European airframer ATR has announced it is deepening its relationship with Air New Zealand (NZ/ANZ) to accelerate developing and introducing low-emission aircraft technology in New Zealand.
The collaboration will launch an initiative called ‘Mission Next Gen Aircraft’ which will see Air New Zealand partner with several industry and academic stakeholders to replace its Bombardier Q300 domestic fleet with a more sustainable option from 2030. with ATR launching a feasibility study on its ATR ‘EVO’ concept, demonstrating its ambition to continue to drive the future of the regional market towards net-zero carbon emissions.
“ATR fully shares Air New Zealand’s ambition to accelerate the transition towards net-zero carbon emissions. Having worked together since 2018 to explore new propulsion technologies and their impact on operations and infrastructure, we are now taking this partnership to the next level. With Mission NextGen Aircraft’ we will be supporting Air New Zealand in every step of this challenging adventure in investigating disruptive innovations to turn our commitments into tangible reality.”, says Nathalie Tarnaud Laude, ATR’s Chief Executive Officer.
In addition, ATR and Pratt and Whitney have signed an agreement to have 100% sustainable aircraft fuel (SAF) readiness for the PW127 engine by 2025.
“Our collaboration with ATR will be underway throughout 2023 and 2024 and builds on our recent 100% SAF test flight with Braathens Regional Airlines, which was an industry first for regional aviation,” said Anthony Rossi, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Pratt & Whitney Canada. “Alongside our efforts to continually enhance aircraft engine efficiency, SAF has a critical role to play on the journey to achieve the aviation industry’s goal of net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. While all Pratt & Whitney Canada engines have already been certified for 50% SAF blends for more than a decade, ensuring readiness to operate with 100% SAF blends in future will allow us to maximise their potential for decarbonisation.”
Nathalie Tarnaud Laude, ATR’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “It is our collective responsibility as an industry to continue taking action to ensure that the vital connections provided by our aircraft across the globe are operated sustainably. We have recently demonstrated with our collaborators, Braathens Regional Airlines and Pratt & Whitney Canada, that ATR aircraft are SAF-ready. Now, we need to continue to join forces to increase SAF availability, as part of our common journey towards net-zero.”