airBaltic Firms Partnership with Fokker Next Gen for Hydrogen Aircraft

Render of a Fokker Next Gen turboprop aircraft in flight.
Image Credit: Fokker Next Gen

Fokker Next Gen, a leading developer of liquid hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft, and airBaltic, Latvia’s national airline, have joined forces through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

This collaboration signifies a significant step towards a more sustainable future for aviation.

Fokker Next Gen is currently developing a clean sheet 120-150 seat narrow body aircraft. Liquid hydrogen fuel will provide the power for the aircraft. It will be capable of a range of up to 2,500 km. The aircraft entry into service is planned for 2035.

airBaltic’s expertise will be instrumental in shaping the development of Fokker Next Gen’s innovative liquid hydrogen combustion aircraft.

airBaltic is taking this opportunity to assess how hydrogen powered aircraft could fit into their future operations.

This partnership thus allows airBaltic to assess the use of hydrogen technology for their own specific routes.

‘A Crucial Milestone’

“airBaltic is thrilled to witness such ground breaking advancements within the Baltic region,” said Martin Gauss, President and CEO of airBaltic.

“We pride ourselves on operating one of Europe’s youngest fleets. We actively participate in industry wide efforts to reduce carbon emissions.”

“However, achieving long-term sustainability goals requires collaborative development of new technologies across the aviation sector.”

“We’re delighted to collaborate with Fokker Next Gen. And to contribute our knowledge to the development of this hydrogen-powered aircraft.”

“This partnership represents a crucial milestone for the future of aviation.”

The collaboration between airBaltic and Fokker Next Gen will include the use of end user feedback. This will assist with the design and development of the Fokker Next Gen liquid hydrogen combustion powered aircraft.  

Fokker Next Gen’s expertise in aircraft design, certification, and assembly lays the foundation for this revolutionary hydrogen fueled aircraft.

The design incorporates a dual fuel tank system which allows the aircraft to operate on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) or standard fuel when necessary.

Moving to Carbon Neutrality

airBaltic aligns with the aviation industry and the EU’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. To fulfill this long-term objective, airBaltic explores innovative solutions like this collaboration, and advocates for industry wide sustainability practices.

“airBaltic’s involvement in hydrogen powered aircraft development is critical,” stated Juriaan Kellermann, CEO of Fokker Next Gen.

“This joint effort not only fosters innovative aircraft design through user feedback but also strengthens both the Dutch and Latvian economies. This collaboration marks our shared commitment to leading the future of aviation.”

By using their combined strengths, Fokker Next Gen and airBaltic aim to unlock the immense potential of liquid hydrogen powered aircraft for a more sustainable aircraft industry.

About airBaltic

airBaltic, which first began in 1995, is the flag carrier airline of Latvia. Based out of Riga International Airport, airBaltic operates a network of over 70 destinations.

This spans Europe, the Middle East, and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). The carrier boasts one of the youngest fleets in Europe, prioritizing efficiency and passenger comfort.

airBaltic champions sustainable practices as a leading airline in the Baltic region. It actively participates in industry wide initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and explore innovative solutions like hydrogen powered aircraft.

Their dedication to operational excellence and implementing sustainable practices positions them for a bright future in the aviation industry.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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