One of the world’s most advanced jet airliners is being used to carry salmon and other seafood from Norway to the Middle East and beyond.
The fish will be carried on board the long range Boeing 777-300 of Qatar Airways, the first commercial aircraft to be designed entirely by computer.
It will be taken directly to Doha before being split up into further onward flights destined for Asian, African and other Middle East Markets.
The operation is due to start on Monday and will be handled by Qatar Airways’ cargo division flying the salmon out of Norway at least three times a week.
This is not the first time passenger jets have been used to transport salmon from Norway, but it is certainly one of the largest exercises of its kind.
Hundreds of large airliners have been laid up by the pandemic and switching them to freight transport is one way of making up for some of the losses in passenger revenues.
Avinor, the authority which looks after Norway’s state airports, said flights will operate three times a week carrying more than 150 tonnes of farmed and wild caught seafood.
The flights, organised by Perishable Centre Nord, will operate from Evenes (Hartstad-Narvik) airport in the Nordland region which has an extra-long runway and is also used as a base by the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
Guillaume Halleux, chief officer, cargo at Qatar Airways, said the airline was very pleased to be supporting Northern Norway’s seafood and salmon exporters.
Perishable Centre Nord stated that operating more direct routes would mean a lot for fresh seafood businesses in the region. Competitiveness and freshness would certainly improve, the company added.
However, not every seafood company is a fan of air travel. A few weeks ago the Faroese salmon farming company Hiddenfjord announced it had stopped all freight transport by plane, saying the decision would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 94 per cent. Hiddenfjord is now transporting its fish by sea.