The launch of a new direct seasonal Qantas freight service from Darwin to Hong Kong and the government giving the airport money for its freight hub, has given the airport’s Asian ambitions a big boost.
The Qantas service will be the only direct cargo link between Australia’s Northern Territory and Hong Kong and use a fifty-tonnes capacity Boeing 767-300F it will move fresh products such as chilled meat, seafood, dairy, fruit and vegetables, to Asian consumers.
The Qantas move comes after Darwin airport got A$4.8 million for a freight and training hub under the Building Better Regions Fund – Infrastructure Projects stream.
The hub will include the construction of an on-airport cold storage facility, a vapour heat treatment, and upgrades to airside apron and taxiway to accommodate larger aircrafts. It will also allow for a training/education facility to create opportunities for students to learn about export, freight and logistics for the primary industry sector, the airport said in a statement.
It could also signal a new Asian approach for Darwin.
“When completed, the facility will enable the export of fresh quality agricultural produce to South East Asian markets, as well as directly to China via the new Donghai Airlines service to Shenzhen,” Northern Territory Airports CEO, Ian Kew says.