The MoU was signed by Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technology Officer, Airbus and Göran Jansson, Deputy President EVP Strategy & Ventures, Scandinavian Airlines.
Collaboration will start in June 2019 and continue until the end of 2020.
The companies will work 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 aircraft.
The project scope includes five work packages, which focus on 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 operations are assessed.
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.
According to Airbus, today’s aircraft are roughly 80% more fuel-efficient per passenger kilometre 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, the company said.
To overcome this challenge, the Global Aviation Industry Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), including Airbus and SAS Scandinavian Airlines, has committed to achieving carbon-neutral growth for the aviation industry as a whole from 2020 onwards, cutting aviation net emissions by 50% by 2050 (compared to 2005).
Airbus has already started to build a portfolio of technology demonstrators and is currently testing hybrid propulsion systems, subsystems and components for electric aircraft.