British Airways is among a group of investors in a company that plans to develop hydrogen-powered aircraft engines.
BA and seven other technology and investment firms have put $24.3 million into ZeroAvia to fund development into a hydrogen-electric engine capable of being used on larger aircraft “as soon as 2026”.
ZeroAvia recently completed the world’s first hydrogen-electric powered flight of a commercial grade aircraft and expects to have 50-plus seat commercial aircraft in operation in five years’ time. It believes it can power a 100-seat single-aisle aircraft by 2030.
British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle said: “Innovative zero emissions technology is advancing fast, and we support 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.”
Val Miftakhov, founder and chief executive of ZeroAvia said: "This new funding, in conjunction with our other recent milestones, will significantly accelerate our path to zero-emission solutions for larger regional aircraft at a commercial scale.
“With the airline industry lining up and ready to shift to zero emissions, we expect to see wide-scale adoption of this technology. 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."