Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane International) will lease an upgraded air-freight cargo facility at Launceston for a ten-year period according to a recently signed agreement with the Tasmanian airport. An AUD4 million Australian dollar (USD2.8 million dollar) upgrade is about to start at the 800-square-metre facility at the airport. When completed, Virgin Australia is expected to fly 50 tonnes of freight a year out of Launceston in the belly holds of its passenger aircraft.

Tasmanian company Vos Construction and Joinery is the head contractor and preparation works are beginning this month with the upgrade expected to be completed by late 3Q 2023. The Tasmanian Government is contributing AUD1.6 million (USD1.11 million) towards the project due to the benefits it will provide Tasmanian producers. Ground handling company Aus Flight Handling will operate the facility on Virgin Australia's behalf.

“The upgraded facility is expected to see nearly half a million kilograms of premium Tasmanian exports, including its seafood and agricultural products, through its doors and into domestic and international markets each year," said Virgin Australia's chief strategy and transformation officer, Alistair Hartley.

"As well as delivering cargo, Virgin Australia has significantly invested in network growth (from Launceston) over the past 18 months," said Launceston Airport CEO Shane O'Hare, "including increasing flight frequency and starting new services to destinations such as Perth and Adelaide. This new cargo facility will enhance Virgin Australia Cargo’s ability to export goods in a timely manner."

Virgin Australia is one of five scheduled passenger airlines serving Launceston. The other airlines include Qantas, Jetstar Airways, Sharp Airlines, and Airlines of Tasmania. In addition to passenger flights, Qantas also runs some dedicated cargo capacity into the airport. According to ch-aviation capacities data, Virgin Australia is presently the dominant carrier at Launceston, operating 40 roundtrip flights a week from the airport using a mix of B737-700 and B737-800 aircraft that link Launceston with Perth International, Adelaide International, Melbourne Tullamarine, Sydney Kingsford Smith, and Brisbane International. The airline narrowly pips rivals Qantas and Jetstar who both currently offer 38 roundtrip flights a week from the airport.