1st Cathay Pacific freighter leaves Brisbane West Wellcamp

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The inaugural Cathay Pacific Cargo Boeing 747-8 Freighter has taken off from Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport with Queensland exports on board.

The only scheduled cargo service into southern Queensland, landed in Hong Kong early this morning loaded with exports including premium loin cuts from Oakey Beef Exports on the Darling Downs.

This weekly freighter means Queensland mangoes and chilled meat, can be rapidly transported onto onward flights to destinations in mainland China, North America, Europe and the Middle East, or delivered into Hong Kong the next day.

The 747-8F has a cargo capacity of approximately 135,000 tonnes carrying 34 pallets on the main deck and 12 on the lower deck. It also features a cargo door in the nose of the aircraft which enables more efficient loading and unloading of cargo.

Cathay Pacific Southwest Pacific general manager, Nelson Chin says: “We have had an encouraging response from exporters and shippers in the southern half of Queensland as well as northern New South Wales.

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“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.”

Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport developer, John Wagner says the freighter heralds a new opportunity for local exporters: “The Federal Government has worked collaboratively with its various departments to make this service a reality for our region’s agricultural and exporting industries.”

He says the airport was well positioned to become an Australian air cargo hub: “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.”

Menzies Aviation will provide ground handling and cargo support for the freighter at Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport.