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.
“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.
“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.