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Zero-Emission Plane Takes to the Skies

INTERNATIONAL: The airline industry could soon have a zero carbon footprint. The US firm, Universal Hydrogen, is poised to announce preliminary deals with airlines as it looks at a possible listing as early as next year. It means passenger jets could soon be ditching oil for carbon-neutral hydrogen.

Universal Hydrogen was founded in 2020. Among its investors are Toyota and Airbus. Europe's Airbus, which is the world's largest airliner manufacturer, wants to introduce 100-seat hydrogen-powered airliners by 2035. Universal Hydrogen wants to beat that deadline by 10 years. It wants smaller hydrogen-powered regional jets in the air by 2025.

The company is one of a cluster of businesses flocking to the effort to decarbonize the airline industry. The simplest element in the world could guarantee zero carbon emissions but it is also highly flammable and there are still key logistical problems to solve, such as how to connect to airports where refuelling would be done.

Just how long we’ll need to wait before we see a hydrogen-powered plane land at Phnom Penh International, we’re not sure – but with the pandemic still raging and many airlines grounded, no-one is in a hurry.

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