Cathay Pacific boosts Brisbane flights by 50%
- Tourism boost with increase in direct flights between Hong Kong and Brisbane set to deliver up to 76,440 inbound seats in the first year of operation
- Boost for Queensland exports of beef, seafood, manufactured goods and pharmaceuticals
- Gateway to Queensland from the Chinese Mainland strengthened for international students
Cathay Pacific has announced it will increase its number of weekly flights from Hong Kong to Brisbane by 50% to cater for additional tourists and rising Queensland exports delivered through the critical gateway to Asia.
From 1 December 2023, Cathay Pacific will increase its services from four flights per week to six, helping to support jobs for 840 Queenslanders.
“This week 41 years ago we celebrated the arrival of the very first Cathay Pacific 747 to Brisbane. And today we celebrate the expansion of this service as we slowly build back to full pre-Covid recovery. Make no mistake, the link between Brisbane and Hong Kong is one of the region’s most critical for Queensland exports, and this will deliver money into the pockets of rural producers across the state, as well as local seafood companies, and of course tourism operators,” according to Oliver Philpot, Head of Aviation Marketing & Partnerships at Brisbane Airport Corporation.
Cathay Pacific is the only airline flying between Brisbane and the trade gateway of Hong Kong.
“Brisbane is a key port for Cathay Pacific for both our cargo and travel services, so it’s with great pleasure that we’re increasing our flight schedule. The support from the Queensland Government and Brisbane Airport is hugely valued as we increase our service from Brisbane to Hong Kong and beyond,” says Sandeep Pillay, Cathay Pacific Acting Regional General Manager, Southwest Pacific.
The deal is the 23rd win for Queensland’s $200 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, jointly supported by the Queensland Government and the state’s international airports and is designed to fast-track the recovery of Queensland’s economy.
Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the economic benefits of the Palaszczuk Government’s partnership with Queensland’s four international airports were far reaching.
“Cathay Pacific is a terrific example of our $200 million international aviation war chest driving investment in tourism and across the Queensland economy,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“As a strategic aviation hub, Hong Kong is an important connection for Brisbane-bound visitors and international students, as well as high-value Queensland exports from seafood to pharmaceuticals.
“Cathay Pacific’s increase in Brisbane services is predicted to deliver almost $158 million over two years for the visitor economy, supporting 840 good Queensland jobs and an extra 50 tonne in return freight capacity.”
For Sunshine Coast seafood exporters, Walker Seafoods, the expansion is terrific news. The company employs 50 locals with high-value product exported to the United States and Japan via Hong Kong.
“We’ve been hamstrung trying to get our exports onto planes due to the limited capacity. We don’t like trucking to Sydney, it’s not good for the product, it’s not reliable and it adds a long time and cost to the trip. So more flights through Brisbane means we can export more, which means more employment for our staff here on the Sunshine Coast,” according to Heidi Walker, Managing Director of Walker Seafoods.
Cathay Pacific will operate the increased services on flight CX156 every day from Friday to Wednesday departing from Brisbane at 00:55 and arriving in Hong Kong at 07:30. The return flight CX157 will operate every day from Thursday to Tuesday departing from Hong Kong at 13:10 and arriving in Brisbane at 23:35, all using a Boeing 777-300ER.
“What many people don’t realise is that passenger aircraft are also responsible for most of our freight movement, so every additional passenger flight also offers Queensland exporters great access to high-value markets around the world,” Oliver Philpot added.
Each Cathay Pacific aircraft is not only dedicated to providing a comfortable journey for 300+ passengers but also equipped to carry up to 25 to 30 tonnes of freight with its planes frequently carrying Queensland exports of Queensland chilled beef, seafood and seasonal produce including avocados, lychees, and tropical fruit.
In the past year via Brisbane there were 40,108 tonnes of exports for the 12 months to May 2023 which represents 52% of pre-COVID exports. The top 3 export destinations were New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. The Chinese Mainland was the 2nd biggest export destination in FY19 however it has slipped to 9th place in FY23 due to the lack of direct flights. Cathay Pacific flights via Hong Kong provide access to this market.
Top 10 destinations for Exports passing through Brisbane International Airport
Restoration of FY19 levels
|Major Commodities summary|
|Vegetables, fruit, paper products|
|Beef, pork, fruit, Tube & pipe fittings (couplings, elbows, sleeves)|
|Beef, vegetables, pork|
|Beef, fish, vegetables, Electrical transformers|
|paper products, Works of art/antiques, alloy steel tools, machinery|
|Clay and mineral products, offal, beef, fish|
|Beef, fruit, vegetables|
|Beef, fruit (grapes), offal|
As Australia’s most connected domestic hub, passengers arriving into Brisbane from Hong Kong will be able to connect to 52 destinations across the country, with 30 of them in Queensland.
For interviews contact:
Brisbane Airport: 0466 322 485
Cathay Pacific: firstname.lastname@example.org
To download broadcast quality video of freight being loaded onto Cathay Pacific aircraft at Brisbane Airport click here