Terminal handling and documentation for all flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong by Virgin Australia have been taken over by Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl).
The company has a pre-existing working relationship with another faction of the Virgin corporation, as they have handled cargo on all of Virgin’s Atlantic’s daily flights between Hong Kong and London Heathrow since their establishment in 1994.
The five-times-weekly flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong began on July 5, using Airbus A330-200 aircraft with 14-tonne belly-hold capacity. While Hactl will handle the entirety of ground cargo services for these flights, cargo sales on these Virgin Australia flights will be marketed by Virgin Atlantic Cargo, which also sells space on Virgin Australia’s existing long-haul services from Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne to Los Angeles.
Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s managing director, John Lloyd, says: “We welcome this opportunity to be extending our long-standing working relationship with Hactl. Having worked together for over 23 years, the Hactl team are well aware of the high service levels we expect for our customers and we are confident they will play an important role in helping us develop this great new route for Virgin Australia.”
Hactl chief executive, Mark Whitehead, added: “There is strong demand for air cargo capacity from Hong Kong to Australia driven increasingly by e-commerce, and the new services are well-placed to tap into growing perishables traffic from Australia, destined for Hong Kong and China.
“These new Virgin Australia flights add significantly to the impressive collective coverage of the Hactl carrier community of over 100 airlines, amplifying interline and hub-and-spoke opportunities.”