Hungarian ultra-low-cost carrier Wizz Air has signed an agreement with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus to collaborate on the development of hydrogen-powered aircraft operations.
Following terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed between companies on June 8, 2022, Wizz Air and Airbus will collaborate to develop a deep understanding of the global hydrogen ecosystem and infrastructure. The partnership also includes an analysis of the potential impact of hydrogen aircraft on Wizz Air’s fleet, operations and infrastructure, including its network, scheduling, ground bases and airports, by considering specific aircraft characteristics, such as achievable range and refueling time
“The objective of this MoU is to identify both operational and infrastructure opportunities and challenges of hydrogen aircraft,” Wizz Air said in its statement published on Jue 7, 2022.
Through the recently signed agreement, Wizz Air “will analyze the potential for highly efficient, ultra-low-cost hydrogen-powered operations” and can collect detailed data regarding how operating hydrogen-powered aircraft could impact its business in the future.
“We remain ambitious with our growth strategy to deliver on our commitment to make travel affordable for all while delivering a great customer experience on board one of the youngest and greenest fleets in Europe,” Johan Eidhagen, Chief People & ESG Officer, Wizz Air said. “We believe that growth and sustainability are not mutually exclusive, with leading-edge new technology paving the way to more sustainable air travel.”
The new partnership builds on positions the Wizz Air as one of the most “environmentally efficient” choices for air travel, the airline said. The company is committed to further reducing its carbon emissions by 25% compared to 2019 levels until 2030.
“Wizz Air operates at the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger kilometer amongst all competitor airlines, and if every airline was as efficient as Wizz Air, European CO2 emissions from aviation would reduce by 34%,” the carrier added.
Meanwhile, Airbus has also set similar targets towards a more sustainable future. According to Glenn Llewellyn, Vice President Zero Emission Aircraft, Airbus, “Working with our customers is paramount to developing a climate-neutral, zero-emission aircraft by 2035.
“We are very pleased to have Wizz Air on board to collaborate on the ongoing research and development into the requirements for hydrogen aircraft operations within a hydrogen powered aviation ecosystem. Understanding airline fleet and network performance enables us to better define the architectural characteristics for a future ZEROe aircraft as well as the impact on airports, ground support and route network.” Llewellyn said.