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American Airlines announces order for 100 H2-electric engines from ZeroAvia

Image: ZeroAvia

American Airlines announced it will purchase 100 hydrogen-electric engines to power its regional jet fleet while ensuring zero inflight emissions.

The conditional order, placed last week with ZeroAvia, a company developing hydrogen-electric (fuel cell-powered) engines for commercial aircraft, follows the Memorandum of Understanding that both companies signed in 2022. ZeroAvia is flight-testing a prototype for a 20-seat aeroplane while also designing an engine that can power larger aircraft such as the Bombardier CRJ700, which American Airlines operates on some of its regional routes. 

American Airlines also announced it would increase its investment in ZeroAvia. The airline, which first made its investment in 2022, has also participated in the company's Series C financing round. In its release, American noted that the investment and conditional commitment "contribute to American's aggressive goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050". 

Robert Isom, CEO, American Airlines, noted: "Advancing the transition of commercial aviation to a low-carbon future requires investments in promising technologies, including alternate forms of propulsion," adding, "This announcement will help accelerate the development of technologies needed to power our industry." 

Val Miftakhov, Founder and CEO, ZeroAvia said on the deal: "The solutions that can serve the largest airlines are within reach, and the clean future of flight is coming." 

The aviation sector, which accounts for 2-3 percent of the world's carbon emissions, is under pressure to seek out sustainable alternatives to jet fuel, known as ATF. Around the world, airlines are evaluating small capacity e-aircraft and switching to Sustainable Aviation Fuel, or SAF. 

American Airlines, among the world's largest, has made multiple investments in sustainability. It has finalized an offtake agreement with Infinium, a company that produces next-generation low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel, and become the first customer of Graphyte, a company offering an innovative and permanent carbon removal process.


Hydrogen for sustainable aviation: Where are we now? -  

Hydrogen is emerging as a game-changing contender for innovation towards meaningful reduction in aircraft emissions. Real-life validation of its potentialities over the next few years will decide the fate of hydrogen in the upcoming era of sustainable aviation.
Author : Mandar Bakre
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