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Airbus, Boeing, Embraer partner up for biofuels

By Hpanchal on March 23, 2012

Putting their differences aside, competitors Airbus, Boeing and Embraer have signed an MoU to collaborate on the development of aviation biofuels. In joint press releases, the aircraft manufacturers detailed their plans to “speak in unity to government, biofuel producers and other key stakeholders to support, promote and accelerate the availability of sustainable, new jet fuel sources.”

Prior to this agreement, Boeing and Brazilian aerospace company Embraer were already working together to develop biofuel sourcing and availability in Brazil. Adding Airbus to the mix will bring another perspective to the table, as the aircraft manufacturers seek to fulfill the International Air Transport Association’s goal of slashing carbon emissions in half by 2050.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh believes the joint initiative will benefit the aviation sector tremendously. “There are times to compete, and there are times to cooperate,” he said in a statement. “Two of the biggest threats to our industry are the price of oil and the impact of commercial air travel on our environment. By working with Airbus and Embraer on sustainable biofuels, we can accelerate their availability and reduce our industry's impacts on the planet we share.”

Paulo César Silva, Embraer’s president of commercial aviation, echoed Albaugh’s remarks. “We are all committed to take a leading role in the development of technology programs that will facilitate aviation biofuels development and actual application faster than if we were doing it independently,” he said in a statement.

Albaugh, Silva and Airbus’ President and CEO Tom Enders signed MoU at this week’s Air Transport Action Group Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva. and