DHL Express launched a new direct freighter service from Melbourne to Auckland and Christchurch that will operate five times a week.
The business said the service was added following a 49 per cent growth in shipment volumes during 2020 and estimates it will add another 19 tonnes of freight between the two countries.
Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Martin Pakula, said the service would “strengthen the connection” between the two countries’ businesses.
“This new dedicated route will support business growth across the state, with faster delivery and more efficient freight times for trans-Tasman trade,” Pakula said.
DHL estimates that New Zealand is Victoria’s third-largest export destination after China and the US, accounting for 7.6 per cent of state exports.
Last month, Australian Aviation reported how Qantas began flying the world’s first A321 converted to carry cargo rather than passengers.
The A321P2F is operated by Qantas in partnership with Australian Post and is one of three to be delivered to the airline. The flag carrier traditionally uses its 737-300Fs for its freight services and this particular Airbus was originally delivered to British Midland in 1998 as G-MIDC.
In 2019, Qantas and Australia Post agreed on an expanded seven-year contract covering both domestic and international air freight worth $1 billion, with the A321 a part of the deal.
“Consumer preferences and expectations are rapidly changing and together with Australia Post we’re responding by growing our dedicated freighter fleet to provide a better experience for consumers and businesses,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement.
Figures from Airbus showed the A321P2F could carry up to 27.9 tonnes of cargo in a two-deck layout comprising up to 14 containers on the main deck and up to 10 containers on the lower deck. The aircraft has a range of 2,300 nautical miles.