Delta Air Lines is taking an industry-first step in its ongoing efforts to achieve net zero emissions by the year 2050, announcing the launch of a first-of-its-kind airline innovation lab with the goal of accelerating research, design and testing for a more sustainable future of air travel.
The Delta Sustainable Skies Lab will focus on “clean fuel, efficient flying operations, revolutionary fleet concepts and sustainable travel and business practices,” the carrier said.
“Delta Sustainable Skies Lab is about pairing the operational expertise of our teams with innovators to inspire new ideas and spur industry advancement – it’s a place to showcase advancements and a movement to galvanize everyone with a stake in creating the more sustainable future of flight,” Pam Fletcher, Delta’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said in a statement.
To reach its 2050 goals, Delta will lean on the lab to “showcase sustainability-driven work from Delta people in Flight Operations, Technical Operations, Inflight Services, Operations & Customer Center and Fleet” and embrace innovative partnerships.
“With aviation being a hard-to-decarbonize industry, none of us can do this alone. We’re rolling out the welcome mat for disruptors of choice to take advantage of Delta’s global resources to accelerate our path to decarbonization and a fully sustainable travel experience,” Fletcher added.
The hope is that the new lab will attract new ideas. “Newcomers will join previously announced sustainability partners such as Airbus and Joby Aviation, and include research collaborations like Delta has established with MIT,” Delta stated.
The new lab comes as Delta prepares to launch free onboard Wi-Fi.
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