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Next Mission for Air New Zealand – Hotel Magazine

Next Mission for Air New Zealand – Hotel Magazine

As part of the airline’s ‘Mission Next Gen Aircraft’ announced late last year, Air New Zealand has opened an Expression of Interest (EOI) to airports around the country as part of selecting a route to fly its commercial demonstrator aircraft from 2026.

The commercial demonstrator aircraft is yet to be selected but will be either electric, hybrid or hydrogen fuel celled and will initially operate as a cargo-only service.

The airline is looking for airports that want to support the decarbonisation of aviation further and are motivated to take on a leadership role in developing the infrastructure required to fly this technology. The EOI sets out the operational requirements that need to be considered, including factors like range.

Air New Zealand Chief Sustainability Officer, Kiri Hannifin, said the two airports selected would play a critical role in introducing lower-emissions aircraft into the local aviation system.   

“Workaround next-generation aircraft is a key part of the airline’s strategy to decarbonise its operations. Decarbonising aviation is not easy, and we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re committed to reducing our emissions as quickly as we can, and this process is another step in the right direction, said Hannifin.

Although there is a desire to bring two of New Zealand’s flagship airports on board, Hannifin said that all airports play an important role in working towards incorporating the next generation of aircraft into the local network.

“Over the next few years, as Air New Zealand works towards its ambition of flying next-generation aircraft on our domestic network from 2030, we will be focused on supporting the building, testing, and certifying of aircraft and associated infrastructure.”

The selected airports will be leaders in supporting the implementation of this new technology and will be the conduit of information between airports across the country as the change is required in advance of Air New Zealand’s larger fleet replacement needs from 2030.


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