Former Tasman Cargo Airlines Boeing 727 taxiing at Sydney Airport
Tasman Cargo Airlines commenced operations as Premier Airlines on 5 September 1994, headquartered in Melbourne, Victoria and flying a Boeing 727-100 freighter on behalf of DHL. Due to International Civil Aviation Organization "Stage III" aircraft noise restrictions this aircraft was withdrawn from service the following year and a Boeing 727-200 was acquired. In late 1996 Premier Airlines changed its name to Asian Express Airlines to better reflect its role in flying for DHL in the Asian region, and moved its headquarters to Auckland Airport. The airline's domicile in New Zealand was short-lived; it was established at its current location by early 1998.
On 1 October 2008 the airline changed its name from Asian Express Airlines to the current Tasman Cargo Airlines. In 2010 the airline leased a Boeing 757-200SF freighter from DHL Air UK, pending acquisition of its own 757. The leased aircraft replaced the airline's previously-operated Boeing 727-200 freighter, retired on 31 August 2010 ahead of new Australian aircraft noise regulations taking effect the following day. This was the last Boeing 727 registered in Australia.
Tasman Cargo Airlines operates regular scheduled cargo services on behalf of DHL Express from Auckland to Sydney and return. These services operate on Monday - Thursday nights and on Saturdays during daylight hours. It also has approval to operate services to Nouméa and Melbourne (the airline flew scheduled once-weekly services between Auckland and Nouméa's La Tontouta International Airport on behalf of Aircalin until late 2002). A significant part of the airline's business is the carriage of racehorses across the Tasman Sea.