Toulouse - Turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR and the flag carrier of New Zealand have signed an agreement to work on the new propulsion technologies that could contribute to the improvement of the regional aircraft ecosystem.
According to the agreement, ATR and Air New Zealand will research solutions for the development of new propulsion systems that will help to reduce CO2 emissions.
Christopher Luxon, the Chief Executive Officer of Air New Zealand, says that their renewable electricity supply and their extensive regional network make the country a perfect test bed for the improvement of such 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 turboprop aircraft, we believe that there is a potential for these to be a viable option for our regional network,said Luxon
The regional fleet of New Zealand's national airline accounts for roughly 40 percent of the airline's domestic emissions. The carrier sees this study as an excellent opportunity to reduce its carbon emissions in the future.
Air New Zealand aims carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and wants to reduce CO2 emissions to 50% of 2005 levels by 2050.
ATR is the world market leader in the regional turboprop aircraft market. The manufacturer believes that working on the future propulsion technologies is essential to prevent its current position as market leader in the future as well.
Hybrid and electric aircraft clearly are in that way forward. The partnership of ATR and Air New Zealand for jointly exploring the huge opportunities and implications for the whole regional aviation ecosystem makes both companies a perfect team. This will be a unique benchmark for the industry and Air New Zealand, and we look forward to starting this exciting project together,said ATR Chief Executive Officer Stefan Bortoli.