EasyJet has welcomed a new study which finds that hydrogen-powered aircraft could cap emissions from passenger aviation with policy support and “look surprisingly viable from a design perspective”.
Liquid hydrogen combustion aircraft could provide carbon-free air travel on up to a third of global passenger demand starting in 2035, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).
The study outlines that aircraft burning “green hydrogen” produced from renewable energy could enable flights up to 3,400 km at reduced fuel costs compared to sustainable aviation fuel.
The UK budget carrier is advocating for the use of hydrogen in short-haul aviation to eliminate carbon emissions.
The airline joined Race to Zero, a global UN-backed campaign to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, in November.
EasyJet is optimistic that it could begin flying customers on carbon-free aircraft from the mid-2030s.
It backed the ICCT’s conclusion that “significant government support will be needed to make hydrogen aircraft work” and that “they deserve a level playing field along with ‘drop-in’ sustainable aviation fuels, which remain scarce and expensive”.
EasyJet has been urging industry and government collaboration to develop policies to promote the development of hydrogen-powered aircraft as well as the required technology, infrastructure and green hydrogen production.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “We welcome the findings of this important report by the ICCT, which shows that carbon-free flight is possible over shorter ranges, something we have long argued.
“Hydrogen is an opportunity for British and European aviation, so we continue to urge governments to quickly put incentives in place to support it, develop regional hydrogen infrastructure, and level the playing field with sustainable aviation fuels.”