Fortescue Future Industries and Airbus join forces to help decarbonise aviation

Mar 8, 2022

Global green hydrogen company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Airbus, a world leader in aeronautics, have joined forces to create a working alliance to help enable the aviation industry to decarbonise through zero-emissions green hydrogen.

Today’s announcement reflects FFI’s and Airbus’ shared ambition to leverage their respective expertise to support the entry-into-service of a green hydrogen-based aircraft by 2035. Green hydrogen, unlike other forms of hydrogen, is made from water using 100 per cent renewable electricity.

To mark the partnership, FFI and Airbus today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France. The MoU will allow both companies to collaborate closely, as one focused taskforce, to implement green hydrogen as a fuel within the aviation industry.

FFI and Airbus will look specifically at challenges around green hydrogen regulations, infrastructure and global supply chains – from the production of green hydrogen, right through to its delivery to airports and transfer onto aircraft.

According to the MoU, FFI will provide cost outlook and technology drivers on the various elements of the supply chain and will build infrastructure deployment scenarios for the supply of green hydrogen to targeted airports. Airbus will provide characteristics on fleet energy usage, scenarios for hydrogen demand in aviation, refuelling specifications and aviation regulatory framework.

FFI founder and Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, said the global aviation industry produced more than 2.5 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, with emissions having doubled since the 1980s.

“The time is now for a green revolution in the aviation industry. This exciting collaboration brings together leaders in the aviation industry with leaders in green energy for a pollution-free future,” Dr Forrest said.

“We are all citizens of a global world. People want to travel, reunite with family and friends and explore new places without being forced to pollute the planet. The problem isn’t travel, the problem is how we fuel our planes and ships – all of that must turn emissions free. No greenwash, no mirage, just 100 per cent green.

"Look no further than my home country of Australia to see the disasters of our changing environment. The catastrophic floods on the east coast are being described as “one-in-1000-year events,” which means that every year there is just a 0.1% chance of a flood of that severity happening. Australia's climate has already warmed on average by almost 1.5°C since 1910, and these extreme events are going to occur more frequently if industry doesn't come together to decarbonise quickly and completely."

“I ask those remaining institutions who continue to invest in fossil fuels, to think of their kids. In particular, those so-called entrepreneurs who are supporting fossil fuel assets, please consider your children’s future over your profits.”

Airbus Vice President of Zero Emissions Aircraft Glenn Llewellyn said, “the future of air travel is green”.

“Airbus has identified green hydrogen as the most promising option for decarbonisation to meet our environmental challenges. You heard it here first: We are starting the green aviation revolution,” Mr Llewellyn said.