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Cathay to operate one-off freighter service to Wellcamp

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 5, 2015
A Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-8F. (Cathay Pacific)
A Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-8F. (Cathay Pacific)

Brisbane West Wellcamp has secured its first international flight with Cathay Pacific to operate a one-off Boeing 747-8F freighter service to Australia’s newest airport in late November.

The freighter will touch down at the airport, which was built by private company Wagners and opened its doors for the first time almost a year ago, on November 23 and return to Hong Kong the same day carrying local produce from the Darling Downs region.

Wagners chairman John Wagner described the Cathay flight as a “significant commercial initiative for the country”, given the proposed China-Australia Free Trade Agreement should, if approved by parliament, result in the opening up of new markets for exporters.

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“We are on the cusp of a massive export opportunity that will give local producers access to markets that feed half of the world’s population and this flight is the first step towards achieving this long-term goal,” Wagner said in a statement on Thursday.

“We are thrilled Cathay Pacific Airways, one of the world’s leading airlines, is focusing on our region.”

Wellcamp Airport said the Cathay service will be the first time the Hong Kong-based airline has operated a cargo flight into a regional Australian port.

Cathay general manager for south west Pacific Nelson Chin said the airline was always on the lookout for new cargo opportunities.

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“In fact, of the 12 new destinations that have been announced or commenced operations over the past two years, five are for freight only,” Chin said in a statement.

“This is a very exciting time for Australian exporters, and it seems South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales producers and businesses have enormous potential for growth after the signing of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.”

Cathay has 13 Boeing 747-8Fs in its fleet of 24 freighter aircraft.

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14 Comments

  • Mark, Perth

    says:

    Great news for Wellcamp, which featured on Landline last Sunday.

    What regular cargo flights are operated into Australia apart from Atlas Air on behalf of Qantas, Singapore into Melb and presumably other ports, FedEx, and UPS?

    Mark, Perth

  • Sean harrison

    says:

    I wonder how many 747 crew have operated into CTAFs?

  • Adrian P

    says:

    Probably a lot easier than flying into Kai Tak.

  • Gaby

    says:

    Do any 747 -8fs operate into Sydney regularly?

  • Tim

    says:

    Yes our 747F’s operate into Sydney about twice per week.

    To fly this sector our pilots will have to do some Sim sessions because it is an unfamiliar airport and also like you said a CTAF. Usually we only fly into CTAF or uncontrolled airports when we are sending a Jet into retirement at one of the airline scrapyards.

    Great for QLD!

  • Daniel

    says:

    @Mark in SYD alone: Atlas for QF, Pel-Air for DHL, Polar for DHL, Tasman Cargo for DHL, UPS, FedEx, CX Freighter, Singapore Cargo, Malaysian Cargo, Emirates Cargo, AAE, QF Freight and Toll Freight!

    @Gaby the CX Freighter operates every Monday and Tuesday into and out of SYD to/from MEL or HKG

  • Grant of Toowoomba

    says:

    Well done! This is a massive boost to the region. I personally know some graziers drooling at the thought of exporting fresh beef direct to Asia.

  • Mike

    says:

    Given the amount of media publicity this will generate, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if CX isn’t going to be charged a cent for landing and parking this one off flight.

  • Russell M

    says:

    I’d be giving them a freebie for their first couple of flights too. Just as I would if I opened a new cafe or new anything. Just as Westfield does with rents to get a big tenant into a shopping centre.

    Really hope this kicks. Have only had occasion to use Wellcamp once so far (live in Melbourne and flew to Toowoomba via Syd). Wish to hell it was there a few years ago when I was doing the trips quite regularly.

  • Steve W

    says:

    Adrian P… Seeing as Kai Tak has been closed since 1998 and is now a cruise ship terminal, I would assume that flying into Wellcamp would be much easier…

  • ian

    says:

    KLM has a number of 747-400 combis, with around 268 seats up front. KLM has 6 flights a week Amsterdam(AMS) to Hong Kong(HKG). The schedule could be changed slightly, so that instead of the aircraft returning straight back to AMS, it could do a quick dash to Wellcamp, then HKG, then AMS. Not hard to rearrange crewing either.

    A weekly combi flight into Wellcamp.would work perfectly surely.

    If Wagners can build a world class airport in record time, getting a 747-400 combi to fly in once a week, should be the easy part.

    Hong Kong being a major hub, gives people access to whole world.

  • Brian

    says:

    I suggest we get Wagners to build the new Sydney airport

  • Myles Dobinson

    says:

    Well done to Wagner’s. We attended their open day which was again well organised. Australian can do attitude at its best. all they need to do now is get QANTAS to drop the cost of the flights down to match from Brisbane or Virgin to fly out of as well and all will make a killing. For those of us that live in the Lockyer Valley it is still cheaper to park and fly out of BNE.

  • Dave Thomas

    says:

    Come, come, Brian. We can’t possibly have new Sydney Airport built by a Company that would come in under cost and time! That’s not the done thing, ask any Politician.

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