Aviation article(s)
March 19, 2024

Air New Zealand has launched a global open invitation to companies in the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) sector to be the carrier's supply partner.


The flag carrier of New Zealand said this is the first time an airline has made a global call to potential suppliers in the growing SAF industry to work there on supply opportunities.



Kiri Hannifin, chief sustainability officer at Air New Zealand, noted that SAF is integral to the aviation industry's future, which faces a very steep challenge to decarbonise.


"Air New Zealand plays an essential role in connecting New Zealand's people, tourism, and trade to the world, but we must find a way to do this more sustainably and as quickly as we can. A stable supply of SAF is critical to our ability to reduce carbon emissions and continue to play this role for the long term," she said.


"That's why we've taken this novel approach, asking emerging SAF producers from around the world to connect with us and respond to the Opportunity Statement," Hannifin added, further noting that the airline has a mature understanding of SAF, a clear roadmap to meet its targets, and the volumes of SAF needed to align with current production capabilities.


"This Opportunity Statement shares our vision and allows current and future SAF producers to recognise both the opportunity and Air New Zealand's ambition to become a customer as soon as possible," the carrier's chief sustainability officer further said.


Air New Zealand was the second airline globally to announce an intermin science-based target. The target — validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), requires a 28.9% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 from a 2019 baseline.


"Air New Zealand anticipates it will need SAF to make up around 20% of its total fuel uptake by 2030, alongside a long-term and strategic regulatory package, which it is actively advocating for," the announcement said.


This is the latest step in Air New Zealand's journey to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, after partnering with pioneers of next-generation aircraft technology through its Mission Next Gen Aircraft Programme, co-funding the research and development of a domestic SAF industry, and investing in the United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund. 


"Air New Zealand is looking to enter short, medium, and long-term SAF offtake agreements, recognising these are often critical to the business case for a plant, mitigating risk through providing demand certainty for the SAF producer, its investors, and financiers," the carrier added.

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