Austrade: More flights and air freight capacity to and from Australia

Qantas has added Shanghai-Melbourne services every Monday under the International Freight Assistance Mechanism.

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Qantas operates freight-only charter flights using A330-300 aircraft to and from Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo (Source: Qantas)

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) has announced new and extended outbound and inbound flights and available freight capacity under the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) for certain routes. 

Shanghai to Melbourne

Qantas has added cargo flights from Shanghai to Melbourne (via Sydney) scheduled to depart every Monday, with freight rates yet to be confirmed. Services can be accessed by any freight forwarder, with medical and health supplies to be prioritised. 


Etihad Airways will operate cargo flights from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi every Thursday and Saturday. The air freight rate is A$3.43 per kilogram, which is subject to change and does not include freight forwarder fees or rates, Austrade noted. 

Qantas has added flights from Melbourne to Shanghai (via Sydney) from 17 October. Freight rates are at A$1.50 per kilogram for perishables and at A$4.00 for live seafood 

Japan Airlines has extended Melbourne-Narita flights and Melbourne-Seoul (via Narita) starting 20 October. Freight rates to Narita and Seoul are A$1.60 and A$2.42 per kilogram, respectively. Slots are open to any freight forwarder. 

Available freight capacity 

Austrade also announced available freight capacity from Brisbane to Narita with Japan Airlines. This flight departs Thursdays and is open to any freight forwarder.   

The trade and investment agency said it is important for exporters to continue utilising routes to ensure ongoing IFAM support is available and viable.

On 3 July, the Australian Government announced an additional $241.9 million to continue the IFAM, helping keep international freight routes and flights operating until the end of the year. 

The programme was established to back Australia’s agriculture and seafood export sectors.

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