Australasia's first autonomous air taxi coming to New Zealand

Air New Zealand has announced it is partnering with aviation company Zephyr Airworks to bring Australasia's first autonomous air taxi to the New Zealand market.

The planned aircraft are said to produce no emissions and are piloted by software, rather than a human. Current prototypes can travel at speeds of approximately 150km/h up to distances of 100km.

Air NZ Chief Executive Christopher Luxon claims the airline is committed to making life easier for New Zealanders and exploring cleaner energy options.

"Through the development of their autonomous electric air taxi Cora, the possibility of getting from A to B quickly and safely, and also relieving the impact of polluting emissions, is very real indeed," says Mr Luxon.

Zephyr Airworks Chief Executive Fred Reid is excited to be working with Air New Zealand.

"With its culture of innovation, high standards, and vision for a sustainable future, Air New Zealand is the perfect partner to help us reinvent mobility for everyday flight in New Zealand," says Mr Reid.

The companies say they are working with New Zealand regulatory agencies, government, community, iwi and business.

Plans to introduce air taxis to Dubai were revealed in June 2017. They are set to be in public use in the coming years.