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American Invests in Firm Aiming to Supply Hydrogen to Planes



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FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines said Monday that it invested in a company that hopes to deliver hydrogen for use in planes, one prong of the airline industry’s approach to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

American did not say how much it invested or its ownership stake in Universal Hydrogen Co., whose other backers include the venture arm of JetBlue, the venture arm of aircraft maker Airbus, and GE Aviation, which makes aircraft engines.

Universal Hydrogen, based in Los Angeles, says it will build a distribution network to deliver hydrogen capsules in a way that avoids the need to build new refueling infrastructure at airports.

The companies said Universal Hydrogen expects to deliver hydrogen for regional aircraft in 2025 and later to larger, single-aisle aircraft as an auxiliary power source in the late 2020s and a primary fuel by the mid-2030s — an extremely ambitious schedule.

American cast its undisclosed investment as a vote of confidence in hydrogen becoming a key element of a sustainable aviation industry.