British Airways is backing a future of hydrogen-fuelled aviation, having today (31st March) announced its support for ZeroAvia’s development programme with an investment of $23.4m.
The UK-based airline is ZeroAvia’s latest investor, joining the likes of Horizon Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Summa Equity, Shell Ventures, and SYSTEMIQ, all of which have also participated in the financing.
Marking a major milestone for zero-carbon flights, the funding round will accelerate the development of a larger hydrogen-electric engine to power a 50+ seat aircraft, an innovation that ZeroAvia hopes to have in the commercial aircraft segment by 2026.
“This new funding, in conjunction with our other recent milestones, will significantly accelerate our path to zero-emission solutions for larger regional aircraft at a commercial scale,” said Val Miftakhov, CEO and Founder at ZeroAvia
“With many airlines lining up and ready to make the shift to zero-emissions, we expect to see wide-scale adoption of this technology. We are extremely grateful for our investors who are helping to speed up our progress and ultimately the aviation industry’s adoption of zero-emission flight.”
ZeroAvia expects to achieve commercialization for its hydrogen-electric powertrain as early as 2024. Its hydrogen aviation solutions will address various markets by initially targeting a 500-mile range in 10-20 seat aircraft used for commercial passenger transport, package delivery, agriculture, and beyond.
As above, the company hopes to have a 50+ seat commercial aircraft in operation by 2026.
“Innovative zero-emissions technology is advancing fast, and we support the development of hydrogen as an alternative fuel source because we believe it has the potential to enable us to reach true zero emissions on short-haul routes by 2050,” said, Sean Doyle, British Airways’ CEO.
“There is a huge amount of energy and excitement building around the possibilities of a zero-emissions future for aviation, and while there is no single solution to this challenge, we acknowledge the need for urgent action to tackle the impact flying currently has on our planet and are making progress on our journey to net zero.”