17 June 2008

Air New Zealand providing ‘greener’ air travel

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Air New Zealand is developing sustainable practices for its aircraft fleet in the midst of soaring fuel prices. By 2013, the company hopes to have used at least one million barrels of environmentally sustainable fuel on an annual basis, according to a press release.

The projected aim of one million barrels per year will only supply 10 per cent of their annual needs for fuel consumption, but it is expected to lower the carbon footprint by 40 – 50 per cent on a life-cycle basis. 

The first flight test, which is expected to take-off in Auckland later this year, will use oil extracted from the jatropha plant.  The Boeing 747-400 Rolls Royce will be a world first and will show the rest of the aviation world that biofuel technology is integral to sustainable practices for airline companies. 

Over the past year, fuel prices have increased by 70 per cent, reports the Baltimore Sun.  If the trend continues in the same direction, more airlines will eventually have to switch to sustainable practices and follow Air New Zealand’s strategy.  As it stands, Air New Zealand are well on their way to providing cleaner and cheaper flights for visitors to New Zealand, and helping those travel conscious backpackers feel not so guilty when they make the trek to work and holiday in New Zealand.

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