Air New Zealand announces science-based emissions reduction target

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Air New Zealand is progressing on its Flight NZ0 journey by setting an ambitious science-based target to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.

The flag carrier of New Zealand says it interim target is validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and requires a 28.9% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 from a 2019 baseline.

Science-based targets validated by the SBTi show companies how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change. Setting a science-based target allows businesses to set a robust and credible carbon reduction target that is independently assessed to ensure it aligns with the latest climate science.

Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer David Morgan commented: “This interim target will drive activity today and set the airline up for success in achieving its net zero 2050 target. Getting the target validated by the SBTi was a rigorous process and something we are incredibly proud to have achieved. Our GHG emissions were reviewed in detail by the SBTi to ensure we had an accurate emissions baseline and science-based target set.

“This target makes us accountable today. Implementing our decarbonisation roadmap will be critical to achieving this target – with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), continued fleet renewal, operational efficiency, and zero emissions aircraft technologies all playing a role.

Morgan says the airline’s key focus areas are SAF and the adoption of zero emissions aircraft technologies as they have the potential to reduce the carrier’s emissions by approximately 70% by 2050. “We already have several initiatives in the works including a partnership with the Government to scope the feasibility of a SAF production plant in New Zealand and our world-leading Product Requirements Document currently in market to accelerate the development of hydrogen, electric, and hybrid aircraft. These are the initiatives that will drive real change in reducing our emissions and we’re incredibly focused on delivering them as quickly as possible.”

Air New Zealand menu

Air New Zealand unveils its new menu

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Air New Zealand menu

Air New Zealand has unveiled its new in-flight menu which highlights the finest New Zealand produce.

The carrier’s new Business Premier menu showcases the best of Aotearoa on a plate, including local ingredients like Southland Lamb Prosciutto, Hawke’s Bay extra virgin olive oil and mānuka smoked free-range chicken from the Waikato.

The menu will be officially launched and rolled out on all long-haul routes from October.

Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Leeanne Langridge says: “We all know how important food is when travelling and what a difference it makes to our customers to be served a tasty meal full of fresh, local produce while on their journey.

“Our inflight meals showcase the best of New Zealand produce to the world, and also gives our Kiwi customers a taste of home from the moment they are welcomed onboard.

“Through customer research we found our Premium customers wanted more choice in the air, so we’ve added a build your own component to the main meal service. Customers can add the likes of seared salmon from Marlborough, free-range chicken from Waikato or bacon for greater protein, or streamed green vegetables or fresh, crisp salads picked straight from orchards and fields in Gisborne, Waikato or the Manawatū.”

Many of the meals like the artisan pasta bowl and superfood salad are also vegetarian, giving our customers plenty of meat-free options. The carrier will be refreshing its Premium Economy and Economy menus at the same time.

According to Air New Zealand, sustainability has been at the forefront of developing the new menu, and the airline will also be rolling out new sustainable serviceware in all cabins which reduces weight and single-use plastic on the aircraft.

Air NZ plane in flight

Air New Zealand and FLYR Labs launch AI collaboration

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Air NZ plane in flight

Air New Zealand and FLYR Labs have formed a strategic alliance to collaboratively develop advanced AI-based applications that utilise the Cirrus software platform.

Under the agreement, the two companies will leverage the Cirrus software platform to develop complementary AI-powered products that enhance and optimise other aspects of the airline’s commercial operations.

The collaboration will see a team of FLYR Labs data science, software development, and other employees co-locate out of Air New Zealand’s headquarters in Auckland in the new year.

Michael Williams, Air New Zealand Group’s General Manager for Commercial, Strategy and Alliances commented: “The Cirrus software platform has been key in optimising our capacity and schedule planning, providing efficiencies for both our team and our customers. The next stage on our journey is looking to how we can use the software to further enhance our digital capabilities across the business.

“This alliance is also incredibly exciting for our people, who will have the opportunity to develop and implement software that’s leading the way in innovation in the aviation industry.”

Alex Mans, founder and CEO of FLYR Labs added: “FLYR Labs has worked alongside Air New Zealand to demonstrate how our Cirrus platform can improve passenger load forecasting and, by so doing, optimise revenue outcomes. It is very gratifying to announce that we have formalised the relationship with Air New Zealand and intend to work alongside their team to partner on the creation of additional solutions.”

FLYR Labs’ proposition leverages advanced AI that captures and contextually analyses massive amounts of data, enabling airlines to more accurately forecast demand and automatically set revenue-optimal fares. Beyond revenue management, FLYR’s Cirrus software platform enables improved performance across commercial functions, clarifying operation decisions that touch marketing, scheduling and planning, executive leadership, and air cargo.

FLYR Labs recently completed a US$150m Series C funding round led by Laurence Tosi’s WestCap, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo, Silver Lake, Peter Thiel, and others. Prior to this, FLYR Labs acquired Faredirect to expand its ancillary offerings, such as personalised seat, meal, and baggage offerings, and xCheck for its marketing technology tools that expand fare visibility across channels and drives demand.

SIX660 promo Till the Lights Go Out documentary

Air New Zealand hosts SIX60 world premiere

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SIX660 promo Till the Lights Go Out documentary

SIX60: Till the Lights Go Out, a new documentary from Julia Parnell, which charts the rise of the pop-dub band, has received its world premiere in-flight.

Passengers on the dedicated A321neo flight were joined by the band, who gave a surprise performance at the gate lounge in Auckland.

According to Air New Zealand’s Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty: “We’re so excited to be operating this special flight today to premiere the film, celebrate SIX60’s phenomenal success, and acknowledge our customers for their support throughout this year. The fact that tickets sold out in just seven hours is a reflection of the band’s popularity and how proud we are of them as Kiwis.

“We specifically built the package around a one-way ticket to Dunedin as a way of supporting tourism to the city and the region.”

SIX60’s Matiu Walters said: “We love new challenges and are always trying to push new boundaries in SIX60, so we are so stoked to be hosting the very first World Premiere in the Air. To be able to have the opportunity to fly alongside a planeload of fans back to Dunedin where it all began for us feels really special. This is the first time fans will be able to check out SIX60: Till The Lights Go Out, so it definitely feels like a day of firsts!”

SIX60: Till The Lights Go Out produced by Notable Pictures in association with the New Zealand Film Commission and NZ On Air is in NZ cinemas from 26 November 2020.

Queenstown NZ

Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand partner on winter campaign

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Queenstown NZ

Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) have teamed up on the second phase of the ‘Do something new, New Zealand’ winter campaign. The month-long campaign will see key ski locations Taupo, Christchurch and Queenstown promoted through social media, digital display advertising and online.

Air New Zealand General Manager Brand & Marketing Jeremy O’Brien said: “While a record number of New Zealanders travelled during the school holidays, the challenge now is to encourage Kiwis to continue to travel domestically, outside of the peak holiday period.”

The August edition of Air New Zealand’s in-flight Kia Ora magazine has also been produced in partnership with TNZ to promote the campaign. It showcases destinations such as Queenstown, Wanaka, Christchurch, Nelson, Wellington, Wairarapa, Ruapehu, Rotorua, New Plymouth and Kerikeri.

Image: Renowned as New Zealand’s “Adventure Capital”, Queenstown attracts more than three million visitors annually. Credit TNZ

Air New Zealand releases latest safety video

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Air New Zealand has released its latest safety video A Journey to Safety, as part of its ongoing eight-year partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC).

The two organisations have been working together since 2012 to help protect and enhance New Zealand’s natural environment. Under the partnership the airline has transported more than 3,200 threatened species to safe havens, funded pest traps across 38,000 hectares of the country, and supported marine science and research within New Zealand’s marine reserves.

The video highlights the impact of New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis through the story of a young girl who transports a lost takahē to his new home with help from Air New Zealand.

New Zealand’s landscapes are also a feature of the video, with the Murchison Mountains in Fiordland, Tiritiri Matangi in the Hauraki Gulf and Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari in Waikato all making an appearance.

Air New Zealand’s General Manager Global Brand and Content Marketing Jodi Williams says the newest video is a charming story with a serious message behind it.

“While it’s light-hearted on the surface, it conveys a really important message – our native birds need our help. Our safety videos have collectively generated more than 180 million views over the past decade, so what better medium to shine a spotlight on New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis.

“We’re really proud of the work we’re doing with DOC, and hope Kiwis and visitors alike will not only delight in our latest video but take on the message behind it.”

Department of Conservation Threatened Species Ambassador Nicola Toki says right now is a globally significant time when it comes to New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis.

“The reality is, a huge number of our species are on the fast track to extinction. We’ve already lost 50 species of birds since humans arrived in New Zealand, and each year up to 25 million native birds are killed by introduced predators. Protecting our native taonga is a massive challenge, but one all Kiwis and businesses can be part of, by doing things like purchasing backyard traps and getting behind their local community groups.

“We’re thrilled to have been able to work with Air New Zealand on their latest safety video. Our native species are part of our identity as Kiwis, and it’s so important to protect that.”

Since its release, A Journey to Safety has become the airline’s most viewed safety video ever, having been watched more than 27 million times.

Air New Zealand has unveiled its new lie-flat prototype sleep product for economy travellers, The Economy Skynest. 

Air New Zealand squawks about Skynest

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Air New Zealand has unveiled its new lie-flat prototype sleep product for economy travellers, The Economy Skynest.  Kerry Reeves, Air New Zealand’s Head of Airline Programmes

Air New Zealand has unveiled its new lie-flat prototype sleep product for economy travellers, The Economy Skynest. 

The Economy Skynest will provide six lie-flat sleep pods in excess of 200 cm by 58 cm. Passengers will be provided with a pillow, sheets, a blanket, ear plugs and the addition of privacy curtains and specially designed lighting for sleep. The airline is also exploring the possibility of individual reading lights, USB outlets and ventilation outlets.

Air New Zealand operates some of the world’s longest flights including its upcoming service between Auckland and New York, totalling up to 17 hours and 40 minutes one way. Therefore, the airline said it is “committed to putting more magic back into flying.” Air New Zealand Chief Marketing and Customer Officer, Mike Tod, said the product is in “response to a clear problem regarding passenger comfort on long-haul flights; the inability to stretch out.”

This prototype arrives after three years of research and development at the airline’s Hangar 22 innovation centre in Auckland. More than 200 customers gave their input during the research processes, in addition to cabin crew feedback. Air New Zealand expect to make a final decision on whether to operate the Economy SkyNest’s operations in 2021 after assessing the performance of its Auckland-New York services. The main challenge for the products development is gaining certification with the necessary regulators.

“We see a future flying experience where an economy-class customer on long-haul flights would be able to book the Economy Skynest in addition to their Economy seat, get some quality rest and arrive at their destination ready to go. This is a game changer on so many levels,” stated Nikki Goodman, General Manager of Customer Experience. 

Suggesting the Economy Skynest could “bring significant improvements to long-haul flying,” Goodman said the airline expects other airlines “will want to explore licensing the Economy Skynest from us. 

Kerry Reeves, Air New Zealand’s Head of Airline Programmes said, “It was a prize worth chasing and one that we think has the potential to be a game changer for economy class travellers on all airlines around the world.”

Air New Zealand celebrates waste reduction achievements 

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Air New Zealand has diverted more than 890 tonnes of in-flight waste from landfill, as a part of its glass recycling and product use waste reduction initiative, the Green Project.

Project Green was launched in 2017 and aims to redirect unused items from flight services from going to landfill, to be put onto another flight, providing they are sealed and untouched. More than 40 item types are covered by this project such as drink cans, biscuit packets, boxed tea, coffee and sugar sachets and sealed napkins. 

This movement was made possible through a collaboration of Air New Zealand, LSG Sky Chefs and the country’s Ministry of Primary Industries.

Chloe Surridge, General Manager of Supply Chain for Air New Zealand said, “Project Green is a very good example of the steps Air New Zealand is taking to build sustainability into its supply chain. We are looking to make impactful sustainability gains, and in order to do this, we have to enable those bigger conversations through relationships with our suppliers and business partners.”

Prior to this project launch, unopened items would have had to be incinerated. To date, Project Green has led to the airline recovering 85 tonnes of water bottles, an excess of 11.5 million plastic glasses and more than 4 million sugar sticks. 

Surridge highlighted that as well as reducing waste to landfill, the data the airline has captured can lead to the business being able to assess flight loading requirements and find other opportunities to reduce waste at the source. 

She continued, “We are also working on ways to further segregate the waste that is collected inflight (for example soft plastics and compostables). A major challenge we face, however, in reducing waste to landfill, is the lack of recycling and composting infrastructure available for us to send our material to. More robust infrastructure across the country, including in the regions, would help us keep compostables and recyclables out of landfills.”

Air New Zealand aircraft takes off

Air New Zealand enjoys surge in free in-flight broadband sessions

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Air New Zealand aircraft takes off

Passengers on Air New Zealand have accessed more than one million free in-flight passenger broadband sessions, within a year of the airline switching to a free-of-charge model for its in-flight broadband service.

December 2019 was Air New Zealand’s biggest month ever for free in-flight Wi-Fi sessions, with more than 122,000 customers connecting.

Inmarsat’s GX Aviation is currently available on almost 25 aircraft within the Air New Zealand fleet, operating on Trans-Tasman, Pacific Island, US and London routes. This includes a combination of Boeing 777-200, 777-300 and 787-9 aircraft, in addition to Airbus A320 and A321neos.

Chris Rogerson, Inmarsat Aviation’s Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific, said: “Air New Zealand is one of the airline industry’s biggest advocates of free in-flight broadband. Whenever and wherever passengers fly with them, they will be offered unrestricted internet access at zero cost. It is a prime example of how this leading airline always seeks to delight and surprise their passengers.”