Cathay Pacific has commenced its once weekly freighter operation out of Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport, establishing a regular cargo link between Queensland’s Darling Downs and Hong Kong.
The first flight, operated by Boeing 747-8F B-LJM, took off from Wellcamp just before 2200 local time, arriving at Hong Kong at about 0400 the next day.
Wellcamp said in a statement the flight’s cargo included meat from Darling Downs based Oakey Beef Exports, as well as turbines, a jet engine, 15 tonnes of milk powder and mangoes.
“We have had an encouraging response from exporters and shippers in the southern half of Queensland as well as northern New South Wales,” said Cathay Pacific general manager for Southwest Pacific Nelson Chin said in a statement.
“We had a good mix of fresh produce to Hong Kong and Asia and oversize cargo to the China, Vietnam, Taiwan and the UK on the first flight.”
Wellcamp has been added as an extra stop on one of Cathay’s two dedicated freighter services to Australia.
Flight schedules show CX22 operating on Tuesdays, departing Sydney at 1220, arriving in Melbourne at 1350. After an hour and 45 minutes on the ground, the 747-8F was then due to take off at 1535 and touch down at Wellcamp at 1645. The final leg is scheduled as a 1815 departure, landing in Hong Kong at 0045 the next day.
The chairman of Wagners, the company that developed Wellcamp Airport, John Wagner, said local exporters would benefit from the new service as the airport sought to become a cargo hub for the region.
“With intense competition for landing slots times within Australia’s major airports and limitations on airport land availability, we have the scope and capacity to support growth in trade between Australia and Asia,” Wagner said.
Wagner also thanked the federal government for its efforts to making regular international cargo flights a reality at Wellcamp.
Menzies Aviation managed the ground handling and cargo terminal operations for the Cathay flight and the company’s senior vice president Alistair Reid said the initiative was a “significant boost for local industry”.