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American Airlines to Purchase 100 ZeroAvia Hydrogen-Electric Engines

American Airlines has today announced that they have entered into a conditional purchase agreement with clean aviation innovator ZeroAvia for 100 hydrogen-electric engines.  The engines have been designed to power regional aircraft with zero inflight emissions.

American Airlines Enters Into a Conditional Purchase Agreement with ZeroAvia for 100 Hydrogen-Electric Engines – Courtesy American Airlines

On Tuesday (July 2, 2024), American Airlines announced that they have entered into a conditional purchase agreement with ZeroAvia for 100 hydrogen-electric engines designed to power regional aircraft with zero inflight emissions except water vapor.  Additionally, American has increased their investment in ZeroAvia during the Series C financing round, building on the carrier’s original 2022 investment.  Today’s engine agreement follows the MoU announced by the companies back in 2022.  ZeroAvia is currently flight testing a prototype for a 20-seat plane, while simultaneously designing an engine for larger aircraft such as the Bombardier CRJ-700 that American operates on select regional routes.  The first powertrain for aircraft up to 20 passengers is targeted to be certified by the end of 2025, while the company hopes the larger 40-80 seat aircraft engine will be certified by 2027.

In Tuesday’s announcement, American Airlines’ CEO, Robert Isom, said,

“Advancing the transition of commercial aviation to a low-carbon future requires investments in promising technologies, including alternate forms of propulsion.  This announcement will help accelerate the development of technologies needed to power our industry and uphold our commitment to make American a sustainable airline so we can continue to deliver for customers for decades to come.”

Also commenting on the conditional purchase agreement, ZeroAvia’s Founder and CEO, Val Miftakhov, said,

“In signing this purchase agreement and furthering its investment, American is supporting our mission of innovation for clean aircraft propulsion and it is a good signal that ZeroAvia is delivering on our technology roadmap.  The solutions that can serve the largest airlines are within reach, and the clean future of flight is coming.”

Founded in California, and now working with teams in Everett, Washington and the UK, ZeroAvia has secured experimental certificates to test its engines in three separate testbed aircraft with the FAA and CAA and passed significant flight test milestones.  ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric engine design uses hydrogen in fuel cells to generate electricity, which is then used to power electric motors to turn the propellers.  As previously mentioned, the only inflight emission is low-temperature water vapor, and the lower intensity electrical systems have the potential to deliver substantial cost savings.  The company has secured nearly 2,000 engine pre-orders, potentially valued at over $10 billion.

American Airlines’ purpose is ‘To Care for People on Life’s Journey®’.  Shares in the American Airlines Group, Inc., trade on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500. 


Source: American Airlines


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