May 20 - UK headquartered charter broker Chapman Freeborn Airchartering has signed a long-term lease agreement with Safair to place and manage a L382 Hercules freighter aircraft in Australia.

According to Chapman Freeborn Australia, the L382 Hercules is the only rear-loading aircraft of its kind operating in the country, therefore the company forecasts strong demand for its services. The aircraft will be based out of Brisbane and will available for both domestic and international airlift operations. The freighter has a payload of 20 tonnes and is able to operate on short and unprepared airstrips.

Michael Grant, general manager of Chapman Freeborn Australia, commented: "Chapman Freeborn has been regularly chartering the Hercules to fly outsize and time-critical cargo in Southeast Asia and Australasia, especially to remote locations in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam and Cambodia. It is also within easy reach of New Caledonia, Nauru, Fiji, the Solomon Islands and New Zealand.

"With the Hercules now based in Australia, we are expecting a rise in cargo charter requests to airports including Karratha, Port Hedland, Moranbah, Darwin and Broome, as well as other mining destinations in the north west and south west," Grant went on.