ATR and Air New Zealand explore the future of a regional aviation ecosystem including hybrid aircraft
Under the agreement the partners will investigate the development of these new solutions and the required systems to support them such as airport and regulatory infrastructure, maintenance, ground and flight operations.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says with New Zealand’s renewable electricity supply and Air New Zealand’s comprehensive regional network, the country is seen as the ideal test bed for these 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 turbo-prop aircraft, we believe there is potential for these to be a viable option for our regional network.
“Our regional fleet accounts for approximately 40 percent of our domestic emissions so there’s an enormous opportunity for carbon savings. It could be a significant contributor to us reaching our twin goals of carbon neutral growth from 2020 and reducing emissions to 50% of 2005 levels by 2050.”
ATR Chief Executive Officer Stefan Bortoli says, “ATR, as a market leader, is working on the future and turboprop technology will be an essential part of that. Hybrid and electric aircraft clearly are in that way forward. The combination of ATR and Air New Zealand jointly exploring the huge opportunities and implications on the whole regional aviation ecosystem is the perfect team. This will be a unique benchmark for the industry and for New Zealand and we look forward to starting this exciting project together.”
ATR is the world number one regional aircraft manufacturer with its ATR 42 and 72 aircraft the best-selling aircraft in the less than 90-seat market segment. In 2019 the company had a turnover of US$1.6 billion. The unifying vision of the company’s 1,400 employees is to help everyone, no matter where they are in the world, to connect and develop in a responsible manner. Thanks to the efficiency of turboprop technology and the benefits of the company’s focus on continuous innovation, ATR aircraft open more than 100 new routes every year, burn up to 45% less fuel and emit up to 45% less CO2 than regional jets. For all of these reasons, ATR aircraft have been chosen by some 200 companies in 100 countries around the world. ATR is a joint-venture between Airbus and Leonardo.