Embraer Selected by Air New Zealand to develop the ‘Mission Next Gen Aircraft’

Rener of a formation of Embraer Energia family next generation aircraft in flight.
Image Credit: Embraer

LONDON – On the 7 February in São José dos Campos, Brazil, the national airline Air New Zealand inked an agreement with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to join its Energia Advisory Group. This group champions the manufacturer initiative in creating a sustainable aircraft for the future.

It is joined by a group of airline, lessors, aviation experts, manufacturers and also involved stakeholders to pool and share resources and expertise on the matter. 

Embraer is also pointed by Air New Zealand’s Mission Next Generation Aircraft initiative to work closely and in tandem with the airline to meet zero-emissions goals and the rolling out of carbon-free aircraft technology and solutions for the airline’s regional fleet in the country. 

Both Embraer and Air New Zealand, realising a clear synergy, will collaborate together on the design requirements for the next-generation regional aircraft.

The Kiwi flag carrier is also embarking on a mission where it will want to become zero-emission flying passengers and cargo, connecting businesses and people together to 20 different regions in New Zealand. The tasks are challenging yet rewarding at the same time. 

In fact, Air New Zealand Chief Sustainability Officer Kiri Hannifin says the flag carrier has a clear and bold sustainability target that will not be able to achieve should the airline is run on a ‘‘business as usual’ ethos.

The Mission Next Generation Aircraft, will fast-track initiatives and collaboration and also to an extent, shake up the company’s culture to become more open-minded and environmentally conscious.

The only way to do this is to join hands with the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, experts and infrastructure providers, including airports and repair stations. Kiri Hannifin added: “We want to be a leader in the rollout of zero-emissions aircraft in New Zealand.”

“Having Embraer as one of our long-term partners will grow our collective understanding of zero emissions aircraft technology as it develops and will give them the confidence they are developing a product that’s viable for us.”

Arjan Meijer, President and CEO, of Embraer Commercial Aviation, commented on Air New Zealand’s initiative: “As the global leader in regional aircraft, Embraer is ideally positioned to bring disruptive technologies to smaller aircraft first.”

“Air New Zealand, operator of a large, complex, and diverse regional network, is the perfect collaborator and we’re proud to be a part of this initiative” 

Embraer’s CEO furthered: “Smaller, regional aircraft are going to be the first platforms on which new fuel and propulsion systems can be introduced effectively.”

“Embraer looks forward to contributing to Air New Zealand’s initiative and also adding their expertise and requirements to Embraer’s Energia project.”

What is the Energia Project?


The project championed by Embraer explores a ‘hypothetical’ sustainable aircraft that aims to transport up to 50 passengers.

The project will be a force for good and, hopefully, an industry first in achieving the mission of reducing carbon emissions by 50% on all of their products and becoming completely carbon neutral by 2050. 

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