Air New Zealand edges closer to zero-emission planes

The world's largest aircraft manufacturer has brought our national carrier onboard to get zero-emission planes off the ground.

Airbus is spearheading a new consortium aimed at developing a sustainable flying future by taking off from Christchurch Airport. 

Planes like the Airbus could soon be winging their way around our skies. Airbus executives landed in Aotearoa to take off with the future of aviation.

"Kia ora, bonjour," said Airbus' vice-president of the ZEROe ecosystem, Karine Guenan.

A six-party Hydrogen Consortium signed on to join the race for carbon-free passenger flights.

"Our timeline is very clear is to bring these zero (emissions) aircraft for commercial entry into service by 2035," Guenan said. 

This will happen by dumping jet fuel for green hydrogen. 

"The production of hydrogen gas so the electrolysis, through to liquefiers through to storage and dispensing that's what we call the ground base production system, that's critical," Fabrum co-founder Christopher Boyle said. 

First, they need an ecosystem that will involve a 400-hectare renewable energy precinct called Kōwhai Park at Christchurch Airport.

"Will then provide the energy for hydrogen production that will go into the planes that we talk about trialling," Christchurch Airport Planning and Sustainability general manager Nick Flack said. 

Jetting off with zero emissions.

"There is no big difference from your experience as a passenger today apart from the big change which is no impact on the climate," Guenan said. 

Air New Zealand chief sustainability officer Kiri Hannifin said soon we'll be saying kia ora to the next generation of planes.

"By 2026 we want to see a commercial demonstrator flying around New Zealand and that will be one that's not omitting any emissions."

And from 2030 Air New Zealand will start to ground its Q300 fleet, making way for a cleaner and greener flight.