Universal Hydrogen Co., whose mission is to make hydrogen aviation a near-term reality, today announced it has signed a strategic agreement with Air New Zealand as part of the airline’s expanding Mission Next Gen Aircraft program.
Air New Zealand has today named Universal Hydrogen to its long-term partner program as it seeks to find sustainable solutions for its fleet.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Sustainability Officer Kiri Hannifin says the airline has bold sustainability goals that won’t be met by a ‘business as usual’ approach. “Mission Next Gen Aircraft aims to accelerate the technology and infrastructure needed to decarbonize our domestic flights, by joining forces with the world’s leading aircraft developers, innovators, and infrastructure providers. We want to be a leader in the roll out of zero emissions aircraft in New Zealand. Having Universal Hydrogen 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 well-suited for our fleet.”
Universal Hydrogen is developing a solution to convert existing regional airplanes to fly on hydrogen and to supply hydrogen to the fleet using a modular fueling approach, which eliminates the need for new airport infrastructure, speeds up the fueling operation, and reduces transfer losses throughout the hydrogen delivery chain. On completion of testing and certification, Universal Hydrogen’s conversion kits could be installed in Air New Zealand’s regional fleet.
“As the second-largest turboprop operator in the world, Air New Zealand is a trendsetter for the industry,” said Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen. “We fully expect other airlines to follow in Air New Zealand’s footsteps toward a true zero emissions solution for their fleets. We’re thrilled to be selected alongside Air New Zealand’s other long-term partners—Airbus, ATR, Embraer, and Heart Aerospace—to quickly address aviation’s contributions to the climate crisis.”