Air New Zealand to operate Melbourne-Los Angeles cargo flights for Australian government

It's one of two services the airline operates for the Australian government.
It's one of two services the airline operates for the Australian government. Photo credit: Getty Images

Air New Zealand will soon begin cargo flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles after the Australian Government's International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) programme awarded the route to the Kiwi airline. 

The airline will operate one flight per week until October  31, with the first flight bound for Melbourne on July 3. It'll be in addition to the Brisbane - Los Angeles service the airline has been flying since August 2020 under the same scheme.

Air NZ's cargo general manager Anna Palairet says with the limited international routes currently being operated, adding the new service is positive.

"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 said.

"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."

In May, the airline was also awarded more flying under the New Zealand Government's Maintaining International Air Connectivity (MIAC) scheme. 

"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," Palairet said.