Investment to speed up ZeroAvia’s development of hydrogen-powered aircraft


British Airways (BA) is among a group of investors that are supporting ZeroAvia in launching a new development programme.

On 31 March, BA announced that is among a group – Horizons Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Summa Equity, Shell Ventures and SYSTEMIQ – investing $24.3mn (c. £17.7mn) in ZeroAvia, supporting it in efforts to further demonstrate the credibility of its technology, accelerating the development of a larger hydrogen-electric engine. This will be capable of flying further and using larger aircraft as early as 2026.

ZeroAvia is anticipating it could achieve commercialisation of its hydrogen-electric power as early as 2024, with flights of up to 500 miles in up to 20-seater aircraft. Through the new investment, it is expecting to have a commercial aircraft of 50 seats or more in operation in five years, accelerating its vision of powering a 100-seat single-aisle aircraft by 2030.

BA’s investment follows a partnership between itself and ZeroAvia, through its parent company International Airlines Group’s Hangar 51 accelerator programme.

British Airways’ CEO, Sean Doyle, said: “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. 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.”