Airbus has signed a memorandum of understanding with SAS Scandinavian Airlines for hybrid and electric aircraft eco-system and infrastructure requirements research.
The deal was signed by Grazia Vittadini, chief technology officer with Airbus, and Göran Jansson, deputy president for strategy and ventures with Scandinavian Airlines.
Collaboration will start in June and will continue until the end of 2020.
Under the memorandum, Airbus and SAS Scandinavian Airlines will cooperate on a joint research project to enhance understanding of the operational and infrastructure opportunities and challenges involved with the large-scale introduction of hybrid and full electric aircraft to airlines modus operandi.
The project scope includes five work packages, which focus on analysing the impact of ground infrastructure and charging on range, resources, time and availability at airports.
The collaboration also includes a plan to involve a renewable energy supplier to ensure genuine zero CO2 emissions operations are assessed.
This multidisciplinary approach - from energy to infrastructure - aims to address the entire aircraft operations ecosystem in order to better support the aviation industry’s transition to sustainable energy.
Aircraft are roughly 80 per cent more fuel efficient per passenger kilometre than they were 50 years ago.
However, with air traffic growth estimated to more than double over the next 20 years, reducing aviation’s impact on the environment remains the aim of the industry.
To overcome this challenge, the Global Aviation Industry including Airbus and SAS Scandinavian Airlines have committed to achieving carbon-neutral growth for the aviation industry as a whole from 2020 onwards, cutting aviation net emissions by half by 2050 (compared to 2005).