Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport is looking to add more freighters over the next year to the weekly Cathay Pacific Cargo service started in 2016.
The freighter has been well received with payload of a mix of oversize cargo like machinery, turbines and artwork, and beef and dairy products.
Wellcamp general manager, Sara Hales says Cathay Pacific is happy and its focus is on fresh produce while oversize freight can go any of Cathay Pacific’s 53 freighter ports.
“For Wellcamp airport, Asia is a major focus as we seek to provide transport infrastructure and services which support our region’s exporters as they reach towards the trade opportunities presented by a number of Free Trade Agreements and other market opportunities – largely within Asia,” Hales explains.
Hales says the gateway has generally been pleased with both the market support, and the evolution, over the last eight months, of a “robust, safe and efficient operation”. “Additionally, we’ve been encouraged by the breadth of the business that has been using Wellcamp, and the use of Wellcamp by private freighter charters in response to specific client needs,” Hales adds.
Although Wellcamp just has the one freighter it is sure it will attract more and Hales says it has “big plans for the future”.
“This is just the beginning of our freighter business and we firmly believe in the strength of the economics that support Wellcamp’s role as an international air cargo hub,” she adds.
Belly traffic is limited as 80 services run a week, operated by narrowbody aircraft with small capacity for domestic freight.
Air cargo infrastructure developments are also on the agenda, in terms of a cargo terminal and perishable foods facilities.
Hales says: “Having made a start, we are now in a position to make further investment decisions in response to commercial drivers.
“As a family business, with a very flat structure, access to capital and the role out of additional infrastructure requirements can be achieved quickly and in response to client needs.”
She is sure Wellcamp can be an important cargo hub in Australasia in the future as believes it has a “unique” set of economics that support the evolution of the airport as an important air cargo hub for the region.
“Located within the Australia’s most productive agricultural regions, and an hour’s flying time closer to Asia than Sydney, Wellcamp offers air operators not only a great market opportunity, but also great efficiencies,” Hales says.
She adds: “In terms of lower operating cost into Australia, lower demands on crew hours, greater road transport efficiencies, zero operational constraints due to slot availability or curfew, and clarity around operating rights due to our inclusion as a Regional International Gateway.”