The South Australian Freight Council has welcomed the resumption of direct passenger flights between Doha and Adelaide on Qatar Airlines, providing South Australian air export options for the Middle East and North Africa, and Europe regions.
This Airbus 350-900 flight provides direct options into to the important Middle East market, and fast transit options onwards into multiple European destinations.
But, SAFC executive officer Evan Knapp said this Qatar Airlines flight and future direct passenger and freight flights from Adelaide Airport, were dependent on industry support.
"We are aware of reports of some exporters trucking produce to Melbourne for uplift to save just a few cents per kilo on freight rates. While we understand the pressure that exporters are currently under, we risk a significant contraction of air services ex Adelaide once the coronavirus pandemic is contained if we do not support these direct services now," he said.
"While SA was able to regain air export links to Asia quickly following the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, direct links to some of our other important export regions were lost."
Mr Knapp strongly urged all South Australian exporters to consider the long-term benefits of supporting direct air services out of Adelaide Airport such as this QR flight, to ensure these flights and the longer term market opportunities they represent remain post-coronavirus.
"To revert to sending the majority of SA air freight via interstate airports would be a going back 20 years when our present and future air freight community and market share should only be growing," he said.
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