Earlier this month, Niannian Youyu (Fish Forever) chartered a Boeing 747 carrying 50 tons of fresh salmon from Oslo, Norway into Tianjin, China, reported Portland, Maine's Seafood Guide.
Developed by the Fish Group, the 'Norwegian-Tianjin Salmon Charter Intercontinental Regular Route' is expected to be used twice a week to fly Norwegian salmon to China, carrying from 50 to 100 tons per shift, the website said.
Avinor, Norway's state-owned operator of civil airports, confirmed that Slovakian air cargo company Air Cargo Global had begun flying Norwegian seafood to China in the first direct freighter flight between the two countries.
'We aim to step up to three weekly departures from March, if the market responds well to the increased capacity,' said Air Cargo Global chief commercial officer Peter Scholten in a press release.
'We have reached an agreement with Fish Forever, a major Chinese trading company that specialises in fish. They contacted us wanting to look into the possibility of importing fresh Norwegian seafood directly to China because demand for high quality fresh fish is on the increase in the Chinese market,' Mr Scholten revealed.
Norwegian media outlet Dagens Naeringsliv forecasts that 7,000 tons of salmon will be flown directly from Norway to China this year.
Chartered flights of this kind aren't just coming from Norway ?Canada has also recommenced weekly chartered flights to China, with cargo holds full of live lobster.
Fish Forever has also reinstated its charter schedule with Canadian lobster suppliers, which it began testing last summer.
Data presented on CBC News shows that the volume of Atlantic Canada's lobster sold to China skyrocketed 50 per cent last year to 12 million kilogrammes.
Chinese Customs data revealed that China imported 18,444 tons of American lobster from Canada and the US between January and November 2018, a year-on-year increase of 40 per cent.