To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, American Airlines is investing in new fuel distribution technology.
The Fort Worth-based airline has announced a “strategic equity investment” in Universal Hydrogen Co. in Los Angeles. Universal Hydrogen Co. is a startup developing a hydrogen fuel distribution and logistics network for the US and European aviation industry.
American Airlines says the investment makes it the first U.S. airline to “make two direct investments focused on both the development of hydrogen-electric propulsion technology and future hydrogen distribution logistics.” (In August, American invested at least $5 million in California-based hydrogen-electric engine developer ZeroAvia.)
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but American Airlines is committed to meeting the Paris Agreement goals by 2035 and ultimately achieving its goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. said it was an investment to support. Supporting “major hydrogen producers and aircraft lessors” in funding Universal Hydrogen.
American Airlines CFO Derek Kerr said in a statement: “Investing in Universal Hydrogen represents a vote of confidence in green hydrogen as a key component of the industry’s sustainable future.”
Universal Hydrogen expects regional aircraft deliveries to begin in 2025
Universal Hydrogen has raised at least $85 million in funding to date, with backers including Mitsubishi HC Capital, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and TIME Ventures (a company founded by Salesforce leader Marc Benioff).
The company says it seeks to speed up refueling operations while avoiding the need for new fuel infrastructure by using modular capsules to store hydrogen fuel that can be handled like cargo. increase. Universal Hydrogen also develops powertrain conversion kits to retrofit existing aircraft to use the fuel. The company plans to start delivering hydrogen fuel to regional aircraft in 2025 and expand to single-aisle aircraft used as the primary fuel by the mid-2030s.
American’s investment builds on Universal Hydrogen’s recent growth. Since closing a $62 million funding round last October, the company has invested more than $254 million in March and will employ 500 people over the next seven years to become Albuquerque International Sun. announced plans to build a planned manufacturing and distribution center in the port. Then, in July, we opened our engineering design center and European headquarters in Toulouse, France.
Universal Hydrogen co-founder and CEO Paul Eremenko said in a statement: “American Airlines’ move is a strong signal that customers want a true zero-emissions solution for their airliners and are willing to support concrete, practical steps to get there quickly. It’s a signal.”
Sustainability investment sees increased earnings for American
The investment in Universal Hydrogen is the company’s second investment in hydrogen fuel technology since August, when it invested at least $5 million in a Series B funding round for California-based hydrogen-electric engine developer ZeroAvia. In the deal, American Inc. also signed a memorandum of understanding to order up to 100 engines from the company for regional aircraft.
American Airlines is also considering other alternative fuel technologies. According to the Denver Business Journal, the company announced in July that it would sell half a billion dollars of sustainable aviation fuel made from refined corn to Gevo, Inc., a biofuel company in Colorado. An agreement was reached to purchase a gallon.
American Airlines announced today that third-quarter revenue is likely to exceed previous estimates. According to CNBC, the company sees a 10% to 12% increase in his earnings, which means his earnings for the three months ended September were up from $11.9 billion to $13 billion in the same period before the 2019 pandemic. % increases.