscoring the significance of market access for the large export of fresh seafood. “Efficient logistics are crucial to maintaining our competitive advantage and delivering the best quality to our customers,” Jacobsen said.

Modified for cargo operations

The aircraft, originally operated by American Airlines for passenger flights, has now arrived in Copenhagen for registration under the European flight register. It has been modified for cargo operations, capable of carrying up to 35 tons or 230 cubic meters of cargo, including refrigerated goods, making it suitable for operations between the Faroe Islands and other destinations.

FarCargo has arranged for the aircraft to be operated by the Swedish airline West Atlantic under its AOC until FarCargo obtains its own. Initially, the aircraft will operate within Europe, allowing crews to familiarize themselves with it and obtain necessary certifications. Subsequently, it will start cargo operations between the Faroe Islands, Iceland, the US, and Denmark, with plans to gradually increase flight frequency, according to Bakkafrost.

FarCargo will offer cargo space to European and Faroese customers through local freight forwarders, in partnership with Nordic GSA. This new operation aims to enhance the Faroese market for perishables and other express shipments, significantly improving import opportunities from the US and Europe.

The company is committed to sustainable practices, incorporating Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to reduce environmental impact.

With a current crew of eight certified for the 757, plans are underway to expand the team as operations increase.