June 24, 2024

Launceston freight and passenger numbers soaring to new heights

An online shopping boom has led to a freight uplift at Launceston Airport with Qantas replacing its 737 Australia Post dedicated freighter with a larger Airbus A321.

This comes as Launceston Airport recorded its busiest May on record which caps off the biggest start to the year in Launceston Airport’s history.

A total of 638,943 passengers came through the airport over the first five months of 2024, eclipsing the previous record set in 2019.

Last month a total of 99,712 passengers made their way through the airport which represents a 3 per cent increase on pre pandemic levels.

Launceston Airport CEO Shane O'Hare said the passenger and online shopping results highlight the key role the airport plays in the lives of Northern Tasmanians.

"Being an island state, Tasmanian’s are acutely aware of the role aviation plays in connecting us to the mainland," he said.

"We are proud to have doubled our direct services to the mainland since the pandemic which have provided vital connections for our community, whether that be in the form of a seat on a plane or a last-minute birthday gift.

"We often celebrate increased passenger capacity on flights, but this investment in Tasmania by Qantas and Australia Post is a reminder that air freight plays an equally important role.

“Our record passenger levels are a sign that the route network and offering we are building here at Launceston Airport is working, with the heavy lifting done throughout the pandemic to establish new services and bolster existing operations now paying dividends. "

Qantas Freight Executive Manager Igor Kwiatkowski said the up gauge to an A321 was part of the airline's strategy to improve air freight capabilities and modernise the freight fleet.

"The A321 means we can transport up to 70% more parcels to Launceston shoppers each trip than we could on the 737s," he said.

“The new aircraft also comes with environmental benefits, creating less emissions and using less fuel per parcel delivered.”

Australia Post Executive General Manager Network Operations Rod Barnes, said, “Our new A321 freighter represents a significant capacity boost for Launceston, one of Tasmania’s leading areas for online shopping. Launceston has experienced substantial eCommerce growth of 72.4% since 2019 and this additional capacity from our newer, more fuel efficient aircraft will be crucial in supporting the ongoing expansion of online shopping in the region.

“With capacity to carry up to 21.3 tonnes of freight, equivalent to around 21,000 parcels, this freighter will allow us to streamline our services while supporting our commitment to a more sustainable future. Australia Post continues to invest in its infrastructure and facilities to ensure we provide better and reliable deliveries for our customers around Australia.”

For further information contact: Launceston Airport Media on (03) 9335 3666

Australia Pacific Airports (Launceston) acknowledges the First Nations people and Traditional Owners of Tasmania including the Land that Launceston Airport operates on. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend that respect to all other First Nations People.