Air NZ embark on eco-friendly journey with goal of electric plane

Air New Zealand have announced their next step in becoming a more eco-friendly airline with plans to help develop "green" aircraft that can run on hydrogen and electricity.

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CEO Greg Foran said the Kiwi airline is partnering with Airbus to develop "green" aircraft. Source: Breakfast

Air NZ CEO Greg Foran confirmed to Breakfast on Thursday morning his company was partnering with Airbus to explore environmentally-friendly aircraft as the company has a goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

"We're announcing a memorandum of understanding with Airbus to get on and work very closely and develop what we can around coming up with a green hydrogen, electric plane over the next few years," Foran said.

"There's a lot of work going on around the world and Airbus clearly are a massive player in this and we see this as a very viable technology to deal with achieving our ambition of being clean by 2050.

The tail end of an Air New Zealand plane. Source: Air New Zealand

"We're deep in work with them now and sharing data and I think over the next few years, we can develop something that can work really well on our regional network."

Foran said Air New Zealand aims to be one of if not the first airline to use Airbus' green planes when they eventuate for short travels.

"It will help us with our domestic fleet," Foran said.

"For our domestic network, which represents around 16 per cent of the carbon emissions of Air New Zealand, this is a very real solution.

"We see an electric airplane being suitable for short distances...but in time, we're talking about a decade, they'll be able to get us across the Tasman."