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  • Air NZ: first step to sustainability -

    (EMAILWIRE.COM, January 17, 2009 ) New Zealand - The airline recently took a giant leap forward in the quest for sustainable air travel when it successfully flew a test flight powered by second-generation biofuel…

    One thing guaranteed to make green gurus angry is a long haul flight and the giant carbon footprint that accompanies it.

    In Britain alone, carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft doubled in the space of a decade between 1990 and 2000, and the Government is predicting this will double again by 2030.

    Aviation’s impact on the climate is worsened by the fact that jet emissions happen high up in the atmosphere, where they can do most damage. To put it in perspective - one long haul flight from London to Sydney in Australia can double an individual’s carbon footprint for an entire year.

    Whilst long haul flights are such carbon producers due to the sheer distance involved, short haul flights are actually the worst perpetrators of all as far more fuel is used in take off and landing than once the plane is actually in the air.

    Thus, something was needed to combat the problem and that’s where sustainable air travel comes in.

    Virgin Atlantic ran a test flight last year using a blend including coconut oil and babassu nut oil and this, combined with the Air New Zealand flight, has been hailed as a significant milestone in the development of sustainable fuels in aviation.

    The Air New Zealand test flight was a joint venture involving the airline itself, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Honeywell company UOP and Terasol Energy.

    A 50-50 blend of standard jet fuel and synthetic fuel made from the oil of jatropha plant seeds was used to power one of the engines on a Boeing 747 during a two-hour test flight. It was the world’s first test flight using jatropha biofuel.

    Air New Zealand Chief Pilot Dave Morgan said, “We undertook a range of tests on the ground and in flight with the jatropha biofuel performing well through both the fuel system and engine.”

    The airline is now aiming to have jatropha certified as an aviation fuel.

    New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who is also Tourism Minister, described the flight as a ‘historic day for aviation,’ noting that the fortunes of Air New Zealand and New Zealand’s tourism industry were inextricably linked.

    For more information on New Zealand properties and the market in general, please visit


    Notes to editors: is a property website that was founded in 1999 as an online resource for buying, selling and learning about property. It now receives as many as 300,000 visits per month and advertises over 50,000 properties in nearly 90 countries, which are listed by over 500 partner organisations.

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