Collaboration key to zero emissions, says easyJet

EasyJet has urged industry and governments to work closely to deliver the zero-emission technology needed to transform aviation

Speaking from Toulouse at the recent Airbus Summit, easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said that zero-emission flying can only be brought closer through coordinated action in certain key areas.

Firstly, he stressed, governments need to support the development of hydrogen supply and infrastructure at airports alongside investments into renewable energy to support the creation of green hydrogen for aviation.

Photo easyJet

Secondly, governments will not only need to provide financial incentives to support the development and scaling up of zero-emission technology but should be ploughing funds raised through aviation taxes into R&D.

Thirdly, airlines choosing to become early adopters of the new technology should be incentivised through reduced airspace and airport charges. According to Lundgren, they should also win tax exemptions if operating zero-emission aircraft and should be prioritised for airport slots. 

Lastly, easyJet highlighted the need to make sure the right framework is in place to ensure progress and support for widespread adoption of zero-emission aircraft where these are feasible, such as on short-haul networks. The airline has worked with Airbus since 2019 to support the development of a hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft by 2035. In the meantime, it will use sustainable aviation fuel, easyJet stated, adding that it considers zero-emission aircraft the most sustainable long-term solution for a short-haul carrier.

“This is an exciting time for the industry where true zero-emission flight is within reach. Hydrogen- and electric-powered aircraft are already flying, with companies like Airbus committed to scaling the technology for commercial flights and aiming for entry into service in the 2030s. We all need to play our role to ensure that the infrastructure is ready for these exciting new aircraft,” said Lundgren.

“But the industry can’t do it alone. We need governments to help the industry meet ambitious emissions reduction goals by championing financial and regulatory support for green technologies and investments in zero-emission aircraft. We stand ready to work with our partners and the wider industry to help deliver a more sustainable future for the industry. 

Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, added: "I can only welcome easyJet's call for a strong collaboration between industry and governments as we establish our collective path to net-zero. As an early partner on our journey towards hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft, easyJet is playing an active role in shaping the future of flight and we are committed to our continued partnership in this field.