South Australian exporters will be able to keep their exports moving and create more local jobs from next week with a new deal struck with Singapore Airlines.

The deal will see an initial two A350-900 airbus flights leave Adelaide with more than 40 tonnes of South Australian produce in their bellies direct to Singapore.

The deal was made as part of the Federal Government’s $110 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) designed to ramp up assistance to exporters and to re-establish global supply chains while meeting a portion of the airfreight costs.

Minister for Trade and Investment David Ridgway said this is a huge win for South Australian exporters who have been hit hard by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and is another great example of the state and federal government’s working hand-in-glove during this crisis.

“This will be a big relief for South Australian exporters, particularly those with high-value perishable produce such as seafood, meat and value-added dairy products.

“In many cases, exporters have had to ship their produce by road to the eastern states to fly out from there, at a considerable cost and that’s if they were able to even access those outbound flights.

“Singapore Airlines has been a great friend and partner to Adelaide Airport and South Australia and is also a key destination hub for our goods to be distributed to other markets.

“These first two flights between Adelaide and Singapore is an important first step in recovering direct access to market for our exporters of high-value products, including perishable items that need to reach their markets quickly.

“I want to personally extend my gratitude to Singapore Airlines and the Commonwealth for their willingness to support South Australian businesses and for their commitment to delivering this service in such a timely manner.”

“Instrumental to securing this arrangement has also been the crucial support of Adelaide Airport and the SA Freight Council and industry.”

Minister Ridgway is encouraging South Australian exporters and the freight industry to get behind this opportunity.

“I urge all exporters of perishable produce to get in touch immediately with their freight forwarder and work with them to get their exports booked onto Singapore Airlines’ dedicated airfreight service to Singapore from Adelaide Airport.

“We are working together with the IFAM to secure further airfreight services for our exporters and we hope to be in a position to make further announcements shortly,” said Minister Ridgway.

Singapore Airlines Regional Vice President - South West Pacific, Mr Philip Goh said Singapore Airlines has proudly connected Adelaide to the world for more than 30 years.

“During these unprecedented times we are pleased to be able to work closely with the South Australian Government, the Federal Government through the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) and other key stakeholders to ensure key trade and supply chains remain open.

“Commencing Passenger Aircraft Carrying Cargo only (PACC) flights from next week, as part of the IFAM project, will support South Australian producers and exporters during these difficult times.

“With more than 40 tonnes of cargo capacity available we look forward to carrying chilled lamb, tuna, fruit and vegetables as well as wine and manufactured products for the mining and aerospace sectors.

“Working closely with State and Federal Governments, exporters and producers, we hope to make these PACC flights a success for South Australia,” said Mr Goh.

Originally published on the Premier of South Australia’s website: SA skies open up for local exporters as airfreight route locked in