First, Russia halted air cargo transits to Asia and now the alternative Kazakhstan route created has been stopped

Andreas Witzøe

Russian air carrier AirBridgeCargo’s route from Gardermoen to Seoul via Karaganda in Kazakhstan was stopped last week.

At the end of July, two aircraft carrying between 80 and 100 tonnes of salmon each was refused transit to Asia at the Sheremetievevo International Airport in Moscow. The aircraft belonged to Aeroflot and AirBridgeCargo.

As a consequence of the transit ban in Russia, AirBridgeCargo created an alternative route which meant that they did not have to land on Russian soil. Instead, two planes went directly from Oslo Airport to Karaganda in Kazakhstan, where the planes stopped to refuel before continuing on to Seoul in South Korea.

“Seoul’s new solution worked well, but it was abruptly stopped last week. The reason is the lack of import licenses between Kazakhstan and South Korea,” Schenker Head Of Air Freight Morten Würgler told SalmonBusiness.

Morten Würgler

Würgler said that it is noticeable that 300 tonnes of capacity have gradually disappeared over the last month.

But a significant drop in demand for global air cargo has made the situation solvable for Schenker.

“We have managed to find good alternatives from Europe that would not otherwise have been possible. In addition, existing operators at Oslo Airport have worked to find space for the airports where AirBridgeCargo primarily operated. So on the whole, things have been fine for Schenker and for our customers,” said Würgler.

Still unclear
According to Würgler, there is still no explanation for what happened to the sudden ban on transit in Russia.

“Political decision is all we have come to. It is beyond our control, and then it is our job to find good and sustainable alternative solutions for the seafood industry,” he said, adding:

“Regardless, we welcome AirBridgeCargo back, and we know that they are working on solutions that are expected to be implemented from early September,” Würgler concluded.


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