Air New Zealand and Airbus to look into potential for hydrogen-powered aircraft in shorter domestic flights
Air New Zealand and Airbus have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on a joint research project to better understand the opportunities and challenges of flying zero-emission hydrogen aircraft in New Zealand.
Under the MoU, Air New Zealand will analyze the impact hydrogen aircraft may have on its network, operations and infrastructure, while Airbus will provide hydrogen aircraft performance requirements and ground operations characteristics to support Air New Zealand to develop its decarbonization roadmap.
At this stage, both hydrogen and battery electric aircraft are still on the table as potential options for our shorter domestic flights, along with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for long haul operations. This research will help to inform future decision making as we work to decarbonize the airline.—Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran
Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan says the MoU is an opportunity for the airline to be part of the design and definition of how a hydrogen-powered aircraft might fit into its own operations.
We’ll be working closely with Airbus to understand opportunities and challenges, including achievable flying range and what ground infrastructure or logistics changes may be required to implement this technology in New Zealand.—Captain Morgan
Airbus is currently looking at three concepts for hydrogen-powered aircraft, including a turboprop, turbofan and blended-wing option. (Earlier post.)