At the announcement today with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw and Transport Minister Michael Wood, Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran said pursuing biofuels is a necessary step in reaching New Zealand’s shared net zero by 2050 goal.
“COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our airline, but it has not slowed our commitment to decarbonising our business. We see today’s announcement as a major step forward for the wider transport sector, and we’re supportive of a national strategy for decarbonising the economy, accompanied by appropriate policy settings and investment.
“It’s great news for New Zealand and great news for the future of travel and our key export industries which rely on low carbon air transport. We flew the world's first commercial aviation test flight powered by a sustainable second-generation biofuel in 2008, and today’s announcement brings us a step closer to making commercial flights powered by Sustainable Aviation Fuels a reality.
“While we see hydrogen-powered or electric aircraft as viable options for our domestic and short haul network, being able to access Sustainable Aviation Fuels at a competitive price will be very important for us when it comes to decarbonising our long haul operations.”
The airline has been part of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Consortium for the past five years in partnership with Z Energy and others. The consortium was formed to develop a roadmap for sustainable aviation fuel to become the norm for air travel in New Zealand.