The Mission Next Gen Aircraft project was announced last year to launch zero emissions demonstrator flights from 2026.
An aircraft still needs to be selected, which will either be electric, hybrid or hydrogen fuel powered and initially provide cargo services.
The airline is looking for airports in New Zealand with an Expression of Interest (EOI) setting out the requirements and factors that need to be considered.
Minimum requirements include being a current Air New Zealand destination, a runway measuring at least 1,200 metres and recharging or refuelling capacity.
Kiri Hannifan, Chief Sustainability Officer of Air New Zealand, says, “Work around next generation aircraft is a key part of the airline’s strategy to decarbonise its operations. Decarbonising aviation is not easy, and we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re committed to reducing our emissions as quickly as we can, and this process is another step in the right direction.”
The project was launched in December when it was announced 4 companies, Eviation, Beta, VoltAero and Cranfield Aerospace would work alongside Air New Zealand to develop the technology and infrastructure required to make the aircraft a reality.