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TOULOUSE: May 22, 2019. Airbus has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SAS Scandinavian Airlines to research the viability of hybrid and electric aircraft. The collaboration will start in June and continue to the end of 2020.

Under the MoU, Airbus and SAS will cooperate on a joint research project to enhance understanding of the operational and infrastructure opportunities and challenges involved with the large-scale introduction of hybrid and full electric airline aircraft.

Airbus e thrustThe project scope includes analysing the impact of ground infrastructure and charging on range, resources, time and availability at airports.

The collaboration also includes a plan to involve a renewable energy supplier to ensure genuine zero CO2 emissions.

This multidisciplinary approach—from energy to infrastructure—aims to address the entire aircraft operations ecosystem in order to better support the aviation industry's transition to sustainable energy.

Aircraft are roughly 80 percent more fuel efficient per passenger kilometer than they were 50 years ago. However, with air traffic growth estimated to more than double over the next 20 years, reducing aviation’s impact on the environment remains the aim of the industry.

Airbus and SAS Scandinavian Airlines have committed to achieving carbon-neutral growth for the aviation industry as a whole from 2020 onwards, cutting aviation net emissions by 50 percent by 2050 compared to a 2005 base line.

The manufacturer has already started to build a portfolio of technology demonstrators and is currently testing innovative hybrid propulsion systems, subsystems and components in order to address long-term efficiency goals for building and operating electric aircraft.

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