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Air New Zealand partners with Embraer on sustainability

written by Daniel Croft | February 9, 2023

Credit: Embraer

Air New Zealand is set to collaborate with Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer to pioneer sustainability within the commercial aviation industry.

The partnership will see Embraer join Air New Zealand’s Mission Next Gen Aircraft initiative, which the Kiwi carrier hopes will accelerate its plans to replace its fleet of De Havilland Canada Dash 5-Q300 domestic aircraft and introduce “zero emissions aircraft technology”.

The two companies will work together on the design requirements of the aircraft, ensuring they are fit for regional travel in New Zealand.

Air New Zealand has been pushing heavily to be a leader in the world of sustainable aviation. The move to prioritise sustainability came as a result of the airline agreeing to back the government’s sustainability mandate after it was bailed out during COVID-19.

Since then, the airline has established a sustainability strategy and partnered with a number of institutions in developing sustainable aircraft, with Embraer being the latest.


“We want to be a leader in the rollout of zero emissions aircraft in New Zealand,” said the airline’s chief sustainability officer, Kiri Hannifin.

“Having Embraer as one of our long-term partners will grow our collective understanding of zero emissions aircraft technology as it develops and will give them the confidence, they are developing a product that’s viable for us.”

At the core of Embraer’s sustainability initiatives is its Energia project, which involves probing a number of sustainable solutions designed to carry no more than 50 passengers, which is where the aerospace manufacturer says that the technology will first appear.

“As the global leader in regional aircraft, Embraer is ideally positioned to bring disruptive technologies to smaller aircraft first,” said Embraer president and CEO, Arjan Meijer.

“Air New Zealand, operator of a large, complex, and diverse regional network, is the perfect collaborator, and we’re proud to be a part of this initiative.

“Smaller, regional aircraft are going to be the first platforms on which new fuel and propulsion systems can be introduced effectively. Embraer looks forward to contributing to Air New Zealand’s initiative and also adding their expertise and requirements into Embraer’s Energia project.”

The Energia project aims to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, and to be net carbon neutral by 2050.

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