DALLAS — Air New Zealand (NZ) and Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer signed an agreement to join the Energia Advisory Group and develop the airline’s “Mission Next Generation Aircraft” initiative.
This group is composed of airlines, leasing companies, aviation experts, manufacturers, and other stakeholders who pool and share resources and expertise regarding sustainable aircraft.
The airline’s “Mission Next Generation Aircraft” initiative aims to develop zero-emission aircraft technology and solutions for the carrier’s regional fleet in Brazil. Both companies are collaborating on the design requirements for the next-generation regional aircraft.
Last November, the airline launched the accelerator program to progress two ambitious goals:
- Fly its first commercial demonstrator flight from 2026
- Begin replacing its Q300 domestic fleet with a more sustainable aircraft – likely green hydrogen or battery hybrid systems – from 2030
Air New Zealand is also working to become a zero-emission carrier, connecting passengers and cargo to 20 regions in New Zealand.
Comments from Air New Zealand, Embraer Officials
Air New Zealand Chief Sustainability Officer Kiri Hannifin has noted that their ambitious sustainability targets cannot be met if the airline continues to operate using a “business as usual” ethos. The Mission Next Generation Aircraft initiative is meant to speed up progress and create a culture of openness and environmental awareness. To do this, Air New Zealand must partner with leading aircraft manufacturers, experts, and infrastructure providers, such as airports and repair stations.
According to Kiri Hannifin, “We want to be a leader in the rollout of zero-emissions aircraft in New Zealand.” She further noted, “Having Embraer as one of our long-term partners will grow our collective understanding of zero emissions aircraft technology as it develops and will give them the confidence they are developing a product that’s viable for us.”
Arjan Meijer, president and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, commented on Air New Zealand’s initiative, saying, “As the global leader in regional aircraft, Embraer is ideally positioned to bring disruptive technologies to smaller aircraft first.” He added, “Air New Zealand, operator of a large, complex, and diverse regional network, is the perfect collaborator, and we’re proud to be a part of this initiative.”
Meijer also noted that smaller regional aircraft will be the first platforms to introduce new fuel and propulsion systems, and that Embraer looks forward to contributing to Air New Zealand’s initiative and adding their expertise and requirements to Embraer’s Energia project.
Featured image: Embraer