Airbus, Air Canada, Air France-KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group, LATAM Airlines Group, Lufthansa Group and Virgin Atlantic sign Letters of Intent to explore carbon removal solutions for aviation

Farnborough, 18 July 2022 – Airbus and a number of major airlines – Air Canada, Air France-KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group, LATAM Airlines Group, Lufthansa Group and Virgin Atlantic – have signed Letters of Intent (LoI) to explore opportunities for a future supply of carbon removal credits from direct air carbon capture technology. 

Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS) is a high-potential technology that involves filtering and removing COemissions directly from the air using high powered fans. Once removed from the air, the COis safely and permanently stored in geologic reservoirs. As the aviation industry cannot capture CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere at source, a direct air carbon capture and storage solution would allow the sector to extract the equivalent amount of emissions from its operations directly from atmospheric air. 

Carbon removals via direct air capture technology complement other solutions that deliver CO2 reductions, such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), by addressing remaining emissions that cannot be directly eliminated.

As part of the agreements, the airlines have committed to engage in negotiations on the possible pre-purchase of verified and durable carbon removal credits starting in 2025 through to 2028. The carbon removal credits will be issued by Airbus’ partner 1PointFive – a subsidiary of Occidental’s Low Carbon Ventures business and the global deployment partner of direct air capture company Carbon Engineering. Airbus’ partnership with 1PointFive includes the pre-purchase of 400,000 tonnes of carbon removal credits to be delivered over four years. 

“We are already seeing strong interest from airlines to explore affordable and scalable carbon removals,” said Julie Kitcher, Executive Vice President Communications and Corporate Affairs, Airbus. “These first letters of intent mark a concrete step towards the use of this promising technology for both Airbus’ own decarbonisation plan and the aviation sector’s ambition to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

“We’re excited to partner with Airbus. Carbon removal credits from direct air capture offer a practical, near-term and lower cost pathway that enables the aviation industry to advance its decarbonisation goals,” said Michael Avery, 1PointFive’s President.

“Air Canada is proud to support the early adoption of direct air capture and storage as we and the aviation industry move forward on the path to decarbonisation,” said Teresa Ehman, Senior Director, Environmental Affairs at Air Canada. “While we are in the early days of a long journey and much remains to be done, this technology is one of the many important levers that will be needed, along with many others, including sustainable aviation fuel and increasingly efficient and new technology aircraft, to decarbonise the aviation industry.”

“Sustainability is an integral part of the Air France-KLM Group’s strategy. While we activate all levers already at our disposal to reduce our carbon footprint – including fleet renewal, SAF incorporation and eco-piloting, we are also active partners in research and innovation, advancing knowledge on emerging technology in order to improve its price and efficiency. In addition to CO2 capture and storage, the technology opens up very interesting perspectives for the production of synthetic sustainable aviation fuel. The letter of intent we are signing with Airbus today embodies the collaborative approach the aviation industry has initiated to find effective solutions that meet the challenge of our environmental transition. Only together can we address the climate emergency,” said Fatima da Gloria de Sousa, VP Sustainability Air France-KLM.

Jane Ashton, easyJet’s Director of Sustainability, said: “Direct air capture is a nascent technology with a huge potential, so we are very pleased to be part of this important initiative. We believe that carbon removal solutions will be an essential element of our pathway to net zero, complementing other components and helping us to neutralise any residual emissions in the future. Ultimately, our ambition is to achieve zero carbon emission flying, and we are working with partners across the industry, including Airbus, on several dedicated projects to accelerate the development of future zero carbon emission aircraft technology.” 

Jonathon Counsell, IAG´s Head of Sustainability, said: “Our industry’s transition will require a

variety of solutions, including new aircraft, sustainable aviation fuels and emerging technologies. Carbon removal will play an important role in enabling our sector to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

“DACCS represents an innovative way not only to remove net carbon from the atmosphere, but it also has the potential to play a part in the development of synthetic sustainable aviation fuels,” said Juan José Tohá, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Director, LATAM Airlines Group. “There is no silver bullet for decarbonising the industry and we will rely on a combination of measures to reach our net-zero ambitions, including greater efficiencies, sustainable aviation fuels and new technologies, supported by the conservation of strategic ecosystems and quality offsets.”

Caroline Drischel, Head of Corporate Responsibility of Lufthansa Group said: “Achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is key for the Lufthansa Group. This involves billion euro investments in continuous fleet modernisation and our strong commitment to Sustainable Aviation Fuels. In addition we are exploring new technologies, like advanced and safe carbon capture and storage processes.”

Holly Boyd-Boland, Virgin Atlantic’s VP Corporate Development, said: “Reducing Virgin Atlantic’s carbon footprint is our number one climate action priority. Alongside our fleet transformation programme, fuel-efficient operations and supporting the commercial scalability of sustainable aviation fuels, the removal of CO2 directly from the atmosphere through innovative carbon capture and storage technologies becomes a powerful tool in reaching our target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We look forward to partnering with Airbus and 1PointFive to accelerate the development of Direct Air Carbon Capture and Permanent Storage solutions alongside our industry peers.”

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), carbon removal is required to help the world go beyond climate mitigation and to support the achievement of net-zero targets. In addition, according to the Air Transport Action Group’s (ATAG) Waypoint 2050 report, offsets (mainly in the form of carbon removals) will be needed – between 6% and 8% – to make up any remaining shortfalls in emissions above the goal. 

For more information on Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage, click here.

Criticizing aviation is not the solution to climate change, Airbus Canada CEO says at Montreal event

The Canadian Press Staff | Tuesday, November 23, 2021


Airbus is aiming to put the world’s first hydrogen-powered commercial plane into service by 2035, the European aircraft maker’s boss said. (AFP)

MONTREAL — Stigmatizing the aviation sector won’t lead to constructive solutions to reducing greenhouse gases, said the president and CEO of Airbus Canada at an event in Montreal Tuesday, as he came to his industry’s defence.

 “Aviation bashing does not allow for constructive strategies,” Benoît Schultz said in an address to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations (CORIM).

The sector employs 160 million workers worldwide, while accounting for “2 to 3 per cent” of global CO2 emissions, the executive said.

The environmental footprint of aviation is an increasingly discussed topic. While the sector’s emissions remain modest on a global scale, the number of air travellers remains small. When you look at the environmental impact of a single person, an airplane flight becomes more significant.

A round trip from Montreal to Paris will produce 1.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide, according to the calculation tool Planetair, a non-profit carbon credit organization. The average Quebecer emits about 10 tonnes of carbon per year.

Airbus is ‘proactive’ in reducing its aircraft emissions, Schultz said.

“In the last 25 years, we have reduced our aircraft emissions by about 80 per cent in terms of CO2 and 90 per cent in terms of nitrogen oxide compared to early generation aircraft,” he said.

Schultz reiterated the French multinational’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2035.

– This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Nov. 23, 2021.

All Airbus: Air Canada Rouge Goes Full Narrowbody

From Simply Flying – link to source story – Thanks CW

by James Pearson | September 20, 2021

Air Canada Rouge, the lower-cost subsidiary and leisure airline of the Canadian flag carrier, took to the skies again in September. With the B767-300ER gone, its 39-strong fleet is now exclusively Airbus. They’re used on 60 routes until the end of the year as it rebuilds its network.

The A321 is crucial to Air Canada Rouge, with this example delivered directly to the carrier in 2015. Photo: Liam Allport via Flickr.

Air Canada Rouge has resumed flying

Air Canada Rouge relaunched with an initial three routes from Toronto: Las Vegas, Orlando, and Regina, in the distant province of Saskatchewan. These were joined by Toronto to Cancun and Tampa a few days later, with all five routes using 200-seat A321ceos.

These were its first flights since February, with the seven-month grounding due to Canada’s non-essential travel ban and the suspension of all flights to the Caribbean and Mexico – two of its essential markets – at the request of the Canadian government. Rouge’s resumption coincided with Canada reopening its borders on September 7th to fully vaccinated foreigners.

Air Canada Rouge A321
Most international routes are by the A321 with stronger economics than the A319/A320. Remember, it is a lower-cost airline, i.e. about the cost of production rather than fares. Photo: Air Canada.

Now exclusively Airbus

Rouge’s fleet is now entirely narrowbody, shows, with 20 A319s, 14 A321s, and just five A320s. This follows the retirement of its B767-300ERs, of which it had 25 at one point.

Its 767s were, of course, mainly used long-haul, including across Europe and South America, and the type’s routes had an average of 2,378 miles, OAG indicates. At 5,063 miles, Toronto-Athens was its longest-ever 767 route, but Toronto to Las Vegas had the most flights.

Air Canada Rouge A319
Air Canada Rouge has 20 A319s, with an average age of 23.5 years. Photo: Air Canada.

Currently, five aircraft are active

According to and confirmed by Flightradar24, only five of its 39-strong fleet – some 13% – is currently active, all A321s. Its A321 fleet has an average age of just 6.1 years, far younger than its A319s (23.5 years; to be retired) and A320s (14.2 years). The younger A321s were delivered directly to Air Canada Rouge.

No widebodies go hand-in-hand with Rouge previously saying that it’ll concentrate on routes within narrowbody range. Air Canada will instead operate suitably good-performing long-haul routes – many have already switched – in a rejigging of networks and focusing on relative strengths.

One of many examples is Toronto to Edinburgh, which was by Rouge’s 767s and from 2022 will instead be by its parent’s Boeing 737 MAX 8s from June 1st. It’ll compete directly with WestJet. Another: Toronto to Bogota, in Rouge’s hands from 2016, is now by Air Canada’s B787s and A330-300s.

Air Canada Rouge
Air Canada Rouge had up to 25 B767-300ERs. Photo: Tomás Del Coro via Flickr.

What’s the plan to the end of the year?

Between September 20th and December 31st, Rouge has scheduled 60 routes. Thirty-nine of these are to/from Toronto, with most of the rest from Montreal. With over 2,700 outbound flights planned, the domestic market has almost four in ten departures, comprising eight routes from Toronto.

Air Canada Rouge's network Sept 1st to Dec 31st
This is Air Canada Rouge’s network between September 20th and December 31st. Image: OAG Mapper.

Toronto to Québec City has the most flights

Some 13 international countries will welcome Rouge’s flights, with the US the most-served, followed by Cuba, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and the Cayman Islands. Toronto to Miami has the most international flights, as shown below, although the 456-mile domestic link from Toronto to Québec City (YQB) is the most-served, with 28 weekly departures from November.

  1. Toronto-Québec City
  2. Toronto-Moncton
  3. Toronto-Thunder Bay
  4. Toronto-Miami
  5. Toronto-Las Vegas
  6. Toronto-Tampa
  7. Toronto-Fort Myers
  8. Toronto-Fredericton
  9. Montreal-Orlando
  10. Montreal-Miami

Airbus joins Canada’s SAF+ Consortium to accelerate the development of a new Sustainable Aviation Fuel technology

 #SAF #Decarbonisation #Canada

Toulouse, 15th July 2021– Airbus and the Montreal, Canada-based SAF+ Consortium have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate with major Canadian aviation industry players on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) development and production in North America. Airbus will be investing through “in-kind” contributions, which consist of technical and certification expertise, economic analysis, communications and advocacy.

Today’s announcement marks the launch of a new Canadian ecosystem dedicated to stimulating the production of SAF and connecting Airbus with prominent Canadian actors spanning the entire aviation value chain to develop a concrete solution that will make low-carbon flying a reality.

The aviation sector is a global industry and while momentum for SAF is growing, particularly in Europe, investment in SAF’s worldwide development is of equal importance to enable the entire sector to achieve significant CO2 emissions reductions around the globe.

“Airbus, alongside many of its customers, is more than convinced the use of SAF is an essential pillar to support the aviation industry’s decarbonisation journey,” says Steven Le Moing, Airbus New Energy Programme Manager. “Building this new Canadian ecosystem alongside the SAF+ Consortium is a key milestone as we continue to push to reach our global 2050 CO2 emissions-reduction targets. This partnership is a perfect example of how Airbus is actively shaping decarbonisation discussions in North America, while demonstrating our commitment to making SAF an economically viable solution available to our customers.”

“SAF+ aims to be a pioneer in the field of SAF, and with the support of visionary partners such as Airbus, we will create a competitive company, able to offer one of the many technological solutions needed to decarbonise the aviation industry,” says Jean Paquin, President and CEO of the SAF+ Consortium.

The SAF+ Consortium brings together a number of key Quebec-based aerospace companies and research institutions, such as Air Transat, Hydro-Quebec, Aéroports de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and Aéro Montréal.

The SAF+ Consortium’s goal is to transform Montreal into a sustainable aviation hub in North America through the construction and subsequent operation of a pilot SAF production plant. Situated close to Montreal, this pilot plant will produce a type of SAF known as Power-to-Liquid (PtL), which is an e-fuel consisting of captured carbon dioxide (CO2) synthesised with renewable (green) hydrogen. The process involves capturing CO2 from large industrial emitters and converting it into an alternative fuel. It is estimated that the fuel produced by SAF+ will have an 80% lower carbon footprint compared to conventional jet fuel. The Consortium builds on Air Transat’s commitment to purchase a significant portion
of the future SAF produced at the plant for its all-Airbus fleet.

SAF+ intends to produce SAF as early as the second half of 2021 at its first pilot plant. A commercial project of 30 million liters is planned for 2025.

About Airbus

Airbus pioneers sustainable aerospace for a safe and united world. The Company constantly innovates to provide efficient and technologically advanced solutions in aerospace, defence, and connected services. In commercial aircraft, Airbus offers modern and fuel-efficient airliners and associated services. Airbus is also a European leader in defence and security and one of the world’s leading space businesses. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions and services worldwide.

Airbus has an important footprint in Canada, which is home to the A220 programme. Active in several regions of Canada, Airbus has close to 4,000 employees across the country and more than 23,000 indirect jobs in the aeronautics sector are supported through various collaborations. Airbus works with around 665 suppliers in nine provinces. All Airbus businesses are present in Canada with commercial planes (the A220 programme) in Mirabel, QC, helicopters in Fort Erie, ON and Defence and Space in Ottawa, ON. The wholly owned subsidiaries of Airbus, STELIA Aerospace and NAVBLUE also have installations in the country

About SAF+

SAF+ is a group of Quebec companies working in the field of sustainable fuel production from carbon capture using green hydrogen produced in Quebec. Aiming at producing sustainable fuel for the aviation sector by 2021, the development of a commercial SAF project by 2025, located in the east end of Montreal, will consist of recovering COemissions from industry and transforming them into a clean synthetic fuel with a carbon footprint 80% smaller than traditional aviation fuel.

What Happened To Air Canada’s Airbus A340-600 Order?

From Simple Flying – link to source story

by Sumit Singh, Deputy Editor | May 2, 2021

At the Paris Air Show in June 1997, Airbus shared details about its Airbus A340-600 motives. Amid the excitement, it didn’t take long for Air Canada to order the plane. It was one of the first airlines to place an order for the variant, but it would cancel the deal approximately a decade later.

A340-600 Plane Silhouette
The Airbus A340-600 is increasingly becoming a rare sight. Photo: Getty Images

Grand prospects

During its reveal, the A340-600 was highlighted to transport up to 378 passengers, which was a significant figure as it was only 25 fewer than many variants of the Boeing 747. Air Canada was keen to take on new widebodies that year, ordering eight new A330s and A340s. These planes had a list price of $1.4 billion at the time, which is a figure approximate to $2.1 billion today.

According to The New York Times, the flag carrier of Canada had an option to take on extra planes, starting with five units split between A340-600s and A340-500. It also had options to acquire 10 additional planes from 2002.

Industry woes

A FlightGlobal report from July 2008 shares that Air Canada initially deferred the delivery of three -600s to 2004. This deferral was then extended to 2010. However, the carrier ended up canceling the whole order.

Notably, the 9/11 attacks shook up the aviation industry across the world. Even though the overall financial impact isn’t as considerable compared with the current crisis, for its time, the situation was tough, and numerous airlines struggled. Due to the challenges that carriers faced, there were several fleet reshuffles and strategy changes.Advertisement:

An Air Canada A340 aircraft
Despite not taking on the -600, Air Canada had 15 other A340 variants within its fleet, first joining the firm in 1995. Photo: Getty Images

Air Canada’s approach shift can be noticed with its wider fleet. Several aircraft types had left the carrier in the years after 9/11. The McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 and Bombardier CRJ100 were phased out of mainline operations in 2002. After that, Boeing 737-200 747-400, and 747-200M and Fokker F28 Fellowship left in 2004. Moreover, the 767-200 left in 2008.

Most notably, Air Canada’s other A340 variants were also let go during this period. According to, the A340-300 stopped service for the airline in November 2008. Two A340-500s also joined the company in the summer of 2004. However, both C-GKOL and C-GKOM left for Brazil’s TAM three years later, in November 2007.Advertisement:

A good call

Looking back, the decision to cancel the A340-600 was the right one. Gargantuan quadjets swiftly struggled to find a consistent place in aviation in the 2010s. Thus, several carriers have been rapidly phasing out the likes of the A340, A380, and 747 in preference of modern, twinjet options.

Virgin A340-600
Virgin Atlantic retired its final A340-600s in March 2020. Photo: Getty Images.

Today, most of the airlines that took on the A340-600 no longer operate the plane. Now, only a handful of major airlines fly it. Looking at Air Canada’s fleet strategy in recent years, the carrier may have found itself also retiring the aircraft sooner than later.

Airbus Canada to open a vaccination hub: “Airbus & partenaires@Mirabel”

MIRABEL, QC, April 26, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Airbus Canada teamed up with several companies in the Mirabel region and YMX Aérocité internationale de Mirabel over the past few weeks to propose a vaccination hub for their workers, their families and the local population.

Today, the government of Quebec announced that Airbus Canada, with the support of its partners and the Agency for Health and Social Services Laurentides, will proceed to set up a vaccination hub on its premises in Mirabel. This will allow Airbus Canada and its partners to contribute to meeting the Government’s goal of vaccinating Quebecers. More than ten companies, in addition to Airbus Canada, have joined this collective initiative, representing a potential of over 20,000 people.

“We have heard the clear message from the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, and the Health Minister, Christian Dubé. We wanted to offer a site that can bring several local companies together to support the vaccination effort in the province,” said CEO of Airbus Canada, Philippe Balducchi. “It is by joining forces that we will together win the fight against COVID-19”.

The Airbus & partenaires@Mirabel vaccination hub will be ready to welcome its workers, their families and the local population from the end of May for a period of around 90 days. Here are the companies that have announced their participation:

  • Cargojet
  • Nolinor Aviation
  • DRAKKAR Aerospace & Ground Transportation
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada Group Robert
  • L3Harris
  • STELIA Aéronautique Canada Inc.
  • Mecachrome Canada
  • STELIA Aéronautique St-Laurent Inc.
  • Mirabel Chamber of Commerce and Industry (including several member companies)
  • YMX Aérocité de Mirabel

Airbus in Canada

Active in several regions of Canada, Airbus has nearly 3,800 employees in Canada and more than 22,000 indirect jobs in the aeronautics sector are supported through various collaborations. Airbus works with around 660 suppliers in nine provinces. The three divisions of Airbus are present in Canada with commercial planes in Mirabel, QC, helicopters in Fort Erie, ON and Defence and Space in Ottawa, ON. The wholly owned subsidiaries of Airbus, STELIA Aerospace and NAVBLUE also have installations in the country.

How airlines are racing to curb rising carbon emissions

From CBC News – link to source story and videos

Aviation industry faces mounting pressure to get serious about climate change

Kyle Bakx · CBC News · Feb 04, 2021

Air travel accounts for between three and five per cent of global CO2 emissions — and those emissions are on the rise. The number of flights around the world has increased substantially over the decades: In 1960, 100 million passengers travelled by air compared with four billion worldwide in 2017. (motive56/Shutterstock)

Airlines remain in survival mode as governments continue to restrict air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, with vaccine developments and deployment, those in the sector are hopeful there won’t be too much more turbulence before more planes and passengers are able to return to the sky.

Post-pandemic, one of the biggest headwinds facing the industry is finding a way to reduce the carbon emissions produced by flying thousands of jets every day. It’s not only an obstacle for the aviation sector but one of the biggest challenges for the world’s efforts to combat climate change.

There are sources of pollution that can be reduced through electrification, such as passenger vehicles, lawn mowers and many other products. But some sectors, such as manufacturing, still depend heavily on fossil fuels because they require an intense amount of energy.

The aviation sector not only needs an abundance of energy for takeoff but also in carrying a lot of weight while airborne.

“Everybody imagines aviation as one of the most difficult-to-decarbonize sectors,” Glenn Llewellyn, who is responsible for the zero-emission aircraft program at Airbus, said in an interview from Toulouse, France.

“If aviation can decarbonize and eliminate its climate impact, then there is no excuse for any industry,” he said.

WATCH | ‘A guiding star and flagship project for the future of Airbus’:

Economic downturn won’t slow aviation industry’s efforts to curb emissions

Glenn Llewellyn, with Airbus, says regardless of the sector’s current condition, the sector is pushing forward with its goal of eliminating the climate impact of air travel.

Airbus wants to be the first aircraft manufacturer to bring a zero-emissions commercial aircraft to market. The company has set a 15-year timeline to achieve the goal, which highlights both the level of ambition and challenge of its target.

In recent years, many airlines have made strides to reduce the amount of pollution from each aircraft as technology has made jet engines much more efficient.

WestJet, for example, reduced its emissions intensity by close to 50 per cent from 2000 by replacing older aircraft.

Still, the number of flights around the world has increased substantially over the decades: In 1960, 100 million passengers travelled by air compared with four billion worldwide in 2017.

The industry is facing pressure, since air travel accounts for between three and five per cent of global CO2 emissions — and those emissions are escalating.

A race is now underway to tackle the environmental impact of air travel, with research and development efforts studying a variety of possible solutions.


For short flights, experts say batteries have a bright future.

In December, 2019, Vancouver-based Harbour Air Seaplanes successfully completed a three-minute flight with an electric float plane. The company paused the program because of the pandemic, but it recently announced that it will soon resume more test flights.

Harbour Air Seaplanes conducts a test flight of the world’s first fully electric commercial aircraft at Vancouver International Airport in December 2019. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The obstacle with batteries is how much energy they produce compared with how much they weigh. The energy density of a lithium-ion battery can be about 250 watt-hours (Wh) per kilogram (kg), compared with jet fuel’s energy density of about 12,000 Wh per kg.

Some airlines are considering the use of hybrid technology, which would incorporate both batteries and jet fuel to reduce emissions.

Sustainable aviation fuel

Another area of focus is the production of a cleaner type of jet fuel, somewhat similar to using ethanol in gasoline for cars and trucks. The fuel would be made from a variety of materials, including oats, biomass and municipal solid waste.

One of the companies invested in this field is Chicago-based LanzaJet, which has partnered with other firms, such as Calgary-based Suncor Energy, to build a demonstration facility in the state of Georgia. The facility is expected to begin operation next year.

LanzaJet describes its process as taking carbon emissions from a steel mill or a landfill site and converting the pollution into fuels and chemicals by using bacteria.

“Large airlines are constrained in terms of what they can do. Sustainable aviation fuel is, we think, that solution — especially in the next couple decades, if not longer,” said Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet.

The industry as a whole set a target of reducing its emissions by 50 per cent by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. But some airlines have set more ambitious targets of their own.

“There’s a lot of work happening to figure out how to get there, so we’re seeing quite a bit of appetite for our product,” Samartzis said.

LanzaJet’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will sell at a premium to traditional jet fuel, comparable to oil prices at between $80 and $100 US per barrel, although clean fuel policies help lower its cost. All of the expected production of SAF and renewable diesel from the Georgia facility is already spoken for through agreements with customers.

A WestJet aircraft takes off from Calgary International Airport. The airline has reduced its emissions intensity by close to 50 per cent from 2000 by replacing older aircraft. (Dave Rae/CBC)

In Alberta, WestJet had partnered with Alberta Innovates, a government research agency, to launch a challenge to develop SAF within the province, but the program was cancelled last year after the provincial government pulled the funding.

Boeing has set a target of designing and certifying its jetliners to fly on 100 per cent sustainable fuels by 2030, since regulators currently allow a 50-50 blend of sustainable and conventional fuels.


The other major area of research is to use hydrogen fuel cells to power aircraft. The concept isn’t entirely new, since the U.S. Air Force used liquid hydrogen in its B-57 bomber in the 1950s.

This is the path Airbus is taking, and, admittedly, it’s no easy feat. Not only would hydrogen storage and fuel cell technology need to be adopted for commercial aviation, but an entire supply chain would be required at airports around the world to produce, transport and store the product. It’s complex, but it could have the biggest impact on reducing emissions and other environmental impacts from aviation, such as contrails.

“Hydrogen has the most potential to eliminate, and at least significantly reduce, those elements, as well as the CO2, if the hydrogen is made from renewable energy or a low-carbon energy source,” said Llewellyn, with Airbus.

WATCH | Hydrogen + renewables + CO2 = synthetic jet fuel:

The role of hydrogen in future air travel

Harvard University’s David Keith expects hydrogen and renewable energy will be important in reducing emissions from the aviation industry. 

“We’ve really stuck to this project as a guiding star and flagship project for the future of Airbus,” he said.

Besides fuel cell technology, hydrogen could also be used differently to produce a type of synthetic aviation fuel.

Squamish, B.C.-based Carbon Engineering aims to produce the fuel by combining water, renewable electricity and carbon emissions captured from the atmosphere.

“You’re just finding a way to, in a sense, package up the energy you got from the solar power and put it in a compact high-energy density form that is useful for powering an airplane or something else that’s hard to electrify,” said David Keith, who founded and sits on the board of Carbon Engineering.

Keith is also a Harvard University professor of applied physics and public policy.

Even as airlines continue to navigate the turbulence of a downturn in the industry, aerospace leaders hope to soon tackle the environmental challenge.

Airbus Mulls Two-Year Furlough in Production to Limit Job Cuts

From BNN Bloomberg – link to story

Charlotte Ryan and James Regan, Bloomberg News | 26 September 2020

Protective covers sit on the turbofan engines and landing gear of an Airbus SE A330 passenger at Chateauroux airport in Chateauroux, France, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. The single-runway airport located in France’s flat, central basin has turned away airlines seeking to store more planes -- a sign the global aviation slump is deeply set despite some easing of travel restrictions. Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg
Protective covers sit on the turbofan engines and landing gear of an Airbus SE A330 passenger at Chateauroux airport in Chateauroux, France, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. The single-runway airport located in France’s flat, central basin has turned away airlines seeking to store more planes — a sign the global aviation slump is deeply set despite some easing of travel restrictions. Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg , Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Airbus SE is considering reduced working time in production areas in France over the next two years to help the European planemaker limit job losses prompted by a collapse in global air travel due to Covid-19.

The move would help it preserve skills in order to restart single-aisle aircraft production at rates similar to last year between 2023 and 2025, Airbus human resources head for France, Donald Fraty, wrote in a letter sent to workers on Friday and seen by Bloomberg.

“Airbus faces an unprecedented crisis,” Fraty wrote, referring to an expert report on the economic situation presented to the work’s council on Thursday. “The prospects for resuming our activities are deeply uncertain.”

Airbus has pledged to slash 15,000 jobs across its operations, with France braced to absorb about one-third of those, as it grapples with an unprecedented industry slump that has seen almost all its airline customers postpone or switch orders.

Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury stepped up warnings over jobs this week, saying the situation had worsened and that carriers were in a more difficult situation after the summer holiday period than he had hoped.

The planemaker is seeking a majority agreement with staff that opens the way to furloughing and other tools that will lower the number of compulsory redundancies, Fraty wrote.

‘Save Airbus’

If approved, reduced working time would apply from Jan. 1, with partial unemployment prolonged for everyone in France until the end of this year. The work’s council is due to decide on the plan on Oct. 15.

More than 3,500 staff in France have already expressed an interest in voluntary severance, mostly based on age-related measures, according to Fraty.

“The end of the negotiations will not mark the end of our work. Quite the contrary. The fight to save Airbus will continue,” Fraty wrote. “The period ahead of us will be difficult.”

The human resources head added that he expects the government to provide research contributions for several projects, including its zero-emissions aircraft, which would also help to limit redundancies.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

First Airbus C295 search and rescue aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force arrives in Canada

OTTAWA, Sept. 25, 2020 /CNW/ – The first Airbus C295 aircraft purchased by the Government of Canada for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) Fixed Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement (FWSAR) project, has arrived at 19 Wing, Canadian Forces Base Comox, British Columbia.

The first CC-295 lands at 19 Wing, Canadian Forces Base Comox, in British Columbia on Sept. 17 / Copyright Garry Walker – all rights reserved. (CNW Group/Airbus)

The aircraft, designated CC-295 for Canada, landed at its home base on September 17 and is the first of the 16 aircraft contracted in December 2016. The contract also includes all In-Service Support elements, training and engineering services, the construction of a new training centre in Comox and maintenance and support services.

“Airbus is really proud to be able to celebrate this important milestone: the arrival of the first out of 16 Fixed Wing Search and Rescue C295 at the Canadian Forces Base Comox. Thanks to the excellent collaboration with Canadian officials we have overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19 and we were able to deliver the aircraft. Despite the current pandemic, we are confident of achieving the program target of six deliveries by the end of this year. We look forward to our continued collaboration and to the C295 Canada”, said

Airbus Defence and Space Chief Executive Officer, Dirk Hoke, on a video statement displayed during an official event held today at the 19 Wing Comox Air Base.

Airbus has formally delivered three aircraft to date, the second of which is scheduled to arrive in Canada in the coming weeks. Deliveries will continue until 2022.

Airbus CEO warns on jobs after air travel market worsens

From BNN Bloomberg – link to story

Tara Patel, Bloomberg News

An Airbus A330neo passenger aircraft stands on the final assembly line at the Airbus SE factory in Toulouse, France, on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. Known as the A330neo for New Engine Option, the model was originally scheduled to join the TAP Air Portugal fleet from the end of 2017.

An Airbus A330neo passenger aircraft stands on the final assembly line at the Airbus SE factory in Toulouse, France, on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. Known as the A330neo for New Engine Option, the model was originally scheduled to join the TAP Air Portugal fleet from the end of 2017. , Bloomberg

Airbus SE Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury stepped up his warning on forced job cuts at the European planemaker as a sharper-than-expected decline in travel leads carriers to push back deliveries of new jets.

“The situation has worsened” coming out of the summer high season, he said Tuesday in an interview on France’s RTL radio. “Airlines are in a more difficult situation after the holidays than what we were hoping.”

The industrial giant, whose cost-cutting plans call for the elimination of 15,000 jobs, will have to “adapt to the new environment,” he added, in particular on the employment front. The shares dropped as much as 2.7 per cent.

“It will be very difficult to stick with voluntary departures,” Faury said, reiterating that the company “is potentially at risk” if it doesn’t take the right steps. He pointed to a 40 per cent decline in the jet maker’s production and deliveries.

The European rival to Boeing Co., grappling with an unprecedented collapse in air travel because of the coronavirus, is already trying to entice workers to leave to limit tougher measures. France is braced to absorb about one-third of the planned cuts and Faury on Tuesday said talks with unions are aimed at using tools like part-time employment and state support of research and development to avoid forcing people to leave the company.

“Airlines aren’t canceling their orders but they aren’t honoring deliveries,” Faury said. “The delays on deliveries are very strong” because carriers don’t have the means to take ownership of the planes after passengers and revenue dried up.

Production Rates

Airbus’s 40 per cent reduction in output is holding but “I’m extremely cautious about how the crisis is developing and what is coming next with COVID,” he said.

Airbus shares fell 1.3 per cent at 9:25 a.m. in Paris, bringing the year-to-date decline to 52 per cent.

While Faury already warned that voluntary measures were unlikely to be enough to meet Airbus’ job-cut target, he has raised the alarm further in recent weeks.

“No one can guarantee that there won’t be forced departures,” he said Tuesday. “We have lots of work to do and will do everything to avoid getting to that.”

The grim outlook for the industry was driven home Monday when Deutsche Lufthansa AG accelerated fleet and staff cuts amid mounting concern about the severity of the downturn.

Europe’s biggest airline will pull 150 jets by mid-decade, 50 more than in its previous plan, leading to more job cuts than the 22,000 already due to go. Air France-KLM Chief Executive Officer Ben Smith also weighed in, warning in an interview with L’Opinion that more cost cuts may be needed after travel demand dropped off at the end of the summer.