Air New Zealand lounges say haere ra to single-use cups

Air New Zealand has begun the process of removing single-use cups from its lounges. The move is part of the airline's commitment to sustainability, including supporting a more circular approach to waste by creating less of it in the first place.
1 November 2023

Air New Zealand's Chief Sustainability Officer, Kiri Hannifin says the airline is very aware that it has a greater problem to solve in moving away from fossil fuel.

"This remains our greatest challenge and priority, and we have a significant programme of work underway. But as the airline navigates the multiple challenges to find a more sustainable fuel replacement or a lower emissions aircraft, we must double down on the sustainability initiatives we can action now", says Hannifin. 

"Nearly one million single-use cups are used for hot drinks across lounges each year and another nine million in our aircraft. These cups are commercially compostable, but there is limited composting infrastructure in New Zealand that can take them, so most are ending up in landfill.

"At Air New Zealand we have set some very ambitious sustainability goals, including net zero carbon emissions by 2050. These will require significant changes to our fleet and operations to transition away from fossil fuel as much as we can."

"But we can't just wait for these big initiatives. Waste to landfill also contributes to our carbon footprint. Managing waste better is within our control and removing single-use cups in our lounges is a step in the right direction. Every step we take, including the small ones, will reduce the airline's environmental impact. 

"We know that having a hot drink from our lounges, especially before an early flight, is something many of our customers enjoy. Rest assured our customers will still be able to get their coffee fix with us using one of our ceramic cups or their own reusable cup."

The process will start in Invercargill at the beginning of November with the roll out to New Zealand lounges* expected to be completed by the end of January.

Air New Zealand appreciates the support of our customers to remove nearly one million single-use cups from our waste stream.

More information for customers can be found here.


*Excludes Christchurch Regional Express




Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.

Email: │Twitter: @AirNZMedia

About Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand's story started in 1940, first taking to the skies between Auckland and Sydney on a flying boat - a Short S30. Known for its warm Kiwi hospitality, today, the airline has 104 operating aircraft ranging from Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A320s to ATRs and Q300s, offering customers comfort in the latest most efficient jets and turboprops. It's a modern fuel-efficient fleet with an average age of 7.3 years. Air New Zealand's global network of passenger and cargo services centres around New Zealand. Pre-Covid, the airline flew more than 17 million passengers every year, with 3,400 flights per week. Air New Zealand was recently named the World's Safest Airline by the Australian rating service, highlighting the airline's laser-focus on safety. Last year, Air New Zealand won Best Corporate Reputation in New Zealand – 8th year in a row.

Air New Zealand has a well-connected domestic business, connecting customers and cargo to 20 different regions around New Zealand. Internationally, the airline has direct flights to major cities across Australia, Asia, the Pacific Islands and the US, and through its strong relationships with alliance partners, offers customers more choice and convenience to connect further afield to hundreds of destinations. Air New Zealand has a particular focus on sustainability and its Sustainability Framework  helps guide the airline's efforts in tackling some of New Zealand's and the world's most complex challenges. Air New Zealand aircraft are proudly identified by its distinct tail livery of the Mangōpare, the Māori symbol of the hammerhead shark which represents strength, tenacity, and resilience.


About Star Alliance

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,321 airports in 193 countries.