Virgin Australia to launch Melbourne – Hong Kong flights

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Virgin Atlantic Cargo is to increase capacity to Australia with Melbourne – Hong Kong flights by its partner, Virgin Australia from 5 July.

The five Airbus A330-200 flights a week will offer 14 tonnes of capacity, and Virgin Atlantic Cargo will be responsible for selling all of the capacity on these flights, extending its long-haul international sales contract with Virgin Australia, which also includes operations connecting Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne with Los Angeles.

Virgin Atlantic Cargo managing director, John Lloyd says: “This is great news for our customers because it really opens up the Australia-Hong Kong-Australia market in addition to the services we already offer with Virgin Australia that connect Australia and the U.S west coast.”

“Hong Kong is an important and growing market for companies in Australia, with over 21.5m kilos of air cargo moving from Melbourne to Hong Kong alone in 2016.”

He says Virgin is confident it will win a large share of business and sees potential to grow volumes into Melbourne from Hong Kong and London.

Virgin Australia launched five Boeing 777-300ER flights a week from Melbourne to Los Angeles, and Virgin Australia Cargo chief executive Merren McArthur says: “We expect a good level of growth this year with the addition of our new routes from Melbourne to Los Angeles and Hong Kong. We have great confidence in Virgin Atlantic’s ability to maximise the potential of our growing long haul international network.”

In addition to general cargo, perishables are expected to make up a sizeable percentage of cargo on the Melbourne route, and e-commerce will boost volumes from Hong Kong.