Airbus has signed a research agreement with SAS Scandinavian Airlines to cooperate on hybrid and electric aircraft and infrastructure requirements.

The scope of the project includes five areas of work, which focus on analyzing the impact of ground infrastructure and pricing on the radius of action, resources, time and availability at airports. It should also involve a renewable energy supplier to ensure “genuine zero CO2 emissions operations are assessed”.

The aircraft manufacturer reminds that while current aircraft has a fuel consumption per kilometer about 80% lower than 50 years ago, air traffic growth will more than double in the next 20 years. “Reducing aviation’s impact on the environment remains the aim of the industry,” says Airbus.

SAS expects to reduce emissions by 25 percent in the next two decades through fleet modernization and the use of biofuels. “We see electric aircraft as the next step beyond the current technology,” says the carrier.

Airbus and SAS are both parts of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), a coalition of industry experts focusing on “aviation’s sustainable growth for the benefit of our global society,” according to their website.

This memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed two weeks after Airbus seemingly ended early its cooperation with Siemens on the E-Fan X program, information which was confirmed by a Siemens representative in the German media Welt Online. “The agreed goals have been achieved one year faster than expected, so now an earlier separation takes place,” said the spokesperson. However, Airbus assured that Siemens eAircraft “will continue to be a close partner [...] in the future.”

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