Wellington Airport selected as home base of New Zealand's first all-electric service

17 Apr 2024

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Air New Zealand has today announced that it has selected Wellington and Marlborough Airports as the ports for its first all-electric aircraft.

Air New Zealand announced the purchase of its first next-generation aircraft, the all-electric ALIA CTOL from Beta Technologies, late last year. The airline will initially operate a cargo-only service in partnership with NZ Post.

Wellington Airport will be the home base of Air New Zealand’s first next-generation aircraft, while Marlborough Airport will also establish charging infrastructure to power the aircraft for the return journey.

Air New Zealand’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Kiri Hannifin says the purpose of the commercial demonstrator is to set the New Zealand aviation system up for introducing lower emissions aircraft.

“We are incredibly grateful to both Wellington and Marlborough airports for being so willing to take on a leadership role in supporting Air New Zealand to establish next generation aircraft capability in our business.

“Their involvement is critical in supporting the infrastructure required to fly next-generation aircraft, and they’ll help lead the way in supporting airports across Aotearoa to make the changes needed for us to fly larger lower-emissions aircraft on our domestic network from 2030.”

Wellington Airport Chief Executive Officer Matt Clarke says hosting the commercial demonstrator is a real coup for the airport, which shares Air New Zealand’s ambition to accelerate the pace of change needed to decarbonise aviation.

“Partnering with Air New Zealand to host the commercial demonstrator is a giant leap for sustainable aviation, providing the basis for all airports to prepare for the next generation of aircraft technology. Our team put their heart and soul into the hosting bid and that same energy will now be focussed on getting this service off the ground.”

Marlborough Airport Chief Executive Officer Dean Heiford says they are proud to partner with Wellington Airport and Air New Zealand to trial the next generation of aviation technology.

“Decarbonising aviation is of global importance, and in New Zealand maintaining regional connectivity through this transition is of national importance.

“This is a big step for us on our own sustainability journey that we wouldn’t have been able to achieve without partnership. We’re looking forward to sharing our learnings with other regional airports across New Zealand.

“Hosting the demonstrator with Wellington will further cement Marlborough as an important hub to keep New Zealand connected across the Cook Strait.”