Ministers applaud airline's focus on sustainability

  • David Parker

Energy Minister David Parker and Tourism Minister Damien O'Connor have congratulated Air New Zealand for seeking out a sustainable alternative to traditional aviation fuel, which could play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from air travel.

Air New Zealand is testing a second generation biofuel based on jatropha oil.

David Parker said Air New Zealand had made it clear they wished to use an environmentally sustainable fuel source which was technically viable and cost-competitive, but which did not compete with food sources or contribute to deforestation.

"Not all biofuels are created equal, and I am very pleased that Air New Zealand is seeking to set stringent conditions around the sourcing of the biofuels they use," said David Parker.

"If the trial proves successful, it will herald a new era of sustainable airline travel," he said.

Mr O'Connor said the sustainable alternative could have huge benefits for the New Zealand tourism market, adding weight to our world famous clean green, 100% Pure New Zealand reputation.

"New Zealand is at the forefront of many of these areas of endeavour and it's increasingly obvious that there are economic opportunities for our county as a result.

"At a time when the global economic crisis means there is pressure on international tourism, New Zealand has to go the extra mile to attract visitors in an environmentally responsible way that also helps the economy," said Damien O'Connor.

The Ministers said they look forward to further progress from Air New Zealand in their trial.