Air New Zealand and ATR have signed an agreement
to explore the role new propulsion technologies could play in the
future of the regional aircraft ecosystem.
Under the agreement the partners will
investigate the development of these new solutions and the
required systems to support them such as airport and regulatory
infrastructure, maintenance, ground and flight operations.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer,
Christopher Luxon, said that with New Zealand's renewable electricity
supply and Air New Zealand's comprehensive regional network, the
country is seen as the ideal test bed for these technologies.
"Hybrid aircraft are expected to enter the market in the next
decade or so. Depending on when hybrid and electric technologies
become available for larger turbo-prop aircraft, we believe there
is potential for these to be a viable option for our regional
network," said Christopher. "Our regional fleet accounts for approximately 40
percent of our domestic emissions so there's an enormous
opportunity for carbon savings. It could be a significant
contributor to us reaching our twin goals of carbon neutral growth
from 2020 and reducing emissions to 50% of 2005 levels by 2050."
ATR Chief Executive Officer, Stefan Bortoli,
added, "ATR, as a market
leader, is working on the future and turboprop technology will be
an essential part of that. Hybrid and electric aircraft clearly
are in that way forward. The combination of ATR and Air New
Zealand jointly exploring the huge opportunities and implications
on the whole regional aviation ecosystem is the perfect team. This
will be a unique benchmark for the industry and for New Zealand
and we look forward to starting this exciting project together."
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