First freight flight to take off delivering Tassie produce to Hong Kong and beyond

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

The first seasonal air freight service from Tasmania to Hong Kong, via a stop in Melbourne, will take off this evening, delivering our State’s produce to Hong Kong and on to potential new markets with interconnecting flights around Asia.

Live abalone, live lobster, fresh salad produce, and fruits, including cherries, strawberries and raspberries will leave Tasmania tonight and land in Hong Kong tomorrow morning.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson said the new flights will take products that represent Tasmania’s strong brand straight to niche international markets, through Hong Kong, which is a gateway to a wide range of connecting international destinations in South East and Northern Asia.

“It’s a fantastic vote of confidence in our world-class premium produce that is highly sought-after right around the world,” Minister Ferguson said.

“This service also provides the opportunity to test the market capacity for potential future international freighter services from Hobart to Asia on an ongoing basis.

“The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to helping our producers and exporters as they adjust to the COVID-19 business environment, and this will help us as we work towards our target of growing the value of our exports to $15 billion a year by 2050.”

More than 40 tonnes of valuable Tasmanian produce will be transported in each flight between now and February.

Southwest Pacific Cathay Pacific General Manager Rakesh Raicar said the new Hobart service is in addition to Cathay Pacific Cargo’s existing list of Australian destinations, including Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Wellcamp, Perth and Melbourne, with the airline looking to assist in the rebuild of the export industry.

“We are incredibly pleased to be adding this seasonal cargo service from Hobart, in what has been an undeniably tough year for all industries,” Mr Raicar said.

“The service will play an integral role in delivering highly sought-after fresh Tasmanian produce to key Asian markets.”

The service will be operated by Boeing 777-300, which is a passenger aircraft that Cathay Pacific has converted for freighter use during the pandemic.

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