Wellcamp seeking approval for one-off international passenger flight

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-8 at Wellcamp Airport on Monday 23 November 2015 (Lenn Bayliss)

Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport is seeking approval to have a group of Australian business representatives depart for China in October.

The delegation, which is being organised by the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE), would be the first international passenger flight to depart from Australia’s newest airport.

“Regulatory approval will be sought from both the Chinese and Australian governments to allow the AccessChina’16 Business Delegation to leave Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport bound for Shanghai on Sunday, 23 October,” TSBE said in a statement on Friday.

Wellcamp opened its doors to regular public transport (RPT) flights in November 2014. Currently, QantasLink, Regional Express and Airnorth operate domestic passenger flights from the airport.

Also, the airport’s owners Wagners have been keen to develop the facility as a new freight hub for Australian producers to export their goods to Asia and beyond.

In November 2015, Cathay Pacific brought a Boeing 747-8F to Wellcamp for a one-off freighter service, the first international flight from the airport, which picked up about 75 tonnes of cargo such as chilled beef, mangoes, pecan nuts, grains and some heavy machinery bound for Hong Kong and beyond.

Wagners chairman John Wagner said he supported the TSBE efforts to engage with China.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to network with likeminded people who deal regularly with China,” Wagner said.

“TSBE has strong business connections in Shanghai and Beijing and I think this is a fantastic opportunity to access key players in the world’s biggest economic powerhouse.”

TSBE chief executive officer Ben Lyons said Australian businesses from a range of different industries stood to benefit from the recent free trade agreement with China.

“It’s not just about beef or infant formula, whilst China consumes across all commodity groups I would encourage people in the services sector be it health, education, construction, tourism, finance and investment to carefully look at this flight as an opportunity to investigate what those opportunities are,” Dr Lyons said in a statement.

Australian Aviation

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