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            august 19, 2019

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WFS and Avinor to terminate letter of intent


The future of a huge new seafood centre at Oslo airport is now in doubt after French groundhandler Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) and airport operator Avinor agreed to terminate their deal on building and operating the facility, reports London's Air Cargo News.
Said Avinor spokesman Kristian Loksa: "Avinor AS and WFS signed a letter of intent in the autumn of 2018 on the construction and operation of a new seafood centre for air cargo at Oslo Airport.
WFS and Avinor now agree to terminate this letter of intent. In connection with the project development, WFS initiated changes that could not be implemented under the Avinor procurement regulations. We will now consider whether, and how, it is best to arrange for seafood exports over Oslo airport."
Local reports suggest that the airport could use the area for other purposes if no one else wanted to take up the project.
Recently, the local Oslo air cargo community had begun to question the validity of the project, according to iLaks.
Norwegian Air Cargo CEO Bjorn Erik Barman-Jenssen said there were already enough warehouses to handle expected seafood growth, and extra capacity could put those facilities at risk.
Meanwhile, the Gardermoen Perishable Centre, part owned by Schenker, has also been critical of the procurement process and also fears the plans could cause others to shutdown, according to newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv.
The centre was being built to cater for rising demand for perishable exports from the region and would have handled up to 250,000 tons of seafood annually.
In 2017, Oslo Airport was the fastest growing cargo airport in Europe with a 36 per cent year-on-year increase to 185,000 tons, of which 90,000 tons were seafoods.
In 2018, Norwegian Seafood as Air cargo was expected to have reach some 230,000 tons, although not all of this will be transported through Oslo.
The airport is one of the largest freighter hubs in northern Europe with around 14 cargo airlines calling the airport weekly and more are being added as they look to capitalise on the growth in seafood demand.
Recently, Israeli CAL Cargo announced it was adding a second weekly rotation to its Oslo freighter service.

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