In preparing for the future of carbon-neutral aviation, Korean Air has embarked on a project to pioneer the Korean hydrogen fuel infrastructure.
On February 9th, Korean Air signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC), Airbus, and Air Liquide to cooperate on supplying aviation hydrogen fuel and developing relevant infrastructure.
The event, which took place at IIAC’s Headquarters in Incheon, was attended by Soo Keun Lee (Executive Vice President and Chief Safety & Operation Officer, Korean Air), Hyoung-Wook Jeon (Vice President of Infrastructure Division, IIAC), Fabrice Espinosa (President, Airbus Korea), and Guillaume Cottet (President and Representative Director, Air Liquide Korea).
The MOU is aligned with Airbus’ aim to develop the world’s first zero-emission hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft by 2035, and confirms Korean Air as an active participant in welcoming this alternative energy paradigm shift.
The MOU paves way for the stakeholders to actively cooperate in various fields, from developing hydrogen infrastructure at airports, establishing a roadmap for introducing hydrogen, to ground handling logistics.
Korean Air will focus its expertise on overall operational activities, including ground handling planning, maintenance and flight operations, and IIAC on research and development of airport facilities.
Airbus and Air Liquide will analyze domestic demand for hydrogen-powered aircraft, and establish a roadmap for the introduction of hydrogen fuel, respectively.
“This MOU will be a starting point for the Korean domestic aviation industry to systemize a hydrogen supply chain system and infrastructure development, where the introduction of hydrogen as an alternative fuel has been slow in relative comparison to other industries,” said Mr. Soo Keun Lee.
At the 2021 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Boston, member airlines have approved a resolution for the global air transport industry to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Korean Air, as an industry leader, is poised to apply various carbon reduction measures in its operations.
Last year, Korean Air signed an MOU with Hyundai Oilbank to manufacture and promote the application of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and also partnered with SK Energy to purchase carbon-neutral jet fuel to be used on the Korean domestic network.