Routes Reconnected: Melbourne is curfew-free and 24/7, crucial for its surging freight demand

Melbourne is curfew-free and 247, crucial for its surging freight demand (2)

Melbourne is Australia’s busiest domestic freight hub and second-largest for international traffic.

Melbourne Airport’s freight capacity continues to soar while the aviation industry enters a slow recovery. Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Cathay Pacific, and Singapore Airlines are all very strong freight operators to/from the airport.

Shane O’Hare, Melbourne’s Chief of Aviation, said its unique position as Australia’s top airport to operate 24/7 and curfew-free provided a great opportunity for airlines to add additional freight flights.

“With 26 airlines operating international cargo, we continue to be the second busiest international hub and busiest domestic freight hub in Australia.”

In August, AirAsia X returned to Melbourne for the first time since December 2018 – but operated freight service. Then throughout October, Beijing Capital Airlines added extra freight flights.

O’Hare said: “We are in continuing discussions with Beijing Capital Airlines and are hopeful the airline can have more freighters to us in the future.”

Air Canada recently introduced weekly non-stop 777 freighters from Vancouver, providing further support in importing and exporting goods to/from Canada.

Melbourne is curfew-free and 247, crucial for its surging freight demand

Asparagus is a core product that Japan Airlines carries from Melbourne to Tokyo. The carrier uses its B787-8s for all-freight service.

Japan imports 80% of Australia’s asparagus, with Victoria the key state for production

Just recently the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) awarded Japan Airlines an extension to continue exporting premium goods to Japan.

Shinsaku Yasumitsu, Japan Airlines’ General Manager at Melbourne, said: “From our first flight into Melbourne from Tokyo in September 2017, we have always been well supported by the airport team and the Victorian Government. We look forward to continuing to work together well into the future through this strong partnership.”

“Melbourne has our highest frequency of services in Australia with strong demand, resulting in four flights per week.”

Due to its central-south location in Australia, Melbourne has been able to export a wide variety of fresh produce.  With asparagus season in full swing, Victoria grows more than 90% of Australia’s quantity – with Japan importing 80% of this, approximately 30 tonnes daily on each of our flights!”


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