Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia announced a partnership on 22 April that would investigate a sustainable locally produced bio jet fuel for use in their planes, Biofuels International reports.

Together they issued a Request for Information (RFI) in order to explore the aviation biofuel opportunity in the region.

Air New Zealand chief flight operations and safety officer Captain David Morgan said, “By working in partnership with…Virgin Australia we hope we can stimulate the local market, drive innovation and investment and potentially uncover a sustainable biofuel supply suitable for our respective operations”.

Virgin Australia’s head of sustainability Robert Wood added, “We are seeing the development of the aviation biofuel industry accelerate internationally but that is not yet the case for our region”.

Through their collaboration, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia hoped to “de-risk investment in the sector” and procure a large volume of aviation biofuel.

Aviation biofuels need to deliver environmental, social and economic benefits; respondents to the RFI were encouraged to address these particular needs. Interested parties should express their interest by 30 May 2016.