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Cathay puts Toowoomba on the air cargo map

TOOWOOMBA, Australia: October 25, 2016. Cathay Pacific is to begin a weekly B747-8 freighter service to Brisbane's West Wellcamp Airport in southern Queensland from November 21 2016.

It is the first dedicated international freighter service to Brisbane West Wellcamp and will operate a roundtrip flight every Monday from Hong Kong to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane West Wellcamp.

Cathay 747-8  Wellcamp airportThe decision follows a successful trial flight to the airport last year.

Cathay said the deployment is in anticipation of high volumes of perishable exports from one of Australia's most productive agricultural regions, as well as imports of equipment to support mining projects and manufacturing in the local and surrounding area.

Director Cargo Simon Large explained: "With growing demand from Mainland China for Australia's agricultural products, we are confident our service will provide local businesses with a competitive advantage as the benefits of the new China-Australia Free Trade Agreement increase," he added.

The Wagner Group, one of Queensland's largest privately-owned construction materials and mining services companies, opened Wellcamp in 2014 - the first greenfield public airport in Australia in almost 50 years and the country's first privately-funded airport. Towoomba is located 150 kms from Brisbane in a region that has an annual perishables output valued at over A$660 million.

Wagners' global chairman and airport developer John Wagner said he was "absolutely delighted" with Cathay's decision: "The opportunities this creates for Queensland exporters to benefit from Australia's free trade agreements and to access the world's biggest consumer markets are unlimited.

"We are on the cusp of very exciting times and the reality for our multi-million-dollar agricultural and processing sectors is produce like chilled beef and other perishables will be able to fly direct to Asia from the region in which they are produced, creating both valuable first mile and cool chain efficiencies, and enabling significant capacity for the growth of trade," Wagner added.

Menzies Aviation will manage the ground handling and cargo terminal operations for the new service.

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