American Airlines announced an investment in ZeroAvia, a pioneer in hydrogen-electric, emission-free flight.
In addition to the investment, a memorandum of understanding allows American to order up to 100 engines from the hydrogen-electric powertrain research program of ZeroAvia. The engines are designed to provide emission-free propulsion for regional jets.
“Our investment in ZeroAvia’s emerging hydrogen-electric engine technology has the potential to play a key role in the future of sustainable aviation,” said Derek Kerr, American’s Chief Financial Officer. “We are excited to contribute to this industry development and look forward to exploring how these engines can support the future of our airline as we build American Airlines to thrive forever.”
ZeroAvia is pursuing type certifications for its unique propulsion technology, which will pave the road for the engines to be integrated into the regional jet market in the future. The ZA2000-RJ propulsion system is predicted to enable zero-emission regional jet travel by the late 2020s.
“Having support from the world’s largest airline is a strong indication of the progress we’re making on the development of hydrogen-electric, zero-emission flight,” added ZeroAvia Founder and CEO Val Miftakhov. “We are focused on delivering sustainable travel, and are delighted that American, a visionary leader in the industry, sees ZeroAvia as a part of the future of aviation.”
This investment exemplifies an additional step on the United States’ path to attaining its ambitious climate goals, which include achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. In addition to the strategy and progress mentioned in American’s recently published Environmental, Social, and Governance Report, the airline has also recently undertaken the following initiatives to promote sustainability:
- Receiving the first batch of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) certified by CORSIA from Neste.
- American reached an agreement with Gevo, Inc. to purchase 500 million gallons of SAF over five years, its largest SAF commitment to date.
- Becoming the first airline worldwide to have its 2035 GHG emission reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative.