June 5, 2008 / 12:55 AM / 11 years ago

Air New Zealand looks to increase biofuel use

WELLINGTON, June 5 (Reuters) - Air New Zealand (AIR.NZ) said on Thursday it planned to use biofuels for 10 percent of its fuel consumption within the next five years amid rising jet fuel prices and a global drive to cut carbon emissions.

Chief executive Rob Fyfe said the airline would use one million barrels of biofuel a year in its jet fleet by 2013.

“Air New Zealand is absolutely committed to being at the forefront of testing environmentally sustainable fuels for use in aviation,” Fyfe said in a statement, adding biofuels had a carbon footprint about half the size of standard jet fuel. Fyfe said the airline was targeting a biofuelled test flight near the end of 2008, using a fuel made from the African plant jatropha.

The airline also said its programme of emissions savings had resulted in a reduction of 91,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the past three years.

Shares in the airline, 77 percent owned by the New Zealand government, last traded up 1.75 percent at NZ$1.16. (Reporting by Adrian Bathgate)

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