A pact has been forged between Airbus and Scandinavian carrier SAS to establish requirements for the next generation of sustainable aircraft.

The project aims to gain an understanding of the introduction of hybrid-electric aircraft for large-scale commercial use.

The partnership involves joint research where SAS and Airbus will work together to build knowledge of the opportunities and challenges regarding operations and infrastructure linked to large scale introduction of hybrid and electric aircraft.

The collaboration also includes an ambition to involve a renewable energy supplier to ensure genuine zero emissions operations.

SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson said: “We are proud of our ambitious sustainability work and are now pleased that Airbus has chosen SAS to partner up with us for this future project.

“If this becomes a reality, it will revolutionise emissions.”

The carrier has a goal of cutting emissions by 25% by 2030, mainly by modernising its fleet and increasing the use of biofuels.

Electric aircraft are seen as the next step beyond current technology.

Airbus chief technology officer Grazia Vittadini said:“We are delighted to be embarking on this partnership with SAS.

“Leveraging our respective expertise to explore the potential of hybrid-electric propulsion opportunities in our aviation eco-system.”

EasyJet started investigating the possibility of introducing electric flying last autumn as partner and US start-up company Wright Electric started work on an electric engine to power a nine seat aircraft.