Airbus and Delta are cooperating to find ways to use hydrogen fuel to power airplanes. If achieved, their goal would be a drastic shift in the aviation industry, requiring the replacement of current emission-heavy fuel systems.
Unlike traditional fuels, the only emission from hydrogen fuel is water. Switching to hydrogen power could make flight carbon neutral.
Delta’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Pam Fletcher, stated that this disruptive technology would help bring aviation into a more ecology-friendly future. Fletcher also noted that the new tech would disrupt the industry as it currently exists.
The airline will offer its employees’ expertise to help determine the operational requirements and necessary infrastructure changes. This research will involve multiple domains, including aircraft concepts, regulations, cost, and advocacy.
Concern for the environment isn’t new to Delta. The airline has already initiated several relevant programs.
Its TPG Rise Climate Fund invests in potential solutions to climate problems. Delta is also involved in the First Movers Coalition, which forms partnerships to develop innovative climate technologies.
Nonetheless, authorities at the airline clarified that current plans are subject to change as new information comes in. Though Delta is committed to climate responsibility, it will also be open to pivoting if developments uncover superior action plans.