ANZ looks to Malaysia for SAF innovations

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(PHOTO: Via Air New Zealand)

AlsimAir New Zealand has launched a global open invitation to innovators and start-ups in the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) sector, including those in Malaysia, to become a supply partner to the airline.  This marks a pivotal step forward in Air Zealand’s commitment to decarbonising its operations and aligns with Malaysia’s National Energy Transition Roadmap which targets a 47% SAF blending mandate by 2050. It is the first time an airline has made a global call to potential suppliers in the burgeoning SAF industry to work together on supply opportunities.

The airline’s Opportunity Statement provides an overview of Air New Zealand’s SAF requirements based on its network, fleet, sustainability targets and criteria. It is intended to kickstart discussion for ongoing collaboration as well as identify new opportunities.

Air New Zealand Chief Sustainability Officer, Kiri Hannifin, says SAF is integral to the aviation industry’s future in Malaysia and globally, which faces a high pressure to decarbonise. “Air New Zealand plays an essential role in connecting New Zealand’s people, tourism, and trade to the world, but we must find a way to do this more sustainably as quickly as we can. Having a stable supply of SAF is critical to our ability to decarbonise and continue to play this role for the long term. That’s why we’ve taken this novel approach, asking emerging SAF producers in Malaysia and around the world to connect with us and respond to the Opportunity Statement. With several varieties of feedstock and biomass available, we believe that Malaysia has the potential to become a leading feedstock supplier for SAF in the Asia Pacific region,” says Hannifin.

“Air New Zealand is an ideal airline partner for SAF innovators and producers in Malaysia. We have a mature understanding of SAF, a clear roadmap to meet our targets, and the volumes of SAF we need align with current production capabilities. We already have some great relationships with several SAF producers however due to the scale of the challenge, there is a broader opportunity for new SAF supply partnerships. Our airline is known internationally for pushing boundaries and challenging ourselves to think differently, and we’re also deeply committed to meeting our decarbonisation goals. This Opportunity Statement shares our vision and allows current and future SAF producers to recognise both the opportunity and Air New Zealand’s ambition to become a customer as soon as possible,” says Hannifin,

Air New Zealand was just the second airline globally and the first in Asia Pacific to announce an interim science-based target. The interim target, validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), requires a 28.9% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030, from a 2019 baseline. Air New Zealand anticipates it will need SAF to make up around 20% of its total fuel uplift by 2030 to meet its science-based target, alongside long-term policy support for SAF including in New Zealand, which it is actively advocating for.

This is the latest step in Air New Zealand’s journey to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, after partnering with pioneers of next-generation aircraft technology through its Mission Next Gen Aircraft Programme, co-funding the research and development of a domestic SAF industry, and investing in the United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund. Air New Zealand is looking to enter short, medium, and long-term SAF offtake agreements, recognising these are often critical to the business case for a plant, mitigating risk through providing demand certainty for the SAF producer, its investors, and financiers. While Air New Zealand does not fly scheduled services to Malaysia, the airline sees an export potential to other ports on its network in the region.

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