The airline has entered into a formal three-year partnership with Antarctica New Zealand and the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI).

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe says the airline is contributing more than $1 million toward helping scientists gain a better understanding of one of the most unique environments in the world.

"Air New Zealand has long been a supporter of scientific research in Antarctica by providing transport for world class scientists and their equipment to Christchurch to join Antarctica New Zealand's programme and make the trip to Scott Base. Over the years, we have been highly impressed by the outputs we have seen and it is terrific to be lifting our support to another level so the scientific community can learn even more about Antarctica," says Mr Fyfe.

"A unique element of our partnership with Antarctica New Zealand and NZARI is that two young New Zealand scientists just starting out in their careers and two Air New Zealanders with relevant skills will get to work at Scott Base in each of the next three years. It is our hope that this unique opportunity will drive even more awareness of the importance of Antarctica within the new generation of New Zealand environmental scientists and within our own company."

Antarctica New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Lou Sanson says the partnership will provide valuable support to what is internationally significant research.

"New Zealand Antarctic scientists are at the forefront of global scientific research, particularly in relation to major issues such as climate change. The importance of this work is only likely to increase in coming years. We have a special relationship with Air New Zealand, which has been a strong supporter of research in Antarctica, and it is superb to be able to formalise a $1 million plus funding arrangement with them. New Zealanders should be incredibly proud of the environmental and science leadership role our national airline is taking on the global stage," says Mr Sanson.

"Air New Zealand, Antarctica New Zealand and NZARI will work together over the coming months to identify suitable projects to be funded. NZARI will bring scientists together to work collaboratively on the most important questions for Antarctica and how it impacts the rest of the world."

Air New Zealand's announcement today of further support of scientific research in Antarctica follows its recent announcement of a partnership with the Department of Conservation.


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Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320