Australia re-opens: Plane carrying 30 tonnes of seafood, meat and eggs heads to Asia in first flight from South Australia since coronavirus struck
- The very first freight plane since the pandemic started has left South Australia
- The freight plane was carrying produce including fresh seafood and fresh meat
- While it is the first plane to leave SA other freights have already left Australia
- First flight from Wuhan since January landed in Sydney and cargo impounded
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
More than 30 tonnes of fresh seafood, meat and other produce is on its way to Asia on the first direct freight service from Adelaide since the coronavirus outbreak.
The Singapore Airlines flight, the first of two scheduled out of South Australia, is loaded with local products including chilled seafood, tuna, lamb, chicken meat and eggs.
It’s expected that once in Singapore the produce will then be distributed across Asia to markets including Hong Kong, Thailand and China.
A Singapore Airlines Cargo plane, the first international flight out of South Australia since the pandemic started, has left with 30 tonnes of fresh seafood, meat and other produce destined for Asia (a Singapore Airlines Cargo plane is pictured)
The flight, one of two scheduled out of South Australia, left Adelaide Airport (pictured) on Wednesday with supplies destined for Asian countries such as Thailand and China
Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the agreement with Singapore Airlines would re-establish a direct freight route for South Australian exporters.
‘We’re backing South Australia’s farmers and fishers through this agreement that will restore this critical freight route and give exporters a direct line back into key export markets across Asia,’ Senator Birmingham said.
‘The more South Australian produce, meat, and seafood we can (get) onto these flights and headed overseas, the more local jobs we can secure and the more export dollars we can bring back into South Australia.’
Premier Steven Marshall said the freight service would provide a significant boost for local exporters and jobs.
‘Today marks a real turning point for South Australia’s exporters who have been struggling with the impacts of coronavirus,’ he said.
‘It’s fantastic that our local producers now have a clear pathway to supply their fresh premium produce to markets around the world.’
The International Freight Assistance Mechanism is part of the federal government’s $1 billion relief and recovery fund to support regions, communities and industry sectors disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
The Federal Government set up an air freight network designed to continue overseas exports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 8 the first plane to fly out of Wuhan since January brought medical supplies to Sydney (pictured) but the cargo has been impounded in a warehouse ever since
The network is made up of 15 air freight providers and more than 560 Australian businesses had already registered for the service.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the network was a critical tool.
He said the service had already helped markets including lobster from Western Australia, lamb from Victoria and salmon from Tasmania to be shipped to international ports and markets.
‘The quicker we can get our products off the farm and onto airplanes, the more Australian jobs we can save and the quicker our agricultural exporters can bounce back,’ Mr McCormack said.
The first of the flights to leave Melbourne as part of the network contained lamb and left on April 16, destined for Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile on April 8 the first plane to fly out of Wuhan since January brought cargo to Sydney, cargo which has been impounded in a warehouse ever since.
The plane, which left Sydney the next day, brought 70 tonnes of cargo which included antiseptic wipes, coronavirus testing kits and face masks.
The cargo is set to be examined by the Australian Border Force on May 11.
Officers from the Australian Border Force officers are scheduled to examine the cargo from Wuhan (pictured) on May 11