The duo on Thursday (March 17) announced the collaboration that will focus on both decarbonised flights themselves and the required ecosystem needed to support the clean shift.

As part of its focus of the deal, Delta has said it will identify fleet and network expectations, as well as the operational and infrastructure requirements needed to develop commercial aircrafts powered by hydrogen fuel.

Pam Fletcher, Chief Sustainability Officer at Delta, said, “To pull the future of sustainable aviation forward, we need to accelerate the development and commercialization of potentially disruptive technologies.

“Hydrogen fuel is an exciting concept that has the potential to redefine the status quo. These tangible steps lay the groundwork for the next generation of aviation.”

News of the collaboration is the first of many Airbus partnerships as the aircraft manufacturer looks to have the first commercial hydrogen-powered flight in the skies by 2030.

Julie Kitcher, Airbus Executive Vice-President of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Airbus, added, “To decarbonise aviation, we need to develop the right technology bricks and a dynamic hydrogen eco-system.

“Through close collaboration with key partners, such as Delta, we will integrate our customers’ expertise and specific needs to ensure our zero-emission aircraft will be a game-changer for sustainable aerospace.”

A seismic shift for aviation: Airbus sets its sights on hydrogen powering the future of aircraft

Representing approximately 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the aviation industry is in need of a disruptive change to its ‘business as usual’ if it is to meet its net zero objectives by 2050. One energy carrier emerging as a game-changing contender in the transformation of the sector is hydrogen, and Airbus is ready to be the catalyst for change.

With a 50-year track record of innovation, technological firsts and industry milestones, the designer and manufacturer of aerospace products, services and solutions to a customer base worldwide has indeed been ‘making it fly’ since the 1960s. In 1972, Airbus’ first aircraft, and the world’s first wide-body twin-aisle commercial aircraft, the A300B, performed its maiden flight, which at the time signalled the first steps towards changing the face of modern aviation. And Airbus is once again set to transform flight.

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