Exploring hydrogen-powered aircraft


IAG was the first airline group in the world to commit to net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, with fleet modernisation and efficiency being one of the most important elements driving our sustainability strategy. We believe that new zero emission technologies such as hydrogen will play a role in the long term decarbonisation of aviation so partnered with ZeroAvia during the Hangar 51 accelerator to explore this further.


ZeroAvia is a leader in zero-emission aviation, focused on hydrogen-electric aviation solutions to address a variety of markets, initially targeting 300-mile range in 9-19 seat aircraft by 2025, up to 700-mile range in 40-80 seat aircraft by 2027. Their hydrogen fuel cell systems convert hydrogen carried via onboard tanks into electricity to power electric motors, with no emissions besides water. Fuel cells are more efficient than conventional combustion engines, experiencing less wear and tear and with the potential to lower emissions by 90%.

ZeroAvia participated in IAG’s Hangar 51 accelerator to explore how hydrogen-powered aircraft can play a leading role in the future of sustainable flying. The project identified economic, network and consumer appeal advantages as well as clear environmental benefits. British Airways subsequently invested in ZeroAvia’s Series A round in 2021, followed by IAG investing in their Series B round in 2022. 

ZeroAvia has since gone on to secure experimental certificates for their three prototype aircraft from the CAA and FAA, passed significant flight test milestones, secured a number of key partnerships with major aircraft OEMs, secured pre-orders for nearly 2,000 engines from major global airlines and are on track for commercial operations in 2025.

Written by
"IAG has been leading aviation’s efforts towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. We are investing in a range of solutions, including hydrogen, which we believe has huge potential, especially for short-haul routes."

Luis Gallego

Chief Executive Officer, IAG