Air New Zealand is extending its online carbon offset programme to customers in the UK and Europe who are booking flights with the airline.Air New Zealand launched a carbon offset programme in March that enabled New Zealand based customers the option to fund the purchase of carbon credits to offset their travel. Following its successful New Zealand launch the scheme is now being made available to those booking outside of New Zealand with the first international sites to go live from Tuesday May 27 being the UK site, www.airnewzealand.co.uk, the main European site www.airnewzealand.eu and the German site, www.airnewzealand.de.
In addition to the carbon offset programme which allows customers to calculate how much carbon they will emit through their flight and invest in a programme to offset it, customers will also be able to voluntarily contribute to a new environmental trust set up by Air New Zealand.
Scott Carr, Air New Zealand European General Manager said the airline was delighted to offer both new facilities to customers in the UK and Europe who were travelling with Air New Zealand.
“When customers purchase a flight on Air New Zealand they will now be able to make a conscious choice about whether or not to take positive steps to helping our environment.”
“When you book a flight with Air New Zealand you will be offered the opportunity to pay a little extra to offset the carbon emissions for your flight. This is a voluntary process, with all money collected going directly to carbon offsetting projects.”
The first carbon credits that Air New Zealand has secured are Emission Reduction Units from TrustPower’s Tararua windfarm in New Zealand’s North Island. The project was awarded these Kyoto carbon credits as part of the New Zealand Government’s Projects to Reduce Emissions programme.
In March Air New Zealand also announced the formation of an environment trust committed to funding research and development into alternative fuels and supporting projects that enhance New Zealand’s clean, green, reputation around the world.
The Trust’s first project will be a conservation programme involving more than 100 acres on Mangarara Station in Hawke’s Bay.
Customers in the UK and Europe will also now be able to choose to contribute to the trust by nominating a desired amount on the facility available on the website.
Mr Carr said the airline expected the Environment Trust option to resonate with customers with green credentials, ex-pat New Zealanders and regular travellers to New Zealand looking for a way to actively contribute to the protection of New Zealand’s unique environment.
Air New Zealand is committed to reducing the amount of carbon emitted from its operations and a number of different green initiatives have been put in place to ensure the airline reduces its carbon footprint.
These include more efficient flight planning and tracking, continuous descent profiles, more effective use of engine power in all phases of flight, greater use of electric power when aircraft are parked at the airport and a programme to reduce weight on the aircraft. In partnership with Boeing and Rolls Royce, the airline is at the forefront of the drive to develop sustainable fuels for air travel and later this year will undertake a Boeing 747 test flight using a sustainable bio fuel not tested by any other airline.
Both the carbon offset and trust contributions are voluntary, with customers able to choose whether to contribute to one, both or neither depending on their personal preference.