Cathay Pacific Cargo adds to Hobart’s airfreight links

Seasonal charters will uplift Tasmanian summer produce to Asian markets

Cathay Pacific Cargo is reintroducing its seasonal charter service to Hobart over the winter calendar period – the summer peak for Tasmania’s produce from both land and sea. The first flight will depart Hobart on 29 November, and services are expected to run until at least 30 January 2022.

As before, the route will be operated by cargo-only passenger aircraft, the Airbus A350-900 this time around.

‘We’re currently planning to operate around 35 flights, each carrying up to 38 tonnes of Tasmanian produce with the possibility of extending the flights into March,’ said Nigel Chynoweth, Regional Head of Cargo Southwest Pacific.

‘The service will start out weekly for live seafood – mainly live lobster and abalone – and then build to multiple weekly services as the cherry harvest increases to its peak over Christmas until Chinese New Year,’ added Chynoweth.

Depending on market demand, between one and four flights will take off from Hobart each week, breaking the journey at Melbourne to take on fuel for the long leg to Hong Kong. This is necessary because of Hobart International Airport’s short runway. The standard weekly service will depart on Mondays with additional services on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays depending on demand as the cherry harvest approaches its peak.

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 on freight duty in Hobart last year

While Australia’s air market is opening up as pandemic restrictions ease, services to Tasmania have been far from regular. ‘Border closures in Australia have led to very inconsistent domestic air services between Hobart and Melbourne and Sydney,’ said Chynoweth. ‘While there used to be some widebody domestic flights, it’s only narrowbody at the moment, which limits uplift. Shippers have to use a mix of domestic air and trucking shipments via the ferry to Melbourne to reach international connections.

‘Tasmanian shippers are seeking reliable access to international capacity. We intend to deliver high-value seafood and cherries to key Asian markets on Cathay Pacific’s network by lunchtime the next day.’

Flight info

Flight no From To Departure/Arrival Days of operation
CX2101 HKG SYD 19:20/07:25+1 D7
CX8104 SYD HBA 15:05/17:00 D1 (ferry flight)
CX8104 HBA MEL 18:30/20:00 D1
CX8104 MEL HKG 23:55/05:50+1 D1


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