24 Jul 2022

Airbus and Major Airlines to Explore Carbon Capture Solutions for Aviation

Airbus and Major Airlines to Explore Carbon Capture Solutions for Aviation
Image courtesy of Airbus

Airbus Press Release

Airbus and a number of major airlines – Air Canada, Air France-KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group, LATAM Airlines Group, Lufthansa Group and Virgin Atlantic – have signed Letters of Intent (LoI) to explore opportunities for a future supply of carbon removal credits from direct air carbon capture technology (announced 18 July). 

Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS) is a high-potential technology that involves filtering and removing CO2 emissions directly from the air using high powered fans. Once removed from the air, the CO2 is safely and permanently stored in geologic reservoirs. As the aviation industry cannot capture CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere at source, a direct air carbon capture and storage solution would allow the sector to extract the equivalent amount of emissions from its operations directly from atmospheric air. 

Carbon removals via direct air capture technology complement other solutions that deliver CO2 reductions, such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), by addressing remaining emissions that cannot be directly eliminated. 

As part of the agreements, the airlines have committed to engage in negotiations on the possible pre-purchase of verified and durable carbon removal credits starting in 2025 through to 2028. The carbon removal credits will be issued by Airbus’ partner 1PointFive – a subsidiary of Occidental’s Low Carbon Ventures business and the global deployment partner of direct air capture company Carbon Engineering. Airbus’ partnership with 1PointFive includes the pre-purchase of 400,000 tonnes of carbon removal credits to be delivered over four years. 

“We are already seeing strong interest from airlines to explore affordable and scalable carbon removals,” said Julie Kitcher, Executive Vice President Communications and Corporate Affairs, Airbus. “These first letters of intent mark a concrete step towards the use of this promising technology for both Airbus’ own decarbonisation plan and the aviation sector’s ambition to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.” 

“We’re excited to partner with Airbus. Carbon removal credits from direct air capture offer a practical, near-term and lower cost pathway that enables the aviation industry to advance its decarbonisation goals,” said Michael Avery, 1PointFive’s President. 

“Air Canada is proud to support the early adoption of direct air capture and storage as we and the aviation industry move forward on the path to decarbonisation,” said Teresa Ehman, Senior Director, Environmental Affairs at Air Canada. “While we are in the early days of a long journey and much remains to be done, this technology is one of the many important levers that will be needed, along with many others, including sustainable aviation fuel and increasingly efficient and new technology aircraft, to decarbonise the aviation industry.” 

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