American Airlines invests in Universal Hydrogen

The startup Universal Hydrogen, which is constructing a green hydrogen distribution and logistics network for aviation, received a strategic equity investment announcement from American Airlines.

The investment supports America’s science-based goals to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2035 and, eventually, its promise to reach net GHG emissions-free status by 2050. With this commitment, American becomes the first U.S. airline to make two direct investments geared at the advancement of logistics for hydrogen distribution as well as hydrogen-electric powertrain technology.

By using modular hydrogen capsules that are handled like cargo, Universal Hydrogen’s fuel distribution system avoids the need for additional airport fueling infrastructure and streamlines fuel loading procedures. With plans to expand its services to larger, single aisle aircraft, Universal Hydrogen anticipates beginning hydrogen supplies for regional aircraft in 2025. Initially, this will be for auxiliary power in the late 2020s, and then it will be used as a primary fuel by the mid-2030s. These developments put aviation on a road to fulfill the emissions targets set forth in the Paris Agreement because these sectors account for two-thirds of aviation emissions and green hydrogen is a true zero-carbon fuel.

As a strategic investor in Universal Hydrogen, American joins Airbus Ventures, GE Aviation, and Toyota Ventures, as well as a number of significant hydrogen producers and aircraft lessors.