The commercial Boeing 777 flight NZ8, re-named ASPIRE I, will take off from Auckland Airport on September 12.

It will operate under optimum flight planning conditions through the involvement of partners Airways New Zealand, the Federal Aviation Administration and Airservices Australia.

"By operating under these optimum planning conditions we will be able to demonstrate how many millions of tonnes of fuel and carbon emissions can be saved by airlines globally if they are permitted to utilise concepts and technologies in flight efficiency in all phases of commercial flight," says Air New Zealand's General Manager Airline Operations, Captain David Morgan.

"ASPIRE I further demonstrates Air New Zealand's commitment to sustainable air travel, following on from our involvement in the tailored arrivals initiative into San Francisco, a number of fuel savings measures we've implemented and our bio-fuel aspirations."

Airways New Zealand, the Federal Aviation Administration and Airservices Australia formed ASPIRE (Asia and South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions) last year, with the goal of making commercial air travel more environmentally sustainable. The group have a long history of working together, including introducing Future Air Navigation Services with airline, aircraft manufacturers and other industry partners. This involves improvements to communications, navigation and surveillance, which have already resulted in fuel and emission reduction benefits being delivered.

The demonstration flight will have all practical operational restraints, including air traffic congestion control vectoring, air traffic fixed route structure, procedures, flow restrictions and airline restraints removed.

The demonstration flight will result in a clear and measured understanding of the potential savings achievable (based on current technology).

ENDS

Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs, contact 09 336 2761

NOTE: The content of all Air New Zealand media releases are accurate at the time of issue, as stated at the top of each release. For updates on any changes, please contact Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 19,500 daily flights to 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com.