By Edward Robertson
British Airways has invested in sustainable aviation development company ZeroAvia as part of its ongoing drive to cut emissions.
The airline had already announced a partnership with the company through owner IAG’s Hangar 51 accelerator programme to work together on hydrogen-powered aircraft.
Now, the new investment will be used to accelerate the development of 50-plus seat aircraft capable of running on zero emissions hydrogen-electric power.
The investment was made with a group of investors including Horizons Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Summa Equity, Shell Ventures and SYSTEMIQ, making a total of $24.3 million.
ZeroAvia says it could achieve commercialisation for its hydrogen-electric power as early as 2024, with flights of up to 500 miles in up to 20-seater aircraft.
With this new investment, ZeroAvia expects to have 50-plus seat commercial aircraft in operation in five years’ time and it accelerates the company’s vision of powering a 100-seat, single-aisle aircraft by 2030.
BA CEO Sean Doyle said: “Innovative zero emissions technology is advancing fast and we support the development of hydrogen as an alternative fuel source because we believe it has the potential to enable us to reach true zero emissions on short-haul routes by 2050.
“There is a huge amount of energy and excitement building around the possibilities of a zero emissions future for aviation and while there is no single solution to this challenge, we acknowledge the need for urgent action to tackle the impact flying currently has on our planet and are making progress on our journey to net zero.”
ZeroAvia CEO and founder Val Miftakhov added: “This new funding, in conjunction with our other recent milestones, will significantly accelerate our path to zero-emission solutions for larger regional aircraft at a commercial scale. With the airline industry lining up and ready to shift to zero-emissions, we expect to see wide-scale adoption of this technology.
“We are extremely grateful to British Airways and our other investors, who are helping speed up our progress and ultimately the aviation industry’s adoption of zero-emission flight.”