Freight exports of premium Victorian food and fibre products are set to soar, with Air China today revealing it will increase services to include daily direct flights to China.
Premier Daniel Andrews welcomed the announcement made today in Beijing, which will see the airline increase its four-times per week Beijing-Melbourne service to a daily service.
From 25 October 2015, the new flights will provide a major boost to tourism and food and fibre exports, both key drivers for Victoria’s future growth.
The state’s tourism sector will benefit significantly from the additional number of available seats directly to and from China – Victoria’s number one tourism market. In the year ending June 2015, Victoria welcomed more than 439,000 Chinese visitors, representing a year-on-year increase of more than 23 per cent and contributing $1.76 billion to the state’s economy.
Over the past five years to March 2015, the growth in the number of flights between China and Melbourne has also led to a 220 per cent increase in direct air freight to and from China. Around 80 per cent of freight moved through Melbourne Airport goes out on passenger aircraft.
China is Victoria’s number one food and fibre export market, accounting for 24 per cent of all the state’s food and fibre exports. Victoria’s food and fibre exports to China grew five per cent in 2014-15 to be worth $2.8 billion.
Victorian air freight of food and fibre products is accelerating as Chinese demand for premium, safe, high value agri-food products grows. Victoria’s food and fibre exports to China via air freight in 2014-15 were worth $97 million, up 322 per cent on the previous year.
Mr Andrews today released the 2014-15 Victorian Food and Fibre Export Performance Report, showing Victoria’s exports grew $282 million in 2014-15 to total $11.6 billion.
Air China will establish a new office at Melbourne Airport to handle additional flights and cargo. The airline also operates a four-times per week service between Shanghai and Melbourne.
Quotes attributable to Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews
“These new daily flights between Melbourne and Beijing will create opportunities for both our tourism sector and Victorian producers.”
“Bringing more Chinese visitors to our state and boosting air freight capacity means more jobs for Victoria.”
“Victoria leads the nation as Australia’s largest exporter of food and fibre products and our state will reap the benefits of China’s accelerating demand for premium high-end products.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020