British Airways (BA), alongside a group of other investors, is set to invest $24.3 million into ZeroAvia, a tech innovator which is one of the market leaders in sustainable aviation. The announcement comes just weeks after BA’s parent company, IAG, announced a new partnership with ZeroAvia. The investment is expected to accelerate the date at which a 50+ hydrogen-electric could enter service.
Who is ZeroAvia?
ZeroAvia is hydrogen-electric aircraft developer, that is currently testing sustainable propeller powered flights that could compete with conventional turboprops. The company hopes to have a 10-20 seater aircraft, capable of flying up to 500 miles, operational by 2023. The developer is also hoping to have a 50-100 seat aircraft, capable of vertical take off and flights up to 1000 miles, operational by 2026.
The company recently made headlines when it launched the world’s first commercial aircraft powered by hydrogen-electric fuel cells. Reacting to the new investment, Val Miftakhov, CEO and founder of ZeroAvia said:
“We are extremely grateful to British Airways and our other investors, who are helping speed up our progress and ultimately the aviation industry’s adoption of zero-emission flight.”
British Airway’s net zero ambitions
BA has pledged to have net-zero emissions by 2050. The airline is attempting to hit this target through a short and long term approach. This allows the airline to take immediate actions that could help cut emissions, such as modernising its fleet, whilst also investing in longer term technical solutions, such as sustainable aviation fuels and sustainable powered flight.
Sean Doyle, British Airway’s new CEO, said that BA :
support[ed] the development of hydrogen as an alternative fuel source because we believe it has the potential to enable us to reach true zero emissions on short-haul routes by 2050.”
Are you excited by the prospect of hydrogen powered flights? Let us know in the comments below!