Air New Zealand said on Thursday it was studying how it could use low-carbon technologies like electric, hybrid or hydrogen powered planes to dramatically reduce emissions from shorter and regional flights as soon as 2030.
The airline signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus SE to research the impact hydrogen planes would have on Air New Zealand’s network, operations and infrastructure, Reuters reported.
Airbus said it is hoping to bring a hydrogen plane to market by 2035 – a goal some industry officials and analysts believe to be ambitious.
This agreement brings us a step closer to “seeing low carbon solutions in place for our shorter domestic and regional flights in the next decade,” said Air New Zealand Chief Executive Greg Foran.
Airbus has already struck similar hydrogen study deals with easyJet and SAS in Europe as airlines around the world look to meet ambitious emissions targets in line with government commitments.
The European manufacturer said the agreement with Air New Zealand would help it gather feedback on airlines’ expectations and preferences for configuration and performance for zero-emissions planes.
Aviation accounts for around 2.5% of global carbon emissions.
Airbus last year unveiled three visual concepts for hyrdogen-powered planes and set itself a deadline of 2035 to put a carbon-free commercial aircraft in service, a target engine makers like Safran have described as ambitious.
Plataforma Informativa de Aviación Comercial líder en América Latina.