A $4 million upgrade of Virgin Australia's cargo facility is complete transforming the facility into a state of the art hub for all of its Northern Tasmanian cargo operations.
The bespoke hub will transport more than 500 tonnes of products each year and provide producers with a key mode of transport from pallet to plate.
Launceston Airport CEO Shane O'Hare said the facility will build essential freight capacity in the region for decades to come.
"Northern Tasmania is blessed with some of the nation’s best producers and this facility will ensure fresh Atlantic Salmon along with a chilled Tamar wine reach tables around Australia quicker and fresher.
"The state government and Virgin Australia understand the importance that this region and this airport hold for the state, their investment and support will ensure Northern Tasmania and Launceston Airport continue to flourish.
“Today strengthens an already great partnership with Virgin Australia, as well as cargo Virgin Australia has invested significantly in network growth, only last month we were here at the airport welcoming the early resumption of direct Adelaide and Perth flights."
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson, said Virgin Australia’s investment in its cargo facility at the Launceston Airport is demonstration of the company’s confidence in this key air freight gateway to the Northern Tasmanian economy.
“I congratulate the Launceston Airport management and Virgin Australia for this investment, which follows on from the recent opening of the new passenger check-in hall,” Mr Ferguson said.
“The Tasmanian Government committed $5 million to the $14 million redevelopment of the airport as well as duplicating Evandale Road between the Airport and Midland Highway at Breadalbane.”
Virgin Australia Chief Commercial Officer David Emerson said the upgraded facility unlocked export growth and economic benefits for the island state.
"Increased cargo capacity means a stronger trade industry and we are really pleased to enable that in partnership with Launceston Airport, supported by the Tasmanian Government and our long-term cargo partner, Aus Flight Handling," he said.
"Along with increasing our cargo capability, we are also transporting more people to and from the state's northern hub, with our schedule into Launceston Airport between November and March currently more than 70 per cent higher than the same period pre -COVID."