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Air New Zealand announces zero emissions partnerships

written by Liam McAneny | December 15, 2022

Air New Zealand has announced that it has partnered with four innovative zero-emission aircraft manufacturers.

The airline will be working with Eviation, Beta, VoltAero and Cranfield Aerospace on the tech and hopes to have its first demonstration flight take off by 2026.

The designs of the four manufacturers Air New Zealand has partnered with include an electric aircraft, a hydrogen-powered aircraft and a hybrid aircraft.

Eviation has put forth the ‘Alice’, an electric commuter aircraft, while VoltAero has proposed the ‘Cassio’ aircraft, a hybrid-electric aircraft that is also capable of running on biofuels and hydrogen.


The airline will work with the manufacturers to further develop the green technology and infrastructure needed to facilitate the adoption of the green aircraft in New Zealand.

Air New Zealand has signed a statement of intent to order with the partnered companies, expressing its intentions to acquire three of the aircraft initially.

The statement also includes an option for the purchase of a further 20 aircraft from one or more of the partners if an evaluation process is successfully met.

Greg Foran, the CEO of Air New Zealand spoke about the partnerships, explaining the airline chose these partners due to the stage they were at in the development process of their aircraft.

“Mission NextGen Aircraft is not about backing one innovator. It’s about working with a range of leaders in zero emissions aircraft technology to help move the whole ecosystem along. Our goal is to confirm our commitment with one or more of these partners in the next 12 months with the ambition of purchasing an aircraft for delivery from 2026.”

“The learnings we will take from flying an aircraft with next generation propulsion technology from 2026 will then pave the way for our long-term partners to deliver an aircraft that can replace our Q300 turbo prop domestic fleet,” he said.

“Getting a zero-emissions aircraft off the ground by 2026 is going to be challenging. But we’re incredibly ambitious — because we need to be.”

Eviation, one of the partners chosen for the program, will be creating an entirely electric communicator aircraft in an effort to provide a decarbonised alternative for regional routes.

The company’s president and CEO spoke about the opportunity to work with Air New Zealand.

“I am delighted with Air New Zealand’s endorsement of Alice, which will provide an effective way to decarbonise flights on their many regional routes, and I pay tribute to their commitment to innovation and sustainability. The zero-emissions Alice is a beautiful aircraft and I look forward to seeing it soaring through the skies of New Zealand.”

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