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Air New Zealand buys 9 million litres of sustainable fuel

written by Jake Nelson | April 17, 2024

The tail of an Air New Zealand 787-9, ZK-NZE. (Image: Gerard Frawley)

Air New Zealand has signed a deal for 9 million litres of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The fuel, produced at Neste’s Singapore refinery, will be supplied to Air New Zealand at LAX by 30 November after being blended with conventional jet fuel to meet the required specifications. The deal is nine times larger than Air New Zealand’s first SAF shipment from Neste in 2022.

“Decarbonising Air New Zealand’s operations is essential for the airline’s long-term ability to connect New Zealanders to the world, as well as support the country’s trade and tourism sectors, and SAF is a key enabler of this,” said Air New Zealand’s Chair, Dame Therese Walsh.

“Sustainable aviation fuel is currently the only solution to significantly reduce emissions from long haul flight, but it currently makes up less than 1% of the global fuel supply. For aviation to reach its net zero carbon emissions goals by 2050, the SAF industry will need to scale significantly.

“While the SAF supply is small compared with the airline’s overall fuel use, it is nine times the size of Air New Zealand’s first shipment of SAF from Neste in 2022 and demonstrates growing cooperation between two like-minded organisations to advance the supply and use of SAF.”


According to Alexander Kueper, vice president of renewable aviation at Neste, the company is looking to accelerate the use of SAF with partners such as Air New Zealand.

“We are proud to support Air New Zealand’s decarbonisation focus and are looking forward to continuing working together with Air New Zealand and the New Zealand Government to reach their climate goals,” Kueper said.

Air New Zealand has been increasingly focusing on sustainability over the past few years, with the airline partnering with the NZ government to invest more than $2 million into domestic SAF production.

The carrier is also looking into electric aviation, last year choosing the ALIA from electric aerospace company BETA Technologies as the first aircraft in its Mission Next Gen program, with the first expected to be in service for cargo flights with NZ Post by 2026.

Australia has also been making moves towards greater adoption of SAF. Qantas last year partnered with Airbus to pour $2 million into investigating the feasibility of a domestic SAF production facility in Australia, with LanzaJet one of the companies involved.

Dubbed “Project Ulysses”, the site in Queensland will transform agricultural by-products, including sugarcane, into around 102 million litres of alcohol-based SAF and 11 million litres of renewable diesel per year.

Jet Zero Australia in March announced it had raised $29 million towards Project Ulysses, securing investment from Japanese energy conglomerate Idemitsu Kosan as a new strategic shareholder.

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