France details new investment plan for hydrogen aircraft by 2035

Sergey Tinyako

The French government presented the details of a €100 billion recovery program for the country’s economy. Among the planned investments, the authorities envision a hydrogen-powered “green plane” in the next fifteen years.

With €7 billion injected into the hydrogen power sector in the decade to come, France expects to see the technology used by aircraft manufacturers to develop a green plane. The objective echoes the conditions tied to the €15 billion support plan for the country’s aerospace industry, announced in June 2020. Destined to help alleviate the financial impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and preserve jobs, that plan is also used as leverage to accelerate the ecological transition of aviation.

Nearly €1.5 billion euros in public aid should be invested over three years to participate in “the decarbonization of world air traffic.” The French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire said at the time he expected the sector to “achieve a carbon-neutral aircraft in 2035″, while industry experts usually forecast this to appear around 2050.

The deadline of 2035 is “ambitious but doable”, Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation and President of the French Aerospace Industries Association (GIFAS) commented after the plan was announced. “It’s a completely believable battle plan, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t many challenges and a lot of work to be done by then,” Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury added.

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