American Airlines Commits to Conditional Purchase of 100 Hydrogen Engines

American Airlines announced today that they have entered into a conditional purchase agreement with ZeroAvia for 100 hydrogen-electric engines. These engines are intended to power regional jet aircraft, such as the CRJ-700, with zero inflight emissions aside from water vapor.

American Eagle CRJ-700
American Airlines has conditionally purchased 100 hydrogen-electric engines which will be used to power regional jets like the CRJ-700.

In addition to the conditional purchase agreement, American has also increased its investment in ZeroAvia, participating in the company’s Series C round of financing. American made its first investment in ZeroAvia back in 2022 and also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the company.

If you’ve never heard of ZeroAvia, the company is currently developing hydrogen-electric, fuel cell powered engines for commercial aircraft. They are currently in the process of flight testing a prototype engine meant to power a 20-passenger aircraft and designing an engine for a larger plane like the CRJ-700. The company hopes to have an engine for 40-80 seat aircraft developed by 2027 (though I’m skeptical of this timeline).

Since this aircraft is specifically called out in the press release, I believe this would be the first use case should American actually take delivery of these engines. I’m skeptical, but I’m also skeptical of Boom Supersonic which just opened its manufacturing facility.

American Airlines’ CEO Robert Isom had this to say about the expanded partnership:

“Advancing the transition of commercial aviation to a low-carbon future requires investments in promising technologies, including alternate forms of propulsion. This announcement will help accelerate the development of technologies needed to power our industry and uphold our commitment to make American a sustainable airline so we can continue to deliver for customers for decades to come.”

Robert Isom, American CEO

American has a stated goal of achieving net-zero by 2050 and the airline hopes that partnerships such as this will help them achieve these goals.

American Airlines A321 in Los Cabos
American has a stated goal of achieving net-zero by 2050.

ZeroAvia’s Founder and CEO, Val Miftakhov, said this about American’s continued investment in the company:

“In signing this purchase agreement and furthering its investment, American is supporting our mission of innovation for clean aircraft propulsion and it is a good signal that ZeroAvia is delivering on our technology roadmap. The solutions that can serve the largest airlines are within reach, and the clean future of flight is coming.”

While this is no doubt an exciting concept, I’m somewhat skeptical of this actually seeing widespread commercial use anytime soon. We’ve seen many green aviation organizations come and go over the last few years and it will be interesting to watch what ZeroAvia’s go-to-market strategy looks like long-term.


American Airlines has entered into a conditional purchase agreement with ZeroAvia for 100 hydrogen engines. These engines will (hopefully) be used to power regional jet aircraft once developed. The company gives a timeline for having these developed for 2027 but I wouldn’t expect to see these engines in commercial service anytime soon.

  1. There’s a man called G Faury who reckons to have a 100 seat zero-emissions airliner in operation by 2035.

    One might be sceptical, as you obviously are with these new players like Boom and ZeroAvia.

    But the company Faury runs is called Airbus…

    1. 2035 is much more reasonable than 2027 considering ZeroAvia is still working on flight testing the smaller engine before starting development on the larger variant needed to power a regional jet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post
Four More Airlines Join TSA PreCheck

Four More Airlines Join TSA PreCheck

Next Post
Alaska Airlines is adding flights between Los Angeles and La Paz and Monterrey in Mexico

Alaska Adds Two New Routes to Mexico from Los Angeles