Airbus to launch low carbon transatlantic fleet featuring Flettner rotors

Airbus is spearheading an innovative environmental initiative, reshaping transatlantic industrial shipping with a striking vision of sustainability. The aerospace leader has vowed to overhaul its entire chartered fleet that plays a pivotal role in transporting aircraft subassemblies between its key production locales in Europe and the United States. In a partnership forged with Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, Airbus has unveiled a plan to introduce three ultramodern, wind-assisted, low-emission roll-on/roll-off vessels to its fleet, marking a historic shift set to commence from 2026.

Nicolas Chrétien, Head of Sustainability & Environment at Airbus, shared invaluable insights, emphasizing, “The renewal of our marine fleet is a major step forward in reducing our environmental impact.” The endeavor, according to Chrétien, stands as a testament to Airbus’s steadfast dedication to driving remarkable advancements in fuel efficiency through the utilization of transformative wind-assisted propulsion technologies.

Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, assigned with the monumental task of building, owning, and operating the novel fleet, echoes Airbus’s spirit of sustainable innovation. The President of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, Edouard Louis-Dreyfus, conveyed a sense of immense pride and optimism, stating, “We are very pleased to have been selected by Airbus to develop this state-of-the-art and low-emission fleet, reflecting our ambitious targets regarding the decarbonisation of the shipping industry.”

With a laser-focused commitment to environmental sustainability, Airbus’s new venture is poised to redefine industry standards. Projections reveal a profound impact, with expectations of a remarkable reduction in annual transatlantic CO2 emissions from 68,000 tonnes to a significantly lower 33,000 tonnes by the year 2030. These efforts resonate deeply with Airbus’s overarching sustainability vision, aligned meticulously with the esteemed Paris Agreement, aiming for a commendable reduction of industrial emissions by up to 63% within the upcoming decade.

Driving the innovation are the Flettner rotors and dual-fuel engines, emphasizing Airbus’s technological prowess. The vessels will leverage these technologies, utilizing maritime diesel oil and e-methanol, thereby orchestrating a symphony of sustainable practices that champion wind-assisted propulsion. The fleet also boasts the integration of advanced routing software, a technological marvel designed to optimize transatlantic voyages by maximizing wind benefits and mitigating potential oceanic adversities.

Airbus’s voyage towards sustainability is interwoven with ambitious operational aspirations. The new vessels stand as pillars supporting Airbus’s ambitious trajectory aiming for an enhanced A320 family production rate. These maritime marvels will be equipped with unparalleled capacity, projected to transport an impressive array of around seventy 40-foot containers and six single-aisle aircraft sub-assembly sets, signifying a monumental enhancement from the current fleet capabilities.

Source: Airbus

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