Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Wizz Air partners with Airbus for hydrogen-powered jet ops

Wizz Air, the fast growing and most sustainable European ultra-low-cost airline, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airbus to explore the potential for hydrogen-powered aircraft operations.      

The cooperation means Wizz Air will analyze the potential for highly efficient, ultra-low-cost hydrogen powered operations. It will provide the airline with a much deeper understanding of how operating a zero-emission hydrogen aircraft could positively impact the airline’s future business model.

The objective of this MoU is to identify both operational and infrastructure opportunities and challenges of hydrogen aircraft. Both parties will collaborate to develop a deep understanding of:
•    The evolution of the global hydrogen ecosystem from the perspectives of society, regulation, energy pricing and hydrogen infrastructure
•    The impact of hydrogen aircraft on Wizz Air’s fleet, operations and infrastructure, including its network, scheduling, ground bases and airports, by considering specific aircraft characteristics, such as achievable range and refuelling time

Johan Eidhagen, Chief People & ESG Officer, Wizz Air said: “At Wizz Air, we remain ambitious with our growth strategy to deliver on our commitment to make travel affordable for all, while delivering a great customer experience on-board one of the youngest and greenest fleets in Europe. We believe that growth and sustainability are not mutually exclusive, with leading-edge new technology paving the way to more sustainable air travel. This momentous agreement with Airbus will advance sustainable aviation across the globe through development of ultra-efficient operations and business models of the future. We are absolutely thrilled and look forward to beginning our co-operation.”

Glenn Llewellyn, Vice President Zero Emission Aircraft, Airbus said: “Working with our customers is paramount to developing a climate-neutral, zero-emission aircraft by 2035. We are very pleased to have Wizz Air on board to collaborate on the ongoing research and development into the requirements for hydrogen aircraft operations within a hydrogen powered aviation ecosystem. Understanding airline fleet and network performance enables us to better define the architectural characteristics for a future ZEROe aircraft as well as the impact on airports, ground support and route network.”

This MoU with Airbus builds on Wizz Air’s position as the most environmentally efficient choice of air travel, and the airline’s sustainability campaign, “Fly the Greenest”, which urges passengers to make the right decision when they do decide to fly.

The campaign serves to raise awareness of WIZZ’s operation of one of the world’s youngest and most efficient fleets. WIZZ operates at the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre amongst all competitor airlines, and if every airline was as efficient as Wizz Air, European CO2 emissions from aviation would reduce by 34%.

In November 2021, Wizz Air signed an agreement with Airbus for the purchase of a further 102 A321 aircraft, comprising 75 A321neo and 27 Airbus A321XLR aircraft. The order received overwhelming approval by the shareholders in an extraordinary shareholder meeting held on 22 February 2022.

With the new order, Wizz Air’s delivery backlog comprises a firm order for 34 A320neo, 240 A321neo and 47 A321XLR aircraft, plus the additional order for 15 A321neo and purchase rights for 75 A321neo. This represents a total of 411 aircraft.

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