Melbourne Airport

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Melbourne Airport leads air freight exports in January 2013

Mar 25, 2013

A 32 per cent increase in air freight exports during January 2013 compared to a year ago has confirmed Melbourne Airport’s position as the premier Australian airport for air freight export activity.

Melbourne Airport handled a record 43 per cent of all Australian air freight exports in January, or more than 12,700 tonnes in volume. Perishable items accounted for 55 per cent of all air freight exports during the month, with meat accounting for around one-quarter of all exports.

“These results highlight the vital role that international air freight plays in supporting Victorian farmers and manufacturers in getting their goods to valuable overseas markets,” Melbourne Airport CEO, Chris Woodruff said.

“Our 24 hour, curfew-operation and dedicated freight terminal precinct supports this growing and valuable export activity.”

“We are further developing our capacity for freight movements through the expansion of our freight apron, providing more space for the handling of air freight on and off aircraft.”

“The growing Melbourne Airport Cargo Estate will provide more space for freight-related businesses to operate at the centre of the action here at Melbourne Airport,” Mr Woodruff said.

The amount of air freight exported through Melbourne Airport in January 2013 outstripped Sydney (30% of total exports), Brisbane (13%) and Perth (11%).

While around 85 per cent of air freight is carried in the belly of passenger aircraft, there has been an increase in the number of dedicated freighter aircraft operating at Melbourne in recent months, particularly for the export of meat to markets in the Middle East.

In addition to getting Victorian-made goods and agricultural produce to market, Melbourne Airport is also the international gateway for producers and manufacturers in Tasmania and South Australia.

Melbourne Airport overtook Sydney as Australia’s leading port for air freight exports during 2012, accounting for just over 36 per cent of all air freight exports, which was an 8 per cent increase on the previous year.

Major categories by value for air freight in 2012 included medical products, fish and crustaceans, fresh meat, aircraft, precious stones and metals, live animals, and x-rays and specialist measuring equipment.

Victorian producers rely on air freight to export a wide variety of agricultural and horticultural products, including fresh meat; fruits, nuts and fresh fruit; vegetables; dairy, eggs and honey; live animals; and various other foodstuffs and horticultural items.  These exports accounted for around 70 per cent of all air freight exports from Melbourne Airport by volume with a value of more than $740 million in 2012.

“Our freight operations, including exports, will be a major part of the future growth of the airport and will be an important aspect of the draft Master Plan we will submit to the Commonwealth Government later this year,” Mr Woodruff said.

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