Universal Hydrogen Co., a Venice-based aerospace company that specializes in carbon- free flight, announced deals with a U.S. airline and two international carriers on July 14.
The company signed letters of intent to supply green hydrogen fuel services to Anchorage, Alaska-based Corvus Airlines, which does business as Ravn Alaska, Valencia, Spainbased Air Nostrum, and Reykjavík, Icelandbased Icelandair Group. Financial terms of the deals were not released.
“Each day, our airline explores innovative solutions to provide a travel experience with minimal adverse impact on the environment,” Carlos Bertomeu, president and chief executive of Air Nostrum, said in a statement. “This partnership represents a unique opportunity to advance on the decarbonization of our flight operations with the practical and cost-effective application of green hydrogen fuel.”
Universal Hydrogen will sell 11 turboprop conversion kits, which include a fuel cell and electric powertrain to replace conventional turbine engines in planes, to Air Nostrum for its existing and future fleet.
Icelandair will use the company’s kits to pursue “full decarbonization” of its entire domestic fleet.
Under Universal Hydrogen’s deal with Ravn Alaska, its first with a U.S.-based airline, the company will convert five aircraft using the turboprop kits. The deal will also make Universal Hydrogen the carrier’s long-term supplier of green hydrogen fuel services for its regional fleet.
“We are thrilled to have Ravn Alaska as our first U.S. domestic airline partner looking to decarbonize their aircraft operations in the near term,” Paul Eremenko, Universal Hydrogen’s co-founder and chief executive, said in a statement.
Founded in 2020, Universal Hydrogen focuses on making kits for hydrogen-powered commercial flight.
The company developed its kits to retrofit regional airplanes of up to 60 passengers with hydrogen-electric powertrains that are compatible with its existing modular capsule technology as a way to “accelerate market adoption,” the company said. Universal Hydrogen aims to make kits available for commercial airlines by 2025. Though new to the green aerospace industry, the company has attracted the attention of investors. It closed a $20.5 million funding round in April led by Palo Alto-based venture fund Playground Global. The company said it planned to use the funding to further develop its technology and bolster its commercial activities and partnerships. “We see the near-term decarbonization of regional aviation as a first step and catalyst, setting the whole industry on a path to meeting Paris Agreement emissions targets,” Eremenko said in a statement.