MIAMI – France’s Safran has set up a program that aims to develop a possible propulsion system for single-aisle commercial aircraft. The program, a big step forward that has only recently begun in Europe, accompanies Safran’s 2050 Carbon Free Air Transport Roadmap.

Safran Aircraft Engines is a French aerospace engine manufacturer headquartered in Courcouronnes, France. It designs, makes and maintains engines for commercial and military aircraft as well as rocket engines for launch vehicles and satellites.

Adrien Daste / Safran

Fueling the Future

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a €500m credit line for Safran to fund its research into advanced propulsion systems for the next generation of single-aisle commercial aircraft. This is a big move forward in Safran’s efforts to make air travel carbon-free.

The loan agreement reaffirms the EIB’s mission to finance market research and innovation projects, which was recently rebranded as a “climate fund.” The European Investment Bank (EIB) seeks to hasten the transition to a low-carbon, environmentally sound economy.

Adrien Daste / Safran

The Project’s Goals

Safran is in charge of the project in France. The project aims to substantially reduce fuel consumption by the next generation of single-aisle commercial aircraft, in line with its environmental goals. It’s also a significant step toward the ambitious target of carbon-free flights by 2050. 

The project’s four key objectives are to improve propulsion performance, optimize energy management intensively, and develop and integrate advanced technologies into aircraft. If these four components are integrated, the next generation of aircraft is expected to run entirely on alternative fuels.

From now until September 2022, the credit line will be open to the date chosen by Safran, and the expiration date will be up to ten years from the date the funds are delivered. Safran and the EU Investment Bank have a long-standing strategic partnership. In addition, since 2009, EIB has given €300m in funding to support the production of the LEAP engine.

Philippe Stroppa / Safran

Comments from Safran, European Investment Bank

“The funding arrangement set up with the EIB will make a decisive contribution to Safran’s research into carbon-free aviation,” noted Bernard Delpit, Safran’s Chief Financial Officer. “The disruptive technologies developed by these projects should make a significant contribution to meeting our goal of carbon-neutrality. At Safran, we are very pleased to have established a long-standing relationship with this institution, which has already helped finance several of our key projects.”

“This emblematic project perfectly illustrates the EIB’s mandate of helping to make Europe the first economy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank. “To meet this goal for the air transport sector, one in which Europe is a world-class player thanks to companies like Safran, we must develop innovative new propulsion systems to ensure the environmental transition. The EIB is delighted to support Safran’s efforts in meeting this technological challenge.”

Featured image: Philippe Stroppa / Safran