Virgin Australia will launch a daily Melbourne-to-Hong Kong service on Nov. 12 that the carrier says will accommodate growing demand for cargo capacity between Australia and China, driven by a combination of the peak season for perishables season, the growth of e-commerce and rising express freight business from Hong Kong.
Virgin Atlantic’s regional sales manager, Pip Palmer, said that “cargo volumes to and from Melbourne have exceeded our expectations so far.” She added that business indicators pointed towards opportunities for new traffic, which the carrier was pursuing.
Virgin Atlantic Cargo, which provides long-haul international cargo sales and management for Virgin Australia, said that volumes are up in both directions since Virgin Australia commenced five Airbus A330-200 flights a week in July.
China’s demand for imports has boosted Australian exports for years. However the airline says that China’s market is still expanding with other lines of business, such as shipments of fresh lobster, abalone and chilled salmon from Tasmania to Hong Kong.
On the e-commerce side, Amazon recently announced plans for a 24,000-square-meter e-commerce fulfilment center in Melbourne.