Airbus, Air New Zealand to study hydrogen for aviation
Airbus and Air New Zealand signed a memorandum of understanding on September 16 related to the use of hydrogen as an aviation fuel.
In a first for the region, both sides agreed to a joint research project that would align with their respective climate objectives.
"This agreement brings us a step closer to our net zero emissions by 2050 commitment, and to realising our aspiration to put low carbon solutions in place for our shorter domestic and regional flights in the next decade,” Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said.
Air New Zealand under the terms of the agreement will investigate how hydrogen could impact aircraft networks, operations and infrastructure, while Airbus will examine performance and other characteristics.
Airbus, for its part, is looking at turboprop, turbofan and blended options for a future hydrogen-powered aircraft.
Airbus, among the world’s largest aviation manufacturers, announced last year it was targeting green hydrogen as a fuel source for a zero-emission aircraft. While costs are an issue now, the company said that as hydrogen production scales up, it could be competitive against jet fuel.
“At this stage, both hydrogen and battery electric aircraft are still on the table as potential options for our shorter domestic flights, along with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for long haul operations,” Foran added. “This research will help to inform future decision making as we work to decarbonise the airline.”