Avinor, the company managing 46 airports in Norway, has decided to scale up the efforts to better connect Oslo and Norway with the Asian continent. To spearhead these efforts Avinor has decided to appoint Mr. Ulv Elbirk in a consultant role as Director Asia Route Development as of August 1st.
Direct air routes to Oslo
Mr. Elbirk will be based in Hong Kong with the aim of attracting direct air routes from large destinations in Asia to predominantly Oslo, which is the main hub in Norway and one of the largest gateways into Scandinavia.
“Oslo Airport is the most modern and efficient hub airport in Scandinavia, and we are investing heavily in expanding our truly world-class facilities to accommodate the growing number of passengers and airline companies flying into the Norwegian capital. Norway has a very strong potential to further strengthen the inbound tourism from not least the Asian markets and I believe this is the right next step for Avinor” says Avinor CEO Dag Falk-Petersen.
Solid aviation experience
Mr. Elbirk has been more than eight and a half years with Copenhagen Airport’s airlines sales team and comes to Avinor with solid aviation experience and extensive contacts at Asian airlines. “I am very delighted to become a part of this team and indeed Avinor and am looking very much forward to be working for a company with such a strong ambition and will to succeed in advancing Norway’s access to Asia. Norway is probably one of the last underserved markets in Europe. With vast inbound potential routes- Oslo can become a goldmine for especially Asian carriers”, states Ulv Elbirk.
The Norwegian business community will benefit from quicker access to the major cities of Northeast Asia in particular and there is a massive demand for easing the transport links and cut the time of travel. This also is the case for the huge amounts of seafood exports that are shipped from Norway to not least Asia. Today, much salmon is trucked to other European airports, but for an Asian carrier it can be a vital boost to the route profitability when the whole cargo space on a passenger aircraft is guaranteed full on every flight no matter the season.
Asian tourists are already visiting Norway in large numbers to experience the beautiful Fjords, the northern lights, and the vibrant capital, Oslo. “When tourists from Asia visit Scandinavia, we know that they spend more time in Norway than the other parts of the Scandinavian countries. As tourism flows from Asia are projected to grow unabated in the next many decades ahead, we think it makes sense to focus even more on Asia” says Oslo Airport Managing Director, Mr. Øyvind Hasaas.