Air New Zealand said it was studying how it could use low-carbon technologies like electric, hybrid or hydrogen powered planes to dramatically reduce emissions from shorter and regional flights as soon as 2030.
The airline signed an MoU with Airbus to research the impact hydrogen planes would have on Air New Zealand’s network, operations and infrastructure.
Airbus said it is hoping to bring a hydrogen plane to market by 2035 – a goal some industry officials and analysts believe to be ambitious.
This agreement brings us a step closer to “seeing low-carbon solutions in place for our shorter domestic and regional flights in the next decade”, said Air New Zealand Chief Executive Greg Foran.
Airbus has already struck similar hydrogen study deals with EasyJet and SAS in Europe as airlines around the world look to meet ambitious emissions targets in line with government commitments.
The European manufacturer said the agreement with Air New Zealand would help it gather feedback on airlines’ expectations and preferences for configuration and performance for zero-emissions planes.
“We are also talking to several airlines on similar studies,” said a Airbus spokesperson.
Source: Civil Aviation Authority-Qatar