Following the announcement that Airbus plans to introduce zero-emission commercial aircraft models by 2035;
Harry Boneham, Aerospace and Defense Associate Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“This announcement signals that Airbus recognizes the environmental impact of commercial aviation and is realigning to conform to a market in which consumers demand climate responsibility. It has been identified that zero-emission aircraft with a range of up to 1,200 nm will reduce airport NOx emissions by 60%, reduce fuel use and direct CO2 emissions by 40%, and account for 80% of all departures. Given that the capabilities of these models exceed this threshold, Airbus has positioned itself in a commanding position for the medium and long-term market.
“The three concept designs include a turbofan design, a turboprop design and a blended wing design. Of these models, the turbofan and blended wing designs have a passenger capacity of around 200 and a range of approximately 2000 nm, while the turboprop design can hold up to 100 passengers and has a range of approximately 1000 nm.
“Additionally, that the passenger capacity is comparable to contemporary narrow-body aircraft such as the A320neo and B737 MAX, is also encouraging. This will make for an easier transition from these older models to the zero-emission designs, as it will be a straight swap with little adaptation to fleet size and flight frequency necessary. In order not to lose market share, particularly in the narrow-body segment, Boeing must now develop its own low emission offerings. Ultimately, these developments are positive for the industry, pushing it in a direction which is sustainable and aligns with shifting passenger demand.”