Air New Zealand is launching cargo flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles after the airline was awarded the route as part of the Australian Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) programme.
The airline will operate one flight per week until 31 October 2021, with the first flight bound for Melbourne on 3 July. This will be in addition to the Brisbane–Los Angeles route that the airline has been flying since August 2020 under the same scheme.
Air New Zealand general manager for cargo Anna Palairet says this will be the first time the airline has flown the route, adding much needed capacity given the limited international flying currently happening.
“This service will help Australian exporters get high-value, time-sensitive perishable exports to global markets and assist with importing nationally important goods to Australia. Over the next four months, the route will open the potential for nearly 1000 tonnes to be moved between Melbourne and Los Angeles,” Palairet noted.
“We know there is some big cargo demand on this route as it gives Australian exporters and importers another option to move products to and from the US. In fact, the first flight is already pre-sold,” she added.
Last month, the airline was also awarded more flying under the New Zealand Government’s Maintaining International Air Connectivity (MIAC) scheme. Looking at its flight schedule, Air New Zealand will likely be flying via Auckland and will use its B787-900 to carry belly cargo from this leg going to LAX.
“This scheme has been extended through to October, and we will operate around 30 flights per week to 13 destinations, including Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Shanghai, as well as maintaining air connectivity with key ports within the Pacific Islands.
“Our Cargo team has worked hard to keep products moving for the past 15 months which has also allowed us to bring Kiwis home while international travel is constrained by border closures,” Palairet said.