Air New Zealand is on the hunt for global SAF partner

Queenstown, New Zealand - 30 Dec 2023. Air New Zealand jet gaining altitude with lush green mountains in the background.
Edited by Travel Weekly


    Air New Zealand has launched a global open invitation to innovators and start-ups in the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) sector to become a supply partner to the airline.

    It is the first time an airline has made a global call to potential suppliers in the burgeoning SAF industry to work together on supply opportunities.

    The airline’s Opportunity Statement, released today, provides an overview of Air New Zealand’s SAF requirements based on its network, fleet, sustainability targets and criteria.

    It is intended to kickstart discussion for ongoing collaboration as well as identify new opportunities.

    “Air New Zealand plays an essential role in connecting New Zealand’s people, tourism, and trade to the world, but we must find a way to do this more sustainably and as quickly as we can,” chief sustainability officer, Air New Zealand, Kiri Hannifan, said.

    “A stable supply of SAF is critical to our ability to reduce carbon emissions and continue to play this role for the long term.”

    Kiri Hannifin. (Supplied)

    “That’s why we’ve taken this novel approach, asking emerging SAF producers from around the world to connect with us and respond to the Opportunity Statement,” Hannifin, continued.

    “Air New Zealand is an ideal airline partner for SAF innovators and producers. We have a mature understanding of SAF, a clear roadmap to meet our targets, and the volumes of SAF we need to align with current production capabilities.

    “Our airline is known for pushing boundaries and challenging ourselves to think differently, and we’re also deeply committed to meeting our decarbonisation goals.

    “This Opportunity Statement shares our vision and allows current and future SAF producers to recognise both the opportunity and Air New Zealand’s ambition to become a customer as soon as possible.”

    Air New Zealand was just the second airline globally to announce an interim science-based target. The interim target, validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), requires a 28.9 per cent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030, from a 2019 baseline.

    Air New Zealand anticipates it will need SAF to make up around 20 per cent of its total fuel uptake by 2030, alongside a long term and strategic regulatory package, which it is actively advocating for.

    This is the latest step in Air New Zealand’s journey to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, after partnering with pioneers of next-generation aircraft technology through its Mission Next Gen Aircraft Programme, co-funding the research and development of a domestic SAF industry, and investing in the United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund.

    Air New Zealand is looking to enter short, medium, and long-term SAF offtake agreements, recognising these are often critical to the business case for a plant, mitigating risk through providing demand certainty for the SAF producer, its investors, and financiers.

    To find out more and to read the Opportunity Statement please visit here.

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