Air New Zealand seeks SAF partners

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Air New Zealand issued a call seeking collaboration with innovators and startups in the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) sector to become a supply partner.

Air New Zealand seeks short, medium, and long-term SAF offtake agreements, recognising their importance for producers. These agreements offer demand certainty, mitigating risks for SAF producers, investors, and financiers. This is the first instance of an airline issuing a global call to potential suppliers in the budding SAF industry.

Air New Zealand’s Opportunity Statement outlines the airline’s SAF needs based on its network, fleet, sustainability goals, and criteria. The statement aims to spark discussions for ongoing collaboration and identify new opportunities.

The airline said that it acknowledges the aviation industry’s significant challenge in reducing emissions and views SAF as essential to its future.  The airline seeks a stable supply of SAF to fulfil its role in connecting New Zealand while minimising its environmental impact.

“Air New Zealand is an ideal airline partner for SAF innovators and producers,” said Kiri Hannifin, chief sustainability office, Air New Zealand. “We have a clear roadmap to meet our ambitious decarbonisation goals and the fuel volumes to align with current production capabilities.”

This initiative follows Air New Zealand’s announcement as the second airline globally to set an interim science-based target, aiming for a 28.9% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030. The airline anticipates SAF to make up 20% of its total fuel consumption by 2030, alongside long-term regulatory support.

This effort is part of Air New Zealand’s broader strategy to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The airline has partnered with next-generation aircraft technology pioneers, co-funded domestic SAF research and development, and invested in the United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund.

Development of SAF industry in Oceania has been lagging far behind North America and Europe. This has put airlines operating in the region in a tough spot to secure SAF supply for local and regional flights. Earlier, Qantas Airways also said that it is facing pressure from investors to ensure SAF supply to reduce its carbon footprint.

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