Air New Zealand: Sustainable Aviation Fuel & Electric Planes

All-electric aircraft will soon take off at airports in Wellington & Marlborough, just as Air New Zealand & Neste utilise Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Air New Zealand has chosen Wellington and Marlborough Airports as ports for its first all-electric aircraft. The airline purchased the all-electric ALIA CTOL from Beta Technologies and in partnership with NZ Post will begin by operating a cargo-only service, before it considers passenger flights.

In addition to this, Air New Zealand has signed an agreement with Neste, for the purchase of 9m litres of Neste’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

 

Air New Zealand’s first all-electric aircraft at Wellington and Marlborough airports

Air New Zealand's next-generation electric aircraft will be based at Wellington Airport, on the tip of the North island’s south coast.

On the northern tip of New Zealand’s South island, the Marlborough region is best known for its wine. Now, it will build the necessary charging infrastructure to support charging electric aircraft at Marlborough airport. A journey between the two airports takes 30 minutes, compared to the three hour trip by ferry, which is often credited as one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world. 

Air New Zealand said it was grateful to both Wellington and Marlborough airports, for supporting the company in establishing next generation aircraft capabilities. 

"Their involvement is critical in supporting the infrastructure required to fly next-generation aircraft and they'll help lead the way in supporting airports across Aotearoa to make the changes needed for us to fly larger lower-emissions aircraft on our domestic network from 2030,” said Kiri Hannifin, Air New Zealand's Chief Sustainability Officer. 

Air New Zealand and Neste’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand has signed an agreement with chemical manufacturer Neste, for 9m litres of neat Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™.

This fuel is made in Neste's Singapore refinery, which widened its SAF production capability in 2023. At the factory, fuel will be mixed with conventional jet fuel, in order to meet the required specifications. 

The use of this fuel is expected to lower carbon emissions by up to 80%, compared to using fossil jet fuel.

"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," said Alexander Kueper, Vice President Renewable Aviation at Neste.

As outlined in our Top 10: All-Electric Aircraft, many aviation businesses are building electric aircraft to transport people and cargo and Air New Zealand is not the only company using Sustainable Aviation Fuel. 

We recently spoke with Andreas Flourou from Red Sea Global, who told us all about how the company was welcoming solar energy, hydrogen and electric transport in Saudi Arabia. 

“All of our infrastructure has been created from the ground up to be sustainable,” says Flourou. “We have one of the largest battery storage solutions in the world and the most natural progression to that, is to have electric vehicles.”

Read the full interview here



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