Asian freighter airlines look to invest in Toowoomba

THE Darling Downs is yet to capitalise on its export potential despite a number of freight airlines looking to operate in the region.

Less than a year since the first Chinese-owned Cathay Pacific first landed at Wellcamp airport, at least two competitive airlines have explored the viability of opening up additional routes in recent weeks.

While the two operators, from the Philippines and China, are yet to sign on to the services, more needs to be done to ensure the region's producers are ready to take advantage of the additional markets.

That includes the weekly Cathay flight to Hong Kong from Wellcamp airport.

"We think there is a phenomenal potential in getting agricultural product out of Wellcamp airport," Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise executive chairman Shane Charles said.

"Ninety-five per cent of that (Cathay) product at the moment is general freight, whether that be cars, horses, helicopters and a lot of gas infrastructure and wind turbines being sent overseas for servicing.

"But we know there is a lot of opportunity.

"We had an airline company from the Philippines (recently) looking, in time, at what opportunities may be able to go direct to the Philippines or chartered around the world and ... we had a company from China here recently. They are still in contact with some people in the region."