Inquiries into the Airbus A320 accident in the Mediterrean Sea have prompted Air New Zealand to postpone until next year a test flight using biofuel.

The test had been due to take place on 3 December but Air New Zealand has pushed back the demonstration until early January.

"Full efforts and resources of Air New Zealand will be focused over the coming days on providing support to the family members of the missing New Zealanders and to our people, and assisting in the investigation of the A320 accident in France," says the carrier.

Air New Zealand had been preparing to take the A320 back off lease from Germany's XL Airways. Five New Zealanders are among seven people presumed dead after the jet crashed while conducting a pre-delivery circuit flight from Perpignan on 27 November.

Recovery teams off the French coast are still trying to retrieve the aircraft's flight-data recorder.

ANZ 747

Air New Zealand's biofuel flight will involve a Boeing 747-400 with one of its Rolls-Royce RB211 engines powered by a 50:50 mix of Jet-A and synthetic kerosene derived from the jatropha plant.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news