(Bloomberg) -- EasyJet Plc said governments need to get behind zero-emission aircraft including hydrogen-powered models envisaged by Airbus SE if they’re to become a reality by the 2030s.
Airlines that operate such planes should benefit from tax breaks and reduced airspace and airport charges, while state support will be key in developing hydrogen supplies and infrastructure, EasyJet Chief Executive Officer Johan Lundgren said in a statement Tuesday ahead of an Airbus sustainability event.
The aviation industry has put forward a range of proposals as it seeks to burnish its green credentials before next month’s COP26 climate summit in Scotland. EasyJet said that while it will embrace near-term measures such as sustainable aviation fuel, the most effective long-term solution for short-haul operators is a wholesale switch to zero-carbon hydrogen and electric aircraft.
SAF’s lack of availability and higher costs have left airlines reliant on carbon offsets as an immediate response to cutting emissions.
Commercial aviation’s share of CO2 output from fossil fuels jumped 29% between 2013 and 2019, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation in Washington, and the sector faces renewed scrutiny as flights resume following groundings at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lundgren, in a release before speaking at the event in Toulouse, France, said aviation taxes should be plowed into research and development budgets. Luton, England-based EasyJet has partnered with Airbus on developing a hydrogen plane by 2035 and aims to reach net-zero by 2050.
Airbus said separately that it’s stepping up collaboration with Air France-KLM and French airspace navigation agency DSNA on the development of “most energy efficient flights” following a demonstration trip from Paris to Toulouse at the start of the sustainability forum.
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