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EasyJet backs hydrogen-powered concept aircraft plans

EasyJet has backed plans for liquid hydrogen-powered mid-size aircraft to enable carbon emission-free flights in the future.

The concept plane capable of flying 279 passengers halfway around the world without a stop was unveiled on Monday by the Aerospace Technology Unit as part of the government-funded FlyZero initiative.

The UK budget carrier has been working with Airbus since 2019 to support the development of a hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft by 2035.

It sees hydrogen-powered aircraft playing an important role in its decarbonisation pathway.

The airline recently joined the UN-backed ‘Race to Zero’, committing to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and setting an interim science-based target for 2035.

Pilot Debbie Thomas, a first officer based in Bristol, has been seconded to the FlyZero project.

She will use her engineering background and flying experience as part of the 100 aviation and aerospace experts the project has brought together to design zero-carbon aircraft and research zero-carbon solutions.

Flight operations director David Morgan said: “FlyZero’s concept aircraft demonstrates the huge potential of green liquid hydrogen for aviation, including larger gauge aircraft and I’m very excited to see where we go from here.

“EasyJet is closely involved in the work of the Aerospace Technology Institute and its FlyZero project and we look forward to continuous collaboration to make zero-carbon emission flights a reality as soon as possible.”

Speaking at Travel Weekly’s Sustainability Summit last month, easyJet’s sustainability director Jane Ashton said hydrogen-powered aircraft were both feasible within decades.

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