The airline manufacturer Airbus has unveiled ambitious plans for the world's first zero-emission aircraft. The aerospace giant predicts its hydrogen-powered commercial airplanes could be in service by 2035. The concept revealed by company engineers shows a shift away from battery power. Many in the industry believe batteries are the way forward for carbon-zero airplanes. However, Airbus says batteries could prove impractical for large airliners and have opted for hydrogen propulsion. A company spokesperson said the transition to hydrogen would require "decisive action from the entire aviation ecosystem". This means redesigned airports and significantly different refuelling infrastructure.
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said the company has three possible designs, one of which will be adopted as a business enterprise. He said the three "ZEROe" designs represented "a historic moment for the commercial aviation sector as a whole". Mr Faury said: "We intend to play a leading role in the most important transition this industry has ever seen." He added that the use of hydrogen as a fuel had "the potential to significantly reduce aviation's climate impact". Faury was upbeat about the future, saying: "With the support from government and industrial partners, we can rise up to this challenge to scale up renewable energy and hydrogen for the sustainable future of the aviation industry."