Fresh Queensland coral trout was among the seafood flown out of Cairns recently on the first Brisbane–Cairns–Hong Kong flight under the Australian Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM).

IFAM is helping to restore air-freight supply chains disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and has established a network of 9 airlines and 6 freight forwarders to accelerate agricultural and fisheries exports into priority markets.

TIQ client the Australian Reef Fish Trading Company was one of the exporters who gained access to the first flight on 7 May, sending a shipment of premium coral trout to Hong Kong.

CEO Barry Dun said the freight flights would help keep local businesses operating.

‘The additional capacity allows us to meet the improving demand for our premium seafood,’ he said.

‘That in turn allows us to keep fishing businesses operating.

‘We’re delighted that our requests for additional capacity have been heard and acted upon.

‘We’ll be doing everything we can to maximise our use of the freight service.’

TIQ has worked with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Austrade to champion the need for Cairns suppliers and producers to be included in the Brisbane-Cairns–Hong Kong flights, which will occur weekly for 6 weeks.

Up to 20 tonnes of freight is expected to be shipped each flight, including 12 tonnes from Cairns, providing a much-needed economic boost for the city’s seafood industry.

Any Queensland seafood or agricultural exporters interested in accessing IFAM flights should register their interest and speak to their local TIQ office.

You can learn more about the support available to exporters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on our TIQ industry recovery package page.