Cairns | Published on 18th October 2019 at 9:35

Qantas Freight has today announced that it will launch a direct Cairns to Hong Kong freighter service in partnership with the Queensland Government, Cairns Airport and the Cairns Regional Council.*

Operated by a Boeing 767 freight aircraft, the direct service will provide same day delivery to Hong Kong, helping support exporters in Far North Queensland.

Commencing in mid-November, the national carrier will operate its existing Sydney-Hong Kong service via Cairns as a six-month trial.

The service will support the export of fresh seafood and agricultural products from the Cairns region to key Asian and international markets.

Qantas Freight Chief Customer Officer Nick McGlynn said the airline was proud to be backing Far North Queensland by maintaining this connection and taking Australian goods into Asia.

“We’ve responded to the call from Queensland producers to provide a direct international freighter service from Cairns,” Mr McGlynn said.

“The new flight provides over 25 tonnes of freight space and will offer Cairns a direct, nonstop service to Hong Kong with connectivity across north Asia.

“We encourage Cairns and Far North Queensland exporters to get behind this freight link so that we can continue it into the future.”

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said it has been a priority of the Palaszczuk Government to ensure that this EOI process addresses the needs of those in Far North Queensland across multiple industries.

“Today’s announcement is a great win for the agriculture sector – with the increased freight set to boost the reputation of Cairns as a trade and export hub.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said today’s announcement met the needs of local exporters to maintain immediate access to lucrative Asian markets.

“What I’ve heard loud and clear from tourism operators is we need a new service between Cairns and Hong Kong. That’s what we are delivering today,” he said

Qantas Freight operate a freight terminal out of Cairns airport employing 22 people and offering freight distribution to 13 domestic destinations on Qantas Group aircraft.

The new route builds on Qantas Freight’s extensive domestic and international freight network with over 5,000 weekly flights to over 80 destinations within Australia and 1,700 international flights to over 20 countries.

The Qantas Group contributes over $2.5 billion to the Queensland economy each year, generating over 11,000 direct and indirect jobs across the state.

Throughout the six-month trial the service will operate on most Sundays.

*subject to regulatory approval