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Air New Zealand Commits to Putting a Zero-Emission Plane in the Air by 2026

The airline would be the first to do so.

Air New Zealand is partnering with four companies to get a zero-emission aircraft in the air by 2026 Air New Zeland

Air New Zealand is doing everything it can to put a zero-emission plane in the air by 2026.

The airline just announced that it has entered into agreements with four different manufacturers to develop such an aircraft. The deals are part of a project called “Mission NextGen Aircraft” that is integral to the company’s goal of decarbonizing its fleet by 2050.

The companies that Air New Zealand is partnering with are Eviation, which is based out of Washington state; Beta, a startup out of Vermont; Volt Aero, which is headquartered in France, and Cranfield Aerospace, which has operated out of the UK since 1948. The airline has signed a “statement of intent to order” with each manufacturer for three aircraft initially, with the option of ordering an additional 20 at a later date.

Eviation Alice
The Eviation Alice Eviation

Each manufacturer is already hard at work on aircraft that make use of electricity, green hydrogen or hybrid energy to fly, according to CNET Roadshow. Eviation has already announced Alice, an all-electric commuter plane that is already “flight proven.” Beta is developing an eVTOL called the ALIA-250 that can be used to carry passengers or cargo. Volt Aero is working on a plane called the Cassio that will have a dual-source electric-hybrid powertrain. Finally, Cranfield Aerospace is working to equip its current Britten-Norman Islander nine-seater with hydrogen fuel cell technology.

“Mission NextGen Aircraft is not about backing one innovator,” the airline’s CEO Greg Foran said in a statement. “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 aim is for at least one of the planes to be ready to take flight by 2026. That aircraft won’t just be something the company shows off at air shows, either. Air New Zealand hopes to use it as a replacement for the Q300—a prop plane used for short trips within New Zealand—as part of its current domestic fleet.

Click here to see pictures of Air New Zealand’s potential zero-emission aircrafts.

Air New Zealand

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