04 December, 2023

Airbus' carbon removal initiative gets first North American airline sign up from Air Canada

Airbus announced a contract was signed with Air Canada for the aeroplane manufacturer's carbon-removal initiative. Air Canada is the first North American airline to sign up for The Airbus Carbon Capture Offer, which uses Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS) technology to offer airlines worldwide carbon removal credits to advance their decarbonisation goals.

Airbus' partner 1PointFive will issue the carbon removal credits. Airbus' agreement with 1PointFive includes the pre-purchase of 400,000 tonnes of carbon removal credits to be delivered over four years. Air Canada's credits will last from 2026 to 2029.

DACCS technology filters and removes CO2 emissions directly from the air using high-powered extraction fans. Once removed from the air, the CO2 is stored in underground reservoirs. CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere during aircraft operations cannot be directly eliminated at the source, but with DACCS, an equivalent amount can be extracted from the air.

"The development and application of new technologies is a key pillar in Air Canada's strategy to work toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Carbon capture is exciting because this technology is available now to help reduce our impact as we continue to support other, longer-term opportunities such as sustainable fuels and electric aircraft. As importantly, our collaboration with Airbus on this project demonstrates our conviction that forming partnerships and working constructively with stakeholders across the industry is the best way for the global aviation sector to move forward to shrink its environmental footprint," said Valerie Durand, Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Sustainability at Air Canada.

"Air Canada is a key collaborator to Airbus, both on the regional and global scales. This increased partnership is great news for Canada's aerospace as we continue working together towards the reduction of aviation's carbon footprint. Airbus supports the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), whose headquarters are based here in Montreal, Canada, and their various market-based measures, such as direct air capture technology (DACCS), as an essential decarbonisation pathway to support the industry in achieving its climate goal of net zero emissions by 2050. We are very pleased to go one step further with Air Canada and keep up the momentum to make decarbonised air travel a reality," stated Benoรฎt Schultz, Head of Country Canada for Airbus.

In 2022, Air Canada was amongst the first airlines to sign an agreement with Airbus committing to negotiations on the possible pre-purchase of verified and durable carbon removal credits. Furthermore, Airbus and Air Canada both announced investments in climate solutions company Carbon Engineering (CE), based in British Columbia, Canada, to support the advancement of CE's Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology which pulls carbon dioxide (CO2) directly out of the air at large, industrial scale.

The technology is complementary to other carbon reduction technologies, such as the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and fleet renewal with new-generation aircraft. As at the end of October 2023, Air Canada operates a fleet of more than 131 Airbus aircraft, including the A220 Family, the most efficient aircraft product line in its category, based in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, with a second assembly line established in Mobile, Alabama, USA.