THE South Australian Freight Council has welcomed the resumption of some air freight flights from Adelaide Airport, flights that had been halted since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

The Singapore Airlines flight, using a passenger aircraft to carry cargo only, is to operate on May 6 and 13, with more flights to be confirmed.

The service is to be operated by Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 aircraft, providing more than 40 tonnes of cargo capacity between Adelaide and Singapore.

The flight has been organised by combined efforts of several parties, including the state government, SA Freight Council, freight forwarders, the International Freight Assistance Mechanism, Pak Fresh, Adelaide Airport and Singapore Airlines.

The vast majority of air freight normally moves in the hold of passenger aircraft.


SAFC executive officer, Evan Knapp, said the flight was critical to supporting South Australian exporters.

“Our thanks to all of our partners in government and industry for collaborating to bring this flight to Adelaide,” Mr Knapp said.

“However, this flight – and future flights – are dependent on industry support.

“If you are an exporter with customers in Singapore or another destination on their global network that covers South East Asia, North Asia, Europe, North America, West Asia and Africa, I urge you to urgently contact your customers and freight forwarders to make use of this service.”

Mr Knapp said success of this first service may lead to resumption of freight-only air services to other markets.

“SAFC notes that this service would not be practical in the current air freight market without subsidy support from the Commonwealth through the International Air Freight Mechanism,” Mr Knapp said.

“While current world air freight rates are far higher than normal, the IFAM financial subsidy brings prices down to a level where exports of SA goods are practical if not as profitable as before.” Mr Knapp thanked Adelaide Airport for waiving “some aircraft fees”.