Mission Next Gen Aircraft: Air New Zealand announces airport selection

• Air New Zealand selects Wellington-Marlborough as the route for commercial demonstrator flights with the Beta ALIA
• Cargo-only flights with NZ Post to begin in 2026
• Wellington and Marlborough airports to play a pivotal role in introducing lower-emissions aircraft to Aotearoa

17 April 2024

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."





Issued by Air New Zealand Communications, Wellington Airport, and Marlborough Airport.


Email: media@airnz.co.nz │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 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 8.7 years. Air New Zealand's global network of passenger and cargo services centres around New Zealand. In 2023, the airline flew more than 16 million passengers. Air New Zealand was named 2024 World's Safest Airline by the Australian rating service AirlineRatings.com, highlighting the airline's laser-focus on safety, and won Best Corporate Reputation in New Zealand in 2023 – the 9th 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. Airpoints, Air New Zealand's loyalty programme, is seen as the most valuable loyalty programme in New Zealand with more than 4 million members. It allows members to earn Airpoints Dollars™ and Status Points for VIP benefits in the air and on the ground. 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.