Key Points:

  • Major companies including Airbus and Rolls-Royce join forces to form an alliance to advocate for hydrogen in aviation.

  • Hydrogen is being viewed as a promising alternative fuel for short-haul flights.

  • The introduction of hydrogen-powered planes might take up to 15 years.

New Alliance 'Hydrogen in Aviation' Formed to Propel Hydrogen Adoption

PARIS —In a move towards cleaner aviation, industry giants Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and discount carrier EasyJet have come together, urging the UK government to invest in hydrogen as an alternative propulsion method. The collaborative push aims to help the aviation industry achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

In response to the growing demands to minimize fossil fuel consumption and emissions, these companies, along with GKN Aerospace, have established the 'Hydrogen in Aviation' alliance. Announced in a statement on Tuesday, the alliance's primary mission is to encourage the government to prioritize hydrogen's infrastructure, regulatory framework, and funding. The group views hydrogen as a highly potential alternative fuel, especially for short-haul air travel.

However, the journey towards wide-scale adoption of hydrogen in aviation is still long. Although hydrogen presents a feasible alternative to traditional jet fuel, the technology for its commercial application remains in its nascent stages. Significant work is needed to develop the requisite regulations and infrastructure for expansive use.

EasyJet's CEO, Johan Lundgren, highlighted the timeline challenges during a Tuesday briefing. He indicated that the transition to hydrogen-powered aircraft could span approximately 15 years, translating to three parliamentary terms. Consequently, the alliance will have to collaborate with both the government and opposition parties to draft the essential regulatory and safety measures.

Emphasizing the urgency, Lundgren remarked, "Action needs to happen now. It would be a grave mistake if ready-to-fly aircraft were stalled due to the absence of the necessary policies."